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
ESV

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

Present

To be a gift
you must be present…
not a perfect present,
a present perfectly real.
Show me you,
the unique you God made.
Show me strength
that bends
instead of brittle, breaking.
Show me love
that can share my sorrow,
not only my joy.
Don’t just show me what you think,
show me what you feel.
Please don’t show me
what you own
and in the showing reveal
what owns you.
Oh, be owned
most definitely be owned.
But be owned
by the ultimate sacrifice,
the ultimate present,
the giver of life.
Be the gift
by giving yourself
to the present.

©Joel Tipple
#8/16

The Gospel

DSCN0927
let me feel the gospel
Lord
anyone could say the words
so don’t let them pass right through me
hardly pausing on their way
let them change me
rearrange me
I’m willing to learn
God, you hear what my heart has to say.

let me carry the gospel
Father
its bright colors spilling forth
with grace to balance justice
east west south and north

friends we’ve become
your gospel and me
it’s the truth that shines
from the eyes of the knower
but it’s not only a companion
that wants to hang around
it would much rather be with
those who are sowers

gospel moves through music
through songs that inspire
through words lifting hearts
and taking us higher
like a good rain
washes the world clean
the gospel takes the scales from our eyes
while the riches of God it leaves

to everyone
around the world
to every land
and every flag unfurled
till the people all know
that Jesus died but now lives
we’ll share the precious gospel
just like our savior did

© Joel Tipple
#29/14