From the Stovetop

Water is the mother of tea, a teapot its father, and fire the teacher.
      ~Chinese Proverb
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
~ John 16:33
     I posted this scripture on my computer screen saver at school.  It is the computer that my assistant uses most often.  I posted it there for her, although she has never mentioned it.  She was going through a trial, and I posted it to remind me to be more patient with her and with myself.  
     We have been working together now for nearly four years. Because of her, I have become a better boss, better at conveying my needs and less likely to feel as if she need to read my mind.  In fact, she has begun to anticipate what I would do if a question arises and I am not immediately available.  Either she sticks a post-it note on the item, or my screen to remind me/us to discuss it, or she deflects the question until I am able to answer it.  This has come from trial and error.  Repeat, try again.
     And isn’t it just like the Lord to allow me to think that the lesson is hers.
     2014 is one of my most beloved years, and yet, when I look back over the road, it has been marked with knolls, divots, crests, hollows, potholes,broken glass, nails, dead-ends, frost heaves.  I have collected the “stones” from my shoes and put them in a jar.
    The jar is actually a basket, and the stones are actually remnants and snippets of poetry that have risen like oil on a newly rainy road, to glisten and shine in the light. These mostly occur in the choir loft where I am alternately filled and filling.  Fire is surely the teacher of tea, and rough spots make one stop and re-assess the journey.  The steeping is where God does the work.  The water should be boiled for maximum benefit.  Boiled.
     We are waiting the requisite three minutes (thank you Joan!) for the tea to reach it’s place of “fully brewed and still warm enough to drink”, and the Lord is using each second, each breath, each silence to bring us to our full potency.
Be kind to yourself in your assessment, honest and kind, and then extend that same tolerance to others.  It is not just their lesson…
Because of Him,

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