Categories
Christian Blog vulnerability

Showing the Whole Picture

Have you ever experienced something that hit so close to home you found yourself saying, “That’s me.”

This happened last week when I read a post by Sandrah, at OneMunchingMama. Her masterful piece, A Part of the Picture describes how we often show others only the parts of our life we want them to see.

⏪ to Wednesday night.

I’m standing before my church choir conducting the anthem for Sunday worship. Our regular director, my musical mentor, just handed the rehearsal over to me.

But it’s been a long day. I’m emotionally drained and am just not feeling it. Despite being qualified for the task, my self-confidence is near zero.

“Don’t let them see it,” I say to myself. I rehearse the anthem and return to my comfortable seat in the tenor section.

We’re afraid to show the parts of our life that are still under construction.

Sandrah, from OneMunchingMama

⏩ to Sunday.

Our music director is out of town and I’m leading. As choir members trickle in, one of the sopranos comes up to my wife and me. She takes us each by the hand and prays: “Heavenly Father, help David as he leads today.” That was thoughtful.😊

Later, one of the altos says, “You’re doing a great job. Don’t worry too much about what others think.”

⏸ Uh oh. They know!

The worship service goes according to plan. Afterwards, a friend from the bass section, a retired Lieutenant Colonel, says “You can lead, David, but you don’t always think you can.”


Kind reader, the people who know and love you best are well aware of your shortcomings. Yet they accept you anyway. Today, and every day, don’t be afraid to let the whole picture show. Those that truly matter don’t mind.

But wait, there’s more! God knows and loves you, too.

I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Jeremiah 31:3b (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️

Categories
Christian Blog Humility

Fears in the Ears

It started innocently enough. Friends and family began to mumble in everyday conversation. It got harder to understand them, especially if there was any background noise. “What’s going on?” I thought to myself. “Doesn’t anyone speak clearly these days?!”

Around this same time, I had a telephone conversation with my oldest son. I’m sitting on the back porch one night telling him how it’s been such a dry summer there aren’t any crickets. Of course, I had him on speaker; nobody talks clearly on the phone these days either.🙃

“Hold up, dad. Stop talking,” he said. Several seconds of awkward silence followed. Finally, my son came back on the line. “I can hear plenty of crickets on your end. You should get your hearing checked.”

It was tough for a middle-aged guy to admit, but maybe, just maybe, he was right. What if everyone wasn’t mumbling, and all the crickets weren’t dead? Perhaps the problem was mine.

“But I can hear and understand you fine,” I told the audiologist, sitting in his well-appointed exam room. “Yes, but it’s quiet in here,” he said. “What about when there’s noise in the background–like a crowded restaurant? Do people sound like they’re mumbling? Are they hard to understand?

To make a long story short: a hearing test revealed moderate-to-severe high frequency hearing loss. The prescription? Hearing aids. Just typing these two words sends a chill up my spine.😳

My wife and I talked it over. We decided to make the investment. “But I’m not calling them hearing aids,” I said. “They’re ear buds with accessories.” About a week later, I got my “little helpers,” Suddenly, I heard the strangest things: creaking hinges, the click of an ink pen, crumpling up paper, and crickets!

Ears that hear and eyes that see–the Lord has made them both

Proverbs 20:12 (NIV)

This was the scripture verse for my devotional one recent morning. It was God’s way of saying, “Son, I’ve got this.” He knew I’d been feeling self-conscious about wearing my hearing aids around others. I didn’t want to look weak. It was pride, pure and simple. I kept wrestling.

A few days later, I wore them to church for the first time. I was uneasy during the welcome, while walking around and greeting folks. “Do they see them? What will they think?” But my fears eased as I realized I could clearly understand every conversation!

Later, during the sermon, our pastor talked about turning our doubts over to the Lord. Twice, I heard him say something peculiar (for the context): “Surrender your ears to God.” A few sentences later, for good measure, “Surrender your ears to God.” He said it at least once more, but this time I heard what the congregation did–“Surrender your fears to God.”

Kind reader, like me, has your pride kept you from surrendering something to God? It was a bitter pill–swallowing my self-sufficiency– but, after that Sunday sermon, I gave my ears to The Lord. Is there something you need to give Him?

Now I praise and exalt and glorify the King of Heaven, because everything He does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.

King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 4:37 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️prayers and love.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Blog Hope

One Firefly Night

Last night, just after dusk, I sat on the back porch taking in the sounds of nature. There were a few crickets and some bird who didn’t know not to sing after sun down. It was all garden variety, until my eye caught a green blink…blink…blink. A firefly!

Hyper-focused, I tried to guess where the micro flash would come next. Over by the storage shed, near the silhouette of a tree, surely this little guy has company!

But there was only one. A single firefly blinked a few times. And then it was gone.

A one firefly night.

It happened so fast, I didn’t get the chance to share it with anyone. I ran inside to tell my wife, “Sweetheart, I just saw a firefly. ONE firefly! I think I’ll name him Frosty.”

“Frosty?”, she said.

“Yes, after Robert Frost. You know, the poet who wrote, Nothing Gold Can Stay?

I then quoted, unprompted, one of my favorite poems:

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

A single lightning bug–arguably, the most beautiful but fragile of God’s creatures, lives in the words of a famous poet, but also in the heart’s cry of Psalm 43.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 43:5

Nothing Gold Can Stay.

The scripture, the poem, and the firefly: each say life is GUARANTEED to change. It’s beyond our total control; all one can do is prepare for the inevitable.

Depressing? Perhaps. The free acceptance of an unknown future CAN be.

But you and I know who holds the future.

Put your hope in God; for I will yet praise Him.

This post first appeared on my blog in June of 2019. But, would you believe, the same thing happened the other night?! One firefly appeared in my back yard, blinked a time or two, and then was gone.