Thursday, July 30, 2015

Starting from a paper notebook

Last Saturday I wrote by hand, with a pen, in a notebook.

* * * * * * * * *

Today I am on the sunporch.

I read Psalm 84.  I do so want to be the kind of person who passes through Baca and makes it a place of springs and blessings.

I hear trucks rumbling down the freeway in the distance, delivering goods.  And I hear birds chirping in our back yard.  Shawn just refilled their feeders.  I hear Piper breathing noisily next to me, a snuffling, whistling sound that comforts me because it means he is still alive.  He is happy because he is near me, here on the futon folded up into a sofa, his favorite place with his favorite person.

Laura and Matthew are visiting and in honor of their visit, I uncharacteristically filled the kitchen with nice things to eat.  I urge them to eat all the food.  I'd given up on buying food because when it is only Shawn and me, we end up throwing things away.  Just a few days ago I poured the end of another gallon of ancient milk down the kitchen sink.

Now Shawn is humming tunefully in the kitchen, muffled footsteps and the soft opening and closing of the door to the garage.  Off he goes to make another stab at the wild, weed-infested gardens out back, where finches frolic and unidentified greenery tangles in competition for the sparse sunlight under dappling tree boughs.  Earlier, I pulled a few weeds and then gentle rain sprinkled down on me, dispersed dampness like some sort of soggy stroking, and I had difficulty discerning whether it was an encouragement or a dissuasion, but I chose to be dissuaded and came inside.

To the sunporch where I am now.  Listening.

* * * * * * * * *

That was Saturday.  On Sunday, in Sunday school,
we talked about listening to God.   
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Yesterday I spent some time with a friend, and she also spoke about listening, about replacing the lies that speak in our heads with the truth of God's Word.

I remember that there is a song called, "The Voice of Truth."  I don't know it well, never particularly liked it (too modern for my taste), but it says, "The voice of truth tells me a different story.  The voice of truth says do not be afraid."  I remember that these phrases have sprung up in my mind recently, randomly, or perhaps not randomly.

I have been praying for someone I love dearly to be able to have ears to hear, ears open to the Lord, spiritual deafness healed, perception and understanding restored.  But I'm wondering: is it me that needs new ears?  Is God trying to tell me that I am the one lacking listening ears?

Be still and know that I am God, He says.  Be still.  Listen.  And I will tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

I hear a lawn mower, Piper breathing heavy, and my verse for the year which (I just now recall) the visiting pastor projected onto the screen during our church service on Sunday:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. 
I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  
~John 14:27 (NIV)


Priscilla said...

That was beautiful!

I found your blog because I have been "praying the alphabet" while I lay in bed at night...praising him with each letter in order to keep the lies of the evil one from taking over my mind. See my post:
So today I googled "characteristics of God alphabet" and found your old posts from 2011.

I was encouraged by your post and it is very applicable for where I am today.

Ruthie said...

Thank you so much for your encouragement Priscilla. I read the post you linked, and it seems that we share some similar night-time experiences.

I've been thinking about Psalm 84, about the person whose strength is in the Lord, who goes through Baca and makes it a place of springs and blessings, who travels from strength to strength. This year, I have been going through something that has been extremely difficult for me, testing and stretching my faith in ways I had never dreamed of. I guess this is my Baca. I don't like it. But by some miracle, God brought you to encourage me, that the overflow of my heart in this difficulty could possibly be of some use and encouragement to someone else. That is a blessing beyond imagining. Thank you.

Priscilla said...

I've been through Baca. I've been reflecting upon it lately. It involved me coming down with a mental illness during college. That was my Baca.I feel like the Lord is calling me to minister to others who are struggling with similar things.

I will life you up in prayer today.

Ruthie said...

Thank you.