A brand new day

My hardworking reporter DJ left me today. There is a whole other post in my head about what we have meant to each other as co-workers in the five months we’ve known each other, but today I simply want to share with you the last story he gave me (he edited it just a bit, and of course I couldn’t resist tweaking it just a tad myself. Wouldn’t be me if I didn’t, would it, Deej?).

One day, there was a blind man sitting on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet and a sign that read: “I am blind, please help.”

A creative editor was walking by and stopped to observe. She saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. She dropped in more coins and, without asking for permission, took the sign and rewrote it.

She returned the sign to the blind man and left. That afternoon the editor returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of bills and coins.

The blind man recognized her footsteps and asked if it was she who had rewritten his sign and wanted to know what she had written on it.

The editor responded: “Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little differently.” She smiled and went on her way.

The new sign read: “Today is Spring, and I cannot see it.”

Sometimes we just need to change our strategy. If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always gotten.

Thanks, friend.

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A fragrance or a stench?

Bruce had warned me that Salsa would need a bath when I got home from work tonight. The recent rains have made her path in our back yard muddy, and she romps through it with joyful abandon.

Today she smelled like she had rolled around in a cow pasture, he said.

The second I walked in the door, I thought of a different word for it: stench.

She stank like a person who hadn’t bathed in several days, had sweated and the sweat had dried, and then had sweated some more, developing what my colorful friend Helaine would call “a funk.”

Salsa always bites me when I try to pick her up for a bath. Then she bites me while I’m bathing her. Bites me, her “Mama,” the one who has nurtured her, fed her and given her refuge since the day I brought her home from the shelter. But I still love her.

Later this evening, as I was writing tomorrow’s post for my church’s daily Shaped by Scripture blog, my mind went back to Salsa and bath time. And me and my attitude toward my Creator.

I’ve been treating Him as though He doesn’t know what’s best for me. Him, the Creator of the universe, the One who has nurtured me, fed me (physically, spiritually, emotionally and in all other ways) and given me refuge since the day he pulled me out of the mud pit of my sin, where I have chosen to return and have been wallowing lately.

Acting like I deserve better than where he is allowing me to be right now. Biting His hand every time He reaches down to cleanse me. But He still loves me.

Just as it was time for Salsa to come in out of the mud and have a bath, it’s time for me to stop wallowing in self-pity and let Him cleanse me.

I want to be a fragrance, not a stench.

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On books and their reading

I couldn’t pick just one today, so here are three:

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” ~ Joseph Addison

“He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself, as in all weathers, as in all fortunes.” ~ Barrow

“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

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