There are some mornings when you get out of bed the wrong side, and it takes nearly the whole day to get back on track. A Monday a few weeks ago was one of those, with bells on.
The day basically started okay, but then went steadily downhill / off the edge of a cliff when a duckling complained of a stomach ache. This was more than likely due to his food allergy flaring up from a bring-your-own buffet at church the evening before. As mentioned in other posts, we’ve puppies around at the moment and I can’t remember when I last had a full night’s sleep. The last time I had this level of sleep deprivation was when the kids were born. Excuses aside, my response was less than appropriate and set the scene for a turbulent morning. Only after taking a cocktail of tablets calm the pain, inflammation and allergic reaction, and I’d left for work, did he start to calm down.
I was pretty upset too when I left for work and spent some time in an allotment at the top of the hill. Only when I’d been sitting for a good while to gather myself, did I feel I could face queuing for the bus. Over the past few years or so I have spent a fair amount of time trying to get my inner Hulk under control, but this particular morning the little bugger slipped out and wreaked havoc. If only these prayers I have been muttering would have some effect and I could get rid of Bruce Banner’s alter ego.
The weather was pretty grim that morning , “dreak” I think is the Scottish word it, and the busstop glass was a dirty mess of soot from traffic exhaust, grime and condensation. In the glare of the oncoming headlight I saw lines rubbed in the dirt. Some arcs, a vertical line, a horizontal line. These would be pretty hard to make by swinging your bag or leaning against the glass.
To me, this looked just like an empty cross with a rainbow behind it. To a Christian, both these symbols represent hope, promises for a brighter future and a fresh start.
My phone beeped. A text message from a close friend asking if I felt like catching a movie that evening. His treat.
Some may say these things are unconnected, but the more I go through my life trying to follow Christ’s example, the less coincidences I see. I had been appalled and kicking myself over how the past 45 minutes had gone, and now a friend asks to watch a film with him. Looking back, the only thing that comes to mind is the parable of the tax man at the back of the temple as told in Luke 18:9-14.
Where is God .. ?
I took the picture above after asking myself this same question a while ago. As I looked down I saw the shape of an Ichthys at the centre on a cross.
Reminders of God seem to turn up in the strangest of places . Places where we wouldn’t normally expect to find Him. I’ve seen his doodlings in a dirty window, His calling card on the dusty pavement, His comfort in the middle of grief and even His presence in a bar in the middle of Espoo.
I guess what I want pull out of this, is that we all have a side of us which we try ignore, or hide. That part of us which lurks in the shadows in the back of our minds. Once in while that side of us seems to break free. For me it’s the Incredible Hulk (even though we all know he’s really the good guy, but you get my point). For others it might be the angry drunk or the gossiping fishwife. We all screw up.
What I’ve seen is that when I’ve messed up; when I know I’ve messed up and done my best to make amends and told God sorry, He seems to sweep me off my feet in the way He says,
“I forgive you.”.