Wood Smoke through the Window

The laughter of my children fills the truck and there it is through the open window…

The first sniff of wood smoke.

And the leaves turn yellow round us.

The tears of my mama fill the phone and here we go…

One of her friends gone all too soon.

And the older ones are leaving us.

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So Lord in Heaven, last night we sat around the big box in our book-cluttered living room and we watched the movie that says God’s not Dead and while we’ve known that for a long time now…

The reminder is good.

Because looking round can make one forget so won’t you remind us today?

Remind us not to use our pulpits to make ourselves higher but instead to lift YOU up.

Remind us to not use our words to label or make us sound like the guffawing bully noise that came from the throng of cool kids, intimidating and huddled up right there at the corner we all had to shuffle by, so we’d go fast and keep our heads down and try to escape the tease of the day, the prod, the bruise to our heart that would come when certain words bounced off the cinder block walls.

Remind us to instead use our words to lay down a lining of love on the bruised heart of everyone we meet. Remind us that they might shuffle by with their head down in fear so we may just need to move ourselves to reach them.

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Remind us that your house is to be filled with words that don’t tear down but that we are to fill it with words that build, the words that are your Word.

Remind us that hate is hate and there is no room for it except to hate what you hate, and that is sin.

Remind us that while there will always be evil in the world we are not to let evil into our hearts or into our lives.

Remind us to not be like the people of so long ago, the ones who thought they had your word but they forgot the people, and because they forgot the people they turned into rule lovers and people haters.

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Remind us that while we drive in our warm trucks and sit in our cozy living rooms with grape soda floats and movie stars on the big box, there are people who sit in self-made boxes or peer-made boxes or culture-made boxes with broken hearts or broken bodies or broken minds or the worst of all, broken spirits. Remind us that they might never know what a treasure they are to the people of this world and to the Maker of this world…if someone doesn’t tell them. If someone doesn’t show them.

Remind us that every action we choose can change the world. And if maybe the bad is just too big and we can’t change the world, remind us that we can at least help the world.

Remind us that you give us the tools.

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Help us use all we have to help the world.

Because God, in the fall when it’s all dying…and in the spring when it’s all new…and in the winter when it’s all quiet…and in the summer when it’s full of light and fun…

…this world always needs help.

This world needs you.

This world needs you now.

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And as the giggles fall on my ears, the fireweed burns red and the air smells a little like death and little like life and all at once and I’m reminded again…

I need you too.

We love you Lord God.

And we’re thankful, so thankful for what you gave us when you gave us your son and you gave us the cross.

And your grace. We cling to your grace.

We’re so thankful He’s alive.

We’re so thankful God’s not dead.

We’re so thankful for your love.

Lord God, we’re so thankful for you.

~

 My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly trust in Jesus name.

Christ alone; Cornerstone…

Weak made strong; in the Savior’s love

Through the storm,

He is Lord,

Lord of all…

(Cornerstone, Hillsong United)

 

 

Photo credits: {Fireweed, This Crazy Little Farm} {The Good Shepherd, Greg Olsen} {The Prodigal Son, Charlie Mackesy} {Widow’s Mite, Amy Pectol} {The Sower, Unknown}

 

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