If it matters to you…

If it matters to you, it matters to God.

Sometimes I don’t want to bug God about the little things. Oh, I’m all about praying for the big things – stuff like family, health, my furbabies, work, money – you know the major issues that can make or break you. But the little things? Those things are harder to pray for. I don’t want to seem silly or stupid asking God to help with things I’ve screwed up, or the collage I’m working on, or not getting enough sleep at night because there’s no room for me on the bed (too many furbabies want to sleep with me).

If it matters to me, it matters to God.

I’ve been having car-issues (long story, best not told) and this morning I had trouble getting it started. I needed to stop by Wa-Wa’s on the way to work and I didn’t want to cut it off to go inside. Which meant I needed to leave it running. Which would be fine if I could find my spare key so I could lock it. Which would be fine if the car had one of those fancy keyless entries. Which would be fine if I had someone else in the car with me.  So, when I pulled up to the store, I said a prayer that went something like this, “God, I hate to bug you, but would You, uhh, mind sending an angel to watch over my car while I run inside Wa-Wa’s. I have to leave it running and I don’t want to take advantage of You or Your grace, but I’m really afraid to cut it off because it might not start again and then I’ll be late for work and You know how much I hate being late to work. I’m sorry. I know its not important. But. Umm.  Anyway. Thank You.”

If it matters to you, it matters to God.

The first miracle Jesus did was change water into wine. Seemingly unimportant to us, but to the party host whose wine had run out, it would have been a social nightmare if the guests had found out. No one at the party knew about the miracle except for His mother and disciples. He transformed the water because His mother was concerned that her friends would be embarrassed. A small thing to outsiders but a big thing to His mom. Which meant it was a big thing to God.

If it matters to me, it matters to God.

Lord, help me remember that You care about all the things in my life – big as well as small. I tend to not involve You in the small details of my life; help me to remember to call upon You. You are my Father, my Mother, and my Creator – You already know these things and want me to ask You for help.

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Leave the judgments to God

When I was recently in Santa Cruz, California I was impressed by many things – mostly the rugged beauty of the coastline and the lack of police/fire sirens screaming through the night. But I was also impressed by the public restrooms. I know its an odd thing to be impressed by – but, the Bible-Belt state I live in is not exactly trans-gender acceptable.

Wherever we went, be it for shopping or food, fully 99% of the places had one bathroom. The only exceptions I found – in my limited time there – were at strictly touristy spots, where there were both men’s & women’s rooms with an occasional ‘family’ restroom. Having only one restroom in a business may be seen as a cost saving measure even if some customers may view it as gross. But for me, it felt like acceptance and toleration of all peoples, regardless of where on the gender-spectrum they find themselves on.

Being happily female I have difficulty imagining what it must be like to grow up believing God gave you the wrong body. How difficult it must be to move through this gender-biased/based society in which we live that doesn’t or rarely accepts those who cross or transcend genders. And even more difficult when it comes to the deeply private subject of restroom needs. In many states, if you are trans-gendered and are caught in the wrong restroom, you could be arrested and/or abused. The underlying message seems to be ‘you aren’t wanted, you aren’t acceptable, you’re a freak of nature, stay under the rock where you belong’.

How interesting that Jesus accepted everyone who approached Him – be they man, woman, child, leper, tax-collector, untouchable, dirty, smelly, disgusting and so on. He accepted them, healed them, loved them, taught them. How interesting that the great ‘heroes’ of the Bible weren’t exactly poster children for purity, righteous living and toleration. God uses whom He will to send His message of love – even if to our eyes that person is completely unfit or unworthy.

I don’t understand what it means to be transgendered. I don’t even understand what it means to live your life outside societal norms. And, I don’t believe I need to understand. However, I do need accept, include and love those who are marginalized for who they are, as they are. If they need changing, God will take care of that. They are beloved children of the Most High God Who created them and loves them. Why transgendered folks or gay/lesbian/bi  are the way they are is not for me to know or judge. All I need do is to love them – even if it makes me uncomfortable and squeamish.  I must move beyond my human feelings and into the spirit of love where God lives, moves and works.

And leave the judgments and decision making to God.

Salvation is God’s business. Grace is His idea, His work, and His expense. He offers it to whom He desires, when He desires. Our job in the process is to inform the people, not to screen the people.

– Max Lucado

 

restroom sign

The Beauty of God

I was on vacation recently – my first go-away vacation (as opposed to stay-cations) in more years than I remember off hand – and flew to California to see my nephew and his girlfriend. This was my first time in the Golden State and color me impressed.

If I ever needed to be reminded of God’s grandeur and deft at creation, all I needed was to catch a glimpse of the amazing coastline of Big Sur. There are more hues of blue in those waves than is humanly possible – no matter how hard paint companies try. And if the music of waves crashing on a rocky coast or a sandy beach didn’t sing to me of God, all I needed to do was to turn around and look at the green hills and mountains behind me. A rolling carpet of an equally large number of green tones as far as the eye could see – punctuated by the greys, blacks and browns of rocky outcrops – all sing the praises of God in the orchestra that is our earthly home.

All of this beauty reminds me that God didn’t create such beauty for Himself. He created it for us – His precious children – for us to delight in, enjoy, and maybe even just gift the smallest of hints at what our heavenly home will be like. He also created such exquisite splendor to remind His ever-forgetful children of His existence, of His love for us, and of what awaits us when we are once again in His Glorious Presence. We are reminded that no matter how beautiful we may find nature or even the art of human creation, none of it compares to the Glory, Magnificence, and sheer Beauty of God.

When life sucks – as it so often does – try and take a moment to see God. He can be found in places both big and small. Seeing God in Big Sur is like listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or hearing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (which includes the Ode to Joy chorus) or whatever big music stirs your soul. But we must also train our inner eye to see God in the smallest of places as well. The rabbit nibbling the lettuce in the garden; the tiny purple flower on the weed that interrupts the chemically-induced green lawn; and even the ant scurrying around finding food to bring back to the colony. God – the Beauty of God – surrounds us if we but stop, open our eyes and see.