enelsonblog

not a clue, as usual


Leave a comment

unexpected beauty

20170930_114006

We were driving along a little country road between the farms and a few residential houses on a gray drizzly fall day. I had my camera out but the fall colors that we long for here in the northeast had been deadened by warm weather and no rain. Disappointed, we drove on not quite sure what to do.

We had actually passed the tractor before its colors registered on my brain. I asked my husband to turn around and go back. I was attracted by how the crisp reds and yellows of the tractor contrasted with the muted colors of the trees and the dullness of that cloudy sky.

You have that beauty about you too, even if your surroundings are ugly. You, too, can P1030649shine even when life seems to have lost its glimmer. Without even realizing it, you stand out from the backdrop of this world because of a strength within that is at odds with the weakened culture around us. You will shine with a strength that manifests in many strange ways.

You shine with:

Your love against waves of hate

Your joy when there doesn’t seem to be much to smile about

Your peace when winds are swirling

Your patience against an immediate gratification mentality.

Your kindness in the face of cruelty

Your goodness where evil abounds

Your faithfulness even when there seems to be nothing left to believe in

Your gentleness in a rough neighborhood.

Your self – control when it’s so much easier to give in

What I would normally call a perfect fall day is not to be this year and yet I can see a different sort of beauty as the heat of summer fades. A quieter pallet of colors is being painted but it is no less beautiful. And as I find myself in different season than I expected, I can still find beauty in the unexpected places along the way.

Galatians 5:22-23

P1030759

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Sharing the Luck

 

20171001_114754

Walking through the woods last week, my friend and I came across some 4 leaf clovers. I considered myself to be extremely lucky but she told me that it’s only lucky if you give it away to someone else.

“Oh man”, I thought, “Christianity in a nutshell”.

We may not always live like it but being a Christ follower means that we have been freely given grace, mercy, forgiveness and most of all love. Yet, what is it worth if you hoard those things and tuck them away only for yourself?

He gives us grace – a gift of life eternal20171001_114735

He gives us mercy – no punishment for repentant sin

He gives us forgiveness – He’s not going to keep bringing up past hurts (like I tend to do)

He gives us love – a love without strings attached, wider than the sky and deeper than the ocean

But there is a catch. If you have been forgiven, forgive others. If you have received mercy, extend it to others. If you have experienced grace, give others a chance to experience grace. Then, and only then will you have the chance, maybe even the right, to tell others about God’s unending grace, mercy and forgiveness that is so beyond our feeble human limits.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

 John 15:13

And love…..did I forget love? No, it’s just that it is the hardest one to live out in our society. Can I love the one with the gun in a high rise window, or the one driving a truck on a crowded street or the one in the pilot’s seat of the jet streaking towards a tower housing multiple offices and thousands of employees?

Too much to ask?  Let’s bring it down a bit. Can I love my coworker whose snippy comments are driving me crazy? How about the one loud mouth relative who has the capacity to ruin every family gathering and often does? Can I still reach out in friendship to the person down the street who plastered his yard with political slogans last election year that I disagreed with? It’s not going to be easy but He tells me that with His help, it is possible.

And so I keep trying.

I will share the next four leaf clover I find so I can share that luck. But every day I can share love. Whether it is accepted or not, I can share love. And grace, and mercy and forgiveness, but most of all love.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Matthew 7:1-2

20170930_103547

a touch of grace – finding beauty even on a rainy, foggy day