The sun hesitates to throw off its covers this morning.
The sunflowers topple as they die.
A goldfinch digs for breakfast.
A blue jay settles on the bath for a drink (he drinks fast and flees), and a ruby throat hovers near the feeder.
I love silent mornings as I go about my duties.
The quiet’s broken only by the flow of water from the cat fountain and the refrigerator’s hum.
I take my cup outside and am surprised by the breeze.
The beauty of neglect greets me.
The herb garden that’s not.
A mosquito bush that balloons and tumbles over the walk. (It’s supposed to repel mosquitoes, but it doesn’t.)
The not-garden that my husband finally mowed over this weekend.
And there are sounds.
A train whistle blows in the distance.
Cars whoosh down the highway.
Crows gather to cawsip in a far afield dead tree.
A mourning dove croons.
The air fills with various warbles and tweets.
They annoy me this morning.
I retreat to the kitchen.
The sizzle of scrambled eggs, the scrape of knife against toasted muffin, and even the plop of my own bare feet against the brick vinyl irritate me.
Jason zinged the message yesterday, a reflection on chapter 6 of Crazy Love, “When You’re in Love.”
His words won’t leave me alone.
Do you love Him?
I wrote in my notes.
Do YOU (Sandy) really love Him?
Do you (Sandy) REALLY love Him?
Do you (Sandy) really LOVE Him?
Do you (Sandy) really love HIM?
Jason talked about the Shema in Deuteronomy 6 that Jews recited twice a day.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. ~Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV)
ALL your heart.
ALL your soul.
ALL your strength.
Have these words always on your mind.
When you talk and when you walk.
When you lie down and when you rise up.
Stamp them in the minds of your children (and grandchildren.)
Bind them on your forehead so that others will know you are different.
Tie them on your hands so that you remember me in all you do.
Write them on your doorpost so that you take me with you when you come and when you go.
Because it’s all about Him.
It’s all about love.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” ~John 21:15-17 (NIV)
Three times Jesus asks.
And we usually connect these to Peter’s three denials.
But Jason suggests that perhaps Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his strength as he recites twice a day.
Does he love Him with every cell and every fiber of his being?
I step back outside and close my eyes.
The breeze swirls around me.
Brushes my hair.
Caresses my face.
Kisses my cheek.
Do you, Sandy, love me?
I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.
~A.W. Tozer in The Pursuit of God