Do you ever think you need to be more? Do more? Do something more important? I feel that need a lot, but today as Ki and I went for our walk, I was reminded once again just how important our everyday lives are - our everyday, ordinary life - the sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life (Romans 12:1 MSG) when I passed by a neighbor's yard on our regular walking-around part of our day today and I felt the need to tell her how much her new garden pleases me each day. I've never said anything to her before because she seems rather dour, quite unapproachable, but today, I just told her what was on my heart and at first she blushed and seemed so touched and almost embarrased and then started beaming with obvious pride. She's been making my days beautiful for weeks now with her new flowers and artistry and today I think I made hers!
I almost looped back around to grab my camera to snap a picture of her yard, but was reminded of last week when I tried to capture another neighbor's cactus in full yellow bloom only to find myself once again hitting the on/off button instead of the take picture button. As I waited for the camera to come on again, I heard a woman shouting to someone to "Get your damned clothes on...someone's taking our picture through the window!!"
I hightailed it out of there and have been avoiding that street for days now!
Ok, where was I? Oh right...so after having the moment with our neighbor this morning, we continued on our way until we came to Jewel's house (one of my very favorite ol' yeller labs) and I could see that she was behind her house but caught us out of the corner of her eye and around the corner she came running as fast as her old legs will carry her. She never really wants me to spend much time with her, just a pat on the head is enough to make her feel loved and then she retreats to her spot in the sun, or the shade if it's really hot out.
Another little sliver of sweetness to the morning.
Max Lucado shared this story that I think of often:
I jogged through my neighborhood the other day under a cloud. Not a cloud of rain, but a cloud of self-doubt. The challenges of life seemed to outnumber the resources, and I questioned my ability. And, quite frankly, I questioned God's wisdom. Are you sure I'm the right man for this job? was the theme of my prayer.
Apparently God really wanted to give me an answer, because I heard one. From on high. From a deep, booming voice. "You're doing a good job!" I stopped dead in my Reeboks and looked up. Seeing nothing in the clouds, I shifted my attention to the roof of a house. There he waved at me - a painter dressed in white and leaning against a dormer. I waved back. And I wondered and almost asked, "How did you know I needed to hear that?"
Did I have a brush with an angel? Did I see an angel with a brush? Was the worker sunstruck? This much I know. A painter spots a middle-aged guy with a bald spot puffing through the streets and thinks, The guy could use a good word. So he gives it. "You're doing a good job!"
Am I stretching theology a bit when I suggest that God put the man there, at least in part, for me? Long before time had time, God saw each moment in time, including that one. He saw a minister in need of a word. He saw a fellow with a skill for painting and a heart for encouragement. He put one on the street and the other on the roof so the second could encourage the first. Multiply that tiny event by billions, and behold the way God sustains his world."God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies" (Phil. 4:9 MSG).
You play no small part, because there is no small part to be played.
When we got home, I was reminded of our own small garden of flowers and how those also touch us each day as they give us a little taste of beauty. Mai's wildflower garden has been colorful for weeks...
and Jack's glads started blooming on Saturday.
I turned around to find Kiara taking a swim and having the time of her life paddling around
and then we all giggled trying to get the slider shut before she could get inside to deliver this.