Friday, May 22, 2009

Sovereign Tar and a Photo Update

Sometimes I wish I was Flo B., who seems to understand the significance of every serendipitous circumstance. For instance, I had an errand today in Westport –

[ASIDE: Fun to have an errand in Westport on a sunny day, eh? Though, I did have the embarrassment of lugging 4 boxes of CDs in and out of two used-CD stores, having most of them rejected because they were “Christian” bands that wouldn’t really sell. Oh, and one of the guys told me I should try “White Light” bookstore, as it was Christian and everyone walking in there would be a ready customer for such CDs. – They were all very nice about it. Only in retrospect did I realized they were all probably shaking their heads as I walked out, still lugging the boxes, saying, “poor pretty Christian girl.” – So I called Anniebugs to do a quick google for me, just for the phone number of White Light, and she says, “Uh, uh…um it says ‘White Light New Age Books and Crystals and Astrology in Kansas City.’ Uh…” Nix on that idea. But that guy was perfectly sincere. He thought Christian and “spiritual” were one and the same! Annie did find two actual Christian stores for me to call, neither of which could help, but that were so nice that when I hung up and started the car going, I sang a little ditty to God about how much I liked His people. His people are nice!]

So, back to the Errand. Oh, we’ve already covered that. Back to the circumstances that need Flo’s interpretation. I left the last CD store to drive home, and along the nicely sculpted stretch between Westport and the Plaza I hear, “thump! thump! thump!” Exactly the sound and feel of a flat tire. So I put on the hazards, pull to the NO-PARKING side, and investigate. My first thought was, “Can this really happen to a wheel?” for it one-fifth of it was an exploded mass of gooey black rubber. (It’s hot here now, but not that hot.) My second thought was that I had just bought those tires. My third, based on the incredulity the second thought had brought, was that perhaps it wasn’t my tire after all, but a mass of tar ON my tire. I snapped a dead branch off a tree, started poking around, and lo-and-behold, thought number three won the day!

Meanwhile (and here’s a glimpse for you into the way females think) I was wondering if someone cute was going to stop and help. After all, my hazards were on, and I was in a nice part of town, wearing cute Capris, sparkly earrings, and stylish sunglasses perched on the crown of my head. And then I was wondering if this all was a plan that God had up His sleeve. And if someday I would laugh with Him over the fortuitous (providential) mass of tar that had glommed onto my wheel on just that day in just that spot. Then, a weird man wearing his helmet on his motorbike rattled past me on the sidewalk and I jumped from surprise (the tar, combined with my thoughts, was rather engrossing) and immediately rebuked myself for trying to read eternal significance into circumstance. (By the way, he had the gall to look at me as if I was the weird one. I guess it was a no-parking zone, Mister Motorbike-on-the-Sidewalk.)

After some work I pulled the mass of tar off with the dead branch, wiped my fingers on the grass, and got on my way once again. At the end of the road I pulled into the left-hand-turn lane as the light changed to red. My eyes wandered. A middle-aged man in white suddenly jumped into action, waving wildly at a taxi cab and running into the street to catch it. As he did, the badge attached to his shirt pocket flew to the ground. I’m not sure what conversation was had with that driver, who stopped – probably directions. Anyway, as the man returned to his little family group I could see he had not noticed the fallen ID.

I stuck my arm out of my window and yelled: “Your name badge!”

He looked surprisedly in my direction. Who was the girl in the car yelling at? Wasn’t this nice Kansas City, MO?

“Your name badge,” I yelled louder, pointing toward the gutter with my whole arm. “It fell.”

Well, the man retrieved it, a police car came screaming through the intersection (2nd of the day) and… well… I wish I could tell you that I’d somehow saved his life by being in that place at that time and keeping him from crossing in front of the police car or something. But I didn’t.

(Here is where my thought turned to Flo.) Perhaps, later today, he will desperately need that name badge. He’ll be late to work, and he works in a top secret laboratory, and he’ll need to get information to the governor asap, but if he didn’t have his ID he wouldn’t be able to access it (KC is a little behind the times and doesn’t have retinal IDs yet).

Sigh. Probably not. But perhaps at the end of the day, God will have spared him 10 moments of aggravation and a $5 fee for replacing his work ID. I don’t know. Whatever it was, it was worth being delayed by a mass of tar, I’m sure.

In other news…

The peonies have bent under their weight of glory

The foundation of the house has turned into a bower

The lettuces are as tall as kings (well, two inches is a lot compared to how they used to look)

The beets need to be thinned

The snow peas are exploding toward the sky

And Wendy and I drove OJ’s truck towing the biggest UHaul trailer money can rent, and brought my furniture down from Chicago.

I’ve officially moved to KC!

Monday, May 11, 2009

"She's Fighting Back"

I’m writing. I meant to clean the kitchen for this hour before bed, but something just happened … and I forcefully changed my mind.

It’s my way of walking in the opposite spirit.

Oddly, I have realized over a number of years that the enemy attacks my fingers and hands when I am writing. Even, sometimes, when I’m just thinking about writing. I guess he doesn’t like what happens when I write (which I find slightly encouraging, actually). It happens too often for me to remember all the instances. But it has become unmistakable.

A new friend asked me an hour ago what projects I was currently working on. I told her a little bit, and my heart began yearning to write, to write.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when, turning to run down the stairs, I whacked my hand against the point of the banister, right on top of the very spot I had hit it on Saturday and had developed a bruise.

I knew immediately what was going on. I should have directly rebuked the activity of the enemy, but this time I sat down on the step and cried—partially because it hurt so much, but mostly because being physically harassed is not a pleasant experience. (Now understand, I am not saying that every little cut or bruise we receive is a direct product of demonic activity. Please don’t imagine that!) It’s fine to express some emotion in a few tears, but that can’t be the end of the story. It certainly wasn’t going to be the end of tonight’s story!

So, though I have no specific soapbox to get on tonight, I decided to write this little blog. Just to thwart and frustrate that attempt at silencing me, that anger at my vocalizing of God’s works. I will not pull back from doing the things of God because it hurts or puts me at risk. That’s what I mean by walking in the opposite spirit. So what if I’m harassed, so what if I’m attacked? May it spur me on even further, rather than cause me to falter!

I write with ice on my hand and a decided bump underneath the ice. But I write happily. God wins! My roommate just summed it up nicely: "She's fighting back!"

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Torturing Her Puppy

I'm starting to write a weekly blog for Exodus Cry, an organization based at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and focused on raising up a prayer movement to abolish human trafficking. As they say, we can raise all the awareness we want, but unless angels and demons move, nothing will change. This means prayer is the first and most important ingredient of action.

Check out my new post, Torturing Her Puppy.

You can commit on the site to pray, fast and give toward ending slavery in a nation God puts on your heart.