Saturday, February 20, 2010


This week I’ve been thinking about filters. I know, sounds weird, right? Normally the only time I think about filters in when the guy from the oil change place comes in and shakes out a dirty air filter in my lap and tells me that I need a new one because this one is dirty. I always fight the strong urge to let him know that actually now I don’t need a new one because he has just cleaned the old one out on top of my dress pants. Thanks.

Maybe some of you are thinking that I lost my filter right there. Filters are used to keep the bad things out of the good things. They keep the sludge and filth out of the nice clean things we like so much. And I’m sure that air filter does something important, I’m just not the kind of girl who really cares about exactly how it works. Just put it on my tab, oil change guy.

Actually, the filters I’m talking about here today are the ones that we set up for the things that we say. The filter our brain develops over time. You know the ones. The filter that catches that curse word right before it reaches your teeth. The filter that keeps you from telling someone what you really think. The thing is, I’ve seen someone’s filter disintegrate quite a few times this week as my Granddad has struggled with general advanced age problems and sickness. And it got me to thinking…

Where do those thoughts come from? A lot of times you hear someone saying that it’s the “disease” but I’ve got to think that some of those thoughts are coming from somewhere, it’s just that the “disease” eats your filter. Let's just admit that all of us have experienced breach of filter moments in our own lives. It’s like someone has taken down our carefully placed screen and opened a not so flattering window into parts of our brains that maybe we didn’t even know about. Here’s what I’m getting at: God sees right through our carefully placed filter. He tells Samuel this in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."

Yikes. That means God sees the parts of me that even I don’t like to look at. And you know what? My filter might be akin to the emperor’s newest fashion statement when it comes to how God sees me, but now, thanks to My Jesus, I have a covering. In the words of singer songwriter JJ Heller, “I am painted red” by the blood of Jesus and that’s what God sees when He looks at me now. So yeah, I’m a mess. That’s not to say that I want continue to be – The Apostle Paul said that of course(!) we don’t take that grace as a license to sin and I’m with him on that – it’s just to say that once again, the grace that Jesus pours out on me freshly every morning is so much more than I drink in and when I get a little glimpse of another drop of it, my cup overflows.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

And sometimes He uses a dog…

I’m wondering what to start my blog out with so I think I’ll rewind back to a few months ago. I’ve had more semi-profound thoughts since then, but for now, this is all that makes it to the top of the memory sludge. That being said, let me explain what I mean by “He” and the use of a dog.

A few months ago, back before the snow coated the surprised ground, I had a moment of energy/uncommon desire to be outside so I took Lucy (my somewhat flawed Westie dog) and Aggie (my Mom’s Chihuahua meets Dachshund) on a short stroll. One thing I failed to mention about Lucy is that she’s a lot like me. She’s weird about cuddling and while she wants to be with you, she’s definitely not a lap dog. Along with that, her endurance is much like mine in that it’s nothing to write home about even on a good day. All of that said, we get along pretty well, my dog and I. Although she often scratches herself into oblivion and at the same time empties my wallet, I kind of love her. Great dog. That, however, is not the point.

On the particular day I’m recalling, I had decided (without consulting my dogs) to go the extra mile which was actually only an extra block or so. As we neared home, I felt a tug at the leash and looked back to find my precious little dog conducting her own sit in. Not budging, she wasn’t going another step. She was tired and this was not the walk she signed up for.

What struck me was not that my dog was taking some “me” time but instead, I stood back and thought about what she could not see. She was tired, and her feet hurt. What she couldn’t see was that when we went around the next curve we would be HOME. Home, where she could rest. That started me thinking. How often does God look at me with those same thoughts? How often does He look at me and say, “But if you only knew what was around the corner. It’s good! It’s HOME!” When I say sometimes He uses a dog, I mean that He uses all kinds of things to get me to pay attention and on that day, He picked a dog.

Turns out, Lucy wasn’t planning on resuming her walk on her own. So what did I do? I did what any person who loves their dog would do… I carried her. I carried her because I knew what was best for her. I carried her because I knew that if we could just get around that last corner, something better was waiting for her. I carried her because I wanted her with me. Isn’t that how God feels about His children? I’m so glad He uses dogs and donkeys and maybe even sometimes, He uses me.