Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Name - Beginnings - Chapter One, part 1

She padded out of the darkened kitchen, through the dining area and into the living room, heading for her favorite chair, coffee and Bible in hand. The side table lamp was already lit, guiding her way. Today she would begin to do what she had been hearing others in her Bible Study group do - have a morning appointment with God. Sophie had chosen this chair after careful consideration over the last two days...it was positioned so that she could look out the window and into the serene landscape of the backyard or view the wall where the work of her favorite inspirational artists hung. These two reasons were why this chair was her favorite; Sophie was hoping the familiar surroundings would help her mind settle into the task of hearing God.

Sinking into the arms of the softly cushioned wingchair, she gently inhaled and closed her eyes, quickly reviewing the steps to having a successful "Quiet Time", the term the mature women at church used often to describe their daily appointments with the God of Creation. Sophie had the steps down:
a specific time.
a special place.
a simple plan.

Eyes still closed, she breathed out her first prayer of the day towards heaven, "Lord, I am ready to hear from You today, though I am not sure I even know how...". And then it happened. The racing thoughts, the subtle fears flooding through her being. Words tumbled around; snatches of sentences catching for a moment in her consciousness before being whisked away and recycled through her chaotic mind... "How will I know if it is Him or me", "What if I don't hear...", "Who am I that God would even speak...", "I've done awful things...", "I'm a terrible person...", "What if these thoughts are God's way of saying I'm not worth talking to...", "I'm not able to do this...", "I can't keep a commitment anyway...", "Who do you think you are!"

Her eyes snapped open at the last jab from her own heart; her pulse beating a rhythm she could salsa dance to. Only one minute had ticked by on the clock, and yet she felt she had just lived a life-time of emotion.

"What a way to start!" Sophie said out loud, softly, so as not to disturb the rest of the sleeping household. She was thinking about aborting the whole idea of getting a deeper relationship with God, at least for the day, and just drinking her coffee as she watched the early light of dawn reveal the peaceful setting of the yard to her gaze. In those few moments of calm, she noticed a quiet heart whisper, nudging her to continue her plan and open her Bible to the passage she had been considering studying for a matter of months. Sophie glanced at the clock. There was still plenty of the 15 minutes she had set aside for this venture left. She opened her Bible to the passage she had marked last evening with a verse card her best friend had given her for Christmas. 2 Timothy 1:7 was hand-written in Betsy's perfect script:


"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

"I sure needed that this morning," Sophie thought. She knew Betsy would smile when she heard how her gift said just the right thing this morning! Sophie searched for the words, somewhat familiar to her, and read them once again:

"Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations." Exodus 34:6-7

Her eyes traveled the lines once again, her lips moving silently as she read a second and a third time, not quite memorizing the words, yet becoming familiar to the point that she could think back on them throughout the day. She looked out the window again, at the beauty this God of compassion and of lovingkindness and of punishing the guilty had created...

And that quickly, her time was over as little Peter stumbled through the living room trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes.

"Thank you, Lord," was the only prayer she could muster as she wondered if she really was.

2 comments:

Jodene Shaw said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

sigh...that's how I feel today.

slommler said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Such a beautiful post!!
Hugs
SueAnn