“…for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
“Slow down, Sparrow,” God said as I scurried out the door. “You’re so busy that you can’t hear the dream I’ve put inside of you.”
“I’m sorry. I’ve been feeling really pressured lately. I’ll slow down and listen for the dream. I promise I’ll chase after it with all I’ve got.”
“It doesn’t need chasing. It needs coaxing and encouragement. It needs to trust that you will take good care of it,” God explained.
I slowed my pace, then I stopped. “I think I’ve been hearing the dream for a while now, but I’ve been ignoring it.”
God rested His hand on my shoulder. “Listen deeply. It’s all there, inside of you. Trust it. Tend to it. Your life will unfold in ways you can’t even begin to imagine if you do.”
I nodded, then slowly went on with my day, stopping from time to time to listen to and encourage the little whisp of a dream that God had neatly tucked inside of my heart.
In him, all things hold together.
‘What’s the secret to life?” I asked God as I pulled up the blankets, ready for sleep.
“There isn’t a secret. Everything has been explained to you,” God answered softly. I turned off the lamp next to my bed, allowing the dark to settle over the room.
“What was explained?” I questioned.
God stood next to my bed. “Remember that the Word was with me in the beginning? “
“Yes,” I remember.
“Christ has always been and always will be. Christ is in everything,” God explained. “When you understand that, you understand life.”
“I’ll have to think more about that tomorrow. Something tells me that when I understand that, I’ll be better in some way.”
“You’ll understand love,” God replied. He leaned down and kissed me on the forehead. “Go to sleep, Sparrow. I’ll make a beautiful sunrise for you in the morning.”
“Will you leave a night light on so it isn’t so dark?” I asked.
“Of course,” God said, and gently pulled the moon up over the horizon for me.
“Thank you,” I murmured sleepily as God quietly settled down at the foot of my bed to keep watch over me through the night.
Love does no harm.
I tossed and turned for hours. An ache in my leg kept me awake. Finally, I got out of bed and snapped on the light to see what was the matter. An angry purple bruise stared back at me. When did I bump my leg? For the life of me, I couldn’t recall. But there was the evidence, growing uglier by the minute. I got back into bed and did my best to settle down.
“It’s easy to hurt others in the same way,” God said.
“You mean to bruise them?” I asked, a bit confused.
“It’s easy to hurt others and not be aware that you’ve hurt them, just as you can’t recall how you hurt your leg. People’s emotions are tender,” He explained.
“I’ll do my best to remember that,” I answered. I rubbed my leg and hoped that there were not too many people rubbing their hearts because of me.
Off in the distance, a freight train’s lonesome whistle reminded me of the hour. I closed my eyes, asked God to forgive me for any harm I’d caused to any of His children, and drifted off to sleep.
Created in God’s image
Hiking the ridgeline in the warmth of the afternoon sun, I couldn’t help but notice God’s creation. Puffy clouds floated by on the distant horizon like ships out on an ocean. Birds circled high above, riding the updrafts that rose from the valley. And as far as my eye could see was a forest of green. I stopped from time to time and marveled at the beauty.
I rounded a bend in the trail and came face-to-face with a magnificent ancient Oak. All these years it had grown with one intention—to be the tree God created. How much better would my life be if I focused only on being what God created me to be, instead of worrying about what people think of me, or what I wear, or own, or earn?
I gazed at the tree for quite some time, then resumed my hike. I carried the question with me, admiring the clouds and birds and trees with a new awareness. They were all being what they were meant to be. My steps became more confident as I decided to focus on being what God created me to be.
Christ is in you.
The light in the refrigerator cast a pale glow in the dark kitchen as I stood with the door open, peering at the fruits and vegetables neatly stored on the shelves. I pulled out a glass jar filled with local organic strawberries and poured a few into a bowl. Maybe they would satisfy me. I washed them in the light of the full moon that spilled its way through the kitchen window. I popped one into my mouth and savored the sweet burst of flavor. Was I really hungry?
So often I’ve turned to something outside of myself for comfort, hoping that the external would fix the internal chaos or confusion. I put the berries back in the fridge and closed the door. I padded down the hall to the bedroom and slipped in-between the sheets. “I’ve got a lot on my mind, God,” I prayed. “More than a bowl of strawberries can fix.”
“What you need is not “out there,” but rather it is in here,” God said and put His hand over my heart.
All of my cares and concerns tumbled out until there wasn’t anything more to say. I felt God within me, calming me, guiding me, satiating the hunger in my soul. The moonlight found its way into the bedroom window and together we curled up and drifted off to sleep, safe in God.