Sunday, December 02, 2012

My World And Welcome To It

"... nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."   ... Luke 17:21


To be read whimsically..... please.

When Tom and I were first married in a forgotten California town on a mountain peak, my guitar-playing, singer husband (with visions of grandeur) told our pastor he felt ready to take on a larger ministerial role in the church.

And for the next 103 Saturday nights, Tom found himself singing to a tiny captive audience at The Old Folks Home. 

Of course, Tom roped me into  asked me to go with him and probably the only Saturday night we missed was the weekend I gave birth to Naomi. But since our church preached mega-faithfulness, we were right back at it the following weekend--and forever after--I had to peel little old ladies off of Naomi before we could leave.

Sometimes, when things got desperate, a couple people would ask me to sing a duet with Tom, but seldom did things ever reach that level of desperation.

Anyway. One dear woman, Elsa, had been a model in the 1920's and out in the hall hung an amazing black and white photo of her standing upon a curved staircase in a long dress with her hair slung over one eye. I would stare at that photo until Tom pulled me away.

After Tom sang songs with his guitar, he'd pause and ask if anyone had something to share, you know, expecting testimonies of God's provision, etc. Well, 85-year-old Elsa usually raised her hand and on bad Saturdays would say (with tears in her voice), "We buried my mother today." The ladies around her would pat her hands and Tom was always hard-pressed to answer that one. 

But on good Saturdays, Elsa, with bright, excited eyes, would tell us, "Today my friends and I drove to San Francisco and rode the street cars and stood on the corners and waved to everybody." That one was easier to handle. We all just rejoiced with her.

Thirty years later, I'm thinking--when I grow up--I want to be just like Elsa on her good days, Elsa in her own fun little world. 

But then, you've probably already noticed that I'm a big believer each of us creates a large part of our own world, real or otherwise. You know, the way I found my supermarket which plays tunes from the 1940's - 1960's and how when I walk past our local middle school from the 1940's, I still see imaginary girls in poodle skirts and boys in crew cuts. Farther down the street there's that Nifty 50's nightclub place you can rent and around each corner there are houses from the 1880's and every decade beyond. I pass by those and 'see' women out on their porches wrapped in aprons, shaking their rugs over the side (walk past my house and you won't even have to use your imagination to see that).

Yep, I'm aiming to be like Elsa and who knows? Since 'the kingdom of God is within me,' perhaps I'm creating a wonderful place to retreat as times grow dire in our present sorry old world. And how wonderful to have a place to go to for renewal of hope and courage and joy... a place where I can meet the lover of my soul who sits upon His throne, but who always steps down from it whenever I call upon Him.



Ezekiel 36:26..... "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart
of flesh."



Elizabeth said...

I do agree Debra! Sometimes we all need to retreat to a place "where all is right with the world" even if we cannot stay there long. As always I love your post!

Pat said...

Beautiful words that are applied to my heart...thank you, I needed this today.

Echoes From the Hill said...

You are so right. We can create our own retreats when things seem overwhelming.
Today, I am listening to old Christmas CD's and imagining what it was like during the depression when people were so happy with any little thing they received, and rejoiced in being together.
Today's newspaper had a supplement with Christmas gift ideas. One was a battery operated riding toy for nearly four hundred dollars!

It isn't politically correct to say Merry Christmas! When it all seems so wrong, we can decide we aren't buying into it!
Thanks for that reminder.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes opting out of the world into a place that has promise and love is the better way to go. A retreat so to speak. I had a friend say that in times of stress she thinks of her favorite place in the world and goes there in her mind. She feels calm and peace. That is pretty much you are doing and it works. A lady wrote in a magazine that when her mother had early Alzheimer's that her mother retreated to being a young girl. So they had childhood tea parties together and her mother would talk of her own mother and the times and she learned so much she never knew about her grandparents and her own mother. She said instead of taking it as a tragedy she used it as an opportunity. She turned things around and you do too. Yes!! Sarah

Anonymous said...

You and Tom might not have become famous singers, but what a lovely thing to do!! Who knows but what such things count more with our FATHER anyway!!
Elizabeth now in VA