Friday, March 07, 2008

Numbers 24:12-13 (NKJV)

Numbers 24:12-13 (NKJV)-“So Balaam said to Balak, ‘Did I not also speak to your messengers whom you sent to me saying, “If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD, to do good or bad of my own will. What the LORD says, that I must speak”?’”

Be patient with me this morning. This is one of those ones were I kind of tell on myself. If it runs a little long, I’m sorry. I really didn’t know what I was going to write about today. I was floundering. That is until I took my youngest daughter down to the bus stop this morning….

My wife had made mention that there were some new kids at the stop this week, and they were very quiet children. She said that she, and another mother who walk down during the week spoke to them, but all they got in return were nodding heads. No words, nothing.

So, I walked Sammy down today. I gave her the option of getting a ride with me in the truck, since it was pouring down rain. I didn’t really want to walk her down, and I thought if I offered her a ride she’d take it. At the last minute, she decided to catch the bus instead.

So, we saddled up and walked down to the stop. We got there and were being silly, when the two new kids were dropped off. Now, remember, I’ve been told all morning how these kids didn’t respond when my wife talked to them, and she is a small white woman. I had no intention, being a large black guy, of pushing them or trying to engage them at all. I didn’t think they’d take to me.

Yes, some of you can already see where this is going.

It’s raining, remember? The new kids get out of the car, and run across the street to the bus stop. They come up on the curb and don’t say anything to either me or Sammy. Then I hear, “Say good morning.”

Oh, hi God. Were you not listening to Becky this morning telling me about her experiences with these kids? They didn’t speak to her. I’m liable to just scare them.

“I didn’t ask you all that. I just asked you to say good morning.”

I’ve been hit over the head with the spiritual 2x4 enough times in my life to realize, sometimes, it’s better just to do it and not argue. So, I looked at the new kids, took a deep breath, and gave my best “Good morning!” to them.

The floodgates opened.

I learned more in that 5 minutes with those kids than my wife had all week. I even coaxed them under the umbrella with Sammy, so they wouldn’t be standing there getting wet. I learned that the little girl has another brother besides the one at the bus stop, and both of them are autistic. And it’s a form of autism that my wife, in her job as a teaching assistant, deals with each and every day. She found that VERY interesting.

I learned that the person who invented the Pokémon card game was autistic as well; and he had the same form as her brother at the bus stop, and as the kids that my wife deals with.

But most of all, I learned that God can use you in any capacity He likes, as long as you speak what He says. I learned that I can be what God wants me to be, not what I see in the mirror. This morning, I was a friend to two kids, who I figured would be too scared to even stand with me at a bus stop.

I got back to the house, and told the story of what happened at the bus stop. My wife and my two other daughters were amazed. My wife was shocked, especially when I told her about the brothers. She’s already refining how she can deal with them come Monday; I could tell by the way she was looking. Then Kaitlyn, my 11 year old, said something that really jolted me. She said, “Gee, I bet that was a smack in the back of the head, wasn’t it Dad?”

Time stopped for me. I’m starting to cry again. I’m sorry. She had no idea why she said that; but I did.

See, I’m supposed to be performing in our church’s kid’s program this weekend. I got the script on Thursday. The director wants me to do a different part than I normally do, and it has a lot longer script. I didn’t think I could memorize it all by Saturday.

Then, I started thinking about how this was just getting tougher to do. And that, come summer time, I was probably going to back out for a while to get my bearings and do something else. I was really trying to do too much, and that script wasn’t helping. It was too long; and what if she wanted me to do something else? It was getting to be real time consuming.

Once again, God showed me that He has me in His hands, right where He wants me. It’s not the most glamorous or most sought out position in the church; but it’s where He wants ME right now. I can’t go beyond where God has me right now.

I feel like I’ve met those kids somewhere before. I don’t know where, and I don’t know when, I just feel it inside me. And from what Kaitlyn said, it could have been church. It could have been Kid K’nex. It could have been one time.

And I could have missed it all.

God stretches us. Sometimes, He uses you, and sometimes He uses someone around you because you’re too wrapped up in yourself at that time. Then, He reminds you through that other person He had to grab that you can hear His voice as well. You’re just choosing to ignore it.

So, here, in no particular order, is the other part of the spiritual clearing I’ve been instructed to do today.

J-Lo (aka Jen Loveday)-I’ll do the Storyteller part, if that’s what you want. If God tells you, then you tell me. Don’t worry about the rest, just do what God puts on your heart, and leave the rest to Him. He’ll hit whoever He needs to, including me, to get His kids.

-I’m sorry if I seemed like I was making a big deal out of this today. I didn’t mean to come across like that. I was shocked and stunned because of the differences in the reactions we received. I will need your help in dealing with the brother, especially if he still doesn’t respond to you. I’m glad God gave you the experience.

Kaitlyn-I know you don’t know why you said it. It’s okay. God made you. Don’t try and say something else smart though, and blame it on Him. We’ll know the difference. But you spoke truth today, even though you don’t know it.

Sammy-I thank you for not wanting to take the easy way out. If I had driven you to school, we would have missed this morning entirely. I was annoyed at first, but the “whoosh” of the 2x4 at the bus stop made that go away completely.

Mom-you’re nowhere mentioned in this. However, you asked Becky and me to do some stuff at your mission house this summer. I’ll do what I can, when I can. I haven’t talked to you yet, but I’m scared if I think about it too much, I’ll just try and back out. I don’t want to know how painful that lesson will be for me. Just keep the plans going and we’ll see how God works it out.

To the rest of you, what are you doing right now? Is church the place you occasionally go to on the weekend to salve your conscience? Are you doing anything to help in the local fellowship you belong, or are you just there to take, take, and take some more?

Oh, and let me tell you something else-not everyone can do something glorious and wonderful that puts them in front of the congregation for everyone to see. Sometimes, it’s the stuff in the background that makes all the difference.

How are you putting your talents and abilities toward God? Are you speaking what the Lord says, or just talking out the side of your own mouth? God has placed something on your heart; so just go and do it. Don’t be too scared because you don’t think you’ll like kids or too proud because it’s not a big fancy “church” job. Just do it.

It may be someone’s season to sit underneath the pastor’s tutelage and learn so they can grow in their walk. But they may not be able to, because they can’t get out of the position they’re serving in, since you won’t get off your duff and go out and serve.

Sometimes, God uses a whisper. I read one that said sometimes He also has to use a brick; but in my case, He has to use a 2x4. I’d hate for Him to have to move up to a 2x6.

Wouldn’t you?

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.

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