Humpty Dumpty

IMG_2612

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Be kind. Even if the other person isn’t kind, be kind. We’ve all had falls. But not everyone mends. The world is full of shattered humans who are not kind to others because of their own level of suffering.

My recent experience with agony heightened my compassion for others who are suffering physical or mental hurts that no one sees. Even as a writer, I can’t find words to express how ghastly the pain in my hip was except to say that I wish readers could rate my books at my pain level—10.

When a person tries to sit on a toilet seat and accompanies that attempt with loud enough hollers to bring the cows in from the field…it’s bad. Walking and standing elicited the same response. As for bending over to pick something up—forget it. Since we have a dog that needs walking, not being able to bend over was especially awkward. My poor husband had dog picking up detail for weeks. Additionally, our dog thinks she’s the housekeeper. When anything is on the floor that doesn’t belong there, she puts her nose on it and stares at it until someone picks it up. (Except for her toys. They are exempt.)

Yay! I picked up dog poop today! What a relief to be able to return to that simple chore. Part of the healing involved pushing through the pain to do back exercises and go running. For those who say, “I don’t run. If you see me running, you better run, too, because something is after me,” I will admit that fast walkers can pass me when I’m “running.” It’s not about speed, it’s about exercise to re-build the body. It’s also about a verse from Marjorie Ainsborough Decker’s “Christian Mother Goose” book:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

Humpty Dumpty shouted, “Amen!

God can put me together again!

Prayer and praise. As I was “running,” I sang, “You are the God Who is healing me.” And I believed it.

So today I picked up dog poop. The possibilities for tomorrow are endless! God still heals, he still answers prayers…and, yes, He still instructs and expects us to be kind to one another.

Forgive shattered people and give them the gift of kindness. We never know when we will be next one to fall off the wall.

IMG_2610

http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

God and Passwords

Why should I, a mere human, expect to understand the Great and Mighty God, Creator of the universe…when there are mere human existence questions which mystify me?

For example, living in Scotland. When friends invite us over for “tea,” I am greatly perplexed. Do they mean we should come to eat dinner with them? Or do they mean we should come over and have a cup of tea? It can mean either one. So I invariably have to ask. Sometimes asking is embarrassing because kind-hearted friends think I’m inviting myself to dinner and will quickly respond, “Oh, yes. Stay and have a meal with us.”

Panties. This might sound like a strange thing to be perplexed about but it’s something that has flummoxed me since childhood. Are panties worn under a nightgown or pajamas, or does one just wear the night attire next to the skin? It’s something my mother never told me. On the rare occasions when I slept away from home – like attending a summer camp – it was a question I couldn’t ask the other girls. My pride wouldn’t let me admit that I didn’t know the answer. The problem with being too proud to ask a question is that sometimes you go through life never knowing the answer.

Computer passwords. This throws me every time. When I visit a website and it asks for a password, I stare at it stupidly. How dare it ask for my password! I don’t give out my password to strange sites. Or…is it asking me to make up a password for that website? Sometimes I look at the website and declare, “If you’re trying to get business you should drop the password thing, because really – looking at what you’re trying to sell – it isn’t worth making up a new password and trying to remember it. Then I go away…still not knowing which password it meant.

So if I am too thick-headed to know the life answer to these three simple everyday problems, why would I expect to understand Mighty God, Creator and Miracle-Worker?

Some of our friends and family members are going through severe trials at the moment. They are lovely, kind, wonderful people who love God. Why are they suffering?

I don’t know.

We are in the middle of a storm that feels like the eye of a hurricane – except hurricane eyes are supposed to be calm and our storm isn’t even calm in the middle. Why?

I don’t know.

What I do know is this secret to the universe that unlocks every blessing of God and makes it available to us if we just exercise enough faith to believe and accept it: God is in Control. “ALL things work together to good for those who love the Lord.” Romans 8:28.

God may be a mystery. His way of working may indeed be mysterious. Yet He made it so simple that a child can understand it.

Trust. Just trust.

http://goo.gl/wmLNDy

DSCF5374

Why Winter?

Here on the Black Isle of Scotland, everyone is rejoicing now that the sun is staying visible longer and snowdrops are pushing timid white heads up to look around while royal purple crocuses snap to attention along the sides of narrow lanes. Winter is fleeing, following the freezing breath of snow and ice into last year’s memories.

Some people hate winter. I’ve always hated winter. I hate being cold. I used to mix cement and build with rocks in 100-plus degree temps in south Texas. Ironic that I should now live in Scotland where it rarely makes it to 70 degrees even in the “summer.”

Winter brings cold temperatures that kill people, animals and plants; traffic-snarling storms; massive banks of snow that must be moved, and increased heating costs. So, why winter?

Psalm 74:17 says that “God made summer and winter.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Winter provides a Sabbath for the land. Most people get at least one day a week off work to rest. Rested employees are less likely to have accidents or get sick. Manufacturing equipment that shuts down for at least one day a week is less prone to malfunctions. Jesus said that people were not made for keeping the Sabbath to please God, but rather, that the Sabbath was made for the benefit of people to give them rest.

I had a lovely rough collie named Scot in the southern U.S. Scot visited nursing homes. He made friends with everyone and everything he met including deer, a wild rabbit, a feral cat, a baby bird, a turtle, a possum, cats in the neighborhood. He was so friendly that even small animals were unafraid of him. Scot got protothecosis; there is no treatment, no cure, and it is 100 percent fatal. Dogs in Scotland don’t get protothecosis. It’s too cold for the cannibalistic algae. Nor are there mosquitoes, fire ants, venomous spiders or a plethora of other aggravating and dangerous insects. This is a winter land. Winter provides surcease.

Tulips must be kept cold to burst into energetic flames of spring color. Peach trees need numbered winter days of extreme cold to ensure a plentiful summer harvest.

Like God’s creation of nature, our personal lives cycle through seasons, from joy to despair, from busyness and fullness to emptiness and boredom. Why winter? Sometimes it takes a cold, barren winter wilderness experience to turn our hearts fully to God. To make us appreciate the benefits He daily loads into our lives. If every step of our path through life was lined with fabulously blooming flowers, we would quickly turn aside to grass.

Before we lament the winter wilderness experiences in our lives, we should read about history’s first recorded Christians in Acts 5:40-41. “They called for the apostles and beat them…and the apostles departed, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus’ name.”

These early Christians rejoiced in winters – trusting that earthly hardships were short and nothing to be compared to the eternal blessings of Jesus.

We should enjoy spring and let the winter go – but when it comes around again – we should embrace it like an old friend who is walking us into the kingdom of God.

Image