Thursday, May 19, 2011
Do you know these people?
Bunny asked me yesterday if I had all the devotionals I have written over the years in one file that I could send her. She was thinking about ways we could take what we are doing now - serving the needs of our community by delivering meals - and add to that a bit of a word about following Jesus and an invitation to come and follow Him with our family at New Hope. I thought it was a good idea that we'll try to get done next week. But then she asked me if I had read them lately. I said that no, I hadn't. "You ought to. You wrote differently then. More tenderly."
Take a look at the picture above again. It was May of 2001. We had been at New Hope less than two years. Taken as we were leaving after worship on SUNDAY NIGHT :), we're looking like we just experienced something pretty good. And even though I'm obviously being strangled by that tie and imprisoned by a suit, when I look at the picture, I have to smile.
That guy though, isn't here anymore.
And I'm not sure how I feel about that, frankly.
We've gone through a lot since that picture was taken. Some of it was so wonderful that it was as if God had reached out and tied a bow on it, saying "with love." Some of it was so gut-wrenching that looking back, I am still amazed at how we made it through. But then that too - that safe passage through the storm - could have been wrapped up and tied with a ribbon by the same hand and carry the same saying.
In some ways, things affect me more now than they did back then. I'm just not writing as often. I'm so busy with church, school, work etc. that the time I had for silent reflection has shrunk. And those walks I used to have around the bayou with my beloved friend Henley the Great Dane stopped when we lost him. So...
Do this for me.
I'm not a great writer. But I can write and on occasion God uses it. While the guy in that photo isn't coming back, the guy here now, who is far more aware of just how amazing grace is - who treasures every day he wakes up and sees Bunny there beside him - who thinks he actually loves his boys more today than when they were born - who counts being New Hope's pastor as joy - that guy wants to do whatever God can use as long as he has breath. Pray that I would.