This post is primarily for me. I need a moment to go on a bit about the observations that I've had the last couple of weeks and mostly today and so for those of you that are short on time or uninterested in my extended thoughts, I'll post the facts...
Approximately 11:00am this morning I began to work in my yard. I love to garden and mow the grass and thought I would take a few hours while it was still cool to accomplish some much needed weeding and clipping.
11:35...I'm mowing the perimeter of our yard and something catches my eye.
11:36...I am ready to faint.
Here is what was sitting on the edge of my yard and driveway...
Your eyes do not deceive you...It is a hypodermic needle (used and still containing some left-over materials?) with the needle tip exposed.
For those of you that know and love me best, you are aware that this would make top 5 most terrifying experiences that I could ever have. It was horrible and I continued to wander around the yard with the mower (although never letting the needle out of my sight) and trying to figure out what a "normal" person would do to get rid of this unsightly intrusion to my otherwise fearless day.
11:45...I called my friend Sandy that is an ER nurse to see if said "normal" peoples would just pick it up and properly dispose of it. She reassured me that they wouldn't due to lack of proper disposal and that I was encouraged to call the police and let them take care of it.
11:46...made the call to police all the while never taking my eyes off the needle through my window!
(I was really afraid that it would get blown into the yard and I wouldn't be able to find it!)
12:00...nice and curiously un-phobic police officer pulls up and together we stand around the needle and make assumptions about how it got into my yard. He poked around at the handle with his pen which grossed me out a bit but it was just the handle...(many of my friends have since told me that they would have picked up the needle by the same handle for certain amounts of money...some as low as 50 cents! I, on the other hand, would not do such things for MILLIONS of dollars!)
12:05...police man is picking up needle with a scrap piece of paper (he didn't want to waste his gloves which puzzled me because this seems like the type of situation that one would NEED gloves for.). Disposed of needle in evidence bag and then went on to fill a report that I HAD TO SIGN WITH THE PEN!!! (I did feel that normal people would do that and don't tell me otherwise because certainty of that is keeping me sane!)
One funny thing...The officer asked me what color my eyes were and then quickly went on to tell me that it was for his report.
I started cracking up at the prospect that this man might think that I would misread his question as a come-on! Apparently the look of panic-stricken fear ALSO translates as potential admiration confusion!
12:15...police man leaves and I began to call one billion people to begin talking me through my crisis!
What does all this really have to do with Charity?
You know, it's funny because I am very predictable. I used to be very afraid of blood and it's problems because deep down, I was afraid to die. My roots here were so deep that the thought of leaving my family and friends was unthinkable. My fear took me places that were very dark and bleak and since that time I've come to see things differently.
What happened today does put a knot in my stomach but I think mostly because I'd made such a habit of being afraid of this sort of thing. My brain easily goes back to its old behavior. God has allowed me to be in all kinds of crazy situations to get me over this particular fear and this is just one of MANY stories that are so evident that God wants me to trust Him.
But, I don't think that that is what today is all about.
You see...I've been so angry these last few months. One after another of things has occurred to where I have felt like I was carrying pounds of concrete on my back. From emotional to physical to financial..and all spiritual-the trials have been hitting one after another and I've felt like I can't catch my breath.
It's been lonely, too.
You see, I've always been "crisis girl". That's my role. It's humbling to hold the title but after a few years, you decide to just accept it. I'm used to being able to call up my crisis hotline and have full attention to my needs.
Well...it's been a competition this year for who gets to make the calls! Many of the people that I love are enduring difficult trials and so that not only makes mine seem less unique but it also means that I need to be the one answering the phone for a change.
That has been so good for me, though. And I'm glad God has pointed me out instead of inward but it still leaves me wondering how to handle my problems differently than before.
I can feel it and I keep trying to peg it on other people but I know that my frustration is at God.
I feel it's time for Him to ease up and I want a break from the work that it takes to be righteous. When I think about trying to "transform my mind" every minute...I'm exhausted.
I want it all to be easier and less painful and so I decide that I just won't deal with God for a while. It's terrible to admit it but it's my tendency. I'll even tell Him that I'm not interested. "I'm not listening, God. I want to be left alone!"
When I think (when God enlightens my eyes) that I actually speak internally to the God of creation like that, I become very afraid. Who do I think I am?
So, He starts.
The soft glove of His Word. He reminds me of scripture and uses church to show me that I need Him. That I must accept who He REALLY is and not what I want Him to be. That submission comes easier with repentance allowing access to His grace. That He loves me. That He is good. That He is enough. That He sees me when I fear and suffer and cry. That I am apart of something bigger than just my own story.
Nope...I hear it but I don't want to accept it.
So, the nudges come. A trial here or there. A memory that stumps me for a few days. An argument that can't be resolved. A bill I didn't expect. A failure that humbles me. A sickness that keeps me in bed, thinking.
They come one right after another and I only feel more challenged to rebel. I know where a hardened heart leads. I know how dangerous these early moments are. But, I can't give in and besides I can find little "fixes" that make me content enough not to deal with the real problem....
I lose a couple of pounds or I make a new friend. I get a second job that I can stash cash back "just in case". I plan a trip. I just stay VERY busy so I don't have time to stop.
See...I'm cool. I'm okay. I'll deal with God tomorrow.
And then today.
The giant "poke" so to speak. He's starting to go to the bad places and I can't blame Him. I've made it happen. He should just strike me dead or be done with "crisis girl" but He can't. It is not possible for Him to leave me. It is not possible for Him to let me be for long. It is not in His character to give up on His family.
But the the needle....okay, God. You've got my attention! No need to go further.
I don't know what kind of Christian you are? I am so envious of those that love trials and seem to immediately run to God in a time of need. They are pliable and yielding.
And then some of us resist. We run. We escape. We ignore. We fight.
But, I believe that we don't have to always respond that way. We can change and it is better to be willing. That's the inspiring thing about true Christianity-there is the struggle in the cocoon but it produces someone far more beautiful.
Let me encourage you from my own transparency that you recognize God talking to you and respond early....
Because if you are really His-You will enevitably respond. Why not save yourself the headache...or the heartache? Pray with me that we will honor our Father with quick reactions of holiness. He is worth it.