I spent yesterday immersed in commas and quotation marks, italics and antecedents. One day into the final proofreading phase of my book. Three chapters down, 40 sticky notes poorer.
Mid-morning I decided to take a psalms walk. That’s what I call it anyway. You know how the Psalms are: they can be joy or lament; they can ramble or rush headlong. So this year, in my attempt to make space in my heart for God to console and delight (see my first blog), I’m trying to take a 15-minute psalms walk each day. On these walks, I just tell my Shepherd whatever’s in my heart (and if nothing is in my heart, I tell Him that). Then I sing a little song about it.
I’m applying a very loose definition to the word “song.” These creative offerings are often devoid of meter or rhyme, changing keys frequently to suit the limited range of my voice. Small children and stray cats seem to enjoy them, but I doubt you would. (I bet young David felt a similar comfortability with the sheep in his charge.)
So, a few blocks into my walk, strolling past disinterested llamas (yes, there are llamas in my suburban neighborhood), soundtracked by boisterous geese flying purposefully overhead, I stopped. I just stopped. Because a thought occurred to me: “I’m happy right now.” I hadn’t had that thought in awhile. Not that I’ve been particularly unhappy. It’s just that in this season of writing and rewriting and social media and social engagements and worship ministry and watching my [adorable] grandson and redecorating my bedroom (yeah, I thought I’d throw that into this season just for good measure), I hadn’t thought to be happy. But here, suddenly, on a dusty asphalted road under a shining blue sky, I felt God smiling at me. And I wanted to smile right back at Him.
A couple of minutes later, when I resumed my walk, I started singing “La-la-la-la-la, flying geese and whispering breeze, hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm, thank You.” (Like I said, small children and stray cats….)
A profound surprise
A friend of mine was surprised yesterday, too. In a more profound way. I happened to send her a text that said, “I hope you’re sensing God’s presence in your day.” I’m glad I did, because she responded, “Yep, I am.” She then went on to tell me how, after hearing a sermon last Sunday on loving one’s enemies, she had gone home and sought the Lord about how to respond to someone who had said some hurtful things. The surprise? Yesterday morning, she received an email, out of the blue, from this person. I don’t know what was in the email, but my friend told me, “God definitely answered prayer.” I’m pretty sure that surprise meant all the more to her because she had been listening already.
Surprises. Our Shepherd loves to speak them into our lives. Ask Abraham, or Gideon, or Mary, or Zaccheus, or Paul.
I think sometimes we don’t notice the surprising things He speaks to us because we’re not listening. I wonder how many of these surprise words I’ve missed in my life?
Has He spoken anything surprising to you lately? If not, maybe He wants to speak to you in a surprising way this week? Whether He’s surprised you recently, or He surprises you soon, it would sure be a gift for us to hear about it!