Sometimes I read a book, and I underline and take notes and it is exciting. Other times, I purchase a book and have it sit on the box I call bedside table. Trying it on. I don’t read it. When you read it, you have to do it. If you sing it, you have to live it.
I knew I needed time to adjust and prepare for this book. It’s called Anything. It’s written by Jennie Allen. I think I still like her. I can’t say for sure yet, because I am only about 2o pages in. If she keeps making me sigh heavily with conviction, the tides could turn. I may pull out my angry (with myself) eyebrows and blame her for her honesty. I’ll call it judging, but she doesn’t know me. She is just delivering the goods. It’s my armpits that are all sweaty with frustration.
Here’s a quote:
“I did wonder sometimes, when I closed my eyes and let it get scary quiet, if I was missing the best things, the things that mattered most, because I was afraid. ”
She means she was saying no thanks to the gifts God gave her because they hurt or were scary or seemed too sad. Most have the desire to love others, share a cup of coffee, and maybe even help someone move. Hospitality. That’s a light hearted spiritual gift.
Mine is words. I speak. I write. I dream, and God asks me to say something about it. The problem is what He wants me to say is usually a little intrusive. It’s cut. its dry. I have to work to make it encouraging. It’s uncomfortable. And not just for them.
I have caught myself thinking the words “take it away, Lord”. I wanted a new gift. How about hospitality. I could make scones (no. Actually I can’t). I could beautifully display some cookies (also a lie). I could enjoy having women over for breakfast (it’s as if I have never met myself and watched with my own eyes as I said help yourself and watched my guests get their own cereal).
The fact is, this is my gift. God gave it. And he can take it away, but he would rather help my heart to handle it so he can be honored. In my life. And theirs. Whoever “they” are at that moment. By saying no thanks, I am Jonah. That guy, who every time I read his story, I think he is a doofus. Because he was.
I don’t want to be Jonah or any other “got it wrong” from the Bible. I’m a work in progress.
But I am swimming to Ninevah if I have to. Who’s goin with me?
Jesus told the little girl, who everyone thought was dead, to get up. I wrote it on my arm. I am going to keep writing it on my arm, because I think it’s what I am supposed to be doing. Getting up. Go. No more staying. I am done staying.