Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Receiving... :)


      Today was oh so random and oh so sweet.
      I was at church this morning when I heard singing in the sanctuary and I thought that was odd because usually on Mondays I just hear a vacuum cleaner. Then I realized it was a song I hadn't heard in a long time:
       Oh Lord my God
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worldsThy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout
The universe displayed
  As I listened to the music,  I realized  there was a funeral going on and I thought about the man whose life was being celebrated. I had only met the man once or twice but I knew he had a sweetness and light about him whenever he walked into a room.   So I began to think about his entrance into Heaven and I knew, really knew, that he was enjoying Heaven in a way that I could not imagine.  I mean surely if you have a capacity to enjoy life here, in spite of aging and disabilities and all the problems we face on earth, then how much more would you have the ability to enjoy Heaven with no age problems and no disabilities?

   And then I wondered, since joy is not an overriding characteristic of my life - I can pick up on negatives like the lint filter in our dryer picks up  lint -  at any rate, if joy does not characterize me now, when will it?    Is our capacity to enjoy Jesus and Heaven rooted in our capacity to experience joy here?  Probably not, but still...I wondered.

   And then a storm came through and I just stood on the mezzanine level of the lobby and watched the whole thing sweep through, following the freeway, moving from sudden cloudburst to a force that could bend tree limbs right down to  the ground and cause large vehicles hurtling down the freeway to simply vanish  from sight, totally hidden in a  canopy of grey/black rain.  It was awesome - for me, a God moment.  As the rain swept in, before it got so dense and wild, I could see variations of color in the watery scrim before me - changing momentarily from dark to grey, dark to grey - like folds in a curtain reaching from the clouds to the ground. and I'm nearly 60 years old yet I don't think I've ever seen patterns like that in a storm before. And I realized it's probably because I've never really stood in a place where I had such a large, safe vista from which to watch the majesty of God pass by.

   And then I went to a meeting tonight that I really didn't want to attend.  God moment over...   Storm long since passed.  Basically I had to attend  a monthly civic meeting because I'm the secretary.  A few neighbors get together  and discuss issues such as local crime (too much of it) and an upcoming neighborhood yard sale (sounds like fun). It's a good thing but I just didn't want to go tonight - I wanted to be somewhere else.  

   So we came to the meeting with our quirky personalities and our different agendas and moved through the items on the list fairly fast.  While  I'm taking notes yet still wishing I was somewhere else.  And then the meeting adjourns and somehow, I end up talking to two other ladies and, to my total surprise, another God moment arrives. One of the ladies mentions something about how she feels time is short as she's about retirement age and then, she doesn't follow that up with comments about annuities or health insurance changes (as I always did the year I was trying to decide about retirement) but instead, she simply says, "I don't have that much time left to serve the Lord and I really want to know what His purpose is for me. Because time is short and I know that what He asks me to do, He'll give me the strength and the wisdom to do it."  

   This so echoed what's been going on in my mind lately that I felt an instant bond with her and I just knew deep down inside, we're not just acquaintances, we're sisters in Christ and we're traveling parallel paths right now.  I don't know why that warmed my heart so, but it did. To find a kindred spirit. To know that God has brought someone along side of you who has the same yearnings and the same questions.  For me, that is a God moment.

   As I drove away, one of her statements stayed with me. While we had visited with each other on the parking lot, we could hear thunder in the distance and we all commented on how we longed for more rain.  This lady laughed and said that when she woke up this morning, there were drops of water - sprinkles on her car and sidewalk. Her granddaughter asked her if she had been using a sprinkler system in the night and she said,"No, she didn't have a sprinkler system."  Her granddaughter replied, "Well, that's odd. There's water on your sidewalk and car but everyone else around you - their yard is dry."

   She said she just smiled and said, "Whatever God sends, I'll just receive it."

   Snatches of a hymn leading to thoughts on the joy of Heaven...  God passing by on the winds of  a storm while I am blessed with a safe yet "front row" seat...  Then a sudden, totally unexpected connection with a fellow "traveler" and once again, I know I've just received a blessing in the most mundane of places.

   And I'm learning.
        Whatever He sends, 
                    I just need to receive it.


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