Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Messes and Our Blessings...Gibson

10:21 p.m.

I sit in the very yellow space that serves as my office. My book collection lines one wall. The books I hope to read, the books someone recommended I read, the ones I bought for their artwork or bindings, those that hulk there for a rare reference, the ones I keep because I know they’re good and a few I’ve actually read.

This room’s a mess tonight. It attracts extra clutter like fly paper attracts flies. Cat baggage. Cots for the Beans. Toys. Odd assortments. I can’t seem to keep it tidy.

Through the garden doors I see only the light from two solar lanterns. I hear things, though. Songbirds singing the dark down. Swamp frogs croaking a steady percussive buzz. An annoying catbird whining. A great flapping of nearby wings – the mallard pair nesting in the neighbour’s yard, returning from their evening dip in the slough.

The roar of a souped-up motor and the happy whoop of the neighbour’s boy speeding home on his quad startle me. On our unpaved street, gravel crunches under a passing vehicle. Highway noises, long swishes mostly, float to me from four blocks over.

Sometimes at night I hear coyotes. Cattle. Fireworks. Sweet sounds that remind me why I love my countryside village, in spite of our spring-soupy streets and erratic internet.

I had a happy day today. Worked a bit in the garden. Spent time with the grandbeans. Washed windows. Laughed. Fed a few people.

But between all that happy, sad crept in. The world’s a mess tonight. Overseas, famine haunts nations. The Enemy has released the hags of war, greed and infectious disease. Radical Islamists commit unspeakable atrocities against people Jesus called my neighbours. People who once had homes as comfortable and familiar to them as my own home is to me. Those loved by family and friends. Precious lives. Too many children. Devastated.

Adding insult to grievous injury, a beloved clown* dropped his mask and left the stage. Without saying good-bye. When clowns grow sad, when laughter dies, can hope be far behind? Some wonder.

Such chaos doesn’t surprise God. Since Adam and Eve, sin, sorrow and destruction have plagued earth. This we know. But I’m feeling guilty. Maybe you are too. How dare I love my life? Count my blessings here in my yellow room? And that’s exactly what Satan wants. To start war in hearts too, by growing bitter stuff. Guilt. Anger. Envy. Revenge. Worry. Mostly, fear.

Let’s refuse. From my untidy room, I send this affirmation to my fellow believers. You and I can’t keep the world neat, but we can remember that God still loves it and gave his own Son to redeem it. We can pray less for serenity to accept the things we can’t change, and more for a surplus of courage to change the things we can – while we still can.

Want to make a difference? Start with prayer. Contribute to humanitarian agencies that send aid. Write federal politicians, requesting that our government hold more overseas governments accountable for human rights abuses.

Above all, refuse cowardice. Light up the space you influence with Jesus’ love. Stand boldly for Truth. Celebrate life. Cultivate gratitude. And listen for sweet sounds in the dark. God always sends them.
*published four days after the suicide of actor Robin Williams
 Sunny Side Up, published in various Western newspapers, and online.
©Kathleen Gibson, 2014



Glynis said...

Kathleen. Wow! Thanks for speaking a piece of my heart. This was brilliant. What a synopsis on the state of the world and the matters of the soul. I wish this would 'go viral.' Sometimes I do feel guilty for being so blessed. And if I ever have the audacity to complain, I will refer to your superb words here. Well said, my writer friend.

Anonymous said...

Whether I'm more conscious of blessings or the grief in this world, your words never fail to give me light, encouragement and balance. They also urge me on to do the bits I can in the corner God has placed me. Thanks, Kathleen!

Peter Black said...

Kathleen, thank you for sharing this piece. It stirred me. While your thoughts and insights are shared in a colourful and engaging manner, more importantly, they touch my heart and challenge me. May God use this writing to work grace in many hearts through its various media outlets. ~~+~~

Eleanor Shepherd said...

I love your thoughtful piece and it is so well written. Thank you for contributing this.

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