Friday, November 16, 2007

My cry: A new song. I find myself on my knees, begging, pleading with the Lord for a new song. I want, more than anything, to sing myself out before Him. How long has it been since my soul wrung out the rhymes that proclaimed my love for my Savior? A gift it always has been and always will remain, and I am utterly incapable of commanding it to serve me.

I rose early this morning, donned town clothes, filled my purse and headed to work with Papa, only to arrive at an empty dental clinic. He’d forgotten that the clinic was closed today, since both dentists would be gone. Together we ran Mom’s errands and returned home around ten o’clock. After a huge run-around at the Con Agra Variety store, we finally managed to come home with the food Mom had already paid for. It’s a truly strange thing that my dad would always think of the “common sense” things no one else does. He has such presence of mind to always get names, receipts, or whatever else he could possibly need to get good customer service later.

Each place we went, the Spirit reminded me to share the good news, and each place I hushed him. “I can’t do this in front of my dad!” I retorted. “I’m much to self-conscious in front of him. It would only flop.” As if I control how the gospel is received. As if the God who accomplished it once, with my father present, can’t accomplish it again. And then the opportunity was past, and the rest of the day was spent working outside in the beautiful day God made.

That is, until the Days’ van pulled up, overflowing with children and cheer. What followed was a very busy settling in, an enormous taco salad dinner, with liberal amounts for everyone, including the table and chairs and the quickest sixteen person meal clean-up ever in an effort to get ready by seven for anybody who showed up for the first installment of “Friday night at Scottsburrow”.

I’ve never realized how easily my feelings can be bruised—at least by Papa. When April came in and sat next to me, she whispered to ask where we were (in the Bible). I’d flipped open mine to show her—not even answered her, when Papa reproved me: “Abigail!” Just like he used to when I was little and whispering silliness during church. It seemed like a betrayal, in front of so many people especially, that he couldn’t trust me to not be chattering about something pointless. Perhaps he was just uptight because the Days were there, or because he was a nervous host. April apologetically mouthed, “I’m sorry.”

At eleven o’clock, Papa finally ushered the boys out, but April had elected to spend the night, to my infinite delight. As we dressed (or undressed, perhaps) for bed, we started talking and she began to share with me the new drama in her life. I prayed for her right then, and gave some simple counsel—the best I felt I could offer on the Lord’s behalf. I hope I spoke truth. I do believe that my greatest fear is misrepresenting the Lord. What a terrible thing with terrible consequences. All I truly desire is to live a life useful to the Lord, to speak words that are truth and to be with the Lord eternally. Simple, it seems. The last one I am assured of. The first two I must pursue with a calculated desperation. I hope I am finally beginning to step out in trusting obedience, but the battle is a desperate struggled. Complacency is so comfortable. Passion is so consuming, it leaves me smoke-blackened and crumbling every evening, and I can hardly seem to keep myself refueled. More and more my only hope is in the Lord, because I become more helpless every day.

Lord, when I am helpless, then

Am I the farthest from my sin

For ‘tis my pride that keeps me slave.

When I am humble, Thou dost save.

When I am broken, I am whole.

When I am empty, I am full.

The contradiction baffles me,

But not incarnate deity.

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