The fact that is has taken me this long may also have to do with the fact that as a general rule I need to hear things SEVERAL Sundays or times before I really HEAR it. This is no exception to that and I am still struggling. I am hearing, I just don't want to listen.
A few weeks ago I received what I assumed was a random text message. It contained a very nice Bible verse and I read it, smiled, and thought that was lovely. And moved on.
I then went to get the mail and was quite surprised to find a letter from Charlie Brown's (yes, that's the name I'm going with for our foster baby for the sake of this blog since I cannot use his real name- if you saw his head you would confirm that it is quite a fitting title. Ahem.) mom. I was a little bit surprised. Okay, a lot surprised. I didn't think she would have access to my information. Guess again! I wanted to tear it open to see what she could possibly say, and I wanted to tear it up and pretend she didn't actually exist. Turns out that she really is a real person with a real story- whether or not I hear the truth in her story doesn't matter. She is his mom. I still had no desire to talk to her or write her or be nice or anything. I was still ready to tear up the letter and take Charlie Brown and my family and head to Figi. (not really so please do not report me to DHS, they already have my number thankyouverymuch. )
Are you curious about the verse yet? It was about the time I was browsing real estate in the tropics (*ahem*) that the gentle nudge came to reread that text. Fine. I will read it. "Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone". Col. 4:5 NLT. Nowhere in that verse does it tell me to pack up and flee the country so I decided to re-read it. Make the most of every opportunity. Yes, you certainly did give me the opportunity to present the gospel to an unbeliever, didn't you God. Just like I asked not that long ago. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive. So...sarcasm will not be appreciated in my response to her then?
I would like to say that all of this alone was convicting enough to change my heart and attitude, but for those of you who know me, I just don't sway that easily. I did promptly text a "thank you" -of sorts- to dear Erin for her oh so timely Bible texts. And I did find a lovely card with some nice verses on it to send my letter back to mom in. On ther surface I do believe I looked quite gracious.
Enter in Sunday. A few Sundays later mind you, but there it was none the less. Let me just share with you a sampling of song titles, if you don't know the songs, google them.
I Give You my Heart
The Potter's Hand
Have Thine Own Way Lord (mmm-hmmm)
We are an Offering
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
Take My Life and Let it Be
and of course ...
I Surrender All.
Now. I like to think I catch on pretty quick. But. I don't always want to.
I am not sure how much more clearly our Heavenly Father could say to me "This is NOT about you. This is not about "the mom". This is not even about Charlie Brown. This is about ME. This is MY story. You are an instrument in MY kingdom to bring people to ME. Whether you like it or not."
Do I know what is going to happen with Charlie Brown? No. Do I know what will happen with "the mom"? Nope. Do I know what will happen to our family? Not a chance.
How do I go on? Because I do know that despite all I don't know, GOD KNOWS. And He will take care of everyone. My only job here is to be a gracious speaker and to show kindness and compassion where I don't want to. My job is to show the light of Christ to a very dark place. I know that I cannot do this. But I do know that God can. And that is all I need to know right now.
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