Teedbits because I can’t sleep because I foolishly drank a pot of oolong tea at 6:30pm in the evening (darn you caffeine – dang that rhymed whoo):
[leah] when a child of six makes you a necklace out of beads and plastic roses after meeting you for a grand total of two times – I feel loved in quite a different way. No wonder God always wants our attention – it feels so good. She struggles with the clasp of the necklace (turned choker as she underestimates how wide my neck is) while explaining to me what exactly she used to make it. She accomplishes her goal of securing the necklace around my neck and reaches for the moon charm that sits on the base of my throat. “Do you only have one necklace? I only see you wear this one,” she says as she plays with the wooden crescent and pokes at the star shaped hole in it. “I have many,” I inform her, “but this one is my favorite.” I keep her colorful little choker around my neck, even as I am introduced to a multitude of new people at church; when I finally find a moment to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I laugh. Bright, plastic, and obnoxiously pink (her favorite color) – I know it cannot pass as jewelry. But when I think about her heart and efforts behind it (her attachment to me, her wanting to give me another necklace to add to my ensemble of accessories, her decision to add roses because she figured I like them, her adamant resolve to finish the necklace with her mother’s help despite the difficulties of attaching a clasp to it), I want to keep it on for as long as possible; I wear it with a slight sort of impish pride and delight (see, I am loved by this child).I gather the Father looks at our works in the same manner. In no way can our acts of righteousness pass His standard of judgement for holiness. But, as He looks at our attitude of obedience and desire to love, He melts. It is not the product of our faith that touches the Lord, it is the heart behind it. So He calls Himself our Father willingly, saying, “see, here are my servants and with them I am well pleased,” despite our inability to really serve Him at all.
[company] I am happiest when I am with people (seldom does it matter who it is, where we are, what we’re doing – as long as I’m not alone). The Lord never fails to provide me with good and faithful companionship. From the members of my community group to my coworkers in the office to the random stranger turned friend through the course of God – divined plans to the ever lovely Dan, I could easily never be alone if I wanted to. And so as I frolic day to day, place to place, person to person, joyfully and playfully, I wonder at intermittent intervals of time how much the Lord loves me that He’d choose to divvy up my love between these people in my life and sit silently in the background as I give them the attention I should be giving Him.
“You see how much they love you?” He points out as I feel the waves of their affection and care for me. “I love you, more.” I find it very hard to believe (how am I even more loved than this, even more provided for than this, even more wanted than this?) and find myself praying: “I believe, help my unbelief!” I know from what I’ve been told and what I’ve been taught that this is truth – that He loves me so much; but, to feel it in my heart, I am slowly thawing and melting under the relentless waves of His grace.
“I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
I am waiting, oh God. Give me this heart of flesh that is pleasing to you.
[life] nothing has been so maddeningly gut wrenching as the revelation that my days are specifically numbered according to the will of God – that the Lord has allotted a number of days on this earth for me to do what He wants me to do and that one day He’ll take me up to heaven and say, “let’s see how you did.” The Lord knows whether I’ll live till I’m 90 or whether I’ll die tomorrow. If I died in my sleep tonight, would I be okay presenting the work I’ve done in front of Him? Will I feel like I wasted the days He gave me?
“I suck at this, Lord,” I complain to Him daily. I can’t save the world. I can’t change the world. I don’t have the foresight or determination or seeing things through capability to accomplish anything note-worthy. I can barely finish my to-do list at work every day. What is the point of trying when I only see myself failing?
He points at Jesus. “Where is your faith, child? It’s much less complicated than you think.” He points at the people around me. “Just share life with them, and I will take care of the rest.”
Jesus didn’t donate thousands of dollars to a good cause to feed the poor – He simply broke bread with them (and subsequently fed four/five thousand people). Jesus didn’t build a grand church that would draw in curious unbelievers – He spoke and ate and drank with those He met and brought them to faith by His quiet compassion. Jesus didn’t start up a not for profit hospital that cared for the sick – He went to the sick and dying (and dead) and put His hands on them and prayed for them. He did nothing out of the ordinary except to have faith in His Father.
“I have given you everything you need – lips to speak, ears to listen, hands to touch, and eyes to see. Just share life with these people and I will be with you.”
My days are numbered and I want to live each one out intentionally for you, Lord. Teach me, Father. I want to obey you.
[peace] the overcast skies and rainy day gloom does nothing to damper my spirits – in fact it uplifts me as the clouds and rain chase away the oppressing heat of the summer. Fall is arriving shortly, coinciding with the upcoming busy season at my work and I am waiting with ever increasing anticipation in my heart. What will the Lord do now?
Whatever it may be, it is well with my soul; may the Lord do with me what He will – I will surrender no matter what it is. My life is yours, o Lord; your mercy is great and I will praise you forevermore.