This morning, I was reading from Exodus 34, the story of Moses returning to the mountain to talk with God. When he comes down from his encounter, he is glowing. Literally.
He has such a glow that it scares people, that he decides it would be best to put on a veil.
I wonder if people can tell when we’ve been speaking with God, whether His light shines through us. Do I glow with His light?
Not long after Larry and I got married, I taught 2-year-olds in Sunday School. Each week, we had tons of giggles and more than a few tears.
I don’t know what we would have done without bubbles. A simple blow through the soapy wand would send tiny, iridescent orbs floating through the air. The first set of bubbles would bring wide eyes, giggles were sure to follow.
I’d almost forgotten about the magic of bubbles until we stayed in the nursery last week and saw a new generation enthralled by the same thing.
Last night, during our Gospel Project for Kids, I got to watch the kids as they played in the ball pit. These tiny folks would stand on the side and dive into the sea of balls. More times than not, the kids did so with a call of “Bubbles.”
They weren’t the floaty, popping kind, but the balls did their job of inducing giggles, and I found myself laughing along.
When I was younger, I used to walk in the pasture with Daddy. Sometimes it was just us, but more often the whole family would be along. We might be checking the pea patch, looking for a Christmas tree or just walking up to the woods to check things out.
What I remember most are the tall grasses and briars that he’d pull back out of the way, and if I were close enough on his heels, I wouldn’t get hit with them. Dawdle, and he might have moved on to the next clump of them, leaving me to find my own way through.
So, I’d do my best to mimic his large steps. I’d take my shorter legs and fire up all my energy to step just as very far as I could.
I spent many an afternoon following in his footsteps.
In many ways I’m still trying to figure out how to do that. My physical legs are a lot longer, but my spiritual legs and my legs of courage still have some growing to do. So I follow in the footsteps of giants who’ve walked before me: parents, grandparents, other relatives, friends.
They are, in my mind, those who make up the great cloud of witnesses who surround me as I run my race — my own personal Hall of Fame of faith.
Hebrews 12:1 says: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Ready. Set. Go.
One of my favorite things to do as a grown-up is going to vote. When Larry and I first married, we used to live on the street where our polling place was. The best times were those cool November mornings when I’d bundle up in my coat, drive down (I was on my way to work after all), and line up outside in the cold and dark with other early birds. We always liked to see who could be first. It was usually those of us who worked out of town or whose jobs started before 8 a.m.
Our polling place has been moved to a new location, closer to where we live now although it is still the same precinct. It’s a larger space and I imagine does a better job of accommodating the crowds, but it’s not quite the same. I miss old friends who used to work the polls or be in that early morning line.
Of course, nowadays, I’m among the increasing percentage of folks taking advantage of early voting. Larry only wants to vote on Election Day, but I’d rather check it off my list and not have to feel guilty about tuning out the final weeks of attack ads.
So, yesterday afternoon, I went to the voter registration office and exercised my right and responsibility to vote. And when I got there I had to stand in line. It was only a few people deep, but I was thrilled to have to wait a minute for a voting machine.
Because it matters — not just who or what we vote for — but that we vote. I may not like the results of some races and may be thrilled with others, but knowing that free people came together to make choices does my heart good.
May God bless America. 🇺🇸
Sometimes, I make a lot of mistakes. Words too hastily spoken, reactions stemming from fear or emotion, or just plain self-centeredness sneak into my day.
It’s easy to try to brush those mistakes aside as human nature, a normal response to pressures, or just needing to vent. But in the wee small hours of the morning, my heart calls them what they are: regrettable, disappointing, sinful.
It’s no secret that it’s election season in America, and the closer and closer we move to Election Day, the less kindness and grace and goodness seems to be found. And I’m not talking about the candidates.
It’s not enough to believe and express opinions but there seems to be a need to tear down others with an attack.
Kind of like my bad day moments, when my perceived suffering overflows and I make those bad choices.
I wrote on a sticky note a while back the words “Speak kindness and truth and love” and put it in my planner where I’d see it everyday. But it’s not enough for it to be in my planner or even part of my plan. It’s something I need to do.
So, we have less than three weeks until Election Day. What if we intentionally tried to use those days to do something positive for other people, to be a light shining in the darkness of someone’s day rather than just another cloud?
Galatians 6:10 says “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone.”