Monday, August 24, 2020

A Transformation...


The transformation is complete.

I knew I was about to be transformed, but I thought it would happen with intention and awareness. 

It didn’t.

Ever since I found out I would be a grandma, I knew my heart was turning to mush. 

I anticipated the feelings of overwhelming love.

I thought the transformation would happen when I held my grandchild.

It didn’t take that long…

I sat at outdoor church with my friend, her baby, and three-year-old.

I held the baby and watched her daughter play. 

Her daughter found a pile of that soft, cool dirt that feels so nice on your feet. 

She’d taken her shoes off and was running her toes through that wonderful dirt.

I encouraged her, “Is it soft? Doesn’t dirt feel good on your feet?”

Her mother wasn’t happy.

I was a little surprised when her parents whisked her away to clean her feet and hands. 

I wasn’t surprised they’d do that, but it didn’t occur to me in the moment.

Then she was back in the dirt again, and I smiled, then caught myself. 

What am I doing?

They just cleaned her up!

It was at that moment, I realized. 

The transformation is complete. 

There is nothing a little one can do that isn’t adorable. 

They’re precious - especially when they’re covered in dirt when they shouldn’t be.

I didn’t mind.

I’m not mom. 

It was a little taste of grandma-life—a spectacular freedom—undeterred by time or decorum or rules imposed by parentals.

The house my kids grew up in, fraught with rules and schedules, and “no,” is now grandma’s house. 

The land of “Yes.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Wake-Up Call

Note: I originally wrote this post four years ago. It is even more relevant today.
Who could have known the turns our country has taken in the last four years? 
We have yet another wake-up call...will we answer? 

I’ve been very passionate about the election. 
I’ve had strong opinions about the candidates—and my opinions have changed and re-changed as accusations and videos and emails have dropped like so many bricks.
I’ve been upset and anxious and…I hate to admit, faithless.  
Until recently. 
At some point in the past couple of weeks I couldn’t stand it any longer.
I had to let it go.
I woke in the night and prayed…night after night.
And peace has covered my anxious heart.
Peace and a humbling conviction.
The words that come to mind as I pray are…
Be bold.
As I’ve pondered and sought answers I’ve discovered that we are in this predicament due to our own complacency.  
We dropped the ball.
We shrugged our shoulders at depravity.
We winked at sin.
We have listened to false teaching.
We have looked upon ugliness.
And then we have the audacity to ask for favor in this election.
Now that we find ourselves facing the consequences of our negligence, we ask God to save us?
That’s one kind of bold, I suppose.
Brazen is the word I would use.
God doesn’t owe us the president of our choice.  
He gave us this incredible country founded by men of faith and principle.
Maintained by bravery and ultimate sacrifice.  
We’ve let it rot.
This election is what’s known as a wake-up call.
Wake up, Christian!
Stand up!
Buck up!
No matter what the outcome of the election is, we have to get busy with the work we were put here to do.
We have to stand up for righteousness.  
Tell the truth, even when it’s not easy.
Love with grace.
And…be bold.

2 Peter 3:8-12
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

It doesn’t matter who wins the election.  
What matters is what we’re doing to share God’s saving grace with the lost.
Our country did not end up in this condition because we were actively doing God’s work.  
We fell asleep on the job.
I fell asleep on the job.
I’m awake now. 


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Many years ago, something strange occurred in my neighborhood. 

A minivan parked on my street and a woman sat in the weeds, staring into the field.

I noticed her as I took the kids to the bus stop. 

I waved. 

She waved back and continued staring.

She was still there when I came home that afternoon.

The next day another lady parked her car on the street, sat in the weeds, and stared into the field. Curiosity overwhelmed me. 

“Excuse me,” I ventured. “What are you doing?” As the words left my lips, they seemed a little abrupt, but I live in a small neighborhood in the country. It isn’t everyday strangers park their car on my street and sit outside in the rain and weeds, staring into a field.

“I’m trying to rescue that dog,” she whispered, pointing.

I hadn’t noticed the dog.

In the middle of the field, a filthy mutt stood alone—his ears and nose raised as he peered above the tall grass. 

My kneejerk reaction was to climb through the barbed-wire fence and collect the dog so the lady could get on with her life. Two different women had spent two days waiting for the mutt to come to them. As a busy mom of three teenagers, I couldn’t imagine spending one day sitting in the weeds watching a dog, much less two.

Instead, I asked, “Is it your dog?”

“No.” The woman’s eyes didn’t leave the field.

“Whose dog is it?”

“We don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

“The dog is timid and won’t allow anyone near. My friend rescues dogs, and we’re trying to gain his trust so we can give him a home.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love dogs. But this seemed a little over-the-top as dog rescues go.

The two women spent two full weeks sitting by the side of the road, staring into the field, waiting. I didn’t bother them—they didn’t want to be bothered. Their sole purpose was earning the trust of the dog. They had food, treats, and water. Sometimes I watched them from an upstairs window. The dog inched right next to them, eating from a dish of food. I saw them touch the dog and stroke his back. But even while they had hands on him, they didn’t force him into the car.

Honestly, I honored their patience but questioned their sanity. Who in their right mind would spend literally every hour of daylight for weeks on end to pursue a stray dog? Eventually, they all disappeared. I assumed the women succeeded.

I’d forgotten about the women and the dog until recently. They came to mind, and I chuckled about the seeming silliness of it. Then I heard a whisper… 

God offered His take on the situation.

“You know, that’s what I do too.”

My inner chuckling abruptly stopped. I pondered what He meant. God sits in the weeds and waits for us? 

Aaaah…yes, He does.

God waits for us to accept His gifts of love, grace, and forgiveness. He is kind. He does not grab us against our will. He is gentle and patient—offering exactly what we need, adoption into His family. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1)

God loves us—he doesn’t leave any of us alone in the field of our unbelief. He wants everyone to have the choice to come to Him—to be rescued—or not. He waits in the weeds, the rain, the wind, in the stench of our filth, guilt, and shame. Do you see Him? Do you hear Him calling your name?

About a week later, the dog reappeared in the field and the ladies to the side of the road. This time, they disappeared after a couple of days. Perhaps the dog was testing them. Do you really want me? Are you really who you say you are? Do you really care about my life? The ladies’ persistence proved their love.

God’s Word says, For the wages of sin is death—thankfully, it doesn’t end there.

But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

God proved His love when He sent His Son to die on a cross. He took the penalty for our sin, and all of our shame onto Himself.

On Easter morning, He conquered death and rose from the grave. 

Jesus offers us the gift of eternal life. All we have to do is accept it.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

We aren’t so different from that dog—we’ve all been a little lost, dirty, hungry, and skeptical. We all need to be rescued. This Easter, as we celebrate mostly alone, know that you are not alone. God is reaching His hand to you. The weeds may be tall, but we only have the length of our one precious life to trust Him. Will you?

May you grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (Ephesians 3:18)

 

 

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