hand in pocket

I have done many things I am not proud of over the years, but one of the most awkward in the moment came to mind again recently…

Hubby & I were on a date at Harvey’s. We moved to stand at the viewing/make it be made area after ordering, and I was chatting away to hubby, excited we were out together. Normally not the most demonstrative with PDA, I slipped my hand into his back pocket, as His main love language is touch, and I wanted him to know I loved him in that moment.

Imagine my shock when I hear hubby’s voice coming over my shoulder instead of beside me say, “Honey, what are you doing?!”

While I had been chatting, unknown to me, hubby had moved to grab the paper to read the sports section.

Take a second, and let that reality sink in, just as it did to me in that moment.

My hand was in someone else’s back pocket…. not my hubby’s.

Immediately removing my hand, i reluctantly looked glowing red with embarrassment towards the gentleman beside me and stammered “I am so sorry…”

He sounded bemused (as best I could tell not making eye contact) and replied, “That’s okay, I haven’t had that much action in a long while.”

Oh my, indeed.

Hubby occasionally teases me about this incident, now that I can look back and laugh at my mistake.

But that mistake has lingered and rankled, because I didn’t forgive myself for the error for a very long time.

An exceptionally faithful person, I can’t believe I did that, winner of the “i’d like to hand it to you” award for most embarrassing moment.

How could I be so wrapped up in that moment and miss that my hubby had moved off?

With two young children at the time, I was so excited to be out I was yammering away with delight, while hubby needed a moment of quiet to read the paper as we waited for our food.

I know now that we are both hardwired very differently.

I chose company, he chose solitude.

Sometimes it takes a communication breakdown before we realize how much we take one another for granted.

That is certainly true of our relationship with God.

So whose pocket is your hand in today? Your Bridegroom’s, or the deceiver’s?

Have you been talking for so long you don’t notice God is waiting for you to stop to get your attention?

Are you standing too close to the edge, just an arm’s length away?

Has the deceiver drawn close because you are too caught up in your own thoughts?

It doesn’t take much to distract us from what we want to do, does it?
I believe Paul can relate, when he wrote how he did the very things he didn’t want to do. I wonder what pockets Paul found his hand in unexpectedly…

May we be increasingly alert to His voice, His presence.

May we continually be on guard to the deception of the enemy, who is sometimes just a step away waiting for us to give him opportunity.

May our hands let go of what we did in error in the past, and remain open for God to fill & hold.

May we never settle for less than His best for us in every moment.
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when to speak up at pointing fingers

There are not a lot of things that cause me to be enraged.

Disrespect is one of them.

As is the season, its time in my area for municipal elections.

And I would say that several of the almost 30 candidates running here are not causing negative waves. They are standing on their platforms, and letting the voters judge them on their merits.

But with any crowd, there are always a few who make the rest look back, and frustrate those who run with integrity and respect.

Hey, I get it that we are all entitled to our opinions.  I don’t like dogs stopping and pooping on my lawn, and their owners not picking up after their pet does their business.

I get that none of us are perfect. We all have flaws and weaknesses.

I get upset when instead of telling me what they have to offer, a candidate publicly uses their platform to bad mouth an opponent.

That reveals more to me about the character of the speaker than the opponent’s.

The Bible talks about this, in no small detail.

Its really judgment.

And pointing out the speck in someone else’s eye instead of taking the time to see the log in our own.

Its also a sign of insecurity.

If you can’t control yourself before you get into a position of authority, how can the voters trust you will once you have the power to make decisions at your fingertips?

As followers of Jesus, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.  By publicly speaking badly about your neighbor, you not only disrespect them, you show your lack of compassion and love.

Your weakness comes to the forefront, becoming more obvious than the complaint you have, when it is offered without respect.

Our local government, like yours, has a group of individuals running for council: 28 for 8 spots.

With odds like that, your campaign needs to be based on your ‘can do’s ‘, not your ‘look at their flaw(s)’.

When we fail to honor those around us, we essentially let the enemy run havoc in our neighborhood.

I am tired of unnecessary drama, local or otherwise. We all know that life has enough ups & downs without adding anything into the pile.

Take the time to get to know those running for office in your community.

Better yet, once you know what they stand for, line it up against the Word.

If it isn’t walking with the Word, that candidate likely isn’t either.

May the kindness God has showered on His children overflow onto those who serve in our communities. That His Words would soak deep into our hearts and honor & respect be the visible fruit to the world watching us.

Let’s avoid pointing fingers at others, and ask God to help us root out the log jams we may have, so we can become free and a blessing wherever we go.

No matter the quality of your local candidate, God may have a different plan for some of those running. May God lead us to select the best person(s) for the positions in our home towns, the one (s) whose character reminds us of Jesus.

Who gave His all to serve those He came to bless.

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when the lines seem crossed

Of all the games I played as a child, Broken Telephone was my least favorite.

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image from: http://cikguohsemgitu.weebly.com/broken-telephone.html

I understand full well the impact of broken communication, and secrets.

Almost nothing frustrates me more than when I am misunderstood, or someone has not been clear with what they want/expect of me.

Not being clear and direct when you communicate, whether verbally, in writing or in actions has led to more break down in relationships that almost anything else I can think of.

Apart from sin.

But sin impacts how we communicate. If we try to cover up our actions, we tend to lie or leave things out or avoid certain topics, and then, once again, broken telephone goes another round.

There is only One person who never falters in hearing what we really mean to say, or leave unsaid; who clearly demonstrates His heart in His words and actions shown all who take the time to look.

Jesus.

When the lines of communications had been muddled for so long  that people couldn’t see past the messengers speaking out His truth, God sent us the only One who could make it right again.

Jesus plugged us back into the Father.

Jesus clearly spoke truth, love, grace & mercy.  If He didn’t like what you are doing, He let you know.  If He approved of what you did, He let you know.  He answered every question.  He offered every heart the hope He knew we needed.

With the lines open again for communication, God has now placed the responsibility on us to reach out to speak with Him, to continue the conversation He began in Jesus.

The lines can only be broken now if we fail to connect with His presence; when we fail to speak.

Not only did Jesus fix the broken lines, He also left us a permanent assistant to help us find the words we would need, Holy Spirit.

The One who reminds us of our Father’s love, the gift we have in Jesus, and the Guide to help us along the way, Holy Spirit.

If you are feeling like the lines are down again, rest assured that is a lie. 

We can ALWAYS speak with God.
He is ALWAYS waiting to hear from us.
He will NEVER leave us or forsake us.

Today, take that step towards Him.
Let the lines of communication flow between you and God.
May He rebuild your hope as You deepen your dependence on Him.

May you also extend the same grace towards those who are not as clear communicators. As we approach with kindness, may His love flow and soothe the situation until everyone is on the same page again!