Lady is Born

An old woman sits under a tree, eyes closed.  Her long silver hair catches the moonlight and holds it like a cool fire.  She looks asleep, but her mind is alive and awake.  

She murmurs under her breath.  To anyone listening, to the chipmunk and the deer, it sounds like gibberish.  But her spirit is calling forth dreams and visions.  Her eyes flicker under her eyelids.  Her blood makes a humming sound in her veins.

As though it can hear her, the sky responds.  Not an ending, not in brimstone and fire, but a beginning, in shimmer and in stardust.

Lightning flashes, and a nearby tree blazes.  The old woman comes out of her trance, and the flames reflect in her eyes.  She stares hard into the tree and then removes her outer robe. 

As the flames die down into smoldering coals, the tree opens up, and a younger woman walks out, all muscle and bone and shining.  She wears a blanket made of night, but it will soon fade.  She needs the clothing of this world, and the old woman wraps the robe around her.

They look at each other.  The old woman reaches out her hand, and the younger woman takes it.  “Lady,” the woman says, and points to herself, and then, to the girl.

The girl nods and looks up at the sky.  The woman looks too.  And the moon smiles back at them.  

***

One day I sat praying about horrible, horrible things.  And I got really, really mad.

Mostly about people hurting kids.  But other things too.

I sat on the  floor, and I told God, “Ok.  So, now I’m really mad.  Here’s what  I’ll do.  I’ll get a machine gun and go to Thailand and get some kids out of some brothels.  I will fight human slavery.  I will do it.  Don’t think I won’t.  My kids can live with Grandma.  Just say the word, God,  and I’ll get a machine gun, and I will go.”

And I heard this:  “Start a blog.”

And I said, “God.  I don’t think you heard me.  I said I would get a machine gun and go save some kids!  Don’t you want me to get a gun and go save some kids!?!”

And I heard, “Um, yeah.  Go start a blog.”

I was like, seriously?  I said I would go!  Doesn’t the Bible say “who will go??”  I’m telling you, I WILL GO.

Machine guns?  Blog?  Seriously, Lord?

“Yes.  Start a blog.”

I have only touched a gun twice in my life.  I have no idea how to shoot a gun.  And, if memory serves, guns are heavy.

My kids are young.  And I was sick for a long time.  I’m just now getting back to normal.

God knows what we can do.  He knows what is ridiculous for us.  He will show us our paths, especially when we pray hard and get serious like I was that day.  And I was serious.  I was just out of my mind with grief.

I will probably never be a machine gun preacher.  But, I do have a degree in English.  I can blog from my bed on my laptop.  I can write while I help my kids with their homework on the couch.  It’s realistic for me.  It fits into what I already know and what I already do.

Blogging makes sense for the life that I have.  It is something I can do right now, wherever I am.  I still don’t exactly see how I’m fighting human trafficking from this blog, but I trust Him to show me at the right time.

The Fearless part came later.  I’ll tell you that one another day.

Thanks for being here.  I saw you in a dream.

We are fighting together.

What is the issue that makes you weep?  What is the issue that makes you want to scream?  What can you do about it with the skills and the life that you already have?  What could God send you from Heaven right now that would help you get started?

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Eph 2:10

 

{WATCH} Compassion Hot Sauce Challenge

My son loves the show Brain Games.  If you haven’t seen it, it is fast paced and entertaining and puts different psychology studies on display and to the test.  Pop psychology at its best and, possibly, worst.

But it is an introduction to certain concepts, and we enjoy it.

Once in a while, he asks me to sit and watch an episode with him.

This week he wanted to share a Brain Games study on compassion.  (If you are in a hurry, start at 3:50 and watch the last minute and a half.)

As I watched, I laughed and felt convicted.

And also hopeful.

I have been that person pounding on my horn.  Nothing like L.A. traffic to make you lose your cool.  And compassion.

Last week, I shared that I have also been that compassionate person at times.  And have questioned it.  Until I look over and see how deeply touched a person can be by an unexpected kindness.

This episode of Brain Games gives evidence that suggests just how touching, and contagious, compassion can be.

When confronted with negativity, your kindness can change everything, even if you aren’t involved in any way in the original problem.

I think we inherently know this, somehow, and it is so biblical, but I love seeing the science that backs it up.

And the Death-level hot sauce analogy is just so fitting, don’t you think?

How much “hell” are we willing to give another person back when they hurt us or mess with our day?

Who are we serving when we seek revenge?

Who are we serving when we choose compassion?

I’m praying that, more and more, I will be that person who chooses compassion, with or without the kindness of another person’s influence.

Compassion literally makes the world a less scary place.

It has to start somewhere.

It has to start with someone.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great… Luke 6:35

CLICK HERE  to view Brain Games Compassion Hot Sauce experiment (all green words in articles indicate links).  

 

 

Shatter the Beige

It’s a train station in Belgium, remember it?

Schedules.  Scowl lines.  Such serious faces.

Then, pouring from the speakers, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…”

Has there ever been a more beautiful voice?

Julie Andrews singing “Do Re Mi” fills the building and shatters the beige.

A balding man kicks his heels like Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins.  A little girl in a pink coat with bright yellow flowers grabs his hand.  And the room erupts in dancing.

The beige train station.  Erupts in dancing.

Onlookers are confused, uncertain, intrigued.

They pull out cameras.  They smile.  They are delighted.

God help me, I still cry like a baby every time I watch this video.

My kids ask me why.  “Why are you crying, Mom?  Don’t you like it?”

Like it?

This was the first flash mob video I ever saw.  I remember watching it over and over, weeping and thinking, “My God, we could be doing anything with our time.  Humans.  Human beings.  We could be doing anything with our time.”

I cried because all I could think as I watched was that we fight wars and scream at each other and drive  too fast to the mall like it matters, but we could be spending our time doing anything.

Anything.

We could be dancing.  In yellow flowers.  Doing anything.

Shattering the beige.

In culture, we are bound in some ways to certain things.  We have to eat and wear clothes.  We need a house to live in, a place to lay our heads.  And we have to pay for these things.  I get it.

But the beige, oh God, the suffocating beige.  The loneliness.  The wondering if anyone sees.  If anyone is connected to anyone else.  Is it ever safe to really share?  Is it ever safe to be silly and laugh out loud?

To just sit on the floor for once.  To roll in the grass after a certain age.  To wear sequins in the sunlight.  To walk over and touch a stranger, just because, you can see the hurt from where you sit a few tables away.

To feel and share perfect love.

This week I have witnessed so much love.  I have gotten to be a part of so much love.

How many times have I heard the verse “it is more blessed to give than receive?”  And yet, how often I doubt.

Sometimes when I feel an urgency  to give sacrificially, I have a hesitation.  It’s not that I don’t want to give, but I am not always sure it’s going to work out.

Where will the money come from?  Will the kids eat beans and rice so I can give an extravagant gift?  How will I make the time–another day without a shower?  How will it be received?  Will it be a waste?  Will it be awkward?

Sometimes, my mind is occupied with other things, and the giving seems small and unimportant.  Acts of kindness fall to the side, not as important as the day’s to do list.

But, when I give, the rushing and stressed humanity around me slows.  Smiles.  Exhales.  Laughs.  Relaxes.  The atmosphere changes to joy, to peace.

The beige is shattered.  Light comes in.

Just like in that train station.  I think a lot of people missed their trains that day.  But, those details find a way of working out when our hearts are full.

I got to see a glimpse of perfect love this week.  Not my own, but Perfect Love, a still small voice nudging me, saying, “stop by and see this one, take this one a little gift, put this letter in the mail, throw this little party.”

I tried to cooperate, but I didn’t really know how any of it would work out or what it would mean.

Sometimes, I second-guess giving or acts of kindness.  Even up until that moment I happen to look over and see the person quietly weeping, so touched to be thought of, so touched to be worth the time and put on someone’s mind.  Remembered by Him.  Seen by Him.  Touched by Him.

And, in that moment, my own heart feels as if it could burst.  I thought I was giving to them?

And I am receiving so much.  Self pity and complaining and boredom fall away when I get to be a part of the exhilerating anything.

Thank you God that you speak to us.  Thank you God for the grace to obey. Thank you that we can spend our time doing anything.  Anything.

Help us to choose wisely.

Because, the blessing is even greater when we give.  And the love makes us bigger inside than we are without it.  We grow in love, and the love strikes down the fears a little at a time.

How can you shatter someone’s beige today–and your own?  A little gift?  A card?  A coffee?  

A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.  Prov 11:25

Remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  Acts 20:35

Dear Women!

Last week, the lovely Sierra White featured a diverse group of fabulous women on her blog, women who encourage other women, women who live life to the fullest.

Sierra invited me to be a part of this group, and I am beyond honored.

This week’s post at Lady the Fearless is Sierra’s post, “Dear Women.”  These fearless ladies deserve another look, and I salute Sierra for sharing her platform with her sisters.

Click here to be blessed by much sister-love and some truly “Dear Women!”

Thank you, Sierra.  #goinguptogether