Cold Morning, Hot Tea and an Old Friend
It is a chilly morning, normal winter weather. Blue skies, with light brush strokes of white clouds here and there. The sun casting shadows as it rises in the east. A spot of tea is perfect on such a morning, warming my insides after coming in from my morning chores. I sat in silence thinking about what I want to accomplish today...start a new quilt for the grand-babies room. Red work, bright and cheery with sunbonnet Sue. I have Sunbonnet Sue fabric for curtains too. White, with tiny gals scattered across it. I want to finish painting in the living room too. Amazing what fresh paint can do for a room. Same color as before, just Country White, but after a couple years, the wood stove use darkens the walls. We have lots of books, so painting means moving the books from the bookcases to get behind them. Lots of work.
But first things first in the day. To read. Bending over a bit, more like hunching over to see one shelf below eye level, I peruse the bookshelf looking for just that right book. Maybe it was the color, the richness of the Burgundy red, maybe it was a longing to step back in time, maybe it was just divine intervention. I choose to read from a small Bible that I took with me to Israel back in 1990. A brand new Bible, a gift from a dear friend Anna. She wanted me to have a new, unmarked, Bible for my trip. She felt led to. My favorite Bible is so well marked, so worn, a new one is like seeing things differently. No history to influence how I looked at a verse.
This little red Bible has notes all along that margins taken when I was at certain places throughout Israel. I never used this Bible much after this particular trip. It still feels and smells new. Leafing through it this morning with the sun and shadows coming through the window, I read from James, my all time favorite book. It seems to me that God directs where the pages open at times and today seems like one of those times. I read from the first chapter, 26 "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
There you have it....just what we need to do, how to behave. Hummm, keeping a tight rein on our tongues. A lesson for me to be sure. It's not only words of anger we need to watch, but saying snide remarks, being negative, petty, jealous words that make us knock a person down a bit to make ourselves look better. Bragging words, snippy words, grouchy words, judgemental words. Ouch !
Keeping oneself polluted by the world, is something so against our modern approach to being informed, being "with it". Not being polluted requires diligence and keeping away from so many things...certain books, most television, most new movies and magazines that make us want, want, want and feel jipped when we don't have all the finery that there is out there.
I fall prey to the concept of being "well informed." Do we really need to know something about everything ? You have your own answer on that one. At times I think my sweet tooth takes a back seat to my hunger to know more about everything. There are things we can hunger and thirst after that will build us up, make us better people, but not everything we digest is good for us.
Melanie and Casi could use your prayers. Casi lost his job last week, so they are without an income to speak of. He was approved for unemployment benefits but he needs a job, plain and simple. They have been through so much in a years time. They are discouraged. At times we seem taken to the cliff of "How Much More Can We Stand Mountain" and made to look over the edge, leaving us feeling frightened, vulnerable and abandoned.