I came home last night around 10pm. My wife had told me that our daughter was still up, which is unusual for her.
Nothing could have prepared me for what happened when I opened the front door. My 7.5 month year old daughter saw me, and before I could take another step in the house she squealed. A toothless, dribbling laugh that arrested all my worries, and incarcerated by concerns. Then she started to jump ecstatically on my wife’s lap, and beckoned me toward her newly created euphoric space, with her plump little hands.
I breathed in every last drop of her sweet happy dance, and burst into a smile. After exiting the stage of the days events, where I am judged on my performance, and critiqued on my output, it is soul restoring to slip behind the proscenium, and be anointed by the rich adoration of my daughter. Not because I performed, but because I exist.
In that moment she transformed ordinary life into a eucharistic act, and became a faithful witness of God’s unfettered love to me.
In African homes all is not as it seems. Recently on twitter #inanafricanhome was trending, and one common experience people shared was the disappointment of the unfulfilled. An example that really hit home was an experience I was familiar with: Sometimes I would crave ice-cream and go to the freezer and find a tub of Wall’s soft scoop. “Yes! Success” I would then open the tub, ready to dig into the delicious treat, only to find, soup, or beans!?! Its crushing, lol. When you are a teenager it has been scientifically proven that your body is fuelled exclusively on teeth rotting, diabetes inducing sugar highs. Donuts for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and ice-cream for diner (“,)
So to be deprived of this glucose rush is pretty galling. You expect sweetness but instead find savouriness.
In Exodus 32:17,18 Joshua is coming down the mountain with Moses. Joshua is pumped. They snake their way down the steep decline, Moses’s hands grips the two tablets of stone. As they get closer Joshua hears people shouting. It’s not hymns, it’s not prayer, it’s not testifying. It sounds like a battle. Joshua had been expecting to find a worshiping, committed people. Instead when he opened the top of the Walls Soft Scoop it wasn’t sweet ice-cream, or even savoury soup, it was a hot stinking mess. Moses is mad, God is mad, and it is only Moses intervention and God’s strong love that prevents the children of Israel from being permanently deleted from the archives of world history.
As Christian’s it is our duty as witnesses to fulfil the positive expectations of Christ-followers, and debunk unbelievers negative misconception of Christians. Unfortunately we are guilty at times of being a Christian by name only. Our content betrays our label, and we are guilty of false advertising and at times gross spiritual misconduct.
This morning I was reading Exodus 23, and almost choked on my oatmeal when I read :
4 “If you come across your enemy’s ox or ass wandering off, be sure to return it. 5 If you see the ass of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.
If I saw someone who was my enemy, who despised me, and made my life miserable, in trouble, I would be very tempted to leave them in their hot stinking mess! While reading the passage I had a vivid image of myself driving past an enemy who had broken down on the road. In my imagination I am more likely to think “yeah, serves you right, you ghastly excuse for a human” than “oh dear brother/sister, let me help you change your tire even though you did or said xyz the other day.” God’s call for us is radical. Radically challenging, and completely against the grain. We aren’t allowed to get away with mererly wishing our enemies well, or loving them in our hearts. He wants us to show physically and tangibly our commitment to their wellbeing. To walk the walk that goes with the talk.
I was going to begin the year with an entry about Turduckens, Steve Jobs and the 99%. The more I thought about it the less interesting it seemed or relevant to anything in life. lol.
So instead, I would like to share a poem by an up and coming writer (who will be re-establishing her online presence soon (“,) This was some thoughts she put down regarding 2011.
For the friends I lost, for the hard lessons i learned, for the sacrifices made and thanks i didn’t get in return, for the hell i caused myself and the consequences I felt, for all the forced good-byes and the bad cards I was dealt, for all the battle scars & wounds that i didn’t deserve, for the opportunities i didn’t take because i didn’t have the nerve, for people I could’ve helped but was to selfish to act, for the things I could’ve had, but splurged and then lacked for the words i used as weapons & words never spoken, for the anger that I hid for peace and the pieces of my heart left broken… this LAST cry of 2011 is for you, these tears are the soap and water for my soul, washing the chapters of 2011 closed. #itsallgood
I love the last line especially “washing the chapters of 2011“. It reminds of something I read this morning regarding Papyrus. It was a writing material used in antiquity, and the ink used had no acid in it like our Ink today. So it didn’t ‘bite’ into the papyrus as modern ink does. So if a mistake was made, or you wanted to start from scratch all you had to do was to get a damp sponge and wipe it clean, then it ceased to exist. So I take the promise of a clean slate into 2012. I give permission to God, the careful cosmic editor of my life to wipe out the sin, the mistakes, the bad choices, the embarrassment of 2012!
I am excited by the promise that is held by this year, its a blank canvass, so many possibilites. There is much learning, loving, and living to be done and only 366 days to cram it in to (leap year) Get busy!