Your life has meaning …

Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Excuses Are Just Excuses

The truth is I was wandering when I saw it.

It was the strangest thing.

It was lit up like it was burning, but not burning up.

It appeared alive—an altering intensity of shapes—an eternal fire?

I walked toward the object.

When I got close enough, no joke, it spoke. “There you are … it’s about time you showed up.”

I looked around for someone hiding, expecting this was a trick.

I didn’t see anyone. I’m thinking the guys back home will never believe this. “Are you talking to me?”

“I don’t see anyone else here, do you?”

“Who are you?” I’m still thinking this might be a prank.

“Don’t come any closer.”

“Say what?”

“Take off your shoes.”

“Say what?”

“This is holy ground.”

“Are you the Lord?”

“I am.”

“What do you want from me?” I was very nervous.

“I’m sending you on a mission trip to Pharaoh of Egypt with a message.”

“Oh?” My stomach was seasick.

“You will lead my people to freedom. Tell Pharaoh to let them leave.”

“Lord be reasonable, neither Pharaoh nor the people will believe me.” I felt on the edge of throwing up.

“I’ll take care of it.”

Now I’m desperate. “Listen Lord I was ready to do this when I was forty. I had everything going for me. I was a celebrity. I was heir apparent. I had my health. But now look at me I’m eighty.”

“I know how old you are.”

“Besides Lord, I don’t speak too well. I’m in sorry shape. I …”

“Forget the excuses.”

“Maybe someone else would be better?”

“Nope, I pick you.”

Getting an Education

It was a slow night at the radio station.

When he called I could hear from his voice that he intended to educate me.

I listened and took a sip of coffee.

“You know that God always answers prayer, right?”

“Okay.”

“Sometimes it’s ‘forget about it.’

Sometimes it’s ‘let me think about it’ and

Sometimes it’s ‘I’ll do it.’”

“Uh-huh, alright.” Pretty elementary so far.

“I like yes.

I have trouble with maybe and no.”

“Sure, that makes sense.” I drank a bigger swallow of coffee. I could tell I needed to stay alert.

“Even so the Lord always answers prayer.”

“Of course, so what’s your point?”

“I’m never in control of what God will do but I know I’ll get an answer.”

“And why, again, do you bother to pray?”

“I think it’s important that we keep talkin’.”

Looking Into the Face of History

I looked into her eyes as she whispered, “I just want to die.”

The pain she felt I could not feel.

Still, I hurt.

I gently squeezed her hand and then covered it with both of mine.

“I love you honey.”

What else could I say?

Lying before me was my history.

We met when we were kids.

I can see that moment in this moment.

I see us in the little church where we said our vows.

I see us when our first child was born.

I see us when our second child was born.

I see her embarrassed as she accepted her award.

I see our history.

“I love you honey.”

What else could I say?

This life is joy and pain.

Today I’m filled with joy as I look at her ageless face and watch her sleep.

Talking to You (Story)

It’s almost 4:00 AM. The end of my radio shift. I’m tired. Time to wrap things up and go home. Then a call came into the studio. I thought about not answering it.

DOES GOD KNOW HOW TO TALK?

“Hi Lee, listen, do you think God talks to people?”

“Well, I think He tries to.”

“Yeah ‘cause I’ve been up all night and it’s the weirdest thing but I have this sense that God has been talking to me.”

HAVE YOU LEARNED HOW TO LISTEN?

“Sounds good.” I didn’t suspect that (Jim) was strange or someone who’d maybe missed taking their meds. Normally I received three or four calls from people in this situation in any given week. The conversations with them are different than what I was having with Jim. What had happened in Jim’s case is that he finally came to a place where he could quiet himself. Evidently this morning there were fewer distractions and less noise interference. As a result, Jim discerned God’s Spirit speaking.

COULD THIS HAPPEN TO YOU?

“Right, it’s like I’m kinda nervous saying anything, but hey, this is real!”

“It’s been helpful?”

“Oh man in a matter of nanoseconds I’m getting answers to questions I’ve had plus I’ve been given specific direction about things going on.”

“Really?”

“Lee I’m telling you, it’s wonderful.”

“I believe you.”

“I don’t want God to stop talking.”

ARE YOU WILLING TO HEAR?

“No, I doubt He will now that He has your ear.” I’ve heard from others that talking with God is their everyday “normal.” For them God is a friend that they ask counsel from and take guidance from and who they just have a chat with about nothing in particular. It’s an ongoing connection. “So this is new for you?”

“It is and I just had to tell someone I felt would understand.”

GOD IS TALKING TO YOU

“Thank you Jim.” Also others calling have told me that they can hear God even during life’s confusing mess. They are able to do this because most have a history of sincerely paying attention.

“Well thanks for hearing me out … love your show.”

And Jim was gone. I don’t know from what part of the country Jim called. But I know others heard him and could relate.

In the silence or chaos God is talking to you.

Have You Had this Conversation?

[Conversation 3372 I’m heading home working the traffic]

“I know you don’t believe in me.”

“Aah no way, what are you talking about Lord? You know I believe in you.”

“Then how come you didn’t say so yesterday when that guy told you there isn’t any such thing as God?”

“Well you know I was setting him up.”

“Slow down a little. Setting him up for what?”

“I mean I was sucking him in, you know?”

“Oh, okay, I see … you’re trying to be clever?”

“Sort of.”

“You have a five-year plan?”

“Yes Lord.”

“What do you know about this guy?”

“Not much really.”

“I know everything there is to know about him.”

“Yeah, I’m sure.”

“He’s hurting and he was crying out for help. Did you hear that?”

“It felt like he tried to make me look like an idiot.”

“The light’s gonna turn red. Don’t try to make it … Ya gotta get tougher.”

“Really?”

“When I send someone across your path you gotta be ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“For one thing, ready for conflict.”

“Okay.”

“It’s part of the game.”

“The game?”

“From your opposition.”

“My opposition?”

“Look it up, John 10: 10a.”

“All right.”

“In the mean time get yourself in shape and stop fooling around.”

I turned into my driveway. “Sorry.”

“Consider it practice. At least pretend you believe.”

“Will that help?”

“No, but maybe it’ll give someone something to think about.”

(To be continued)

An Opening … Peek at Heaven

He’d been looking yet was reluctant to say so. It’s such a personal thing.

They talked more and finally he asked, “Where is Heaven?”

His friend answered, “Well God’s kingdom is everywhere isn’t it? If you’ll allow it, it can be alive inside of you.”

“Wow!”

“Yes, I agree, wow!”

A Word of Wisdom … (Story)

I watched him go around the high school’s quarter-mile track working his trekking poles and traveling snail-like.

The third time he past me, as I leaned over the fence, I made him hesitate as I asked, “How old are you?”

He raised his head, looked me in the eye and said, “Sixty-five.”

I thought, “My lord! You’re done.” But politely I inquired, “Why are you doing this?”

Matter of factly he told me, “Because if I don’t I’m done and I don’t want to be done.”

I’m twenty-eight, I don’t respect almost everyone yet, I respected this guy at that moment. I could read his pain when I saw him take those deliberate, methodical, shuffling left-foot right-foot steps. He educated me about his arthritis. I rarely feel compassion but I wondered, “What can I do for you?”

“Stop talking. Get out of my way. And let me walk.”

Yeah, I didn’t get what he was saying but I felt like he was being rude and a part of me wanted to flip him off as I walked away, but another part of me stayed curious and I figured maybe this was a God-moment and so, I had to touch this man’s wisdom.

Later it dawned on me—though I didn’t dwell on it—that this trekker was once twenty-eight. Life is temporary, isn’t it?