My Charlie Brown clocks ticks, the computer hums, cars stream by hurriedly off to work, pups have gone out so are now nestled quietly, coffee is brewed and in my cup, the glow of the lamp fads as the sun, in brilliant shades of pink and orange, emerges. The clock ticks on.
Today my heavenly Dad was sharing about the fact of evil in the world. Since the destroyer still runs free, his workman surround us on every side. The sad thing is: sometimes I am one of them.
Arch talked about the difficulties of his job quite often. It was not the customers that caused him the most pain. He spoke of people who had Godly cores who worked with “the other side,” storing other people’s mistakes to use for their selfish benefit. Too many times to count did he walk in as his weight was a topic for ridicule–but never to his face. Awkward momentary silence then misdirected jokes were suppose to ease the pain of the unwarranted attack. Had they begun with silence, there would have been no pain to redirect.
There were but one or two out of all of the masses that Archie knew wanted nothing more from him than…his best. He was enough. It was not about a position or what he could do for them, get for them, or they could get out of him.
One was a gentleman I never met. He worked for a customer and was not of high position. I just remember Archie in the hospital getting texts of encouraging verses. When he got home and was sleeping for 18 hours a day, often the texts would greet him, when he was ready. Even though our belief systems vary, he is a Witness, his love for Jehovah shines so brightly, it over shadowed those like minded to me.
When Arch went home, I received a wonderful letter from this gentleman letting me know how much Arch had meant to him. He had no idea how much HE meant to ME.
And then there is Mike (his other half is Beth), graciously accepting the position to oversee half of Archie’s beloved department when Arch was on the road. Upon his return, it was work as usual even if Arch had gone on an extended trip. All but Mike. Mike would come in and take just a few minutes to ask how he was, did he see anything outside of work, was he tired? Arch loved hearing stories of Mandy and Alicia, Mike and Beth’s kids, and felt like he was watching them grow up from the stories Mike told. Arch listened to Mike’s frustration over Beth’s job and then the reprieve when she began working for one of their vendors.
When Archie was in the hospital I found Mike hanging out in the waiting room. There wasn’t anyone at the desk and he did not want to barge in, soooo….he just hung out. With a HUGE smile, I sent him up. Arch so enjoyed his visit.
As you can tell, Mike was a member of our family, too. Archie talked about everyone at work, everyday…for hours. Since we heard about them on a daily basis and knew about what going on in their lives better than our own kin’s, we always thought of them as family. When Archie went home, the “family” that consumed Archie’s conversation…was gone in that instant.
But not Mike. Mike showed up at my work with a book on grief and to check in on Taylor and I. Later he contacted me to find out if I was ready for the second book and dropped it off at the house. Yesterday…I got a quick message about how he missed Arch. Wow. I needed that. I needed to hear that the eleven years Arch spent was for more than just a weekly paycheck. I needed to hear that Archie mattered to the place he spent 50-65 hours per week for eleven years. Mike is my flame in that darkness.
So what does this have to do with my time with my heavenly Dad? I was thinking about ways to avoid the evil around us. How can you possibly keep from hearing the hurtful things, the verbal daggers, that fly our way everyday?
Option one: Stay away from people.
Like I said, I just as easily fall into saying things I shouldn’t say if I’m not feeling well, I feel like I’ve been wronged, or think,”They had it coming!” I become one of “those people” that I want to stay away from. I cannot exactly stay away from myself…though I’d like to try more often than I’m willing to admit.
Wait. What happens if I take off my funk and let God hold it for a while? Have you ever had a horrible day, week, ok, LIFE, and you’ve HAD IT! ??? Then you go into a store, post office, license branch, bank, whatever, KNOWING you are going to “battle for your life” again, but you are met with…a smile…kindness…understanding…time. Whoa! This takes you totally off guard! This is NOT the way the world works. Who is that person?
That person could be me.
I could be that person’s light in their darkness. Their flicker of hope for this world that seems so dark and I feel so small. I could be Jesus with skin on, if I get myself out of His way.
Option 2: be deaf
Now that “sounds” more than a little extreme, but think about it: Would I be happier to never have to worry about hearing negative things or hear negative things along with hearing children laugh, music play, clocks tick…? Does the bad really out weigh the good?
There was a quote in my time this morning that stabbed me in the heart. It is by novelist Leo Tolstoy, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Proverbs 25:26 “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well
Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”
This is not pointing any fingers at anyone…but myself. I fall into gossip, I fall into negativity, I fall into…sin. The spring from my heavenly Dad gets trampled as I put what is easy at a moment in time (to give into pier pressure to talk negatively about someone so I fit in, to not do what I need to do because, even though it will help me, I don’t feel like it, and so on–I could go on for hours talking about my shortcomings) a head of what is more difficult but is the best choice.
Well, you made it through another day as a fly on my wall. I hope you weren’t hit by any debris as my heavenly Dad continues to chip away all the crap that is weighing me down so I can someday be “free to run and not grow weary.”
See you on Monday!