Look Alive

26 February 2011


"This woman's bleeding! It's illegal to leave her house. It's not a social thing. It's not about who's in the pews, what they're saying in the 2nd or the 6th row. She said, 'I just NEED what I need!'"
- just heard in a radio sermon about a woman's "issue" and what the minister called "churchiness"

In terms of 'classical' medicine, blood, black and yellow bile and phlegm/mucus are considered its "humors". If you've visited me here over the past two weeks, then you'll know I've had a 'humorous' time, so to speak, with the flu. You'd think my head was still stuffed with that last one the way I forgot that bile already covered the base for two colors, doubting my memory of the fluids' names when putting this post together as well as my acceptance of an invitation to a Sabbath service earlier this morning.

On the ride there, a need to expel some stubborn traces of 'humor' and no immediate access to more ladylike resources overwhelmed me, so I opened the car door as discreetly as possible at a light and...gained a blog title! The broadcast, my agreement with touching upon the right hem or hymn at any cost that edifies Christ and red-yellow-green's regulation had already produced the theme and sentences to follow. I'm just glad to be and feel healthy again, thank God!

As we approached the church's entryway, I wondered if I was in violation of a call "to keep the [day] holy" as travel was required. That may sound plain silly and pretentious to some, while others might wish to spit at my feet as if I was an imp with an anything-but-pious nature. Regardless, it was an earnest consideration, as a friend recently shared a teaching that excluded even the use of cooking fire during the usual Sabbath respite period. When you've known or done wrong, eventually, hopefully, you just get to a place when you want to know and do what's right, despite the enemy's challenges and chiding. The further into the parking lot we drove, the reality of my movement for the purpose of fellowship in Christ -- and the flipside of their sign -- re-established the joy of the Lord as our strength and I felt welcome!

Once inside, a warm body of believers and a certain Dr. Abel (!) delivered a great message, his entitled "Even Me". It didn't hurt that one of my favorite songs bears the same name, either. The sermon, which drew from Judges 3 and 1 Peter 2 in particular as well as the popular children's chorus, reiterated how precious God's children of all ages and 'humors' are in His sight. Even the unassuming or peculiar ones like the physically left-handed Ehud are alright in the Will and Work of the Kingdom.

True, Israel had swayed in their emotions again, coveting the Moabites (who later weren't all bad, if only for one lovely lady named Ruth) whom God gave them over to for yet another disloyal act. But, as the minister explained, sometimes the Lord will temporarily do that for one of a few reasons:
- To teach you something
- To teach the enemy something about you
- To teach both sides something about Him
Wasn't it Cain who first wielded the knife, but here was Abel preaching the Word about one? I have heard it said that God is a comedian, but I know the Lord is not to be mocked and His Holy Spirit has timing and delivery like no other!

Like leprosy, the mental illness discussed some posts ago and other human conditions that aren't exclusively curses, left-handedness was looked down upon by the "frozen chosen" who "restrict our understanding of God because of their obsession with 'right-handedness'" of the world. The appearance and style of one's intimate worship with the Lord is somehow worth less than the actual relationship. The infamous club of "they", that can claim any of us if we're not vigilant to remain humbled by God's Sovereignty through Christ's grace, is rigid in their belief as to if and how God should use a person for His glory.

The new visitors appeared surprised when the congregation's women weren't wearing floor-length skirts and covered heads; not because such attire is anything less than beautiful, but likely because of its contrast with what they'd heard and thought they knew. Even me. Sometimes when it comes to the inner workings of others and always when it comes to our Maker, we don't know spit.

In a closing homage to Black History Month, the minister likened several pioneers of American industry and African descent who were spat upon in one way or another to that same Ehud. Some having "come from shelters, bad families [and] bad relationships" had to fight harder to evict the enemy from their joy storages and embrace the unique ministries within. Along my own path, this heart pumps, I've cried for joy or pain, sweat is a given and my mouth has even tried to rap (aka "spit", colloquially) once or thrice back there somewhere in an effort to live and share the Gospel. Not much of it has been easy. One thing I believe we can agree upon across waters, space and time is that taking rest in El Elyon ~ God Most High ~ when it's time to, makes it easier.

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