One of the most amazing things about God is that he talks to us softly. Just a whisper.
(After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:12)
I think he does this because what angry teenager (and who here isn’t REALLY just an angry teenager who has learned to fake it a little (or a lot) better) listens to their parents when they’re yelling?? They tune it out!
God, the Father to the fatherless, whispers his love and joy and direction and peace.
Not so that we miss it, but so that we have to pay attention.
This blog is a series of four events that have happened to me in the last, oh, week or so.
Each stuck out to me and this is really just documentation of the Lord speaking to me in bits and pieces and how the Spirit has led me to throw it all together like a really delicious chili. Heaven chili. Mmmmm.
Wow. That was terrible.
Okay, moving on.
God Speaks #1.
I was at the grocery store.
I was rushing around, buying cheese, then putting back the cheese (because we’re trying to cut back on dairy), and then actually grabbing the cheese again (because grilled cheese/quesildias/etc. are just easy).
This little boy was sitting in the front of the cart. He was probably…eighteen months or so. He had blonde hair (dirty, like the dirt not the color) and piercing blue eyes.
His parents (maybe?) were fighting over…something.
And he just LOOKED at me. I mean…LOOKED AT ME. We locked eyes and I stopped my cart.
I had this overwhelming and inexplicable sense of pain for this little boy.
And, short of being charged with kidnapping, I walked away.
I don’t know that I’ll ever forget that. It was THAT strong.
God Speaks #2.
My husband told me that he heard from his friend, “they” (whoever “they” are) have just dropped off a couple hundred of Southern California’s least desirable criminals onto the streets of Shasta County.
Now, I do NOT know the details, I presume few of our community actually do.
But, apparently, there is some sort of tax deduction, agreement, whatever (?) that literally buses hundreds of criminals, upon their release from Southern California prisons up to Shasta County and, apparently, just drops them on our doorsteps.
I prayed the prayer I always pray. “Lord, help them find an alternative to this! Don’t they know we have CHILDREN, and GOOD PEOPLE here, Lord? And we are getting hurt. Haven’t you seen the news Lord??? We’re FIFTH in the NATION for most DANGEROUS cities!! Certainly this is NOT your plan for the town that I raise my children in!”
God Speaks #3.
I read the official statement from the student at SPU who disarmed the gunman:
“When I came face to face with the attacker, God gave me the eyes to see that he was not a faceless monster, but a very sad and troubled young man.” Jon Meis
God Whispers #4.
What if…what if…these criminals…these sex offenders and gang members and the least of these…what if they’re the Lord’s children?
What if, just WHAT IF, Redding is where God is calling "THEM," just like he has called US who reside here?
What if, when God looks at these men and women as they tumble off the buses and looks into each of their faces and feels the PAIN that I felt looking into that small boy’s eyes?
I believe many of the boundaries that we perceive are absolutely false.
This is one world. There are one people.
Instead of praying, "Lord, get these people out."
What if our prayer was, "Lord, how can I help? What do you need me to do?"
For the Kingdom belongs to the least of these.
We know this, because we are the least of these.
The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost. 1 Timothy 1:15
Who can you invite to church this weekend?
Redding has some AMAZING ones. Let’s USE THEM.