Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Where Do I Live?

They left last week; the grand-babies.
Going back to live near the other grandparents.  I have told myself it is good.  We need to share.  
But, I know there will be so many moments like this one that I will miss...

We were getting ready to go for a chilly walk along the rocky coastline at Saltwater State Park.  Her arms were entwined behind her back.  She twisted at the waist, back and forth and smiled at me.
"I'm ready to go Papa."
I sized her up.  
Sox and shoes on.  
Jacket too. 
She was ready.
I looked down at her shoes again and thought back to what seemed only a few weeks ago, and said, 
"You get your shoes on the right feet all the time now don't you!?"
She nodded and smiled again, and then said, "Remember, you told me that time at the beach that the toes always point in.  So, now I got it and I won't pinch my feet anymore."
"Yep," I said with an affirmative nod.
Then, I put my hand on her shoulder, steering her toward the doorway, and we left the house.

There have been many times that the lesson didn't stick.
There were many approaches.
I've tried them all.

The hard part is that the recipe for successful teaching seldom repeats.  At least not with this one.  She will look into my eyes and I into hers and I will think there is a connection that will produce understanding...and change.
But it's not always so.  There is a flicker in the eye, followed by a head-tilt, then busy hands or feet or both and I know that my lecture fell on deaf ears.
AND I love her.
AND she loves me.
AND... she does whatever she wants.

It's easy to be an upset Papa when that happens; to be grumpy, but it's no fun.  Especially, when the sun is shining and our shoes are on and the outdoors is calling us toward adventure.  So, what do I do with the frustration that comes when my wisdom gets treated like a branch of broccoli on her dinner plate, and is pushed to the side in favor of....well...anything else?

Instead of trying to answer this question I have been drawn to another.
What does Christ do when I have responded to his wisdom in the same fashion?
I wonder how often he has used all of the methods listed above:  Gentle words, urgent words, words of warning, words of reason....and still I have chosen my own way above his.  Why?

I think it has do to with where I live...

I'm not talking about geography.  I'm talking about my heart.
There are words we use in the church, but only sometimes.
And we speak them with our head bowed usually.
They relate to our ability first to hear and second to yield to the voice of Christ in us.
They relate to our ability to "stay clay" in his hands; moldable to whatever shape he is wanting to fashion us into.
The truth is that sometimes, I struggle against, instead of yielding unto that work.  There is something in me that wants to be done with that process; wants for the work of repentance to be completed.
The actions of my will at that point are: 
The actions of my will when I'm living in repentance, are:
                                                         listening... open... responding...learning.

The Message bible translates Paul's words in Romans 12:1 like this:  So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 

For me, this is it.  Where will I live?  I want to live in repentance.  In some ways, it requires far less and yet produces far more.  It's peace and it's power.  It's grace that sustains.  One day at a time.  One conversation at a time.
                                      So let it be done in me.  :)


  1. Wow Pastor EV... You nailed it. My heart has experienced all of this in the past few weeks! Repentance is a good place to live, I dislike it when I forget that lesson. Pamela

  2. And this desire of yours to live in repentance is what I believe makes you a man after God's own heart! I so admire and love your tender heart and gentle spirit. The grandgirls are really going to miss their Papa!

  3. Likewise Kathy. :) We had many discussions in the past about the beautiful, difficult and unflinching challenge/hope that comes when that "still, small voice" speaks to our heart.