Paul’s prayer for the Philippians has been running through my mind all week. It’s one of those passages that leaps out and demands to be examined more thoroughly. The more I chew on it, the more tangents I could go off on, but I’ll strive to keep in line with a single train of thought. (Those who know me well know what a feat of constraint this is for me, the queen of rabbit-trails, but here goes!)
When I was a child, the church folks told me the Bible was God’s love letter to mankind, which seemed a bit odd to me with its stories of strong men with gouged out eyes, decapitated giants, and mighty warriors felled by tiny women and tent pegs. Not to mention the incest and adultery that ran rampant through the Sunday school stories. A mighty odd love letter indeed!
Last year my husband and I celebrated 25 years together. In honor of this marital milestone, we decided to go big and booked an 8 day cruise from Athens to Rome. We spent a couple of days on either end to make for a two week trip. I could probably write a gajillion posts on this adventure. For us small town homebodies, this was indeed an epic odyssey!
Looking out the large bay windows, the morning mist covered the hills on the far side of the view. The water was glass, smooth and perfectly still. Wisps of mist hovered over it’s surface, cotton candy tufts reflected in the watery mirror. I watched the sun peek over the farthest hill, it’s soft yellow beams stirring the misty phantoms, making them dance away with the last of the morning darkness.
With as much stealth as I could muster, I made my way to the dilapidated building. I paused for a moment, unsure as to how I should proceed. The enemy was somewhere behind me, of this I was certain, and my hesitation gave fear the opening it needed. A feeling of dread swept over me, a certainty of imminent attack making my blood pulse. Spinning around, slashing with my knife, I encountered only empty air. I raised my weapon, mean and black, and perused the area…
“I’m going to wait to be baptized.” The woman was emphatic. “When I know I’m saved, I’ll do it. But I want to be sure.”
The room fell silent. All of the ladies present at the Wednesday night Bible study were left speechless. One tender hearted woman regained her composure, leaned forward, and put her hand on this elderly sister’s shoulder.
“What makes you think you’re not saved?” She asked with compassion.
The older woman’s former confident tone vanished. Bright lipstick quivering slightly, she stammered a reply.
“What do you think about…?” Hands wrapped around her steaming mug, my friend leaned forward with an open expression. I looked down at my own latte and contemplated the designs swirled into the foam by the talented barista. Not wanting to give a trite response, I took a moment to answer. I feel honored when my friend asks my opinion because I know she takes my words seriously. Even when she disagrees with my stance. Taking a deep breath, I launched into my thoughts on the topic. Our coffee date this month was sure to be a lively one.
“Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.” –Benjamin Franklin
The piercing wails of my firstborn reverberated inside my head. It pained me. I clenched my teeth and hissed, “That’s enough!” I’d had it. Again. My rational self felt small and impotent, a passive bystander to a hostile takeover. It marveled that a petite three-year-old could bring this fury out of me. Possessed by emotion, I grabbed her by the hand and sternly yanked her forward.
The normally quiet downtown area was bustling with activity. Booths selling everything from vegetables to crafts to masterpieces of glass art lined the street on both sides. The people milled through like ants, swarming the vendors. The sounds of bartering, of laughter, and the hearty shouts of locals greeting familiar faces mixed together to form that unique music that is the sound of community. Some stopped near our spot, basking in the unusually warm weather, enjoying good old-fashioned artery-clogging food.
I cursed a blue streak this morning. I’m not quite sure what came over me. Perhaps it is related to the fact that my left ovary woke me up at 5:00 this morning; the pain shooting all the way down to my knee, for Pete’s sake. The ol’ hormonal roller coaster of my advancing years is…notably more intense than I’d anticipated. Or maybe I can blame Microsoft for making things so danged convoluted. I am convinced that they are conspiring to drive the average person insane so they can take over the world.