Archive | February 2015

Satisfy My Thirsty Soul

September 5, 2012

 Dear Barbara,

One of my assignments in the assignments in the Satisfy My Thirsty Soul Bible study is to write a letter to a friend describing what God has taught me about worship.

I don’t know about worship, but I have learned that I am not a restful soul. Wheneverpicture of book cover I sit down for my quiet time, I always think of other things I should be doing. The obvious thing is that they are NOT what I should be doing at all. I should be composing my mind to worship and to hear what God has to say. When I keep my grandson, I think of what I could be doing on the family business. When all is quiet, I read a fiction book and don’t work on the business at all. I do not sit still long enough (even though my body is actually still, my mind isn’t) for God to tell me what He wants me to do that day. I keep saying I should set aside an hour every morning and spend the entire hour in God’s presence so that my quiet time/Bible study is not just something to cross off my To-Do list. I have been trying to do this for two years!

What I really liked about this book are the chapter names in part two.

I bow my life.I bow my words.I bow my attitude.I bow my work. (My work is my mom, my grandson, and our business, in that order. My husband takes care of himself.)

Laborare est orareOrare est laborare(This is a fine point that almost everyone misses.)

I bow my times of waiting.I bow my pain.I bow my will.Drawn into His presence

 

All of the above, both the positive and the negative, belong to God.

It has been a good study even though I have not been able to incorporate it all into my life. It is supposed to be a 12-week study but I cannot apply that fast.

Have I actually learned anything? Can’t tell it by me.

Love–Susan

 

**note–It has been almost two and a half years. I have set aside that hour every day and I sit for it. Still working on the composing of the mind though. I am slow at application. I should go through it again.

Does anyone else have this problem?

The book is Satisfy My Thirsty Soul by Linda Dillow, published by NavPress 2007.

The many ways of not fitting in

three blue birds together with one red bird to the side

image by Sean Lynn

I met a woman last night. I will call her Elena. She and her husband had been married for 44 years when he left her. He told her that he never should have married her and that marriage and children were just a facade so that he could rise in business and society. He had to do it because in 1967, if you wanted to get anywhere, you didn’t come out of the closet. For 44 years she had been nothing but a facade. Her grown children have abandoned her because they blame her for his leaving, evidently not believing what she says he told her when he left.

There are so many ways of not fitting in. Elena cried. She had been through a divorce recovery program, she volunteers and keeps busy but is still so alone. She told us that a person can be around lots of other people and still be alone. She wants to find a church where she will fit in. People have said horrible things to her because she is divorced. She has been a Christian all of her adult life and can find nowhere to fit. She wanted our prayers that she would find a place.

We had some conversation and then our leader said, “We hope you will come back to join us.”

We watched a video and the leader closed with prayer. Right at the “amen,” Elena jumped up and left quickly. I followed after her calling her name out in the hall.

“Will you come back?” I asked.

“No, I will not be back. Thank you, but I will not be back.” She hadn’t even stopped walking to answer; she was out the door before I could take a breath.

I think too slowly. I let her go. Should I have followed up? Should I have chased her down to say, I care. Talk to me? What did we say wrong? What did we do? Was it the video? Whatever it was, it was repelling. She couldn’t wait to get out.

There are so many ways of not fitting in. When I was a teenager, I went to church all the time but was not totally accepted because at school, I ran around with non-Christian wild kids. Those non-Christian wild kids thought of me as the prude, the virgin, the religious one but they accepted me for what I was and I enjoyed those years immensely. I was never quite as comfortable with the church crowd. I didn’t really fit in either place.

My grandmother always told me, “You are judged by the company you keep.”

“Well, you shouldn’t be!” I would yell back at her in my head, (never out loud.)

There are so many ways of not fitting in. How many Christians do not attend church because churches are filled with husbands, wives, children, and they do not wish to attend alone or they fear that they will be judged because their family does not come?

There are so many ways not to fit. How do we react when someone at church or Bible study expresses a view that does not fit with the mainline view, religious or political,¬† of the group? Here is one person who has had a good experience, alise-write.com, but I know many who haven’t.

There are those that deny God, Christ, and religion of any sort and no amount of goodness, inner beauty, peace, or love will change their view. Regardless, Christians are the face of Christ on earth. What others see in us should be attractive, not repelling.

Elena, we failed you, but wherever you are and wherever you go next, I will be praying for you and I am so sorry.

 

*For something else to consider, see this anonymous post regarding church, by a young adult with Aspergers.