Who Cares?

The first thing I should have done was check to see if she was alright. That was what I should have done. I’d like to point out it came quickly on the heels of what I actually did. So, there’s that.

Sometime in 1981 I was in the 2nd year of my time at Humboldt State University. Lori and I were married in 1980, and we took up residence in a $210 a month apartment immediately adjacent to school. One afternoon we were walking across the steps of the university library. I’ve since looked at a picture of the pillars in front of the building, and I’m not sure how I managed it, but somehow I led my young wife directly into one of those pillars, and she went down. Now, I have to say that for as long as I’ve known Lori, I’ve taken on an extra degree of responsibility when the two of us walk together. This is due to the fact that her depth perception is not excellent, and things like stairs can present a challenge. When she goes someplace new she’ll count steps up and down to help her the next time she goes there. Lori is demonstrably above average in nearly every other way, but God has chosen to make her less than perfect in this. I believe the divine purpose is to give other people hope. Okay, I jest, and you might say my wife being on the ground was no laughing matter, except it was a very funny moment. What would forever cement this moment in our memory was my immediate reaction. I quickly looked around to see who might have witnessed our two-Stooge-Three-Stooges-performance. Then, I began to assess the extent of any injuries Lori might have incurred. And she noticed the order of my priorities. Fortunately, our laughter helped to both rescue me from my inappropriate immediate response and cement this as one of those family memories we would laugh about for years.

I believe our God has a sense of humor, and it’s one of those personal attributes we should take the time to encourage in each other. Goodness knows there is enough stress in each day that we should take advantage of every Godly remedy we have at our disposal. A genuine smile is one of the greatest gifts we can give to both folks we know and those we don’t. Finding ways to encourage laughter in each other can help bring unity and healing. Who cares? It’s clear God does. If God cares for us, we must find every way we can to humble ourselves and bring joy and laughter to help lighten the loads we all invariably carry.

Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
Luke 6:21

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:25-26 NIV

Worry and care we accumulate,
burdens we weren’t meant to carry.
Sadness upon sadness
we add through the years
when to it
no one asked us to marry.
Grief has its place
and shapes us like clay,
but God purposed us
for more than one expression.
We owe to lift our brothers and sisters up
to all God’s grand dimension.

© Joel Tipple 10/12/2019

Worthy For a Purpose

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16 ESV

I have a Christian friend who, truth to tell, I look up to. He knows his bible very well and is one of the most self-sacrificing and loving people you will ever meet. But… there’s something he says that bothers me. Often, when we haven’t seen each other for some time, I’ll ask him how he’s doing. His response is often, “Better than I deserve!” It makes me cringe. Now, I know where he’s going with it, and I’m not bothered that it’s a pat response. We all say things without thinking, and greetings often fall into that category. I know when he says he’s doing better than he deserves he’s referring to the grace that God has extended to humanity through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. My friend is saying he once was lost, but thanks to God’s offer of forgiveness and his acceptance, he is now saved from the fate he deserved.  So, if I understand my friend’s greeting, why does it bother me? It bothers me because just as God loves us enough to want us to give up our sinful ways, he also wants us to change our old view of ourselves, and that includes the worth God places upon us. If we fail to embrace how God sees us, in light of Jesus’ sacrifice, we run the risk of never fulfilling the purpose He has for each of our lives. We are indeed worthy of the purpose for which God has preordained us. Why? The same reason your finally exasperated parents gave when they had run out of other reasons… Because He says so.

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
John 1:12 ESV

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV

Have you been conditioned
like me
by the world you live in?
have you tried filling
that God-shaped place
with counterfeit feelings
and things?
There’s a way for you to go home.
though for too long you have roamed.
Because the Bible tells me so,
Jesus is the means.

Take on
His worthy purpose.
He’ll answer your questions
for existence in time.
Beginning with salvation,
new ownership,
and management,
his business will become your own,
as will mine.

With gifted strength
from God,
fulfill His purpose,
though you can’t see the goal
from your own endzone.
Give the fight to the Lord,
He’ll help you endure.
God has promised
you won’t have to get there
on your own.

© Joel Tipple 03/09/2019
Author of Written in the Light.