My eyes opened, and immediately thoughts captured my waking moments with busyness and today’s to-do list! My feet had not hit the floor yet and already I was running around in circles in my mind. It is the first day of May, and I have lots to do. I determined to silence the chaos that tried to envelope me in panic, and allowed myself five more minutes of duvet time, as it was only 7am. I listened to the birds in my garden singing victoriously in the rain. The heavy downpour that most likely was pelting them on their little heads, did not seem to bother them at all. I smiled.
Then I arose, and greeted my day with faith, hope and intent. I prepared my cup of brilliance, and sat at my table by my window. The sun was not shining this morning and somehow I actually welcomed this cloudy day by lighting my favourite vanilla bean candle. Ahhh aroma and flickering light, a beautiful combination. Then I quietened my to-do list and hushed the busy thoughts that clamoured for my attention. Instead my focus turned to my God, and surrendering my entire day to Him. I waited, read, prayed and pursued stillness. He came, whispered hope, promised strength, gave encouragement and reassured me with His presence. “Today is Yours God”, I whispered with great loyalty, love and expectation. Then I reached over to open my window further as glimmers of sunshine broke through the clouds. I sat back down and closed my eyes and let my Saviour’s peace take precedence over my morning. Then it came, the most beautiful interruption imaginable. In the still air came these beautiful melodic lyrics, accompanied by a choir of voices and instruments:
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see…”
I held my breath with surprise, my brain curiously trying to figure out where this music was coming from. In all the years I have sat by this garden window on the third floor of this building, I have never heard a song fill the air like it did this morning. I sat there, soaking up this incredible truth, as the song continued to play, hauntingly and boldly through the south city air. It was amazing. Yes it was amazing grace. The lyrics continued to pour out upon the unsuspecting audience:
”Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.”
I was silent, as tears fell down my face, this beautiful interruption was so perfect. So brilliant in its magnitude, that the truth of these words overwhelmed my soul with hope. I felt like God orchestrated the whole encounter, and serenaded me with the reminder of His “Amazing Grace”. Moments later the song ended and no other song or music followed it. Even now I hear no radio, or further song choice filling the air. Just one song played, and the only one necessary.
As I sit here, I continue humming the tune as I type. Still moved by the incredible truth of its lyrics. Did anyone else hear it? I have no idea. All I know is I am glad I was silent enough to do so, and that my morning became still enough to receive the beautiful interruption of a message from heaven. My heart has been reminded of the multitude of ways God wants to invade my ordinary moments and fill them with His beautiful masterpieces. I am in awe of the mysterious timing of His glorious ways, and the reminder that it is His Amazing Grace that carries us on.
Be still enough to hear it, the sound of truth trying to get your attention, and fill your day with grace!
Good Monday morning to you.. .. .. I like Monday’s, I guess they just feel like the first page of the book of a brand new week, and brim over with new possibilities. Of course it is better if it is sunny,
but as I look out my window, the rain is teaming down softly and gently. Actually it makes a change from the Indian Summer we just had this past week. Today, rain is absolutely perfect for what I need to do! Clearing presses, preparing bags of clothes for the charity shop, and generally trying to declutter my life of clothes and books that would be better with someone else who needed them.
It is funny when you start to rummage through old boxes and bags, the things you find: memories! But also among all of the memories I found many of my handwritten journals, ‘Precious Moments’, “Holly Hobbie”, and “Camo Girl” themed notebooks, full of my many letters to God.
Since I was a child I loved to write, and finding all of these etchings and heart-to-paper thoughts just overwhelmed me with the goodness of God in my life. Among the boxes, I also found my safely kept “Love Is” collection – I remember as a young pre-teen I discovered these romantic little cartoon characters on the crossword page of the Irish Independent, and from that day I saved a little of my pocket money so I could always buy that Sunday newspaper, purely to read that cute caption and cut out that little cartoon. I found them all safe and sound, although a little discoloured. I then came across my hand painted island pictures, tropical beaches, butterfly skies, and dreamy horizons: I love painting!
Some of these things I will keep, some I will read and then carefully leave out to be shredded, but one thing I will always keep, is the knowledge that through all the years that these books and boxes represent, God has watched over me and cheered me on through every day. He roared from the sidelines as I ran like the wind though my cross country and sprint competitions – He shouted my name out when I won my first basketball trophy and art competition medals – He applauded my efforts as I worked and studied full-time in Theology College, and even saw to it that I won the beautiful ‘Dorcas Award’ – through all of these years He has been my Great Rewarder, my Faithful Encourager, and always my daily strength. Today I like to think of it as the “fist bump of God”. He has high-fived me and said “Well done daughter, I am so proud of you!” – The Great I AM is proud of me, and proud of you too!
Maybe you have never needed, or felt the fist bump of God, or the approval of your Creator? But to me His voice has been the sweetest one I know. On days when I thought the battle was too hard, or the race too long, He gave me my second wind and helped me win the gold. When decisions were scarey or people let me down, He never left my side and taught me a better way. When roadblocks and hurdles tried to throw me off course, He came along beside me and made the way clear. The fist bump of God is His acknowledgement that He not only sees your efforts, but you are also on His team, the winning team! A fist bump can also be a symbol of giving respect when it is due. It is commonly used in baseball as a form of celebration with teammates, and with opposition players at the end of a game.
According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz, the fist bump was created by Stan Musial. It is said that knuckle bumping started in the 1970s with NBA player Baltimore Bullets guard Fred Carter. Others claim it began with the Wonder Twins, minor characters in the 1970s Hanna Barbara superhero FISH cartoon Super Friends, who touched knuckles and cried “Wonder Twin powers, activate!” However, the “fist bump” or “pound” can easily be traced as far back as the late 1800s and early 1900s to the boxer’s handshake as a way to greet when hands are gloved. So it was the handshake of fighters, determined to find away to say “Well done!”Some fist bump to celebrate sports victories, to agree on a good point, or in a congratulatory way when you want to say “good job.”
Some say it is no different than a high five. Experts have said that it is not suitable for those in love to do as it is seen as a ‘we’re just friends’ kind of gesture, but in my opinion aren’t the best relationships the ones that have a strong friendship too? Either way, I am grateful for the friendship and the fist bump of God, for His accolades after every accomplishment, and for His tender, proud, kind, encouraging words that say, “Job well done!”
Someone gave me the following verbal fist bump today; “Denise, you are already amazing and will just be even more amazinger!” (I love new ‘made up on the spot words’) – God says we are just becoming more amazing as we let Him develop and change us!
Every relationship has its trademarks, those unique and memorable things that someone does that make you love them more, it is one of God’s trademarks to encourage us. Trademarks are the unique things we find so endearing about others, and soon after we meet someone we learn to love their quirky ways. God has His favourite things about you too. So as I embark on a new challenge this week, which will take me through a few months of intense study, I am already aware of the fact that I will need fist bumps all the way through, and when May finally gets here, I will again here God say, “Job well done Nisey!”
God doesn’t want to be a silent partner in your life, your job, your career, your relationship or marriage, personal life or business ~ let Him speak the loudest! Let Him be the most important fist bump you get, hear Him say “Job well done!” And while we are at it, let’s not be afraid to fist bump each other, verbal or otherwise – find a way to say “Good Job!”
Remember, a fist bump says = “We’re in this together!”