My quiet time is limited. Small. So intention is a must. A reach for the bigger picture. How do you put a day, a week, together, and hope to fill it with holy so the strived for rhythm doesn’t grind out shoulder grimacing sounds?
Songs of King David play in the background and the life sketch of the apostle Paul lays on the table and I mull over both lives. How do I sing hallelujah when one kid prefers laziness over helpfulness and another forgets about considering PEOPLE around them, instead tuning voices out? Christ was about people. People matter more than anything. I find myself preaching.
But it’s the quiet time that points all that back to me. 4 pages of lists line up neatly across the table. My ‘to-do’ lists. More organized than I’ve been in a long time, but when was the last time I made that phone call? When was that sisters voice last heard, did I ever send that card to the woman’s mailbox that recently lost her Mama, and what about those kids? Have they felt me reach for them much lately or just heard my voice hissing?
Paul stands before King Agrippa and Bernice. He stands before Festus, procurator of Judea, dressed like his name, festive, his entire assembly displayed in a whole lot of foofaraw. Soldiers with shined armor and swords mirrored. Commanders in metaled attire bouncing back the light of the daytime hours. Enough pomp in one room to retire several lifetimes on. And Paul, manacled, pulled from 2 years spent in a prison cell because no one knew what to do with him, but they didn’t dare let him go, stands quietly in the middle of it all. Paul’s to-do list held only 1 item. Christ. His Jesus friend. And the angels had gathered.
See, Jesus’ story has to be told. If you’ve seen His cross, if you’ve been filled with His miracle and known how His grace has been tangled, threaded, right through your life, then it’s possible to see Paul standing there. It’s possible to understand the calm with which he told his transforming life story with no intimidation even though you’re looked upon like the ugly dirt speck on a golden canvas. But knowing and doing are two different things, friend.
The massive messes that I’m sorting through with these lists I realize don’t compare to the lives I’ve got living in this home. If I have to stand alone in a bedazzled room and tell Jesus’ story, if these kids ever have to, will we be able to? Have I enfolded myself into the love the God of heaven offers? Am I folding these kids, these people, into a love that’s supposed to mirror Christs?
Maybe it’s time to reorganize that to-do list? The stuff is just that. Stuff. These lives are formed in the image of God and this mama needs to gather them, hold them, and tell them stories of their Creator. And I’m being thankful for God’s mercy on me. Unlike King Agrippa who couldn’t quite be persuaded. I am.
In pure persuasion,