Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bless and Do Not Curse

Mighty Violet, the same friend who loaned me Ann Voscamp's book, took up a challenge to read Romans 12 daily in February, a chapter my husband also said he should pray daily. CC license
As I was meeting the challenge just now, my son was hammering first the front, then the back door. He has to do this to get back into the house, because our front door doesn't simply open and close. It is a Victorian antique. It locks. A key hangs next to the door, or he can run to the kitchen door and unlock it, ensuring ease of access to the indoors. Still, he forgets nine times out of ten. He beats against he steel door out back because the front door glass is the old lead, and he knows from its rattling it will break if abused. I should give him credit for not abusing that door. I keep him beating the door in the twenty-degree cold though. For I want him to learn that I'm neither his valet, his doorman, nor a kitchen widget. Mothers get confused with these as much as fathers are confused with banktellers.

From NAQL Photostream/CC license
Verse three of the chapter and I started feeling guilty. "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought." It devolves from there. I cannot leave my son, or in this case my son and a gang of boys red nosed with cold, out there to remind him the key was accessible. I am incorrigible though. I jumped over the door and gave him the drill: "Use the key, or unlock back door." 

"It takes you, like twenty seconds, to come," he replied. 

Let me ask you. What is a mother to do? Once more, God give me a chance to turn the other ... lock... not cheek literally.

So, thank you, God, 
  1. for the reminder in your Scriptures,
  2. the opportunity to grow in patience
  3. forgiveness cause I just failed doing it in love
  4. the forgiveness of 11-year old boys, which I know does not last forever
  5. my mother who must have done such errands thousands of times, with seven kids
  6. the boys with big enough hearts to play black ops quiet enough that I can write
  7. friends who challenge us to do good by their own example
  8. the motherhood of Mary, who prepared for following her Son on his ministry and shows me what it means to love
  9. the chances to show hospitality to my son's friends, even if the click of fake guns is going off (this taxes the soul of even imperfect pacifists like me)
  10. beautiful front doors that hold up for almost 200 years.
  11. the contractor in our parish who has bought us a glass door that doesn't lock behind us and will install it when the weather is reasonable
  12. Lectio Divina, the reading of Scripture as prayer, to change my heart
  13. the faith to believe if I pray Scriptures the wisdom and discernment to 'heap burning coals' on my son's head so he remembers to put the key in the door will come and I will do this without injuring his dignity.
  14. Oh, and a second time around, for my mom. I'm planning on writing down all the ways she makes me thankful. She and my dad are amazing.
  15. Lastly, for my husband, who fixed my summer residency funds, bleached the sinks, loaded the dishwasher, and writes me loving notes. He's amazing!

Romans 12

New International Version (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts,according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love in Action

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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