It started early in the morning. I was meditating on the lyrics of a Christian song and I teared up. When that happens, it makes my soul feel alive as I enter into what I’m reading or praying or thinking about. I know it’s touched me deeply, leaving a lasting reference.
You just never know how you’ll get a nudge from God. Most people don’t think they see evidence for God’s work because they aren’t looking for it. Those that do look for it see it everywhere. But even then, it’s an acquired habit that begins with faith and a decision to look for his fingerprints.
However, sometimes it happens when you least expect it . . . and how you least expect it.
” For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19.
God’s promises made to Israel in this passage illustrates his continuous activity in history. God’s promise was made over 7 centuries ago, yet we still celebrate His most magnificent promise. In a few days we will celebrate Christmas, this amazing event that sometimes, quite honestly, we get very accustomed to. So much so that it’s easy to overlook.
Christ is indeed “something new”, yet what God prepared for centuries. My prayer for each of us is that he will always be new to us each morning, and that at Christmas especially the stunning miracle of his birth and arrival will continue to amaze us and fill our hearts with joy.
The other day I was thinking about a good friend who has a lifelong health issue. As someone who is talented, intelligent, and likeable, he might have ended up arrogant, in which case we would not have become friends! But the “thorn” he carries around day by day has made him a good listener, sensitive, someone who knows how to value others. A good friend.
They say that hurt people hurt people. A hurt person might easily hurt someone else as an expression of his brokenness, not necessarily because he is a terrible person. Knowing he has been hurt doesn’t help much, if he has hurt us or someone we care about. I’ve found that it does help to soften my view of him and possibly lead me to forgiveness.
A few years back I had a life change. I was changing countries and changing professions. I’d been living in Europe for several years and out of the U.S. job market for many more. When I returned and needed to find a job, I didn’t feel very marketable. I figured if I were to find a job at all, I’d have to create it myself.
I had an idea, at least, to start. One of the things I did when I lived in France was teach English to retired people. I loved doing that, and really enjoyed working with that particular group of learners. As I returned I considered: What can I still do that could be turned into a job? The answer for me was French.
Thanksgiving is barely over. The highway home was crowded with others like me who had visited family for a few days.
Aside from a couple extra pounds, one thing I brought back with me was actually, well, 8 things. My old photo albums from high school, college, and beyond. They’d been in my mom’s shed in a box for about 20 years, when I first left to live overseas. I had not looked at them since.
Flipping through the photo albums that chronicled my adult life was like rediscovering myself, like reassembling scattered, forgotten pieces of my identity. I needed that wash of memories to bring me back to the previous chapter and stitch it together. You see, when I left Europe three years ago to return permanently to the U.S, after nearly a quarter of my life spent there, I closed the door on a life, a career, a culture…and opened another one.