Saturday, October 9, 2010
Red Light, Green Light
Traffic is always a pain. What exactly is the matter with these people? Don't they know not to turn left at that intersection in downtown Woodstock? Don't they know I have to get to work to get busy with all the stuff I have to do? It may be a good thing that my horn is not working, or some folks may have gotten a piece of my mind. It's frustrating, like lines that students have to get into at school, only for adults.
Yet in the hustle and bustle of traffic, as I sometimes take time to pray for my students and others I know, I remember the verse Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the Earth."
It was in the midst of heavy traffic one day that I realized the awesome blessing in disguise that I was being presented with. The red lights, the stop signs, the blue hairs... they all provide an opportunity- right there, in our personal transportation bubbles of metal and glass. An opportunity for God to speak, if only we will pause for a moment, and listen.
So then, red lights are not necessarily something to become vexed over. Rather, they provide a chance for us to put everything on pause, and to listen to the God of the universe, the One who loves us and wants to be involved in our lives. So that in fact, the green light can be turned on in our lives spiritually. What does He have to say to you? Thank you, oh Lord, for Your love !
The Littlest Cross
Several years ago I was invited by a colleague, Debbie, to attend her daughters' wedding. I felt honored, and of course I said yes. However, one thing I have noticed about myself, is that I am not a real social animal. I socialize all day long with students in classes and teachers at other times and by the time I get home I am just ready to chill out. I kind of feel like a fish out of water in many social situations; I'm pretty introverted, in spite of my over the top performances in the classroom.
Now it just so happens that the place where the wedding took place in Dunwoody is in the same plaza that my church was in when I was a teenager growing up- a little place called Calvary Baptist Church. There were larger, grander churches elsewhere in the neighborhood, but this place was special. It was pastored by a wonderful, beautiful man, Reverend Bob Becknell. I stopped by to see if the quaint old church was there, but when I arrived, the building was gone, a victim of "progress." All that was left was sort of a waist high wooden wall against a small hill on the side. An automobile brake shop stood in the place where Calvary Baptist Church once was. I remembered the people I knew there, and the blessing it was to have been a part of that.
So I'm all dressed up in a tie (ugh!) and everyone knows one another and they are all milling about after a beautiful ceremony, getting eats and generally having a grand time. I'm feeling kind of lonely, even surrounded by people, so I mosey out by the foyer away from the crowd where there are windows that peek through foliage and trees past the front entrance into the sunlight. I'm getting a little misty, thinking that Reverend Bob is probably long gone by now, along with the church, wishing I could speak with him once more. (That's beside the fact that Mr. Perpetually Single himself is at a wedding, but that's another ball game.) I happened to glance out through the green leaves through the window, and what to my surprise should I see?
Off in the distance, well past the plaza on a hill, a small cross on the steeple of one of those large churches was peeking through as the wind moved the leaves aside. I watched that little cross for a long time, just looking out through that window. As I pondered at why I should see this cross, here, now, I felt a peace come over me. It was as if God was reminding me that He had not forgotten me, or the people I once knew and the times we had there. I cried, but kept myself together.
Sometimes God speaks to us in ways we do not expect or anticipate. The smallest thing, a gesture or a word spoken quietly and with love can have a profound affect on others. It can be a way we share His love... the same way He did that windy afternoon when He reminded me that although the church was gone, neither I nor those who were there with me were forgotten.