Tuesday, June 16, 2015

a day in lower case

This day has no capital letters. All things today appear to be in lower case. No special events.  No crises expected.  I am taking care of two of our grandchildren today.  One is two years old, and one is ten months.  It is more than 95 degrees outside, so we are staying inside with the ceiling fans whirling.  Lego towers have been built and knocked down.  We have read a milliondy times Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  All three of us had peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  I washed and folded two loads of towels, t-shirts, and little tiny sun suits.  Both kids are resting right now.  The baby is asleep.  The toddler is talking quietly to the stuffed animals in his crib.

Just a day of small things.

And yet, I have learned to not discount these quiet uneventful times.  It is on these days that our lives  are built, even those particular days we may not remember. Great things in our lives are based largely in how we perceive the ordinary days.  Do I embrace them or just plod through?

My grandmother came to live with my parents before I was born.  Because she suffered rheumatoid arthritis, she lived in a bedroom on the first floor of our house.  She cooked.  She did laundry.  She was somehow always there.  She lived without capital letters.  That is one of the things that I loved about her.

She had more influence on my spiritual life than any other person.  She lived out in the little days what faithfulness to God meant.  She always had time for me.  Even while she was cooking or sewing or folding clothes, she listened to me. How do I know?  Because she asked me questions.  And she let me ask her questions.  I remember once asking her a big question about why something happened.  "Well, sometimes you just have to trust God," she said. She knew God was faithful.  She had seen His hand in a lot of tough times.  That's all she needed.

She spoke those words many decades ago.  But they are still fresh in my heart.  I can still recall her voice.  I can even remember where I was sitting in her bedroom on that lazy afternoon when we were the only ones home. She never realized the impact of that conversation.  Indeed, we can never know when our words will stick.  We cannot know when we -- or someone else-- may brush up against His grace, and God opens up deeper dimensions of Himself.   Never underestimate the power of a day that the world would view as ordinary.

And so, I know that while today may be written in small letters, God is working in it in profound ways.  He always does.  Because someday strength and grace will rise up right out of the ground -- big trees with deep roots -- and where in the world did they come from?

God's powerful work
       on days in lower case.

For who has despised
    the day of small things?

            Zechariah 4.10

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