“I have spread my dreams under your feet
tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.”
~ William Butler Yeats, “He wishes for the cloths of heaven,” 1899
“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?”
~ Luke 11:10-13
We grow up, watching our parents, choosing the things we don’t like about the way they “parent us” claiming “I will never do that when I am a parent. And then we become parents.
We may not do the things we dreaded that our parents did, but somehow we come up with our own special glitch. Some that make our own children say, “When I am a parent, I will never do that.” We try to step outside of our worst nightmares and do wonderful things for our children, and those are not to be discounted, but we also say things out of fear, hope, anger, dreams we never fulfilled that guide or sting our children. Then they say, “I’ll never do that when I have kids.”
The bottom line is: we all make wonderful choices, and awful mistakes. It is so hard to give ourselves a break, and not focus on the things that hurt, the things that we would do differently. The one thing that redeems us (my opinion) is that we have trained our children to know and love God, who is the perfect parent, the perfect friend.
That is a wonderful thing. When they look up, when they get to know God, God will fill in the gaps that we have missed, remove the splinters (if they allow it) that they have gotten caught on.
Lord, you’re a good good Father and we thank you for straightening our course, tending our wounds, healing our hearts.
I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.
~ Woody Allen
Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?
~ Luke 11:10-13
In the wake of the profound tragedy in Orlando, it is hard to consider laughter, it is not, however, hard to consider being direct with God. How to pray? Abolish guns? Abolish hate? Abolish…something?
There are just so many bandwagons to choose from, and many going nowhere at a heady rate. I am looking at the season of Lent and the glorious Easter morn, and thinking of all the Lents I spent as a child giving something up. Our pastor, and other like – minded clergy invited us to think of Lent in a different way some years ago. They entreated us to add something to our lives, rather than give something up.
While I fully appreciate that there are seasons for giving something up, fasting in prayer, denying oneself on many levels, I truly embrace the idea of adding. Adding prayer for a person, a situation, a hope, a concern would be one way. Adding additional acts of kindness might be another. Adding a prayer for the shooter and their family might be another. A commitment to Bible study, a community outreach that is multi faith might be others to consider.
Whatever is chosen, should be: God’s direction, and not so easy that you wouldn’t miss it as dearly as, for example, chocolate.
In this aftermath of tragedy, let us love, the way He loved, open up our sometimes tiny worlds to embrace the scared stranger, and thereby welcome the Lord in through you, a new door in a hard place.