Sunday, September 29, 2013

Headlines of My Life

Some days, most days rather, the headline of my life would be highly optimistic.  I mean, I have been working on the dreary details for over eight years now and I really am getting to the bottom of it.  Other days, my eyes fill with extreme moisture as the reality of the past beats me over the head and punches me in the gut and kicks me in the shin and, well, you get the idea.  It ain't pretty.

This past week I have experienced some of both types of days.  I probably shouldn't be quite so open but if you are a writer, then you understand that sometimes writing it out lets the bitterness seep out too.

Last Friday, the headliner was:  My Oldest Son Got Married Without Me. 

There....I said it.  It is truly difficult to believe and even harder to admit.  I KNOW, better than anyone, that I have made mountains of mistakes and terrible choices, but this son is the one who was my first; the one who I birthed WITHOUT pain meds, taught to read, helped understand it's okay to change our minds, and filled out endless paperwork to get him into the college of his dreams.  I have loved him with all my heart (still do) and battled on his behalf many times.  Yet he chooses to keep his life concealed from me and has notified me in past years that we no longer have a relationship.  I am blocked on all of the social media where I have sought any tidbit of his life and wellbeing.  Despite my sincere pleas for forgiveness and offerings to address my sins, answer questions, just about anything short of shooting myself in the foot, it has all been to no avail.

So if I sound a wee bit forlorn, it is about more than Kenny G playing in the background.  My heart is a little squeaky this week.  My eyes are a bit moist too.

Then tonight, sort of in a fit of frustration, I "put on my face" and headed out for a bite to eat.  The "I Gotta Get Out of Here Before I DO Shoot My Own Self in the Foot" kinda headline.  It was by pure mistake that I found a family-owned Chinese hole-in-the-wall with the very best, freshest, crispest tasty and healthy.  It more than met the physical need but the heart was still crying out.

Pastor Joel was spot on today.  Joel Osteen is the lead pastor at a huge church in Houston and I have learned so much from watching his sermon on television and reading his books.  Today he said it is is not by accident that a car has a very large front window but, wouldn't you know it, a much smaller rear view mirror.  There is a reason for that.  If we were to keep looking where we have been we would eventually get stuck and cease moving forward.  As we slow down to look back and linger over the view in that small piece of glass, we are held back from the wide open future and choices of direction, speed, and new adventure.  Pastor Joel?  How do you know the exact words that I need to hear every time?  I believe God knows that I listen to you and God speaks through you to me.  You are right:  It is such a waste of a good life to keep reviewing the broken places.  People from the past, ones I have loved and lost, still see the old me.  They have no idea, nor are they willing to admit, that I just might have changed, grown, matured.

When I hear others criticizing and ridiculing other people, it is difficult for me to join in.  You see, if I believe in second, third or sixty-nine million chances for me, it is incumbent upon me to believe in the same for others.  It is so very wrong to demand forgiveness, grace, or patience if you are incapable of giving it yourself.  God has and continues to forgive me.  I must forgive others.  I must forgive my son.  Yes, even Lane Kiffen deserves another shot somewhere.

The fresh vegetables fed the body but it was upon leaving the restaurant that my soul found its much needed sustenance.

As I approached my car I saw that a large, white pickup truck had swung into the parking space next to my driver's door.  It was so close that I could not even begin to squeeze through to get into my car.  Normally this would frustrate me no end but I was distracted by the sickness in my heart.  I began to walk down the sidewalk looking for the truck's owner, stopping at each business, asking if anyone had such a truck.  At the third restaurant, where by now I should have been throwing things and making quite another headline, the waitress took pity on me.  She calmly and quietly walked around the restaurant until she found the young couple who belonged to the offending vehicle. 

Immediately the young man pointed his finger accusingly at his girlfriend and said, "It was her bad driving."  She gave him a small shove and handed him the keys.  He willingly walked out to move the truck and glanced at the lack of space between the two vehicles.  He agreed with a nod of his head and a smile that he could see the problem.

As he moved towards his truck I said apologetically to him, "I know I am fluffy but I just can't get in that small space."  His response?  He said, "You're fine.  No matter what they tell you, you are perfect."

I am always amazed at how my God works.  He knows how much I need words of affirmation.  Sometimes He sends Pastor Joel.  Other days He sends a song.  Other times He sends a friend.  Today ended with a new headline:  "Some Days God Sends a Stranger to Tell You What You Need to Know."

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2.