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Posts Tagged ‘broken’

I strolled up the sidewalk to the church and noticed a grackle (Texas black bird and all around menace) pecking at side exit  door as if it wanted inside. It was the fellowship time between Sunday school and worship. That side door led into the room where people gathered for snacks and coffee.

grackle-591594_640Perhaps the grackle saw it’s reflection in the sunscreen-filmed glass, or maybe a juicy bug crawled up the door. I couldn’t be sure. But the bird pecked on the door then waddled back a few steps, cocked its head, and once again approached and pecked the glass.

What seemed odd is that there weren’t ten other grackles around. They usually flock together. This male seemed to be all alone. That’s when I noticed one wing dangling at a weird angle. It didn’t tuck in like the other one. My heart sank. The poor thing probably couldn’t fly. He’d been abandoned.

Then an unusual thing happened. One of the elderly men of our congregation wedged the door open. I watched as only his head and one arm peeked out. He crumbled part of a cookie onto the ground at the stoop. It took a half a second for the grackle to grab a piece.  Maybe I am personifying, but to me the bird’s demeanor did a 180. Crumb in beak, it held it’s head high and hopped under the safety of a parked car to gobble it’s meal. I couldn’t help but smile. Later I caught up with the man and thanked him. He seemed a touch embarrassed that someone had seen his gesture. He shrugged. “It looked hungry.”

324In our worship, right before we receive communion, there is a prayer in which we tell our Lord we know we are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under His table, but He always draws us near in mercy. It is in reference to the Canaanite woman who boldly told Jesus even dogs get crumbs from the master’s table. (Matthew 15:27) Jesus commended her for her faith and answered her prayer. It reminds us worshipers that we also are in need of mercy but must have the bold faith to ask for it.

I thought of that grackle. And I wondered about all the broken people out there who feel all alone and abandoned. Ones who are not as bold as this injured bird to beg for help. Ones who may feel hesitant to tap at our church door.

Lord, may we seek out the ones in our communities who also feel they are unworthy to eat the crumbs. May we show them mercy, tend to them, and then bring them into Your midst to Your table. Amen.

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ID-100131553Maybe some of you who follow me on Facebook heard of my plight…

During the recent move to a new apartment, I lost my desktop computer to damage. Not only that, but my laptop and projector I use for all my talks and workshops “walked away”.  We also were without TV for two days.

With tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I’d posted before the move that I’d be out of cyberspace for a day or so – could I handle it?

God tested me on that. Big time.

I wish I could tell you my piety kicked in and I enjoyed being still and reconnecting with my Savior. I tired, really I did. But… the hush was deafening. After a few minutes, I’d jump up to find something to “do.” In fact, in those three days, I totally exhausted myself by unpacking every box, hanging the curtains and the pictures, and rearranging the knick-knacks several times.

Finally, my sweet techie son “Humpty-Dumptied” parts from my desk top and from an old one he had, and not only got me up and running in three days but re-downloaded all my flies. He also got the TV and wireless networking up and running. I praise the Lord for my son’s God-given intelligence and patience when it come to electronics.

Two things I learned:

First – I need to turn off the electronics more often and get back to quietness and meditation (listening) with my Lord. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, but He showed me differently.

Second – Whatever in our lives we feel is damaged, burned out, or missing a vital function, God as the Master techie can piece back together and make work again–sometimes with the talents of others. We just need to stay patient and prayerful in the process.

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garden of grace

 

 

Along the river bank at my family place in the Texas Hill Country is an old cypress. Long before my birth, it’s trunk was bent in half by a raging flood. Yet, it’s not only lived but thrived. Its shady limbs continue to stretch out into the waters.Some reach high towards the sky. Each year it bears fragrant cypress balls, and is a celestial highway for squirrels. In times of flood and storms, it is a refuge for the birds.

Christians are not immune to tragedy in this broken world. But, as Rick Warren says, even then, we can still bear fruit because we are grafted into Christ’s loving strength and merciful grace.

“…do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Romans 11:18-19

Others see there is hope in our eyes not washed away by our grief-stricken tears, Even in our deepest sorrow, there is a peace. And that, my friends, speaks volumes without one whispered word.

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