Categories
Christian Living Comfort

Teddy Bear Out The Window

My wife and I were driving to church one Sunday morning, when there he was: a big brown teddy bear—lying face up on the shoulder of the interstate. Both of us agreed there must be a story behind this seemingly lost friend, one that involved a heartbroken little person.

It’s interesting how we develop emotional attachments to objects like stuffed animals. Somehow, they generate security and help us self-soothe.

Until I was 4 years old, my “teddy bear” was a small crocheted blanket our family aptly named, “Nasty.” I’m told I refused to let go of Nasty long enough for him to be washed (hence the name). And when my mother DID coax my little comforter from my grasp, I stood in the laundry room and cried the whole time.

I still have Nasty. He is safe in a trunk with several other family heirlooms. Yet other adult security blankets have taken his place, a special co-worker, a much loved family member or friend, or even a favorite chair. Can you relate?

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

God draws NEAR to the broken hearted; He doesn’t keep driving when our teddy bears go out the window. The Lord HELPS those who are crushed in spirit; He sent an angel to comfort Jesus when he collapsed at the cusp of His own crucifixion (Luke 22:40-46).

And He will comfort you and me. Guaranteed.

Check out the very next verse Psalm 34:19!

A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;

Psalm 34:19a

Hold on Teddy, Daddy’s coming…


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This post was originally published on June 9, 2019.

Categories
Christian Living

Repurposed

I’ve passed the same dingy white cargo van on my way to work two days in a row now. Emblazoned across the back it says “Locksmith,” but the doors are bungee corded shut.

He can’t fix his own lock?!

But the second day I overtook the van I noticed more details. The word “Locksmith” is faded. And, as I passed him, I noticed the company name and phone number were scraped off.

Maybe this isn’t a locksmith’s ride anymore.

There was a time when I felt like that faded old van. At 18 I entered the ministry as a worship pastor. Later, a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree from a top seminary set me up for a life of fruitful ministry. Over the next 14 years, I served churches in three different states. But at the age of 32 my marriage ended and my God-called career came to a screeching halt.

The sparkling white van that said “minister” across the back now had the name and number scraped off the sides. And to add insult to injury, a tattered bungee cord was the only thing keeping the cargo doors shut. I felt like a complete and utter failure.

But God had a plan (Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 2:10).

The path back to wholeness hasn’t always been rosy, recovery from life trauma seldom is. Yet I stand here today happily remarried and 17 years into a successful career as a public educator.

Perhaps you can relate, kind reader? Your life, at some point, went off the rails—so to speak. But God is faithful.

Do I have a witness?!

“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”

Psalm 37:25 (NIV)

God is the ultimate repurposer. Our “ride” may change, but if we’re still alive it’s not too late. So let’s stay on the anvil my friends!

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.”

Psalm 138:8 (NIV)
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Do you have your own “repurposed” story? If so, I’d love to hear it! Because stories matter. Comment here, or write your own post and tell me where to find it.

🙏❤️prayers and love.

Categories
Christian Living Perspective

You Didn’t Know?

The young boy in my music class was on my last nerve. No matter what the rest of the students did, he just sat there—staring into space.

Enough was enough. During a group movement activity, when everyone was supposed to stand but he didn’t, I pounced.

“On your feet, young man!,” I yelped with obvious annoyance, “You need to participate in class like everyone else.”

No response.

I admonished him in even stronger terms: threatening to take his recess, call his mom and send him back to the previous grade (not really) 😊 unless he did what I said.

Again, no response.

That’s it. “You’re OUT of here!” I said, motioning like a baseball umpire ejecting an unruly player from the game. An assistant principal came and took the student, but I continued to fume for the rest of the class period.

During my lunch break I called his mom to tell her what happened. By this time, I’d cooled off, but was itching to provide a play-by-play of her son’s behavior.

However, three sentences in, when I finally came up for air, she said something that changed everything:

“My son is autistic.”

Needless to say, I immediately went from slightly agitated to absolutely ashamed. Her son (MY student) was on sensory overload from all the noise and movement in MY classroom, and I’d given him an extremely hard time for something HE couldn’t help.

After apologetically assuring the mom I’d do a better job with her son in the future, I knew what I had to do. I hung up the phone and walked straight to the boy’s classroom and apologized to him.

“Your mom told me that loud noises and lots of moving are sometimes too much for you. I’m sorry I was so hard on you. I didn’t know.”

I’ll never forget what he said:

“You didn’t know?”


There’s often at least one fact (on either side of any misunderstanding) that could change everything—IF it were known.

But we often DON’T know, so we throw that person out of our life.

Perhaps this is because of the tendency to *judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.

*My blogger buddy Chris Hendrix actually said this on his site—devotionsbychris.com. I liked it so much I reused it. 😇

It’s best to leave the final judgment to God, as Paul reminded the church at Corinth.

My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

1 Corinthians 4:4-6

Question: is there someone in your life who needs more mercy than judgement? Someone who could say to you, like that little guy said to me, “You didn’t know?”


“Finger face with a question” by Tsahi Levent-Levi is licensed under CC BY 2.0