"For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights." ---Proverbs 3:12
So out on our front porch, I pulled a package addressed to me from our mailbox.
Obviously a paperback book and I thought, "Hmm. I'm only expecting hardcover copies of either Nancy Drew or Judy Bolton. Gah. Did the seller make a mistake? (Grrr.) Or wait. Could this be a gift from someone else? Perhaps something in memory of Sammy The Cat?"
(Do you ever do that? Examine a package instead of just riiip! Tearing it open?)
Well, I stepped into the kitchen, grabbed the scissors, pulled the book out and oh. my. goodness. Forgive the blurriness, but look at the cover:
Gah. What the heck?
Here were my thoughts:
"Okay, who's the meanie who sent me this?
Some online (former)friend who knows my address and is mad at me?
Some fraidy cat who's trying to tell me I need to lose weight?
Some Critical Carrie in our neighborhood?"
But here's the cool part. I kept hearing, "Stay calm. Stay. Calm. And think instead of react."
So I quickly skimmed the book, saw it's someone's story about overcoming folks' name-calling, etc.. I thought, "Well, okay, but still. I'd rather choose my own such book in this case, thank-you."
All this took maybe two minutes. Then I checked the return address. (Yeah, yeah, I'm slow.)
Thrift Books. The label said Thrift Books and boy oh boy have I ordered lots of books from companies with that name! So I grabbed the packaging, the book, passed by ol' Tom at his desk then climbed the stairs to do some sleuthing.
Aha! I'd received an email saying The Mystery At Lilac Inn had been delivered minutes ago and was I happy with my purchase?
Uh, no. Not all that happy. シ
But I laughed. Contacted the seller, told my sad story, snapped that photo and immediately they issued a refund. If they'd issued a long, personal apology I'd have been happier, but hey. Money back is the next best thing.
Tests come to show us whether we've let God change us--or not.
If I'd received that book while in high school? Oh dear. My emotions woulda gone all, "Tilt! Tilt! Tilt!" over into, "WHICH HORRIBLE PERSON SENT THIS AND DOES THE WHOLE WORLD SEE ME THIS WAY?"
And oh how tragic if, at 61, I still acted as I did at 16. If I too often expected bad outcomes, not the best, due to undealt-with insecurities. Some older people still do, you know.
But personally? I prefer a few uncomfortable moments of God's correction rather than whole decades of remaining an offended, cranky lady, upset with everyone... and always hurting.
Every godly change increases our peace and strengthens us for the future.
And if we cooperate? We're always prepared, always strong enough with God to face anything, even a wild year like 2020. Even with joy.
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." --- John 16:13
Speaking of Judy Bolton books....
Years past, I'd collected the earliest books, but I'm just now reading them--and ordering more. Lovely things!
They whoosh me away to the 1940's and how contented lately have I been to race around with Judy and her friends solving mysteries which, according to the author, centered around actual happenings.
Unlike Nancy Drew, Judy ages and matures throughout the series, in fact, I'm nearing the book where she marries.
Treasures, this series of books.
Oh, and I'm enjoying the old Lloyd Nolan movies where he portrayed Detective Michael Shane. So far this one, below, is my favorite (Tom also liked this one)--
"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15