Saturday, 29 June 2013

Faith and Falling

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when a leap of faith felt more like a distinctive push? I think it's happening to me, right here, right now...real time. I feel like I am standing at the edge of a cliff, I know I should do it, I know I should jump, but I'm still staring down, down, down at that deep, long drop and thinking...You know, it's not so bad right here, right here where I am. Yet, there's that push, gentle prodding is maybe more like it, but it's inching me closer and closer...and I'm running out of ledge.

Last year, a miracle happened.  Out of the blue, against all odds, I was called by the Principal of a small school within a deeply religious community and offered a job.  It came exactly at the right time - I had no job, and no backup plan.  God stepped in.  I had a good year, as teaching goes, and so when things began to unravel quickly, like when you try to hold on to a bunch of sand, so you hold tight, and more of it gets away in spite of your best efforts, I couldn't help but wondering what on earth God was doing.  He practically dropped me into that job, and now he is pushing me out.  Standing at the top, looking down toward the bottom, is harder I imagine, than staring up toward the top.

I think that one day I'll look back on all of this and be able to see the big picture - for now I just see the really big drop.  Yet, somehow I know if I can let go, really....let it all go, God will do both the pushing and the catching.

So, just in case you are standing there, like me - c'mon let's jump.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Faith Like a Child

A few nights ago I was sitting in the living room with my son, he was playing and having fun, when outside a group of scruffy looking guys, bedecked in strange long beards, tattoos and chains passed by the house.  Though we see many passers by our large picture window, I'd never seen that specific group before, and just as I recoiled inwardly and my brain bounded around thoughts like, Who are they? I wouldn't want to run into them in a dark alley. Why are they walking near our house? What do they want? I hope we locked the car. My son bounded over to the front window, with a wide, welcoming smile - and he waved.  To my surprise, several of the "gang" members smiled, and one even waved back. As my son hurried back to playing and chatter, I thought When did I lose that? 

I'm not sure. When was the last time I looked at people, ALL people and instead of being frustrated that they are in my way, or not moving fast enough, or intruding on my personal space, or rude because they look different than what I think they should, or upset because people haven't given me recognition lately? It's been a while.  When did I forget that I should be treating ALL people with the same warmth, and smile that emanated from my son? A smile never hurt anyone, nor did a kind hello ever kill anybody...but sometimes I act like if I have to do it, it might just kill me.

Thinking about the way my son hopped up, and ran to the window with a smile on his face, and his energetic wave as if he were welcoming friends instead of strangers, made me think, that's what Jesus is like. He isn't stopped by what we look like on the outside, or how we try to protect ourselves by the way we look, or an attitude that we hang onto.  Instead he greets strangers as friends.  It's easy to be polite, or superficial - but that's always what it comes across as - superficial. There was something about the genuinely innocent welcome that made all of the difference.  And aren't all people valuable enough to be treated that way? They are. It just takes some effort and a bit of forethought.

It's a goal I have.
Something to work at.
I'll let you know when its perfected.

For Bobbi - Who never misses an opportunity to treat people like they are important.

all the sins we see

He raped me. My friend, sweet and gentle, said it straight out like she was talking about the movie we'd seen not too long ago toget...