Daily Archives: November 9, 2015

Words

It has been raining for several days and we are excited to see the weather forecast of clear skies later this week. But, for now, we still need the windshield wipers.

As John and I sat at a stoplight this morning, we had a clear view of the windshield wiper on the back window of the SUV in front of us. It caught my attention, because there was an oddly shaped hand silhouette affixed to the wiper blade. The hand had letters on it in a foreign language. While waiting for the light to change, I found myself trying to figure out the meaning of the figure.

Suddenly, it struck me. The hand shape had an extended middle finger and, even though I do not speak the foreign language, I understood the words.

I felt so very badly for any parent who will get the question, “What does that mean?”

You may have been next to me in the airport, or in the waiting room at the car wash, or in line at the grocery store when we heard words that caused us to gasp or sigh or cringe. So often, when I hear those words, I look around to see if there are children nearby. But, I always am saddened.

We hear those words more than we have ever heard them – out of the mouths of teens, of those with wealth and those without wealth, of men and of women, of athletes, coaches, spectators and announcers. And, we have heard those words spoken by children.

But, today instead of looking to see if there were children present, I shouted, “I am a child. We are all children of God. We do not want to hear or see those words or images. We want to live in a world that cares, in a world that shows respect, in a world that loves.” Please forgive me, but I don’t want my heart and mind to become even more jaded, more used to those angry and offensive intentions.

What really saddens my heart is that the words and images are reflections of hearts that are angry and violent and hurt, of hearts that need love and joy and peace.

We are all children, created by God, who need to be cared for and cared about.

During this holiday season, I want my view to go deeper than the words and images. I want my focus to be on the heart.

Friend, Let our words this holiday season be uplifting!  May our words reflect hearts of love.

The scripture says, “You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.” (Luke 6:45, The Message)

Love you,

Jill (just one of God’s kids)

Help someone be a “Rudy”

Football Ball On Grass in a Stadium

This afternoon, John and I watched a movie that we had not seen in years, “Rudy.” Earlier this year, John got to hear “Rudy” speak at a Rotary event and we wanted to watch the movie again. It was so much fun! During the holiday season, if you want a great movie with the whole family (a movie that will make no one blush), get this one. It’s a great story.

For those of you who never saw the movie, here’s a summary. A boy is born into a hard-working, blue collar, Catholic family who are huge Notre Dame Football fans. The boy decides early in life that he will attend Notre Dame and play football for the university. Unfortunately his grades, physical size and athletic abilities do not support his dream. He works incredibly hard for many years and he achieves his goals. Although Rudy is technically on the team, he does not dress out for games.

(OK, “dress out” is a term from my junior high PE days. If it is not appropriate for males on a university football team, I do apologize. Please edit as you see fit.)

At the end, Rudy is only allowed to be on the sidelines for one game because someone else gave up their place. The scene in the movie brought me to tears…player after player brought their game jersey to the coach’s office, offering to give up their place on the team so that Rudy could play.

The story reminded me of so many times in my life when I was on that trip, in that room, giving that presentation, at that table, with that group, singing that song, eating that meal, enjoying that evening because someone went out of their way to include me. I didn’t have the grades, talent, experience, money, social standing or political contacts to merit that position. There is no question, I have benefited because others gave me a gift of status that was far beyond anything I deserved.

We have so much. We are so blessed. This year, let’s look for someone who needs what we have so easily. Take them in. Shift the spotlight. Speak comfort. Add a place at the table. Hold a hand. Make an introduction. Buy a meal. Spend some time. Invite them with you. Spread the joy. Buy an extra ticket.

We may change a life.

Friend, I pray that this year we will “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above ourselves, not looking to our own interests but each of us to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)