"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." ... John 8:36
So. There I was Friday, another grey, occasional raindrop morning, after my coffee shop visit.
I swung my book bag and felt grateful for nearly-snowless sidewalks and 37 warmish degrees and then nearing home, I spied her--our new neighbor who'd bought the dark grey house kitty-corner from us.
She'd moved in last week and I recall thinking, "Well, she mustn't be one of those scary, wreck-the-house neighbors because, hey! After only the first night she'd decorated the door with a Christmas wreath and placed cozy electric candles in the front windows.
Wow, right? Doesn't that stuff usually take years? シ
Anyway, I turned at our hedge toward the back door, then God and my conscience, both, asked, "Why don't you go over there and meet her?"
"Now?" I asked, pausing in my faded-for-winter Prayer Garden.
Then I heard that phrase which scares any faithful procrastinator like myself, "If not now, when?"
Yikes! I paused.
"Yeah, now would be a good time, I guess. I look decent, my hair's brushed, I'm wearing my 'going into town clothes' and my black wool coat. Go waiting till Spring and she'd probably drop by here when I'm gardening and resemble a bent-over scarecrow. Not a good first impression, that."
So after another pause, the Queen of Excuses turned around, stepped farther down the street and met Marsha, a lovely widow woman near my age.
We spoke for ten minutes and I learned much about this busy lady who has 5 grown children and a few grandchildren, as well. I welcomed her to our neighborhood, mentioned a bit about Tom, Naomi and myself and invited her to drop by anytime because I'm always home.
Then after a few more serious raindrops, we said good-bye and I walked back home feeling that wonderful joy of obedience. You know, that thing you feel only after you've pushed past procrastination (or fear or laziness).
Back in my younger years, though? Good grief. Meeting a new neighbor felt like crossing the Grand Canyon by tightrope or like sitting in a dentist's chair. Something to be avoided if one could. (Just imagine what could go wrong!)
But here's today's lesson: people change. They do! Especially when they stop making excuses--and instead--start making strides closer to wanting to obey God rather than clinging to the silly, fearful self they spent decades creating.
God truly can do anything, even the hard stuff like setting us free from what we'd become without Him.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."... Galations 5:1
“The best way to look back at life fondly is to meet it - and those along your journey - warmly, kindly and mindfully”
So raise your hand if, right about now, you need your own special quiet place of renewal and restoration?
As a present, I'll send you to one, absolutely free --
Here you go (play it again and again, turn up the sound if you wish and please stay as long as you need).
Give hope this Christmas.
Give hope this year.
Give hope every year.
Oh! Don't you just love Open Library? (I mentioned it a couple posts ago.)
It does feel like a library down the street (a little. I'm unable to visit my own town's library since they're no longer open on Saturdays.)
Truly, I'm enjoying being a card-carrying member of Open Library and yesterday afternoon I read an entire book there, one whose title I spied on a list I kept as a teenager of books I'd read in 1976.
This one. A bit intense, but it pulled me in and wouldn't release me until the final page.
"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." ---- Dorothy Thompson