Friday, May 27, 2011

The Lady and the Cowboy

He was leaning against his mailbox waiting for me. Six foot, four inches of cowboy, solid as a rock. He was holding a giant mug of coffee in one hand and a Stetson in the other. I'd seen him in his truck, but he looked more intimidating up close.

"Good morning," he said with a slow grin. "You have worms."

I laughed. "Smart man. Wanta go fishing?" We introduced ourselves, becoming neighbors rather than strangers, as I explained that the worms were to show the children in my life.

"I told my wife about you waving to me every morning," he said softly. "Told her about the lady in our neighborhood that kept waving to me even though I scowled at her every day."

I smiled, remembering all the mornings I had seen him driving off to work, worn down and discouraged. "Well, it was a nice scowl. Not so scary really. I suppose I thought one day you'd wave back and smile."

"Cheered me up, it did. Been thinking on it. Most people just look on by other folks."

I nodded. And just that easily, there it was: the opportunity to give a reason for the hope that is within me. God is real. The Bible is true. Jesus is alive. I have never been more filled with peace and hope and love than I am today.

"He has shown you, oh, man, what is good; and what the Lord requires of you: to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." ~Micah 6:8

A generation of people, crushed with discouragement and lost in distractions, are in a great crowd of witnesses surrounding us. We, the people of His possession, are called to walk humbly with our God in the midst of them.

Who are the people in your neighborhood? C'mon. You bring the one next to you and I'll bring the one next to me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Goldfinches Come to Tea

Six goldfinch couples landed quietly in my redbud tree. I had become frustrated in my morning prayer, impatient and weary, grateful for a restful distraction. I refilled my tea cup and settled in to watch their antics.

Zipping to and fro, apparently stretching their achy flight muscles, the female goldfinches settled on a branch, looking ready for someone to pour tea and pass out scones. They seemed to be chatting with one another and I laughed. What encouraging words does a Lady Goldfinch have to share with her friends? Were they wanting the menfolk to stop and ask for directions? Were they, like me, nervous about the future and longing to see God's plan?

As I returned my thoughts to prayer, the wrestling with God didn't seem quite as desperate. I had been wanting a "burning bush" like Moses was given, some evidence of God's plan for the rest of my life, His vision for my heart, for my next adventure. Do you ever feel that way? "I'll do whatever You want, Lord. Just please show me the plan so I can get started."

I had asked for a burning bush and God set a redbud tree afire with goldfinches. I finished my tea, smiling at them, refreshed from their visit. The Goldfinches had stopped their animated chatting and had begun to sing. I sang along with them: "I sing because I'm happy. I sing because I'm free. For His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me!"

"He holds the future in the palm of His hands and He has never failed us yet. I know He's reigning and He still has control. So why should I worry or fret?"