Wednesday, October 20, 2010
At times, my car is a “place”. A place I go----
Well, actually, a necessary place to go in order to get somewhere I need to go, to get something I need to get----
Then is going from place to place, that is, to and from my car, also a “place”? Sometimes my “place” (car + errand-running) becomes a blessing from God, a blessing for others, a blessing to me.
I had found myself singing over and over this morning, “Make Me a Blessing To Someone Today.” (I hadn’t thought of the tune in quite some time!)
A friend called. She wasn’t feeling very strong; asked for my prayers for her strength and energy. She was also bothered because she hadn’t been to see her brother for a while. But neither she nor the brother are able to drive right now. She depends on her family for transportation. But they have so many obligations they can’t always help her.
I offered to drive her to her brother’s (in our same small town). I’m not very strong, so I don’t often promise to help other people. The few past times that I have offered, my friend has turned me down because she knows it takes so much out of me. But I’d had to take some extra medicines a few days back, and was having a good day, so I assured her that I felt like taking her. That I would just drop her off, and come back later for her. And she accepted.
So I picked her up, drove her a mile or so to brother’s house, and back-tracked to the grocery store. Unfortunately, I made a trip for nothing, because that store was out of the special non-fat yogurt I buy. There are only two grocery stores in town, and the other one had discontinued the non-fat version.
I was left with some time on my hands, but not enough to do a lot of errands.
Around the corner a bit from the grocery store is a cabinet-maker’s shop. I’d thought several times of dropping in to see if they ever had any scraps of discarded wood to give away. I wanted some pieces for small plaques, or other craft projects. But that place wasn’t on my regular walking route between shops, so somehow I’d never gotten around to talking to them. So now was the time!
And yes, they did have some scraps – that they were going to burn up. And I got a nice box of small chunks of beautiful wood. (I would have loved to take more. I hated to see the rest burned up; the wood was so fine grained and beautiful. But he only offered me the small box. (And that will last me quite a while!)
So I did get to be an unexpected blessing to someone today. My friend told me that I had no idea how much she appreciated me driving her. Not getting to see her brother had really been weighing her down.
But I feel I received a far greater blessing. For I not only got to see my friend – we aren’t able to get together very often. She had a scripture verse to share with me; and I read her a page from a thoughtful Christian book. And then, as I was returning to my car with the box of wood, a kind stranger at the edge of the store’s parking lot, taking pity on my staggering slow step, offered to carry my box to my car (at the other end of the lot.) Thank you, God, for the times when a car can provide a “visiting place”, a worship-space, a warm embrace, a cheerful face – and then carry me home to contemplate my box of lovely craft supplies. Now, that’s grace! (Unearned favor!)
Grace is something I can really go for!
This post is a response to L. L. Barkat's blog, Seedlings In Stone,
"On, In, and Around Mondays."
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO HANG MY HEART.
I feel thin and stretched today, from life apart—
Looking for a place to hang my heart.
My mind accepts that God’s still near –
So why does inner self feed on fear?
Like carefree grasses, I would reach—
Until I touched my Lord to beseach.
I’d like to soar with God of blue sky—
Or like bauble-balloons, learn to FLY!
Dear God, I offer ME as a brand new start!
Looking for a place to hang my heart.
Though I feel you not, I accept the silence;
Help me, Lord, to keep my balance.
In gratitude my voice shall raise—
To be a sacrifice of praise.
You are my place. You are my heart!
I bless you: you never really depart.
copyright 2010 by Marilee Miller
By all means, link to the article and photos of artwork, but please, no public displaying without permission.
This post is in response to L L Barkat's "On, In, and Around Mondays."
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
In a leisurely business district of a quite small town, there’s a place where one can walk in the present day
while keeping company with the past. For on the large wall of a vintage building, a historical mural depicts the main street of this town a century ago. The painting, created in 1995, is a composite of early-day storefronts inspired by several actual old photos, peopled with period-piece figures, with a few extra touches added by artist Lee Wilder Snider. Snider created a sense of deep perspective on a flat building, and merged the painted corner buildings to intersect with the present-standing building fronts on a real street at right angles to the mural wall. A very intriguing and well-done artwork!
Where I’m standing to take the photos, sometimes I have to wait for a car to pass by on the street. Occasionally a car obliterates the mural view as it drives into my picture while I’m snapping the shutter.
There’s a smattering of pedestrian traffic, as well. People on their way to a shop, or the post office, or returning to their cars in a parking lot. Among those who mosey by, are two elderly men (at individual times). At sight of me taking pictures of the mural, each one comments to me: “Isn’t that the most beautiful painting you ever saw?” (They don’t even know they’ve repeated the same words. And I, why I bask in the fact that my camera makes a conversational door; other people would normally just pass me by, their thoughts sealed in their own worlds.) And I rejoice, also, to know that the mural “speaks” to others as deeply as it speaks to me. It’s a part of the town pride and joy!
May I let this mural, created to satisfy an artistic instinct -- and to bring others pleasure and a sense of belonging -- remind me of God’s joy in his people. May my photographic fulfillment, and my momentary encounter of community through the comments of others, motivate me to accept that He has created us with intricacies and special touches to give us a perspective to raise our hearts to him, and to touch others’ lives with blessings. The Bible says “the Lord’s portion is his people.” And that we, his people, are “gifts of God that he delights in.” We, as persons, and our accomplishments done “as unto the Lord” (even if not everyone knows they’re working for such reasons!), are a lively and inspiring work-in-progress.
Am I able to picture myself as one small part of God’s great, unified mural? How may I share that vision with others to bring them news of His good pleasure?
artist Lee Wilder Snider 1995
photos Marilee Miller 2010
Feel free to link to this post, but please, no copying of text or photos for public use without permission. (c) 2010 by Marilee Miller
This posting is inspired by L. L. Barkat's invitational, "On, in and Around Mondays."