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Monday, February 17, 2014

A Bite of Grace

There is a commercial that shows the Olympic medalists taking a bite of their medals & it says “Celebrate with a bite”. 

Now I have many scars.  (I’m not talking about emotional ones, though I’m sure I have a few of those as well); physical scars, none of which spoke of celebration.  I have a scar on my head where I went through a windshield, scars on my hands where they were torn off by gravel and I had to have the palms sewn over the tops, a scar on my leg where a car landed on top of me and scars on my lip, ear & wrists where Sylvester bit me.  Some of my closest friends bear resemblance as they carry the same scars on their fingers. 

My ‘son’ is adorable, cute, fun and smart.  He knows what he wants, when he wants it and as a parrot his go-to strategy when unhappy is to, yes, BITE.  After 32 years I have gotten a clue.  I watch his facial expressions, garner his movements and listen for sounds of unsettledness. 

But one night I missed the boat.  He was on my head as usual, but I was bent over to read something Roy was showing me.  Sylvester began to slip and I kind of jerked up to keep him from falling.  Therein lay one of my saddest mistakes.  He reached down, grabbed my ear to keep from falling.  I jerked (from pain!) again and he bit down.  My first thought was why do people pierce their ear up here; my second thought?  Set him down carefully so you don’t hurt him.  I calmly walked to his cage, placed him on his perch and began to cry like a little girl.  It hurt so badly and blood was spurting and Roy was freaking out. We got the bleeding under control when I heard, “Boo Hoo Hoo. Vester loves Momma”.  Awe, he knew he hurt his mom.  I went over, picked him up and let him kiss me.  “Are you alright”, he asked.  Yes, mommy is fine.  Life moved on. 

A while later I was talking with God.  I love Him so much. 

"How can you extend so much grace"?

"I love you".

"How can you love disobedience, laziness, unrighteousness..."?

"My father commands it.  Love Him, love you my child."

"I guess I don't understand because I have no children".

"You have Sylvester.  When he bites you, you still reach out your hand to hold him again.  Others won't.  They may care for him, play with him, and even think he is cool - but they won't pick him up.  Only you.  

Only me.  You can bite me with careless words, thought or actions but I will always pick you back up again." Once you say you are sorry, you are forgiven.  Life moves on.

Valentine’s Day

Sunbeams illumine our room

filtering through the dusky morning

to fall on the face of my beloved.

How beautifully have You assigned my life,

Oh Lord.

and what rapture my heart feels

as I look upon my lover.

All of Heaven surely erupts in a sweet song;

a melodious joining of voices.

-Angels raising the rooftops-

A future of promise lies

in the hand I hold.

What wonderful knowledge.

What divine tenderness.

What extraordinary love.

It’s Valentine’s Day. I used to shudder a bit, put on a brave face and march through the day. After Phil died I was adamant I would not marry again. I had things to do for God. I had plans. Anyway, who could take the place of one you had matured with, found the Lord with and muddled through all the ‘growth’ pains with?  

But God.

When the Lord told me I would marry again & introduced me to the handsome man I would spend the senior years of my life with I was intrigued but stubborn. What about my plans, God? Trust Me.  What about Africa? Trust Me. But, I just bought a home & new furniture…But, But, But… Trust Me. 

I found out that God does not ‘replace’ but ‘enhances’ love. Today I stand next to this incredible person, shrouded in the Holy Spirit, so full of life and love and tenderness; so thankful I said yes to God and yes to Roy. Appreciative of their patience as I inhale a joy I haven’t known in a very long time.  After many years of battling grief, I stand next to my hunk-a-burnin’-love and face the future with my hand securely in his knowing that whatever God has for us we will have an adventure in running after it.  

Trust Me.  Oh, I am so thankful I did.