A Bit Big for Their Britches

It’s not often that I laugh out loud during my quiet time, but it happened this morning.

I was reading in Luke. Jesus and the disciples were heading into a village and the people there didn’t welcome him. James and John were a little miffed, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”

I stopped. Did they really say what I think they just said?

I read it again. Pictured the scene. Shoulders back, jostling each other a bit and flexing their guns as they looked at Jesus. They were ready for a fight. “Hey Jesus, want us to take care of that? Smite them for ya?”

Jesus. King. Savior. Holy One. The One who could call down a legion of angels at a moment’s notice. And the disciples, full of bravado, “Want us to take care of that for you? Call down some fire and brimstone?”

I can only picture the look on his face. Really? You’re going to call down fire from heaven? You boys can’t even rub two sticks together for a decent spark…

I wonder if the disciples thought Jesus was a bit too much into mercy, a touch too attached to grace.  You know, maybe they should step in and help Jesus take a stand.

A little less love, a lot more smiting— that’ll show ‘em.

But Jesus didn’t smite those who didn’t know him yet. He saved his anger for those who said they belonged to God, but acted like they were all that and a bag of manna.

No smiting today, boys.

Shoulders slumped. Ego deflated.

Grace.

Whatever.

Mile Marker 42

I am so not dignified. Really. It’s mildly embarrassing how giddy I get when I’m about to see my man. When I arrived home Sunday night after a busy run of travel, I had a smile on my face before I even exited the plane.

My grin broadened as I walked through the terminal and climbed on board the train. Random people smiled back.

My joy grew by increments of warm fuzzies and mild goofiness as the train came to a stop.

I nearly bounded up the escalator before remembering, Come now, Elsa, professional women don’t bound.

Finally. I scanned the crowd. Caught glimpse of that smile. Threw decorum to the wind and bounded into my man’s strong arms and melted against his chest.

Oh, how I love coming home.

That was just the beginning. We gathered the luggage, jumped in the car and headed south. With each mile marker, my sense of expectation grew.

Mile marker 163… getting close.

Mile marker 200. The magic number.

Home!

I walked in the door to puppies jumping, and my girl squealing “Mommy!”

Yes, she’s 19. Yes, she still squeals “Mommy!”

Oh, how I love coming home.

As I lay in bed that night, content and warm, the thought came to mind: I have another home too.

And when I get there, my Savior will meet me at the gate. Broad smile, twinkling eyes, ready embrace. Without decorum, I will bound into his arms and melt into his love.

I’ll turn to see my dad, my nephew, my brother and my grandparents.

I’m at mile marker 42.  Not sure where the exit is, but the sense of expectation is growing.  Some day…. One day…. we’ll all be home. And if I’m goofy giddy at the prospect of my earthly home, I can’t imagine how explosive the joy will be when I bound into the arms of my Savior.

 

Oh, how I will love coming home.

Better than rawhides…

I love how God uses all of creation to teach me stuff. Today, He taught me through my pups. Let me introduce you…

This is Sir Maximus

This is Simba Roo (you must roll the r for her to answer)

Max is our brand new pup. He’s full of energy and mischief. He delights in our love, leaps into our arms and smothers us with kisses. He lays on his back for us to rub his belly and whines with abandon when we walk out the door.

In his eyes, we are the greatest thing since chicken flavored rawhides.

Simba Roo loves us too, but it’s with a quiet reserve. Only occasionally does she wag her whole body when we walk in the door. She approaches us tentatively when she asks for our touch… always a little nervous that this whole love thing could go south.

It makes sense. We got Simba Roo at 12-weeks-old from the Humane Society, and they told us that she’d been abused. Someone had kicked her and her hip was dislocated as a result. She was just healing up when we took her home all cuddled up in our arms.

Baby Simba Roo

For years we had to be careful with our Simba Roo. Anytime we touched that back hip, she’d leap away from us and tremble, her big brown eyes filled with fear.

Will you turn on me too?

We get it. She’s scared. And because we love her, we meet her where she is… we don’t scold her for her fear, we reassure her and talk embarrassing baby talk and love on her by the bucketful.

So here’s my thought. If we, as frail and human and goofy pet owners, understand how old wounds can surface and scare our puppy, how much more does God make provision when we are skittish in our responses to him? When we’ve been kicked a time or two by life and doubt his love or tremble at his touch?

I make provision for my pups. God makes provision for me… He makes provision for each one of us who carry wounds that make us fearful.

That reality brings tears to my eyes.

What a gracious God.

Camouflage Mama and True Beauty (flasback Friday)

October 15, 2006

Camouflage Mama

It happens every afternoon around 4:37 p.m. I don my camouflage pants and head out the door. Sam’s bus arrives at the bottom of the hill at 4:39. She’s in high school now. Cool. Happening. She wears lip-gloss and just a touch of foundation to take off the shine.

She even has an I-pod she received on her birthday after three years of
complaining about the bulkiness of her old-fashioned CD player. “I mean
really, Mom. All the kids make fun of me. It’s so bulky and HUGE!”

Yeah. OK. I couldn’t even LIFT the record player I listened to in the 6th
grade.

So I start walking – slowly. It’s all in the timing. If I get too close and
the kids on the bus see me, all will be lost. I hear the familiar sound.
There it is. I spot the yellow through the leaves, and see a window on the
bus. A set of teenage eyes meets mine. They widen. I’ve been spotted! Drat!
I quickly duck and pretend to pet a caterpillar.

I asked Sam once, “So what if your friends see me? They won’t know I’m
coming to meet you, they’ll just think I’m some lady out walking her dogs.”

“Every day Mom? At the same time? And a woman who looks EXACTLY like me?
Mom.” Slight eye roll. “They’ll know it’s you.”

Right. And that’s . . . horribly, mortifyingly not good, right?

Right.

The bus starts moving away. I see a bobbing brunette head coming up my way. I
wave. She waves. We grin. On this day she loops her arm in mine as she draws
close. She doesn’t even realize she’s doing it. She right away starts in on her day.

I smile a little grin of victory. Undercover. Top secret. Camouflage love.

Mission accomplished.

October 16, 2006

Swan

She was tiny, frail, beautiful. I met Swan at a woman’s conference. Wrinkles lined her lovely face. She dressed stylish with a touch of sassy. Swan spoke in a quiet voice, and her hands trembled slightly as they rested on her lap. She was the picture of gentle beauty.

Then Swan prayed.

With a voice full of passion and strength, she prayed over the conference.
With power she prayed for each woman present. She seemed to grow in stature
with each word spoken to our God.

I have a picture of what Swan will look like in heaven. I’m sure it’s a pale
vision of what will truly be, but even with my limited imagination, my
picture takes my breath away. She is adorned in vibrant colors. She is
brilliant and strong with energy spilling from every pore. Her Lord takes her
dancing and without a single ache or pain, she graces the heavens with her
lovely form. Her eyes are full of light and her smile is warm and
captivating. She is all that she is now – only with a touch of heaven thrown
in.

I want to be like Swan. As my body weakens, I pray my spirit strengthens. As
my heart grows weaker, I pray my love grows stronger. With each passing day,
may I be more like Jesus, until my final breath takes me home to him.