Yesterday, I was rear ended in my car pretty hard while stopped at a red light. I am generally fine, just a sore neck. This experience reminded me, though, of my vulnerability, and how you could run out to the store for a taco dinner kit and never come home. I’m taking an extra dose of life into this week. My desire is to be open, loving, and alive.
I’m expecting to encounter God every day. I have great expectation that I will encounter God if my heart, eyes, and hands are open, instead of grasping and scared. I’m entering each day with a prayer for openness to whatever God might have for me to see, taste, feel, or experience good or bad so that I can encounter him. I know he is able to do immeasurably more than I could ask or even imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
I’m being a peacemaker. Last week, the verdict in the Zimmerman trial stirred up racial tension that constantly exists below the surface. Many of the people on my Facebook feed made comments that were racist and claimed to know the truth about what happened though they had not been at the incident or the trial. I don’t want to be someone who stirs up dissension and hatred. I want to be a peacemaker, one who reaches across racial divides in Christ-like kindness, one who builds bridges, and one who seeks understanding. Jesus called these blessed: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matt 5: 9)
I’m not buying into the “single story” about anyone. Yesterday, I watched the TED Talk called The Danger of the Single Story, by a Nigerian novelist named Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She tells of the dangers of hearing a single story about a people – “People in Africa are poor and dying of AIDS” – and making it the only story. The best illustration of her point was made when she described a time when a young American woman, who had read one of Adichie’s novels, expressed her sympathy that men in Nigeria beat their wives. Adichie’s response was to express her sympathy, based on reading American Psycho, that American men are psychopath serial killers. Every people group, every person has a multi-story narrative. I know I do. But we reduce people to a single story all the time, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. In doing so, we demean them. Jesus never bought into the single story about anyone; he saw the whole. I want to be made aware this week of the ways I seek to impose a single story on people and then I want to reject it in favor of learning the full story.
I’m turning on my Spirit Fire App. I need God’s word to infuse every aspect of my day or I forget who he is, what he is capable of, and who I am. Really, I do. I found this phone app called Spirit Fire and I can set it to send verses of Scripture to me throughout my day. It has different categories of verses: Faith & Hope, Finance, In Christ, Inspiration, and Relationships. The first day I used it, it sent me: 1 Corin 3:16 at 8:44 a.m.; Gal 5:22-24 at 10:47 a.m.; Rom 5:17 at 1:17 p.m.; 1 Corin 12:27 at 3:31 p.m.; and 1 Cor 15:49 at 5:56 p.m. I’m using it all week to keep me grounded in truth throughout the day.
What does your week look like?
Are your hands gripped tight? Can you open them, maybe just a little?