Jesus, Light

Stacking Stones: A Big Pitcher of the Holy Spirit

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I thought I’d stack some stones today; tell a story of God:

It was very shortly after I became reacquainted with Jesus .  I was in the car with my sister – the one who is just one year older than me – on our way home.  As we pulled into the driveway, she made a critical remark about the sister who is just one year older than her.  Ordinarily I would have just nodded and said nothing, let her talk, but as I sat there in the passenger seat, I thought, Now that I am a Christian, I should probably respond differently.  

So, in an attempt to put an end to maligning words before they got rolling, I said, “Maybe you should talk to her and not to me.”

Suddenly there was a huge pitcher balancing above me.  It tipped and poured over me.

My sister was speechless.  Not because she saw the pitcher – she didn’t.  She was speechless because I had always been too afraid of her wrath to do anything but nod and listen.

One slight alignment of thinking, of behaving, of identifying with God yielded a pouring out of His Spirit.

There have been times when God has done so much in response to so little.

Do you, dear reader, have some stones to stack, some recalling, recounting and rehearsing of God’s goodness to do?  Write about it and link it back here.  I love to read HIStory.

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life

A No Diego, Slows & Astro Day

The Diego Rivera exhibit is cheaper if you go on a Friday, but it is impossible to get a parking spot anywhere near the art museum – or anywhere in the city at all – on a weekday.  Every lot, every garage is full.

So after squeezing my Escape through the torn up, road-construction-narrowed streets and failing repeatedly to find a spot, we abandoned our plan and headed to lunch.

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I had been wanting to try this place.  It did not disappoint.

A few doors down was a groovy coffee shop and you know how the daughter and I love the groovy coffee.

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It was while I was eating my half of our sea-salted, hazelnut, chocolate chip cookie and sipping my mocha that Daughter pulled out her phone and had me read this quote:

When we speak of the wife obeying the husband, we normally think of obedience in military or political terms: the husband giving orders, and the wife obeying them. But while this type of obedience may he appropriate in the army, it is ridiculous in the intimate relationship of marriage. The obedient wife does not wait for orders. Rather, she tries to discern her husband’s needs and feelings, and responds in love. When she sees her husband is weary, she encourages him to rest; when she sees him agitated, she soothes him; when he is ill, she nurses and comforts him; when he is happy and elated, she shares his joy. Yet such obedience should not be confined to the wife; the husband should be obedient in the same way. When she is weary, he should relieve her of her work; when she is sad, he should cherish her, holding her gently in his arms; when she is filled with good cheer, he should also share her good cheer. Thus a good marriage is not a matter of one partner obeying the other, but of both partners obeying each other.  – St John Chrysostom 

“Yeah, that’s pretty good,” I said, “but I think he could have just said, ‘Obedience has no place in the intimate relationship of marriage’ and left it at that.  Because good marriages don’t talk about or define mutual respect and consideration, they just naturally do it.”

But being young and not yet married, she liked that someone spelled out the fact that marriage is a two way street.  Because so often godly Christians insist that the only godly street is a one way street.

In the car on the way home she said, “Maybe I shouldn’t urge you to play it so safe in your writing.”

And then she read a quote from Anne Lamott:

“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.”  – Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

“Right,” I said, “because the whole beauty of me is that I don’t need to be liked. I’ll still run some of my posts by you for your yawn-o-meter, but I won’t let your people-pleasing nature stifle me anymore.  Someone has to be a voice for the people who think like me, even if we are only 1% of the population.”

Solidarity INFJ sisters.  And brothers.

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the friends

People Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Best Friend…

Remember your elementary school report card, where you were rated Outstanding, Satisfactory, or Needs to Improve on things like “follows instructions”, “shares” and “respects the property of others”?  Well my buddy boy dog is Outstanding.

This is what happened once when his little sister, Lucille McGillicuddy, was still alive, God bless her heaven romping soul:

My sister went on vacation for a week and left her jack russell terrier, Winnie, with us. Winnie was not trustworthy in the piddle department, so whenever my people and I left the house we confined all three dogs in the kitchen.  My dogs, who had long proved trustworthy, were only in the kitchen to keep Winnie company.

The first time we confined them and went out we were greeted at the door by Winnie.  What?  The baby gates were intact and Buddy Boy and Lucille McGillicuddy were snuggled up in the kitchen looking up at me as if to say “We’re Being Have”.  Our little houseguest either jumped or climbed the gate.

The next time we went out we tried confinement again.  And again we were greeted at the door by Winnie upon our return.  This time the gate was knocked completely down, must have fallen over as she was scaling it.  But the impressive thing was that my two friends – the ones who were allowed run of the house – were still in the kitchen.  We couldn’t help but wonder what they were thinking as Winnie made her escape.

Fast forward to a few days ago.  My daughter packed a pbj sandwich and some apple slices and put them in her backpack for lunch.  Training for her new job was completed early so she was home by noon.  She left her backpack hung over a kitchen chair and we went out to lunch.

As I was bringing in a few bags from Trader Joe’s, my daughter said, “Guess who helped herself to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”  Strewn in the hallway just beyond the kitchen was an empty ziploc sandwich bag.  Next to it was a second ziploc bag with a hole in it.  One apple slice was chewed up and spit out onto the floor, the rest of the slices were still in the bag.  Little One, who lived on the streets before we rescued her last year, is an experienced forager.  But she isn’t one for fruit.

Buddy Boy, however, loves fruit – especially apples.  And yet the sandwich was devoured and the fruit was all still there.  Because Buddy Boy Dog respects the property of others and he knew that that was not his apple.

As soon as we surveyed the site I said to my daughter, “Why don’t you give Buddy Boy the apple?”  So she said, “Buddy Boy, do you want some apple?”  And he immediately began to eat it off the floor.

He’s always been like that.  He never pushes open a door that’s ajar, he always waits to be invited in.  I want to be like that.  Take only from God’s hand, wait ’til I’m invited.

He is the best buddy boy ever.  And he’s really cute, too.

*All dog names, except Winifred, have been changed to protect the innocent.

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© 2015, The Reluctant Baptist

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