Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Woes of Peter Pumpkin Eater's Wife

One of Peter's wives, according to Denslow
Image via Wikipedia
     I married Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater. Unbeknownst to me, my husband stuck me in a pumpkin shell. Now all my summer clothes stretch around a rotund tummy (barely), and I'm not sure if I should walk or roll down the road.
     As I waddle, my proboscis heralds my approach with the bright red wounds the dermatologist made. As my nose protrudes, it becomes a UV magnet, is frequently sunburned and thus the need to remove precancerous damage. Oh to only have the tiny nose of a starlet--or at least put some of its size on my lips.
     And the only time anyone ever asks to borrow my shoes is when he or she wants to water-ski. I'm not a pretty picture.
     This morning in worship we sang a line that told of us casting our crowns before the Lord. I closed my eyes and saw myself before the throne of God. Next to me stood Queen Elizabeth. To the other side Angelina Jolie. In back of me worshiped President Obama. Each of us was loved by the great God Almighty, the Maker of the universe. He didn't care that I wasn't pretty, that my poor blog can't get fifty followers, that my life was humble and lowly and ordinary. I was no different to Him than these luminaries, and no less precious. I could cast my crown and it would be as accepted as Queen Elizabeth's crown jewels. I opened my eyes to my own beauty and the grace of God.
   It's divine to be loved so indiscriminately.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Who's to Blame? You've Got to be Kidding!

The Bloviator Queen
 "I therefore...urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit" (Eph. 4:1-2, English Version).
     "Xavier" knows all one can know about anything and has no fear in spewing his knowledge to whomever he wills (whether or not the listener wills). I taught Sunday morning Bible studies during his tenure in Malone, and Xavier loved to argue points with me. Yikes. In public, during a Bible study.
     During this time period, my church assigned us to home groups where we met to study and build one another up in our Christianity. Guess who shared mine? I discovered during this time, it didn't matter who taught a lesson, Xavier fought its points. He loved to expostulate on everything he was an expert on. And I never found an area in which he wasn't an expert.
     I knew I had to live at peace with all men. I needed to love the brethren, so I needed help. I called my pastor (I'll call him Al). I told him, in confidence, my problems with Xavier, and that I needed to prayer to change so that I could maintain the unity of the spirit. On the phone he prayed with me. That night I headed off to home group, and for the first time in several years, Xavier did not annoy me.
    From that moment on, he never did. I quit arguing with him, quit asserting my point of view and all friction dissipated.
     During this time we would periodically share communion with each other. If we had an issue with an individual, we'd take our bread, approach the person and talk it through. Xavier approached me.
     "Carol," he said. "You used to be arrogant and overbearing, but you've changed. I've seen tremendous growth in you."
      Me? I was a bloviator? I nearly choked as I took the bread he offered. It's you, not me! Still I sputtered--but fortunately, only internally. Outwardly, I remained gracious and thanked him.
     I cannot change others, but I can change myself. It usually takes time and practice to change, but In that phone call to Al, God changed a key component of my personality instantly. I need not worry about another's character. I need to concern myself with me.
     Now I need the same miracle with "Cordelia."
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