Coffee along the way

Coffee along the way
Coffee along the way

August 30, 2015

Music



I am rereading Anne of Green Gables and am thoroughly enjoying it!  I have forgotten how much of Anne is in me.  :)  One of the things we have in common is a very vivid imagination.  Sometimes when a moment arises that is "iconic", i imagine a song or symphony orchestra start up right at the perfect moment!  Music really touches my soul.

Yesterday i was sitting in the hot car staring out the window.  At first this is what i saw - dusty road, dirt, rubbish, lots of people, cars, trucks, etc all on their own mission - in a word ...choas - a typical African city.  No scope for imagination, to use Anne's words!  But just then i really tuned in.

Somewhere a song blared and suddenly everything changed.  I saw a 10m long white pipe gently wobbling to the tune of the song coming along the road.  In the middle of the dancing pipe was a shoulder attached to a man sitting behind his friend on a motorcycle.  Just another day's shopping going home. :) Then i saw more motorcycles weaving to the rhythm of the music, trucks filling in the gaps.  Music playing out, coming to life.  People in every conceivable colour walking with swaying hips and arms, some carrying huge loads on their heads - all in perfect rhythm.   Little kids darting between the cars, trucks and motorbikes, crazy little notes barely getting to the other side alive!  Wind picking up old plastic bags and letting them fly to the tune!  The dirty street with it rubbish lined sides changed becasue of the song - it gave it a new dimension.  It gave me hope.

The next scene was me looking out of my kitchen window.  Some boys were playing soccer on the field opposite our house.  Someone switched on a radio somewhere close by - a typical African three note song - over and over the same tune, but somehow it just fit.  The boys kicking up dust, yelling, cheering, some more yelling and then screams of gladness as someone scored a goal.  All the time the song went around and around, giving something new to the familiar scene.  A few little boys were playing in the background - gentle laughter, a baby crying, a goat bleating, a motorcycle's peeping horn....it all fit in the song.

Some songs are not so joyful.  Funeral chants, i find very disturbing.  All together another type of music. Or the nightly drums during initiation.  People madly running up and down the dirt road to the beat of drums and little coke cans filled with pebbles.  Those are sad songs to me.

There truly is music all around.  Sound waves.  Just think God created with WORDS!  I wonder sometimes if He sang them!  Music comes from Him, a gift to us.  No matter what our culture or background, or wheteher we live in a city or in the middle of nowhere, music plays a big part of our lives.  God's gift to us, helping us put into words how we feel! (i wonder sometimes how many love songs were written from the beginning of time?  Or songs about just life in general.)  I love the Portuguese Fado - so soulful, sad most of the time but still beautiful and expressive.

With music i touch God's face like a little girl who looks up at her papa and lightly touches his cheek.  Or a mother who softly reaches out to tuck her baby's lock of hair behind a soft little ear.  That is music to me.  It touches me deeply.  It gives me a way to gain perspective and see things in a new light - like our dusty and dirty old African town...

But overall the most precious to me about music is it gives me a way to adore God.  To sing love songs to Him, to find Him in that secret place.  Thank You Lord for Music.

Bella, with a song in my heart.

Hurdles





When my boys were tiny, I used to watch this movie with them about dinosaurs.  They loved it, so we watched it quite a few times!  The dinosaurs had to move from their home to a new place.  They didn’t know it yet, but the new home was to exceed the old one by far.  But first they had to overcome a huge hurdle and it wasn't going to be easy but it was going to be worth it!

And so it is with us sometimes, well me I guess.  God has planned many wonderful things for my life – I am not talking about stuff or material goods here, I am talking about being His, belonging to Him, having a plan with my life – but there are hurdles in the way. Just to clarify – I am also not talking about being saved.  That was all Jesus’ doing I cannot add to it in any way!!

But I can hinder my relationship with the Father in many ways.  One way is to believe the old lies that kept me from Him in the first place.  Some lies are quite obvious and so I don’t believe them anymore, but others are very subtle and sneaky, slowly still poisoning my mind.  Just like the dinosaurs I have some hurdles to overcome to really live my life fully with and for God.  If I keep on believing the lies it hinders me from going forward.  Just living a very mediocre life – right where the enemy wants me to be.  He cannot do anything about my salvation, but he can keep me in a place where I do not trust fully, or do not believe God could use me or that I am not important in any way, or that I won’t amount to much etc, etc, etc.  Lies from the past that I keep dragging along.  And there are MANY lies to keep me subdued, focused on me, I and myself.  Many lies that keep me in a place where, because of what I choose to believe, God is shut out.

But how do I refute these lies?  How do I know that they are lies, and not actually the truth?  If you hear something over and over for a few times you kind of start believing it. Add to that, a small impressionable heart and you have a few years of lies that has become seemingly truth.  How difficult it is when “significant” others tell these lies, sticking them on you like limpet mines – not easy to dislodge my boys tell me. And if you do want to try and dislodge it, they tell me, you have to find it first.  Find the misbelief about God and myself then do everything you can to get rid of it!  And although it may be painful dislodging this “mine”, it is so worth it!  

The first step for me is seeing things for what they actually are - lies!  And then bombarding it with God’s Word and Truth!!  This morning when I woke up, the same thought milled through my mind – God is not a man (or woman!) He is God.  He is not like man/woman. He is totally for us, for me.  He is on my side.  I do not need to impress Him to gain acceptance, not even for salvation!!  He loves me.  I am accepted not for what I have DONE but because He made me acceptable.  Like in a feel-good-movie where the prince loved the (undercover, poor and dirty) princess from the start – from before he knew she HAD or WAS somebody.  Loved her for herself.

Love.  My hurdle.  My big hurdle.  Accepting that LOVE from God was almost impossible for many years but God broke through and now I am His.  In difficult times that is the one place where the enemy attacks –I can hear his mocking voice “Does God really love you?  How can He love you because we all know you are ___ + ___ !  or CAN He love YOU? You?  Does He even care?”

Do I believe these lies?  If I let them in as truth I am back to square one but if I let the Holy Spirit’s voice drown out that of the enemy, if I let God’s Word sink in and I mean really sink in, then I can move!!  And just beyond the mountainous hurdle lies a beautiful place (coming back to the dinosaurs! J ) A place of love and acceptance of freedom to be who God created me to be.  A place to love Him back with all my heart!  I want to be in that place and so I go with the Spirit’s help from limpet mine to limpet mine letting God dislodge these lies one by one, even if it hurts.

Bella, (dearly) loved.


August 28, 2015

For this one?




Sometimes, we are challenged by the thought that if only one were saved by our obedience, will we be ok with that? My whole life, everything i went through, for this one. Would i be ok with that?


This morning a small boy was carried to our house wrapped in a cloth, only his huge eyes visible, peering fearful at me. Huge brown eyes. I asked what happened and they told me he pulled boiling water over himself....when i took a look my own eyes grew big. Huge pieces where nice brown skin should have been, now lay exposed and only whitish flesh stared at me. And still he didn't utter a word only stared at me with those big brown eyes. 


Will it be enough if it is only for this one?


I used to work in a Burns Unit. Not a pretty sight that greeted me each day that's for sure. I learned a lot not knowing how and where i might use these "skills". But God put me there for little kids like this one. True, i improvise a lot out here but God is on my side and He gives me ideas and fills my cupboard with what i need for cases such as these. 


Some days, i do admit, i wonder why i am here. I can speak Y sickness lingo, i still forget some words and phrases and i mime a lot. I generally act as the village idiot without even trying! I won't survive a week as a Y woman and they know it! I am not one of them and will never be, but i love these people deep in my heart ( even if they sometimes make me cry or frustrate the living daylights out of me!) but they are the people i live with and this is where God wants me.


Mother Theresa once said who are we to decide what our task should be, and who are we to complain if the task looks too menial? I have pondered this many times. How will people remember me when i am gone, i want to make my life count! I want to make a name for myself!! Sound familiar? It should....the Tower of Babel all over in my own life!!


What is more important- to make a name for myself, i.e. To feel and look successful in the world's eyes or to be obedient and accomplish way more than i would if i choose the first option of making myself great. Easy words but not so easy to live out. 


Will it be enough if it is just for this one?


Jesus told the parable of the one lost sheep. The shepherd left the rest, 99, of them to go in search for the one that was lost. I sometimes wonder what the 99 thought of this? They stuck together it seems and that night the fellow called all his friends in celebration! He found the lost one! One is a very important number to our God.


And in asking me this about is it enough, He has gently taken my eyes from myself and what I think I ought to accomplish and focused it on Him and what He wants me to be - loving Him with all my heart and obeying. Caring for others even if it is not very glamorous and of the name-making stuff. To do that kind of stuff that really matters in His Opposite-than-the-world way.


And so i say, Yes, it is quite enough if only this one will be saved and come to know You. Help me be Your Hands and Feet.


Bella, because He is enough.