A lot of illness has rolled through the adults in our house. My niece Abigail was sick for a day, then I ended up compounding my last two months of daily migraines with bronchitis and some sort of flu-like virus complete with whole-body aches (those are the worst!) and now Stan is recovering from a cold as well. Of course, the kids and puppies are still going full steam while all the adults stare glassy-eyed at them…unable to keep up with them visually much less physically. So, it was a surprise to me when, on top of being sick and needing to go in to work an hour early several days last week, I discovered that Stan had scraped the ice off my windshield for me each morning. I would go out to the car to warm it up before taking the mini-Masseys to school and would see the remnants of scraping on the windshield where he had already cleared it off in the early morning cold. Some women want flowers and candy…I want a man who sees me and chooses me anyway (ha!!!) My love language is acts of service so I do for those that I love…and when they do for me, I really notice.
Well, as it often does, life happened and I didn’t get a chance to thank Stan right away. We got bombarded with papers to sign, decisions to make, events to plan, presents to buy, rental house stuff to handle, etc. A few days later, I saw a spray bottle that I had put aside last year with rubbing alcohol and water in it for frozen windshields. (I read in a magazine that it melts the ice quickly so that you can get through the ice and get going faster but never had a chance to try it because I read it after the last frost of the season last year.) I called Stan to tell him about it and thank him for scraping my windshield and in the course of the conversation, I learned that my sick husband had not only been out there at an ungodly hour scraping his windshield and mine…but my niece’s also! What?! That…that right there is the stuff that melts me. When I see a man who, by all rights, could have simply looked out for himself and moved on (and nobody would have faulted him for it or even thought about it) but took the time several different mornings to serve those of us who were still warm and sleeping in the house…when I think about how he was probably shivering and his hands were stinging and nose running while he served us and loved us well…when I think about the selfless heart space that that comes out of…well, that is my idea of an aphrodisiac! Whew!
What’s the point Bekah? Well, I think that we are naturally selfish…all of us…our selfish natures reveal themselves so often that we don’t even take notice…it’s normal…common. Because of that, we are touched by stories that defy that selfishness: generosity of strangers, communities working together for a common goal, kindness from unexpected people, children using allowance money for charity or using free time doing community service, etc. We are touched by this because it doesn’t come naturally to us…it’s uncommon. Being in the Season of Advent, I can’t help but make the connection to Christ’s call to us…to be uncommon: Forgiveness of sins, loving your enemy, treating your neighbor as yourself…none of these are natural human reactions…they are uncommon…which is why we take notice.
So, how are you doing with this? Are you so wrapped up in the details of your frantic life that you are missing the large themes running through it? Take a step back…take a beat…look…see…when you get a glimpse at the big picture…the large themes…is what you see common or uncommon? Do you like what you see? If you don’t, I would humbly suggest carving out time to do work on your heart space…not the stuff you do. If you have love, love will flow out of your heart space. If you are grateful for God’s generosity, generosity will naturally flow out of your heart space. Whatever you value in your heart space always finds a way of revealing itself (usually when you are sick, tired, or in a hurry…like Stan was at the beginning of this musing…since it’s the season for all kinds of little cooties, you may get the chance to examine your heart space while sick sooner than you think!) Just know that where ever you are in this process…no matter how common you think you are…God wants you right now…as is. There is no need to clean up or change in order to meet him…just be willing to meet with him and let your heart respond how it will. **Note: If you are in a “busy season” of life and “things will be better after this season” I would urge you to make changes now…my experience is that the next season will find a way to be just as busy (kind of like starting a diet next week.)**
My prayer today is that we would not do “fake it ’til we make it” Christianity. I am praying that we would be authentic, broken people who are willing to be made uncommon so that others would get to see our uncommon God. Much love friends,