Dear Sister Vancouver,
I hope this email finds you happy, well, and acclimated to Canada.
Sorry. I had to pause. I made the mistake of eating a disgusting wafer cookie. Not smart, and not characteristically me. I bought the makings for Gingerbread House construction. Delanie made a tiny one last night. It looks really great! It tastes otherwise. I feel sick. UGH! It’s going to take a couple glasses of water to get rid of the cookie aftertaste. I wish the sugar buzz was as easy to be rid of. It will spike my blood sugar and then leave me tired. Ugh.
OMGosh! I just bumped something on the screen and Windows 8 sent me on a no return doomed trajectory, into the outer reaches of …I DON’T KNOW WHERE!!!! Thankfully, Delanie took the wheel and navigated back. Phew!
Today is Sunday. I have been pondering the Wonder of Christ and Christmas. I am thinking on the song, “I Stand All Amazed.” I was surprised to hear a countrified version of this hymn, yesterday, given I was in the Paul Mitchell School of Hair. The spiritual was layered and slipped in among a waterfall of highlight foils, forming within a painted streak of Country Western Christmas selections. Most of the time this salon school is a place of pumping runway style, stiletto to ghetto, hats and tats and techno dance tunes. So when I heard this mismatched song, I was taken back, and commented out loud. Usually the song turns thoughts to the past, to death and funerals, and memories of my parents who passed. The song is a durge and a downer. It makes me sad. This time, however, I found myself in a different disposition, perhaps in part because of where I was in a strange, creative juxtapositioned setting, which was enough to change thinking.
Today I am remembering yesterday’s play list and I am feeling loved not lost and lonely. I am thinking of chorus lyrics, “Oh, It is wonderful……” I am wondering on and thanking God for all the wonderful gifts of Life. Isn’t It wonderful how God and the Son have gifted us everything to live a full, joyful life? They have given us so much (and yet we are still often unsatisfied, stuck in our spinning, selfish mindsets and wanting more. More of what we don’t have, forgetting ALL we have been blessed with. There are so many miracles God has performed, including human life and the creation of a living planet that sustains this life. All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small. God and His Son are wise and wonderful. They have provided us infinite chances for reconciliation and improvement. They have blessed us with amazing, regenerative bodies and reasoning minds. They have given a template in the holy Word. God gave His Son. Christ gave His will, His Work, and His Life example. We have been gifted a portion of God’s Power, and in our soul and hearts we are edified as we praise and glorify Him and serve and Love others with empathy, compassion, and joy. Yes.
I had an opportunity to indirectly help some animals today.
Dad has been feeding Pam’s nine dogs. She loves these dogs. Personally, I’m not feeling it. These are the dogs that killed the baby goats, the set of twins and triplets that we doted on a couple years ago. While Pam has been in Colorado pursuing a love connection with an internet cowboy, dad and Cameron T., whom you may have lifeguarded with, have been tending her dogs. Yesterday I found out one of these dogs attacked and bit both Cameron and Dad.
Dad texted me this morning to pick up some dog food. I felt this a strange request from dad, and for a Sunday, as we generally avoid purchases on the Sabbath, but I went to Walmart anyway and bought a 50 pound bag of Pedigree and delivered it. At Pam’s house, I was greeted by a snarling pit bull with mug pressing through the wire fence. This was fairly frightening! I was glad I didn’t have to feed it….only buy and deliver its food.
It is while I was in WalMart that I experienced a kind of mind to heart impression. I found the dog food isle, but had not gotten a shopping cart on my way in. I needed a cart to move the 50 pound bag of dog food. Fortunately, I saw one at the other end of the aisle. It was one of those undesirable carts, you know, the kind that pull to one side and make a Gosh-aweful, loud click-clack noise when you push it. I considered whether to used the cart of walk all the way to the front entry and get another one. I decided to keep it rather than reject it. As I returned to the end cap to load the heavy bag, I collected looks from a dozen other people. I thought how the noisy cart gets attention, just as a squeaky wheel sometimes gets the grease. Needless to say, I didn’t get any help lifting the awkward dog food bag into the cart. I groaned under the weight of the Pedigree. A man saw me struggling with this and laughed. I asked him, “Did I lift with my legs?” We both laughed.
As I set to motion toward the check out, I began to make a connection between the cart and other people and things often unwanted. I thought of sometimes difficult children in my life, I thought of myself and how I am sometimes the “problem person.” Then I thought maybe the cart wasn’t so bad after all. It served a purpose, albeit not perfect in appearance and the way it functioned, it did have value. It still retained value. In this moment, I felt an overwhelming gratitude wash over me as I realized I am the broken one. Every one of us is broken but beautiful to Him.
I left the store, heaved the purchase into the back of Pearl and drove away. Homeward bound I floated through the little, most loved deer-line fenced canyon and on through Hoytsville. I listened to a Sunday morning cue list of Christian Contemporary, zooming and crooning along with the mood and the message. I kept time to the beat, and with a steady hand and foot, I counted out a four four time signature. I internalized what it meant to be broken, but still useful. The broken lane line and white, side-out line kept the song going as tears began to flow and flush out familiar old wrongs, regrets, burdens, and personal crosses. Then I realized my Savior’s love for me as I remembered Him.
Part of being human is making mistakes. It’s about failing and breaking, but overcoming. You know this. It means sometimes possessing fractured thoughts and carrying a broken, or bruised heart. It is here where one chooses to become bitter, or depressed, or chooses gratitude and finds humility. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall be comforted in His arms.
So being broken is not all that bad, if it brings you closer to God who knows our hearts and souls perfectly and completely, and still Loves us anyway. One of the best parts of Christmas, besides thinking on babies, is knowing God’s Grace in the form of His Son saves us from ourselves. There is increased hope for renewed life and love and happiness as we remember and praise Him and try to share His Love and hope with others. Some of the closing scenes and words from a familiar holiday musical, Babes in Toy land put it well, ” You will find your happiness as you help others to find theirs.” I know the mission experience will afford you many opportunities to serve and to love others.
I love you Devon. Dress with layers and stay warm from the inside out! 🙂
I can’t wait to skype with you on Christmas!
PS- Another Godzilla El Nino snow storm is coming tomorrow!!!