Debris in Your Lap

>> Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I watched the television in horror as the car slammed into the safety barrier and disintegrated before my eyes. When the spinning cars all came to a stop, the front end of car #32 was missing. The flaming engine lay behind the barrier … in the grandstand. Who knew where the tires were.

As the scene unfolded at the end of the Nationwide Race, my thoughts turned to another race … one I had attended.  I sat on row 20 … several yards before the finish line … exactly where the debris from this wreck had landed. Later the news reported that one of the tires had landed in the lap of an unsuspecting spectator.

It could have been me.

I read comments asking, “Why didn’t they just get out of the way?” How fast can you move in three seconds? Those cars are going almost 200 mph. You have no warning.

Suddenly you have debris in your lap.

Life is exactly like that. Our days are flying by … with exciting activities and boring cautions. We are spectators.

And then suddenly we have debris in our lap.

A child is killed in a car crash. A parent has a heart attack. You are given a cancer diagnosis. There is no escape. You just can’t move fast enough.

Even though you may have debris in your lap, there is a Safety Barrier that will protect your soul. No matter how fast the oncoming crisis, that Barrier never breaks … keeping you safe.

“They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from Him.” John 10:28-29 (MSG)


The Joy of Blooming

>> Friday, February 22, 2013

I received a bouquet of lovely pink tulips for Valentine’s Day … which I placed in a vase and sat in a central location of our home. Each time I looked at them, I felt warm fuzzies. I was loved.

But the progression of their blossoms intrigued me.

The first day or two they were standing straight and tall with their bloom closed up. Only if I stood above them, looking down, could I see the pale yellow center. Then I noticed they began to bend toward the sun.

As days passed, they no longer stood straight and tall. They leaned a little … allowing me to see that design inside the blossom. Then more leaning that actually looked like drooping. And then the petals dropped … one at a time.

I turned 70 on my last birthday. I no longer stand straight and tall. (Well the tall part never happened anyway.) I’m doing some leaning … and bending toward the Son. As I’ve matured, I’ve allowed myself to open up and display the special design I have inside of me.

I’ve not dropped any petals yet … that I know of. 

My desire is to give as much joy to others as those flowers gave me. And that perhaps the progression of my blossoms will intrigue others … to want to know me … to get to know my passions and talents … and to bend toward the Son with me.

 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” I Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)


Laundry Day

>> Monday, February 11, 2013

The bathtub (we had only one) was used for soaking laundry. And since mother took in washings and ironings, the bathtub had clothes in it quite often … especially whites. Now she wanted those white clothes to be really white, so before placing the clothes in the tub she added something to the water. It was called bluing … which made fabric appear whiter. But bluing was not permanent and rinsed out over time, returning the clothes to a dingy or yellow cast.

It’s also the same principle sometimes used by white-haired people, causing them to be called “the blue hairs” … but we won’t go there.

As I thought about laundry day, I began to compare that process to the journey I’ve been on in life. The dogma and misguided instructions I received growing up left me with a very dingy concept of life … and myself. And I just lived with it … not knowing there was a Person that could take care of my dinginess.
Then came the day I placed all my religion and low self-esteem in the bluing to soak. And the thing about the bluing I discovered is that it is permanent … never rinsing out. Oh, I’m not saying sometimes I don’t get stains, but with a little soaking in God’s word and some prayer, the stains are removed.

Is it time for laundry day at your house?

“Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.” Psalm 51:7 (MSG)


Perfecting Hypocrisy

>> Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sunday morning … Sunday evening … and again on Wednesday evening, my mother and I sat in a front pew at church and listened to words from people’s mouths; the preacher on Sunday and testimonies from the congregation on Wednesday … including my mother. Wonderful, glorious, hallelujah words attesting to the spotless life being lived by the speaker. I didn’t know about the other people, but I knew my mother’s day-to-day life was not like she pictured it.

By age 15 my future husband had been chosen for me … the preacher’s son. And so began my hard-core training in hypocrisy. Since I was to marry the preacher’s son, I was allowed to go to his house on Saturday evenings. Nervous and wondering how I was supposed to act, I entered their home. It seemed the four of us were to gather in the son’s upstairs bedroom.

The closet door was opened … a television rolled out … plugged in … and we spent the evening sitting on two beds watching shows like Gunsmoke and Have Gun – Will Travel. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but on Sunday the sermons were full of “thou shalt nots” and one of those “nots” was watching television. That box was called the devil’s box and the antenna sitting on top of the television was his horn.

My training in hypocrisy was in full swing.

When I attended Sunday dinners at their house, my future mother-in-law did most of the talking. She worked her way down the list of everyone in attendance that morning … sharing her thoughts about their clothes … their children … their mentality. The remarks were ugly. Yet she had smiled as she shook hands with them.

She couldn’t stand them … my mother included.
So I learned to wear a mask … a mask of hypocrisy. Since I was to be a preacher’s wife, I took my training to heart. I was to be one person at church and a different one during the rest of the time. After such powerful training, I had my hypocrisy perfected.

It’s hard to believe I used to live like that. Wearing a mask takes a lot of energy. Being real is such a freeing thing.

Do you wear a mask?

Frauds! You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.” Matthew 23:27-28 (MSG)


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