Tuesday, August 7, 2012
I came home yesterday with a headache. I was grumpy, irritable, and in a funk. I had been pushed and pulled at work every which way and I am not very agile, so it was uncomfortable to say the least. There were ten different jobs that needed to be done "right now" and so the ten other jobs that were on the plate, didn't get done because of the hurry-up-and-do-now things. Very unsatisfying. Now in the backyard of our house there is a small patch of what most people would call weeds. I know better. They are milkweed plants and I put them there specifically for Monarch butterflies to find in their journey north. One year and one year only, there were a lot of them. Lots of caterpillars, lots of chrysalis' too. But since then, nothing. I've seen a monarch skip by occasionally, but they obviously didn't think my small patch worthy or big enough or whatever butterflies think and ignored my meager efforts. And so I came home sad, tired, angry at the world and its circumstances and sat in the car for a few minutes staring at nothing wishing that I could have stayed in bed with the covers pulled over my head. And then I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. I am not a butterfly specialist so I don't know the difference between a Monarch or a Viceroy butterfly--so I really am not sure, even now what I was seeing. They have very similar markings. But there as I finally focused on what was there on the periphery were two butterflies swooping and dancing among the milkweed. They looked like Monarchs. They flitted and flirted with the leaves (the blossoms are gone by now) stopping for a few second here and there. I have no idea if they laid eggs on the leaves (which are their favorite food). But, oh, suddenly the day wasn't such a waste of breath. Suddenly, I knew there was someone who was paying attention to my little patch of hopefulness. I stood outside the car and watched them skip and prance among the greenery and I looked heavenward and said, "Oh, Lord, thank you so much for butterflies." It's too early to tell if there will be caterpillars. But it's never to late to say thank you to the Creator for the blessings of a day which seemed like one long endless no but which ended with a blessed yes.
Monday, August 6, 2012
I got to pondering this question the other day. Is my faith real? There are so many things that are tangible in our lives these days. Anything from the miraculous phone which accompanies me everywhere through the day to the simply stunning microwave that defrosts something for dinner. Petting the cat, hugging the hubby, flopping (very much unlike a lady) on the couch after a busy day and resting my chin on my chest. These are really things I can feel all around me and that I do. Shouldn't my faith be just as tangible? If what Jesus died to do was making your love of the Lord something you experience in a major life-affirming way, then your faith, your belief, your love should be just as concrete as your snoring. We look at faith so much of the time as something ethereal or out there (waving our hands in the air). Our faith seems to be something we air out on Sundays or Saturdays or whatever day we take it in our heads to unpack it and wave it around like the hand motions just mentioned. But being a believer means something more dramatic I think. Really, truly believing means making the "love your neighbor" thing what you do as a part of your day, not a part of your philosophy that you pick up once in a while. Following Christ means making the physical act of "loving your neighbor" or "love the Lord with all your soul" not a practice or a hobby, but a natural extension of yourself, like smiling at strangers or blinking. I haven't been able to do this myself, yet. It's a noble thing. A worth trying to do thing. I'm still too conscious of my actions to be able to say I do with this any consistency. But, sometimes, I do. When I'm not thinking about it, my faith creeps out of my pores and shows people who I really am, what I really believe, who my Lord really is! Its a really uplifting and special occasion when that happens. I feel blessed. And I'm looking for ways to trigger that more often. So yes, my faith is real, but it just doesn't show itself all the time. But I'm working on it!