Monthly Archives: May 2014

Sludge

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Flushing water. Sludge. Foul air. Just a few of the commonly used words at the water treatment plant where our fifth graders visited last week. It brought a smile to my face as my students realized this was indeed a field trip with many bathroom innuendos, and bad smells were not only acceptable, but expected! We wove through the pipes and tunnels, watched water rush, sand settle, all the while trying to breath through our mouths and not our noses.

This experience, while perfect for fifth graders who think bodily functions are hilarious, also brought to mind a spiritual metaphor.

Waste. The whole purpose of this water treatment plant was to clean the waste and sludge from the water and make it pure. The process is longer than I would have imagined and each station had a very specific purpose in the treatment progress. Some stations were slow while gravity did its thing and let particles settle. Other stations were pulling huge chunks of things that should never have been flushed down the toilet. Still other stations had thousands of gallons of water surging through different pipes.

I couldn’t help but think about life and all the sludge of sin we are born with or dare I say choose to roll around in. How my life, as hard as I try to be perfect, is filled with failure and selfishness…muck and mire.

When I chose to follow Jesus and received His salvation that process of sanctification began. Sanctification…being made Holy. Holy…set apart. Praise God that when He looks at me He sees the Holy Jesus Christ and that is why I can have a relationship with Him. But on this earth I will still struggle with sin as I go through the process just like the water treatment plant. Process, process, process. I’m learning everything is about process. Sometimes the process is slow and deliberate, other times it rushes forward and I wish I could slow down and take a breath for a minute.

I rest in knowing that God is in control and knows the process well. He is working all things together for my good. And I have received Jesus’ righteousness so that I can walk in freedom through the process.

Looking for God in the little things.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”
(Romans 6:22 ESV)

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Blowing a Cable Man’s Mind

Best Buy. May 12. Approximately 4:17pm.

Me: Looking intently at the headphone options.
Cable Man: Wearing a shirt with an obnoxious Direct TV label. Hi. Anything I can help you with?
Me: Not now, I’m just looking. Thanks!
Cable: Well they make me ask all customers this…but what cable company do you have?
Me: Ha. I know where this is going…Actually, I don’t have cable! Feeling relieved that’s all he’s asking.
Cable Man: Oh, I get it, you’re more a Hulu and Netflix kinda girl!
Me: No…I actually just don’t watch TV.
Cable Man: Confused. So……do you like to read a lot?
Me: Eh…some.
Cable Man: Notably concerned. So…what do you do???
Me: Searching for a simple answer to a hectic life…Ummm…well…I’m just really busy, I’m involved in a lot of things. Why is this so confusing to you??
Cable Man: Like…you like to be outside?
Me: Relieved. Yes!!
Cable Man: Ok…I was worried you were sleeping all day or something.
Me: Haha. Nope.
Cable Man: Well have a nice day.
Me: Thanks you too! I think I just blew his mind. Ha. At least it was easy to turn down what he was selling!

Beautiful Rescue

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The following story takes place in a matter of 30 seconds.

I’m driving down the road today…perhaps a little over the speed limit…I may have been running late to small group…and I see the most peculiar sight.

There were several things that didn’t fit. I saw a teenage boy who appeared to have no legs in the street gutter. There was an old man and an old woman with snow white hair looking down at him. As I approached them, my mind ran wildly trying to find a place in my brain for this kind of situation. What in the world is going on??

As I roll closer I discover the teenager does indeed have legs but is just standing in the sewer…which I immediately think to myself….disgusting!! I am extremely close at this point and am rudely staring as I drive by, but they seem not to notice. They seem very intent on some sort of mission. I can see a look in their faces…I try to place it. Worry? Anxiety? Sneaky? Why does this all seem strange so much that it feels sketchy to me?

The teenager is scooping handfuls of something out of the sewer and handing it to the old couple. Whatever they are handing off is in some sort of cloth, or paper towel so I can’t see what it is. Now I see another teenager who has abandoned his bike and is running back and forth across the street taking the handfuls from the older couple and placing them in the grass.

I’ve made it past this strange sight but can’t help but continue to curiously stare in my rear view mirror; making last attempts to understand what’s going on.

Finally I see.

The teenager running across the street sets the scoop down and it begins to run…after it’s mother….a duck.

A smile spreads across my face as I continue to watch in my rear view mirror as this scene continues to play out behind me. One teenager in the gutter pulls baby duck out, hands it to the older couple, who hands it to the second teenager, who runs it across the street to its mother. All the while protected in a towel from the human toxins. One after another, each baby duck is rescued.

Beautiful.

These teenagers looked like they could be high school students and I would have classified them, based solely on their looks, as what I like to call “suburban hoodlums.” Meaning they ride their bikes all around Gahanna causing as much ruckus as can be caused by suburban kids. This elderly couple and the suburban hoodlums would probably never cross paths without some sort of common goal. But it seemed for a moment, that everything was set aside for a greater purpose. A rescue. To reunite babies to their beloved mother.

I can only imagine what happened to have those babies fall into the sewer. (Maybe a competition of brotherly bravery??) And I can only imagine what that mother duck probably thought at the sight of her precious children trapped under the world as she knows it.

And the beauty? All if it working together for the good of everyone involved.