I’m rushing around trying to get ready to leave Wednesday for the ACFW Conference. So today I offer up a repost. Forgive me?
My checking account does not look good right now. We’ve had some large extra expenses this month, and I have not prepared well. I fear an overdraft.
I’m glad I saw that.
I roll pennies, ransack old purses, rob our wallets, and return returnables. I stuff everything into an empty wipe box and hurry to the bank, beg them not to laugh at me.
“Cute container,” says the teller.
The day is gray.
On the way home, I notice the end-of-season-sale sign in front of the Dairy Queen. The center lane is leaf littered, and I straddle a squirrel carcass, and I wonder if it was cut down in the midst of fall gathering. A spent brown garden is dotted with brilliant orange orbs.
The cattails have parted, and I can see “Lake Abby,” formed by a broken drain pipe in the field and now might be considered an “emergent wetland.”
Any water drama has been hidden by the corndog grass and the towering field corn. The furry cigars are bursting, splitting, spilling fluff.
(Did you know that every part of a cattail is usable and even edible?)
The land is browning, dying, reseeding.
And yet, I still see life in the midst of death. Vibrant color in the midst of drab. Spring in fall.
And I am grateful for the camera button that makes my eyes bulge with wonder. For images that let me see and touch the fingerprint of a creative God.
And as I learn to see with my eyes through the seasons, I ache to stop, look, and see deep into the hearts of the hurting, to see beauty in the broken, and somehow speak hope and life into gray days.
I want to be a container of change.
And yet I fear my words are empty.
As empty as my bank account.
They bounce off my keyboard and blow like fluff in the wind.
What if He asks me to enter into the suffering?
What if He asks me to look into the eyes of poverty and pain?
What if He asks me to walk in muck?
What if He asks me to smell the stench of death?
Would I close my eyes and stop my ears?
Would my heart burst?
Would it bleed?
Or is it empty?
All I have are penny rolls–of words.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. ~Romans 12:1-2 (Message)