Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Yes, God

This morning I awoke a bit burdened. Cameron has the flu and we had a long night. About 3:00 am I started feeling queasy myself and found it hard to go back to sleep. When morning really came, I padded around the house in my fuzzy slippers, feeding the dogs, unloading the dishwasher, making coffee, but my mind was full of vague worries. Worries about my oldest daughter and son-in-law as they try to find a new car. Worry about my mother coming over for Thanksgiving tomorrow (should she come if Cameron is sick?). Worry about financial things, projects and school and what's-comingness.

I went upstairs to make the beds and open curtains. The early morning sunlight made it through the cloud cover and splashed on the wall in the hallway. I noticed. I started down the stairs, hearing in the back of my brain a word attached to each footstep, "Yes, God. Yes, God. Yes, God." When I heard myself praying this, I stopped. What was I saying Yes to? The answer was quick. Everything. Everything God has for me this day. Every blessing, every challenge, every blind spot, every worry, everything. I'm saying Yes to everything in front of me in the future, secure or not. Yes, God. Yes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Our Choices Matter

Day before yesterday, I went into a drug store close to my house in the middle of the day. The store was almost completely empty--just a guy behind the counter and the pharmacist in the back. A young boy, maybe 10 or 11, came in wearing a bike helmet. He walked up and down the aisles. I thought, "Oh, I remember when I used to ride my bike up to the store and get made me feel big." Then I began to walk past an aisle and I saw him pick up a back of candy and stuff it into his coat. I stopped for a moment and took another step. He seemed to sense me behind him and walked quickly around the corner of the aisle. I thoughtfully, prayerfully wondered what to do. I heard the paper of the candy bag crinkle and thought maybe he'd put it back. I continued to stay open in my spirit for a leading about what to do, but paid for my purchase and left the store.

As I got in my car I saw the boy walk out the door, stiff-legged as though he didn't want the candy to fall out of his coat. I pulled my car over to the curb, rolled down my window, and motioned for him to come closer. There were only the two of us in the parking lot. I looked directly in his eyes and said kindly, "You know there's another way to get what you want, don't you?"

"What?" he asked, blinking hard.

"You know that there's a better way to get what you want, right?" I repeated.

"Yes," he said.

I put my hand on my heart. "You'll feel better about yourself," I said. "Don't steal things."

He nodded and said, "Okay." I nodded and drove off.

I felt that something very sacred had happened there, although I wasn't sure what. I think in some way the boy had been touched by God saying, "I see you. What you do matters." Perhaps my witnessing his choice--and my suggestion of a better way--will help him think more carefully about his future choices. He had the voice of an angel and the sweetest face. I wondered what family circumstances had left him so bored or so unnoticed that he was resorting to stealing for fun. But I took comfort in the fact that the same God who brought us together at that point in time is with him--and me, and you--right now. We are brought together when we need it as witnesses and helpmates to each other. Sometimes our witness says, "I understand you; I love you; you're not alone." Other times it says, "I see what you're doing to yourself, and I want to tell you there's a better way." Either way, God reaches through us, using our words, our presence, and our witness, to be the hands and voice of Christ to those who forget that their choices really do matter.

Thursday, November 06, 2003


Somehow yesterday afternoon everything seemed too big for me. My participation in my online courses felt so earnest; I later wondered whether I'd shared too much, gone too far, thought out loud just a little too long. I wanted to pull back, be quiet, rest. My work felt demanding and difficult, with too many projects, all due on Friday, and schoolwork to fit in there somewhere. I churned around inside, feeling that vague "something's-not-right" feeling, like a big boot was going to drop from the sky and squish me at any moment. Everything had become so important somehow. And overwhelming. And scary.

But these ebbs are always followed by flow, thank goodness. And last night, I cuddled on the couch next to my youngest son, with my oldest son sitting not far away, and we took a rare hour and a half to watch a funny movie: The In-Laws, with Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks. It may have been that the movie was really that funny, or it may have been that I just plain needed to laugh, but the kids and I sat in the family room hooting and howling and laughing and stamping out feet. We raised quite a ruckuss. I remembered the smile muscles in my face. Laughing felt like transformation. I "heart"ily recommend it. :)

Monday, November 03, 2003

Quiet Peace

I feel very quiet inside just now. When I let our dog out this morning, I went out and stood on the deck and just looked up at the stars for a long moment. Orion's belt. Other constellations I should know but don't. A great peace stole over me, a holy moment. I just wanted to stand there, looking up.

I took the boys to school and came back to the house, noticing the spreading of a glorious pink and orange sunrise. The high clouds were touched with pink on their tops. They were the first to receive the light of the new day. I just wanted to stand there, in the driveway, looking up.

There's something very quiet and tender and awestruck going on inside of me today. I have a list of tasks to accomplish, a book to edit, a school paper to write. And yet, the sky is the color of a robin's egg and the now-gold light has painted everything in bright, fresh colors. How can I make myself climb back into my mind when my heart is so obviously awake? New learnings, new gifts, new wonders. I think I'll go back outside, in the cool morning air, and look up.

Enjoy your day! :)