Sunday, June 15, 2014

Don't mess with me right now. I'm a little on edge.

Frankentoe has now become Frankenfoot. I had surgery June 4 to repair, realign, shorten, you name it. Years of pointing my toe in order to reach the gas pedal (you tall people have no idea what I'm talking about) combined with at least a couple of poorly-healed breaks led to some nerve damage that could no longer be ignored. That plus the fact that I had a toe whose bruising caused me to have to change my polish color to purple to match the constant hue of the nail and one that had to be encased in a nylon sheath every time it was stuffed into a shoe. Yeah, my right foot was, as one medical professional put it: "A hot mess."

So now I am looking at several weeks of not putting any weight on it at all. Several weeks of being extremely dependent on others for...most everything.
Ask me which is bothering me more: enduring pain or being a pain? I'll let you answer that.

"But God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted (in this case, tempted to scream 'I have to get up right now and go drive somewhere and get a shower and carry my own coffee!!') beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted He will also provide a way out (in this case the WHOLE INTERNET) so that you can stand up (or lie down) under it." 1 Corinthians 10:13b

And so, those of you who choose to read my mind online, get ready for a few weeks of reflections, opinions, and laughter. It's my hope that as I share my experiences with you, you will become more aware of the work of the Lord in your life, as I am becoming increasingly aware of His work in mine.

 A combination of too much time on my hands, denial that I am really using a walker, and the fact that I never can be satisfied with things that are too generic, led me to decorate my walker. A late Baby Boomer version of Pimp my Ride. There were several ways I could have gone with it, but the style that won out was a cross between Breakfast at Tiffany's and Breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I bought black duct tape and adhesive-backed rhinestones. Then I got busy. The result did exactly what I wanted: it drew attention away from the fact that I am using an appliance for assistance and it made me smile. Hopefully others would smile too.  There was one area that I couldn't really mess with though; a series of hinges which allowed my Sweet Ride to collapse, and the stickers that warned me of eminent danger if I didn't follow directions. Yes, I considered a big old plastic diamond right smack in the middle, but then I thought, "what if it collapses and the insurance company fights my bills because of a plastic diamond?" So the sticker stayed. A week into using the walker I began to think about the wording on the warning label and the way I interpret it.
As most Church Women, I have taught preschool. Yes, I wear that as a Badge of Honor, because nothing is more intimidating than a group of 3 year olds. Wide eyes, short attention spans, and never-ending curiosity all wrapped up in an adorable 33 pound bundle. As simultaneously precious and scary as a baby leopard, you do not want to let them have the upper hand, mostly because they are covered with fuzz, jelly, play-doh, and dirt.
Because these precious tiny hands are constantly moving, I always prepared my kids for prayer by teaching them to close their eyes, put their hands together in their lap, and bow their heads. I tried to eliminate as many distractions as possible so that they could focus on the God that is never distracted from us. I suppose I was ensuring that they were "locked and in place."
I would begin to lead then in prayer in a soft, gentle voice, all the time aware of squirms, wiggles, and the occasional "just get up and walk around and play with trucks and kick things." After all, they're three year-olds!!!
But what about us? Oh, reader, I am right smack in the middle of being prayed for right now by some of the best. I mean THE BEST. Real prayer warriors if there ever were some. I know these people and I know their hearts and I have been in their company when they pray and they lift up prayers that are the kind that make you a little embarrassed, because it's like you're eavesdropping on a conversation between them and God. Because you are.
So again I ask: What about us? How focused are we when we approach the Throne of Grace? Billy Graham once said, "It's not the body's posture, but the heart's attitude that counts when we pray." I know, Rev. Graham. I know.
I do now.
The little one who was up and about and so active was listening to everything I said and sharing his own precious heart. (The others were probably focused on their own fuzzy, sticky fingers) We can be on our knees or in our car or washing dishes and bring our deepest concerns before our God because He only requires our focus, our hearts, to be locked on Him. We add the casual, "I'll pray for you" or click "like" on Facebook and add "Praying" in the comments and go back to looking at our friend's new puppy pictures. Did we pray? Did we? I mean, PRAY?
And then there's the corporate prayer. When we join together as one before the Lord and lift our collective hearts to Him. The Bride of Christ petitioning for His church. How amazing. Unless we are digging through our purse for a mint. Or planning our strategy out of the parking lot and to the restaurant. Or still holding on to bitterness that has no room for grace. Are our prayers focused toward the One we pray to or to the ones who hear us? Are they God-seeking or self-serving? Are they filled with grace and humility? Or are they uttered with an attitude of anger? Be real. But be real with respect. And for the right reasons. And make sure you are locked in and focused, or everything will collapse around you.
There are two other little stickers, one in each corner, that read "PUSH TO RELEASE." Remember, I told you I'm a little on edge.
All it takes is a little push...

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