The Woman

“During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.”

~Anonymous

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Day 22 (Sonder)

Sonder

“n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.” (Courtesy of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows)

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Waiting at gate A26

A post shared by Lucy (@lucyanna____) on

Like this instagram, I’ll keep it simple (or heartrendingly complex?).

I was sitting in the Denver airpot, messing with my ipod; covertly resting it on my knee, I had pressed the capture button. As I kept staring at the photo that appeared on the screen, I realized I was their coffee sipper. I was their blur of traffic, their lighted window at dusk. Those people in my periphery– was their periphery. In a mere moment the faces in this photo grew starkly independent from me, and I loved humanity. It had not been the first time, nor will it be the last, that Sonder possessed my heart and wrenched it from the familiar, the narcissistic.

And I find I can no longer walk a crowded street without imagining elaborate passageways.

Day 9

Why do I always save this for 2 am? Why.

The other night I was ranting to my sister.

Last week they had to talk to me at work, and assigned me a captain to ‘get me better trained” and “up to speed,” because the manager, Brian, had given them instruction to do so, most likely because someone had talked to him about me.

7 months. I’ve been working here 7 freaking months, and I need training. It’s just a job, sure, but there’s just something about failing at going into mission, being away from all your family, friends and church, not knowing what to do with your life, and then your work. Work. 7 months, and I still don’t have it. A lot of it had to do with poor training to begin with, but then there was a part of me that knew without a doubt it was also just me. 100% Lucy, and it wasn’t enough, and it got to me. Deep. As I found myself making even more mistakes that night, I nearly started crying. I just didn’t know what to do.

And oh my word I found myself getting so frustrated with myself, and I started thinking of a story shared with my coworker, Shane. At my last job, when I lived in Cannon Beach, I had dropped someone’s debit card into the gap of the counter, and the customer was vacationing and planned to return to Canada the next day, so getting it out wasn’t an option. My boss had to bring a buzz saw and literally cut the counter away to get the card. Shane said they must’ve not wanted me to come back, and I told him no, they did. In fact, they’d hire me again on the spot if I wanted my waitressing job back. I was good at my job. When I walked in the door they felt relieved because they know I knew what I was doing. I was competent.

And every single day as I walked to work, I would pray and ask God to make a servant. To make me useful and a blessing, and to watch over me at work. Every. Day. And I haven’t been doing that at all lately, and It as just overwhelmingly frustrating that I can’t do a simple thing like go to my job without praying first. I mean, I fail at everything unless I bring it to the Lord. I can’t do it on my own, and I wanted to scream for struggling with such simple things. I know I asked God to make me a prayer warrior, but it totally and completely sucks to feel so useless.

That’s when my sister began to laugh. “I do it myself!” she said.

In my house that phrase is synonymous with my 3 year old self. It was my mantra through physical therapy and rehabilitation.

I do it myself.

Alright God. I get it.

Lord, you are far to good to me. Thank you. Please help me. I need it.

This maturing thing never seems to get any easier.

15 Minutes

I’ve got 15 minutes until the cupcake shop closes, and I’m kicked out.

You know what I think is amazing? That we don’t matter (No, not like that. Don’t be silly. Sheesh).

Our good works don’t matter. Us being perfect doesn’t matter.

Us making mistakes doesn’t matter.

It’s God. Our holiness and righteousness is completely and totally dependent on God, and He never fails. God, the one that makes us beautiful, righteous, unified and sanctified never fails. We rush about like so many little ants, moving our motes of dust around, and God is there saying, “I’ve got it. I can handle it. Relax. Trust me.”

I never have to worry about my righteousness, because it’s possessed by God, and He never fails. I’m never going to be trapped by sin, or left unable to pick myself up, because I’m walking hand in hand with God, and God never fails me. How many times do I have to say it.

It only hit me just this morning, praying for a friend who’s struggling with some sin in their life. I was interceding on their behalf, and it hit me in the gut like a sucker punch, but not unpleasantly. Their righteousness, my righteousness, is not dependent upon my piousness or spirituality. It’s dependent upon God, and He never fails me.

Oh, this is good.

 

 

Day 13 (Righteousness and self should not be found in the same word)

Oh dear; blank  spaces can provoke such feelings of.. diffidence .

Every time I am provided with some white space, I always wonder why my first compulsion is to fill it. Does it need to be filled, and with my words? What can I write that will justify it taking up its space? Where is the line between true discipline, and not taking yourself too seriously. Maybe one day I’ll discover it.

Yeah.

Do you ever notice how people like to feel superior? Actually, I think that might be the wrong word… like when someone says something you agree with, and you smile indulgently in agreement, and laugh over how anyone could think anything contrary? Christians are good at this. Atheists are good at it, too. Women are great at it. We all hate it when we can see the laughter in someone’s eyes directed at us, but we forget that as soon as we’re the one’s that have the platform, have something to say or listen to.  We love to be justified more than we appreciate being made to see a different way, or correction.

How many times have you honestly set someone straight, or offered them wisdom and Scripture, and after understanding the truth, realizing they were wrong, they gave the the biggest, most thankful grin you have ever seen? When has anyone really rejoiced at finding the truth through correction? I can only remember one time, for myself. The moment of my Salvation. Yep, that summarizes it.

Bam. Forgiven.

Forgiven of what?

Everything you have every committed that was contrary to My will.

Oh yeah? Let me see the list on that one.

Where can I tell him to back up?

What? Back up what?

That semi truck.

Huh?

The list. You asked for your list. Here it is. Well, most of it.

Oh.

And that fountain that runs red?

Yes?

That was for you. Because We love you.

And that was the end of the era of my utter incredulity.

I like how God works. Instead of replacing and tinkering with all my broken parts, He chucked the whole thing and made me completely new. Clean as a whistle, singing His tune.

And there’s just something about looking in the mirror and allowing yourself a few moments to ponder the fact that your righteous was paid at a price, and sustained by the blood and faith. Sometimes I get this feeling where I become unimpressed or exasperated by how much I am ‘suppose’ to owe Christ, about how it’s a little overwhelming how much I am suppose to adore Him.

Oh man. Really?

I can’t…I can’t even find words right now. I am so undeserving, yet I possess that which I do not deserve because it was given without regard to my merit, only according to the capacity of His love. And that self righteousness I was talking about before? It grows strangely dim in the light of that glory and grace.

Old Things Become New

II Samuel 11:1-2

“And it came to pass, after the year expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle,that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah.

But David tarried still at Jerusalem.

And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself;

And the woman was very beautiful to look upon…”

I know I’ve heard this story over and over again, and it’s often thought of as the tipping point of David’s Rule. As most of you know, David takes Bathsheba and sleeps with her. Later, he tells the commander of his armies to place Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, in the forefront of the battle, where all the courageous men fight. Uriah is killed, and David takes Bathsheba for his wife. It’s interesting to note that Bathsheba mourns his death. He dies for his king, country and, ultimately, for his wife. For a payment, God tells David that he will never have peace, and his life will be full of continual warfare. David and Bathsheba’s first child dies eight days after he is born.

It read’s like a greek tragedy until you get to the part where they produce their second son, Solomon. God has a knack for taking our failed efforts and turning them into something good.

It was the same story every time for me. As I was listening to John stone read the first two verses of 2 Samuel 11, I hadn’t noted anything particularly special from all the other times I had read it, but then John stopped reading. He then brought to our attention a special little thing called Editorial Comments. EC’s are distinguished by the fact that they aren’t crucial to the storyline, but they add a little flavor and character, flesh things out a bit. The chapter begins with it telling us it’s Spring. The EC is when the text tacks on, ‘at the time when kings go forth to battle.’

So what’s David doing at home? It is then, when David isn’t where he should be, that trouble happens.

And it clicked. John had to spell it out for me, but I got it.

When we are not where we are supposed to be, where God wants us to be, that’s when things go wrong. That is when satan slips in the room we’ve made for him.

There are so many speakers that come through Ecola, and I sit through so many hours of lectures that, sometimes, it’s difficult remember everything that I hear. But I’ll remember this.