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It Wasn't Me

Life After Redemption

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July 2008

Mundane Miracles

When was the last time you looked around you to find the miracles around you? It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering, burning bush kind of miracle. What about the things that we take for granted? Relationships, safe harbors, freedom. Well, some of those may be earth-shattering… but I think that I have started to take them for granted.

So, my mundane miracle is this restored friendship. I know, I know, old news… but it is such an amazing gift and one that I didn’t know that I had missed. We have all ‘had’ to do the kiss and make up, but you know it’s still there. That looming elephant of resentment watching in the corner, waiting to remind you why it is that you fought with someone, or where the well of hurt sprang up. We have all pretended not to see that elephant, but we know it’s there. And occasionally we throw it peanuts so it never really wants to leave. You think you are fine with your friend, if only you could figure out how to get rid of the elephant of resentment and long memory.

I didn’t technically ‘have’ to make up with this chick, we travelled in the same circles, but we were civil, the elephant for the most part was kept at bay. I had nothing to gain, or lose by maintaining distance. Really, when I called to chat with her on that fateful day I really didn’t intend to remove any barriers, maybe just make sure that we both had our elephants on a respectable leash and maintain the status quo. So, when I said we should hash out our remaining differences, or let God heal them, I meant it in a nebuolous kind of polite way. Like, I see you still have your elephant, so do I. Maybe we should acknowledge them and what I don’t know, maybe get something smaller, like a hippo?

Never, and I mean never, in a million-bazillion years would I have thought that what would really happen was that God would just take our elephants away and leave us with this whole lovey-dovey cr… er, stuff. The overnight manifestation of God’s holy love… WHAM, and now it’s LOVE.

The weeks have passed, but the feeling hasn’t. Now, we are even better friends than we were all those years ago. Isn’t God funny? It’s funny because I didn’t know that I needed this, just one more sign of God’s living abundant life around us. It’s humbling how much He cares, and doesn’t want us to fall out of relationship with one another. Together we are so much more, so much stronger than when we try to make it going our own way. The world is such a dangerous place, you don’t know who you can trust, except for God.

It is such a simple solution to a complex problem, learn to love as God loves us. If only we can find a way to get that elephant out of the corner. I am sure that I have others lurking about, but God will work with that. I have such peace about this renewed friendship that I don’t even get wiggy about it anymore. For me this is my mundane miracle.

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Are you ‘in’ or ‘out’?

I was never in a clique, well not really, I don’t think. I was friends with different people in different groups, but I never really fit IN. I don’t embrace conformity well, especially when people expect me to act or dress in a certain way… ie. like the ‘in’ crowd. So, I spent many years of my life bucking the system, going against the grain, holding myself apart. It was frequently very lonely and isolated, like I was my own enemy. Maybe I should conform? Will they like me if I am like them?

The answer today is duh of course not… if they don’t like you for who you are, they will like you less if you sell out and become something that doesn’t suit you. Falsehood in any form does not flatter. Looking back, I think there is a definitive value in being held apart. Today, I don’t have to unlearn patterns of behavior that would give me a false sense of belonging to the in crowd. I have no holy elevated status, I am just as scarred as the next person, I am weak and critical of those who are weak. I despise weakness in myself, and pull away from the needy weakness I see reflected in others. And I am not the in crowd.

Since becoming Christian ten years ago, there have always been the questions that arise, like what about gays, the homeless, addiction afflictions, prostitutes… what do you think about THAT? Like I am some sort of moral authority? So not even close. But I would say that I wouldn’t move away if someone from the ‘out’ crowd were to sit next to me. In a women’s group very early in my Christian walk, someone had posed the question… we are all happy to be with each other, but what if a prostitute sat down on the couch next to you, would you move away? My answer then as it is today is is no, emphatically no way. Maybe if she were packing a knife and trying to steal my purse, but generally I am not moving.

Why is this important? Because, for me, I am not so far removed from my former self that I have forgotten who I was and where my life had been leading me. I have been in situations that are not so different from addiction or prostitution, did I sell myself for money or drugs… no. Drugs were never my thing, but I would throw myself into ‘relationships’ with no value for my own worth desperate for someone, anyone, please love me, validate me, fill this aching void. Never thinking that my own emptiness could not be filled with someone else, especially someone who was emptier than my own self. WE cannot redeem someone else, we don’t understand the level of sacrifice that this entails, it surpasses all human understanding and passes into the supernatural. Beyond all doubt, there is only one sacrifice that has redeemed me and the world. I didn’t ask to have the shadow of Jesus’ sacrifice carried in my heart, but His blood of freedom flows freely through my veins. He is my Father, part of my DNA composition beyond earthly conception, and I am fulfilled in Him.

So, would I move my towel away from the ‘out’ crowd? no. The shadow of forgiveness and salvation hangs in the wings waiting to be accepted across the whole world. Who am I to say who is doing it right or wrong? Facing the Father, all else falls away. Keep your eyes firmly fixed on His will and your testimony will draw people in. Be inclusive, we are not a country club with some sort of elitist mentality, all be made welcome.

Galatians 5:13
You were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather serve one another in love.

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