The smell of freshly ground coffee beans takes me to wonderful places of long ago. I am a purest so I keep an old percolator and listening to it this morning I was reminded of my grandfather. I miss him. A favorite memory was to stop by his house and have a cup of coffee with him while he’d tell me stories of his youth.
My grandparents came through the depression years and he was able to speak of an interesting time in our history. He would tell me of Roosevelt’s CCC program (Civilian Conservation Corps) and his opportunity to get to work. Being given a new pair of jeans and new shoes, he boarded a train for California. The clothes made an impression on this poor young man from Missouri, so did working for his keep.
His ethics and character made an impression upon me, though I never had the opportunity to tell him so. I have many young men in my family and if all they ever remember of me is that I had an admirable character than I accomplished much.
I had found a private spot to lay on my back in the grass and just look up through the leaves of a shade tree into the clear blue sky. The sun was filtering through, lighting up all the greens so much I wondered how many variations there were? My car was parked nearby and I could hear a song singing about the palette of the sky so I smiled widely loving such a coincidental moment. But there are no coincidences are there?
My mind is in a peaceful mood and I look forward to just kicking back to enjoy dinner with the husband and have a quiet conversation. He is such a gentle spirit, I am quite calmed being in his presence. I am forever enamored of my heavenly Father’s favor when He matched us together.
Today I have simply been annoyed to extremes. It was absolutely beautiful and I was even off a touch early from work. Everywhere I went and even around my own home I was blasted with noise pollution! What happened to the joys of listening to birds chirp or a soft breeze rustling our trees. Instead every joker within earshot is grabbing some kind of noise making power tool to send decibles soaring.
My responsibilities can weigh on me a little heavy some days. I can’t say I was buried under them today but when you stand in the place of freedom and fresh air, having to step back into anything less feels like the lie I have to live. A touch dramatic in description but honestly, a feeling is a feeling.
In my thoughts, I began to ponder the children’s tale of Gulliver’s Travels where Gulliver shipwrecks as a giant in the land of Lilliputians (tiny people). After a sleep he awakens to find himself bound by ropes put upon him by these Lilliputians. By themselves, none of these small threads was unbreakable, but during his slumber they had roped him with so many he became a prisoner.
I begin to wonder how many of my responsibilities are necessary or am I just roping myself down with so many threads I no longer am free to move about at will?
Did you see the man drowning in the swells of the surf? Did you come with the lifeline to save him? I only ask this because of something I was reminded of in the quiet places of my heart this weekend. I try to get together with others on a regular basis for celebrating the goodness of our heavenly Father and over time I began to notice faces I’ve grown fond of.
I was missing a friend’s smile and pleasant chatter at these gatherings. I knew a little bit about them; we’d shared some meals, laughs and heartfelt chats about our hearts and even our hurts. We’d even shared a few tears in private moments. My heart had been tugged to call them but the email stopped working and the phone had been disconnected.
I am not one to barge in on anyone’s privacy so I wrote a card not answered. Eventually I was curious enough to drop by unannounced (shocking first for me too!) and left my card on the door. I never heard from my friend. I had a free day this weekend without plans, my favorite days, and yet I still managed to roam on a clock and map not of my making. I once again was taken to this door to leave yet another card with my phone numbers.
Driving away I felt sad but knew I had done what I was meant to. My friend finally called tonight and after a few minutes of chattering, I knew them to be in the midst of drowning in the swells of distraction and feeling disconnected. Throwing them a lifeline, I am sure this is a rope that must be held tight; time to bring them back to the shores where the Rock is. They need to steady their feet once more in a place of love and encouragement.
I was listening to a song this evening I can’t say I’ve ever heard more than a couple times in my life but its message delivered itself to my heart. “People get ready”, and then words to share how easy it was to come aboard.
I saw some incredible people share stories from their lives this weekend in powerful ways. One of these was given by a young man who said he didn’t come to the Lord even though he knew he was being called because he thought he needed to get clean first. In my heart I knew exactly what he was talking about.
Even though I am living the changed life, now and again, I can still hear that whispering voice from my enemy lying to me for what a failure and disappointment I am; I should just give up because I will never be good enough. These are the days I carry the word everywhere I go so I can remember my heavenly Father’s promises.
I know I am with a people who are getting ready and I too encourage all to come aboard, no matter what state they may be in.
I really thought I should write about the Easter thing but who am I to tell another about a celebration? I can only keep following my own path as I am shown the way. What I love about my journey is kind of a double edged sword pierced into my chest. The one blade cuts deeply into my heart causing change and the other edge cuts into my past hurts so I finally begin to see with clarity how many ways I need this change. Both cuts cause blood to flow but I know it’s not my blood that matters.
My Savior’s life on the cross, as He bled for me, is what I am being healed by. I think it was the 70’s when Rod Stewart crooned, “the first cut is the deepest”. As I move on in my life, I realize the wounds I have suffered never have touched me as deeply as the first time Jesus pierced my heart so I could begin to live a life that mattered. His first cut was the deepest.
Many times I have been inspired, but never before have I been moved so much as watching a friend willing to lay down their life for the greater good of others. So often I have thought of this sacrificial act in terms of life and death of the physical sense. My mental picture was war type heroics or even giving a dying man your last bottle of water in a desert death scene; you know, movie scenarios or the stuff books have been written about.
Never have I truly understood what sacrifice meant until recently. True sacrifice is to lay down your life in how you live it, both past and present. Admitting the past, and walking in the present openly and honestly, no matter the cost. Cost you may ask? Well I speak of privacy. No one I know is without past mistakes, but virtually everyone I know does not speak of them with open honesty to the point of sacrifice….willing to tell the whole world their personal hurts.
Despite the sacrificial cost of this action, I know a truth. There is absolute restoration and…..freedom….Yes, I am inspired!
“Christianity does not involve the belief that all things were made for man. It does involve the belief that God loves man and for his sake became man and died.” C.S. Lewis
I contemplate this statement as it is Good Friday and many of my acquaintences are going through religious rituals, never having an intimate understanding of who Jesus is and why today is called Good Friday. They only know they are being told to not eat something and light a candle. Thinking about how my Savior sacrificed Himself so I could be free of religion is precious. More still is the beauty in the cross and how it made a way home for me for eternity.