So, yeah. I’ve had over a week now to reflect. Unfortunately, I could not quiet myself down for long enough to get back into that personal quiet place. I made an attempt here, at Stormy Reflections, but the boy was off from school at the time and I just didn’t get myself far back enough, or quiet enough. Right now, I’m at Starbucks, enjoying a Christmas coffee, with jazz playing in the background; but this snooty Asian girl is staring at me and I have no idea why. Is it the fact that my boobs remain unfettered and out on their own? Could it be that she is oogling my new nail design, or maybe that I tried out a new clear polish on just one nail? Holy Crap… I really like the wet, shiny finish of “Looks Wet” Ultra High Gloss Topcoat I just got at the Christmas Tree Shop…. Merry Christmas to me~! Who knows about this girl, but I really want to get into the topic, so I’ll just jump right in at probably the far left, but it’ll get me started…..
Last Sunday, I served as lector at our church and it was one of those times that you just know the Holy Spirit is right there with you. My heart burned. I feel the need to post the readings as I could never explain them.
1 Kings 17: 10 – 16
|10||So he arose and went to Zar’ephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.”|
|11||And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”|
|12||And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a cruse; and now, I am gathering a couple of sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”|
|13||And Eli’jah said to her, “Fear not; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make for yourself and your son.|
|14||For thus says the LORD the God of Israel, `The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'”|
|15||And she went and did as Eli’jah said; and she, and he, and her household ate for many days.|
|16||The jar of meal was not spent, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD which he spoke by Eli’jah.|
Hebrews 9: 24 – 28
|24||For Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.|
|25||Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the Holy Place yearly with blood not his own;|
|26||for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.|
|27||And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment,|
|28||so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.|
Gospel: Mark 12: 38 – 44
|38||And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places|
|39||and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,|
|40||who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”|
|41||And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums.|
|42||And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny.|
|43||And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.|
|44||For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living.”|
It’s irregular of me to post scripture readings, but I found these resonated inside and I felt comfort and I felt shame at the same time. I was comforted because the scriptures were telling me that I could feel free to donate to hurricane victims, despite not having a whole hell of a lotta resources to support our family; and this is because the Lord will take care of us. The widows of the first reading and the Gospel gave all of themselves, to the point of true sacrifice, whereas the ones who donated from their surplus, were not truly feeling the loss, and so it was not really a sacrifice at all, and not heart-felt by them. I do have faith in that, but walking the tight rope is pretty scary and fear creeps right back in sometimes.
I feel shame because one of the days right after Hurricane Sandy blasted through, I was approached by a guy asking for money. I made a judgement that I know full well that I should not have made. This guy seemed to be lying to me and I refused to give him money. I never should have done that. I could have given him a dollar, even, but I didn’t. Whether he was lying or a drunk or a drug addict is between him and God and now, my refusal is also between ME and God. Living day to day has played havoc on me in a lot of ways and I’ve grown weaker when I should have been growing stronger all along. This is my shame. Also, I failed to set a good example to my kid. FAIL. Sigh, I just realized that. Holy Crud, I’ve been wracking my brain on how I could teach the little guy to be more giving and there it was right in front of me. At the time, though, I have to realize I was a little afraid to stop to talk to this guy with my son along with me. Elizabeth is not a very safe place, but I really should have trusted more in the Lord to take care of us. It’s gone… but maybe I can learn from this.
I have to look back at the hurricane, which was really nothing for us, and realize that whatever our inconvenience, was just that–an inconvenience. We did not lose anything but the food in our fridge. We had no heat, but we had hot water and gas to cook on top of the stove. Yes, I missed my internet. I felt so disconnected and isolated and it was a horrible feeling. My world literally stopped, paralyzed because we could not get any information about what was going on in our city and what was being done to fix the power problem. PSE&G continuously lied to us and I feel that if they were just truthful about the time frame, that I could have simply made plans to go stay with someone. The problem was that my dad in PA and my sister in Old Bridge, NJ. also did not have power, though my dad had a generator going. Then when the schools reopened, that was it for us and we had to stay here. Pathetic, right? I thought so when I was finally able to see pictures of our shoreline and how those people REALLY suffered and still are after losing their homes permanently, not just for ten days. Some of those people, at this writing, have still not been allowed back to their homes. I’m sure that whatever they have left is gone from mold now. All I can do is pray for them, for strength to be given to them to get through this. Gas lines? Sheesh, is nothing compared to what they are going through. I guess the only Americans who can really know what they are going through are the Katrina victims.
Okay, so I’ve still not managed to “get inside” myself to do proper reflection, but writing sure helps get thoughts out. DH and the boy were supposed to leave me alone today and I was planning on it, but those plans fell through. Sometimes things do not work out and we have to make the best of it. One thing I do know and that is that I am blessed. I have a family…. a family that I never thought I’d have and it has surpassed every hope and expectation. A loving husband and a very happy little seven year old. My spouse is my rock and my little boy shows me joy and happiness, and both accomplish this with a simplicity that boggles my mind.
Henri J. M. Nouwen wrote of the Wounded Healer. I am very much a “broken” spirit struggling every step through my life’s journey, which is why the quote below holds so much hope for me. I try to keep this in mind every day with the goal of serving the Lord in my brokenness. My comfort, my hope and my joy. I do believe wholeheartedly that God has a use for us. Imperfectly perfect. We will never be perfect, but I find comfort that I have the perfect place, as I am, in God’s Great Grand Plan for the world. So ironic that we all struggle, we all search for our purpose. Do we ever realize that we need not really search for anything. “It”, our purpose, will find us at the right time.
“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing
from God as my successes and my talents,
and I lay both of them at His feet.”
I am very much drawn to one of my favorite hymns this week, “The Cry of the Poor.” In this haunting melody you meet the burning need of the poor face to face.