When is Your Zero Dark Thirty?

This morning I walked outside in the winter cold at zero dark thirty and looked up to see a partial moon and a few fragile stars clinging to the night.  It struck me that looking up is always the holiest part of my day.  I spend so much time looking down, mired in the minutia, pondering problems without the perspective of Power.  Looking up reminds me to bow down.  It made me think of this post from last year…

I’m not good at the practice of silence and solitude.  I like chatter and hustle and bustle because they feel productive.

Silence and solitude, at least from a distance, seem well, lonely and unconstructive. Like  waiting for a bus you’re not sure is coming.

However, though it’s not my go-to mode, over the years I’ve grudgingly come to experience great value in the discipline of being alone and quiet with God.

When I look at the account of the first Christmas, it’s not that there wasn’t chaos, confusion, and noise.  “The little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes”??  Are you kidding? Continue reading

Kingdom Come Small

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is “Who has despised the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10)

It’s comforting.

It feels like a personal p.s. after all the flashy miraculous fire-and-rain-prophets-of-baal-showdowns.  Like God’s saying “That’s not the whole story.  And you, even you – person of small things – have a part to play in my kingdom capers.”

I feel reassured by this.  This reminder that in the economy of God there really are no small things.

It makes me think of Bill. Bill with two artificial knees, one artificial hip, and steel in his spine and in a worldly sense, a person of small things.

Bill is a fixture at our church.  A remarkable man with a remarkable gift of hospitality and a servant’s heart.  Rain, sleet, or snow he is out in the parking lot in his orange vest, directing traffic, or holding the door for someone or helping someone out of a car.

Don’t despise the day of small things.

For the past 5-6 weeks there has been an older gentleman coming to the early Sunday service at our church in a cab. He uses a walker and his name is Vic.

This past Sunday he was waiting for the cab sitting on the heat register in the entryway after church.

As the cab pulled up, Bill opened the car door for Vic.  He started to get in and cab driver came and took his walker to put in trunk.

Ollie, (another greeter on Spirit steroids and person of small things) said “Hi” to the driver, asked him his name. And then, “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

Don’t despise the day of small things.

The driver, Ali, a Muslim gentleman, helped get Vic strapped in back seat, and Ollie came back with a cup of hot coffee, saying “Be careful, it doesn’t have a lid.”

The driver said “thanks” and drove away.

Don’t despise the day of small things.

Such small things!  No big deal.

But what if…

What if this was the first gesture of kindness this Muslim man experienced at a Christian church?

What if Ali told his friends about this faith community and it was the beginning of a bridge?

What if the care Vic received was the only gracious encounter of his day?

What if a cup of coffee, or an open door, or a welcoming smile was part of a much bigger thing God was at work doing?

What small opportunities has God given you to be part of His work in the world?