Friday, February 25, 2011

"Trusting God" Stilettos?

I may be letting the cat out of the bag; I may be giving up all rights to a patent, but Scott has created a line of shoes (in his mind, thankfuly) that will revolutionize women's fashion -- stilettos.  Oh, not just ordinary stilettos -- shower stilettos, pajama stilettos, roller skating stilettos, hiking stilettos, reading and writng stilettos -- the list goes on and on.  This may be partially my fault.  I wear heels constantly.  In fact, flats make up a miniscule 3% or so of my footwear.  At 5'4" I feel much more a part of the adult human race in heels.  No one resting their elbow on my head; no one cracking, "Find any spare change down there?"  I feel people take me far more seriously when I'm rocking at least a 3" advantage.  Can you say "Napoleon complex?"  Perhaps.  But truth is, we treat people differently because of their (no pun intended) shortcomings.  Their differences make a difference in the way we relate.

On somewhat of a flipside to that, I was listening to a Christian radio broadcast a few weeks ago,  I was outraged to hear a very intelligent woman say she would patronize a store owned by a person sharing her skin color, not because she felt more comfortable, not because we tend to naturally gravitate toward those like us, but because she would rather promote and increase that business, strictly on the premise of "giving a leg up" to a person who shares her skin tone.  Am I wrong to be incensed by this?  Do I want someone giving me a leg up (once, again, no pun intended) because I'm short? or a woman? or white?  I would like to live in a world in which I could at least believe I earned it.  My friendly customer service, a superior product, location, location, location -- not a handout because I'm a short, chunky, white chick.  Likewise, my skin would crawl if someone said to me, "She wrote a better article, but you're white."  Really?  Blech!

Dear God, I am human.  I look for comfort in the things that are familar to me.  Help me not only to treat others fairly; help me not only to see others as You see, but help me to step from my "comfort zone" into Your loving arms, trust Your direction, and be salt and light to others -- all others -- as You command.  Amen.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How's that for High Drama?

My post high school days were spent as a soap opera junkie. Hours of mind-melting drivel. And if I missed?! No DVR, no Hulu! Who knew what manner of ruin would befall Luke and Laura without their most loyal viewer to gasp, sigh, and vociferously divulge the next phase of Frank Smith’s evil plot? Thankfully, I was able to break free from that addiction years ago, but I suppose the adrenalin junkie in me still enjoys living vicariously in the characters I read – Mitch Rapp, Painter Crowe, Myron Bolitar, Jane Kelly – and Jacob. That’s right, the Jacob, grandson of Abraham, and spoiled, deceitful birthright “thief.”

I am currently reading the book of Genesis and, in the name of fairness, I shouldn’t just finger Jacob for deception and intrigue – it’s that whole Israelite bunch! In only thirty chapters I have encountered no fewer than twenty blatant examples of thievery, premeditated and intentional entrapment, trickery, revenge, fraud, murder, drunken incest – you name it! How can a God who is so repulsed by sin even think of blessing such a people? These were the generations upon whom He was to establish His nation; these were His Chosen!

Truly, I am His Chosen. I am as conniving and murderous as they come. From the womb I have never been more than a self-centered, demanding, plotting villain. From the cross I am as pure as the driven snow. I am ransomed; I am purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ – He knows, He’s the only One who would want me, could make anything of me. Though I sit here reading, judging, thanking God I am “not as bad as they,” in my heart of hearts I know that without Jesus, I am worse. I have generations of weaponry, lies and cruelty from which to draw; I have technology at my disposal that would allow me to slander, ruin and steal in ways Isaac and his sons would never have dreamt. But I am no less His Chosen; I am no less made a saint. My God, the God of the Israelites is repulsed by sin, this is true, but He is not repulsed by me. He has the power to take trash – worse than trash – and turn it into eternal treasure; He has for me the love which motivates Him to, in His grace, extend such a privilege to me.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lessons from a Dog

Each morning, at the side of my bed, explodes the world's most animated alarm clock -- a wiggling, wriggling, snorting bundle of sheer exuberance known as Bishop.  My normally quiet, faithful follower greets me with unrestrained excitement and overflowing joy.  His entire body wags, his tail almost slapping him in his own face.  The eagerness and abandon with which he greets the day is to be envied -- and emulated.  Well, maybe not exactly.

Often I have thought to myself, "What an attitude!"  I'm almost ashamed by the way I grumble, or complain about my aches and pains.  This guy eats scraps from  our table -- he can't even see above our table!  He sleeps on a mat on the floor (albeit Tempurpedic) that he shares with Tinkerbell, who gives new meaning to bed hog, and sucks her leg to puddles of slobber from one end to the other.  His toilet is outside in 20-degree weather; the biggest event of his day is a walk!  (Although the occasional car ride to Swiss Farm trumps that any day!)  Still, he is delighted to be a part of it!  This guy can't appreciate a sunrise the way I can, yet he thrills to rise with it.  He can't speak or fully comprehend what's being said, yet he craves our attention and hangs on every word!  He spends the greater part of his day looking for me, or making sure he's as close to me as possible; he is content merely to sit at my feet and rest in my presence.

Wow.  So many lessons there...