Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bland and Dim {Lent Day #19}

Bland and dim. That's what I was feeling ~ even wanting to be ~ last night and before this morning's challenge to be salt and light. Tired, feeling pulled in a lot of directions, coming off of a crazy week, looking in the face of another, and totally unprepared for my Sunday morning small group at 9:30am this morning, I thought of calling in sick.

My alarm went off at 5:30am so that I would have several hours to read my material and answer the questions and pray, but I didn't want to.  I kept re-reading the same sentences over and over again trying to focus, feeling like giving up. {Please don't tell our associate pastor and small group overseer, Ryan, that this is how I prepare to shepherd my small group! My excuse is that I've led this material several times before.☺} I had to stop and pray for understanding and help, renewed passion, vision, and eagerness to teach and share life with the women in my group.

As usual, their smiling faces lighten my spirits as they file into our comfy meeting spot.  We have an engaging discussion about wisdom from the book of Proverbs, the wise woman {She builds her house?  What does that mean?} and excellent wife in Proverbs 31{Her fear of the Lord was as appealing as her beauty.}, Ruth {She uncovered his feet? Why did she follow Naomi?}, Esther {Who was she again?  How are she and Ruth alike?}, and the wise woman of Abel {Did she do the be-heading herself?  Wasn't that sort of...harsh? 2 Samuel 20} who feared God and loved justice and saved her city.  They ask great questions and we all marvel at and delight in the stories of faith found in God's Word.  Each one shares about her own struggles this week ~ to believe truth and not lies, to have both head and heart knowledge, to navigate relationships well, and more.  One has to leave a few minutes early to pick up friends who are new to church, and we pray together for them to have a good experience and more importantly, an understanding of the gospel. Such a wonderful time together.  Such important things discussed.

And I wonder where that fatigue and despair went when we were all done and walking into the worship service together...

Salt and light.  Matthew 5. I didn't want to hear about or be those things today.  Didn't feel up to it at all.  Wanted to give up.  I pray a scary prayer...Cause me to care, Lord.  And not just about these women.  They are easy to muster care for with their youthful energy and laughter and love and gratitude!  Help me to care about my town and region and the people here who are not as easy to have affection for.  Forgive me for not wanting to be salt and light.  I confess the impurity of apathy and numbness, the bushel-hiding I do in my reluctance to engage with people. Forgive my thinking that I have to try really hard to be salt and light in and of myself, and help me to trust You and be available to You to be used in this way.  I often don't want to, but I pray that You would change that in me. You've shown me over and over the joy that is to be found there.

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