With lies you may get ahead in the world — but you can never go back.
~ Russian Proverb
Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
~ James 1:21
I am a big fan of NCIS. For those of you who don’t watch it, NCIS is a show about Naval Criminal Investigations. It’s lead character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a straight-shooting, no-nonsense kind of guy. He is very private about his life and struggles, defends this country, women and children, veterans and the family and looks for truth and justice in the solving of the cases the team is assigned. In an old episode from season one, Gibbs is in a church to interview a priest as part of an investigation and while he is waiting, he walks over to a votive candle display and lights a candle.
Those of us who have seen more episodes have an idea of who it might be that he is lighting the candle for, but when he is asked, he turns his head as if to answer, and then doesn’t, continuing his walk without answering his co-worker. I was floored.
I think of how many times I have struggled to make up an acceptable answer for something I don’t want to talk about. I have heard many people just outright lie, citing that the other person really didn’t need to know. I have heard my own relatives say, “I don’t want to talk about it,” which shuts down the conversation. I have also said, “That is not something I am prepared to discuss,” which may get more questions. But Gibbs just continuing on made me stop and think…Jesus asked questions in return when he was asked certain things. I like that technique, “Why do you want to know?” And then there is the pithy “Are you writing a book?” or “Wait for film at 11:00.”
Sometimes, God is like Gibbs. He doesn’t always answer in the way that we would like, but in time, we can see where the garden has been weeded, trees have been transplanted, which plants thrive better in the shade, and which need full sun. And we can see when a candle has been lit. Indeed, God is a gardener we can trust in silence and in sound.
Because of Him,