Run Over By Life

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“Wow,” she thought as she bent down to pick up the shiny penny. “This penny is so damaged. I wonder how many times it has been driven over.”

She looked at the scratches that covered it and thought how much she felt like that penny sometimes. So many times life seems to run over her – her plans, her finances, her relationships, her health – leaving her feeling a little more rough and scratched each time.

“But, just as valuable as before,” whispered a small voice in her heart. “Nothing life does to you can diminish the value you have in My eyes.”

A gentle feeling of peace filled her as she put the penny in her pocket. Her Savior loved her. And that’s all that mattered.

Don’t Get Too Close to the Fence

“Where are you going, Kevin?” she asked, holding on to his leash and trying not to be pulled by his strong legs. “You need to come back here.”

But Kevin had seen something that caught his attention and he was determined to investigate it.

“Stop, Kevin! Don’t get too close to that fence! It will hurt you!”

But whether he didn’t hear or didn’t understand, he ignored the warning and continued running towards the object of his interest, which happened to be on the other side of the fence.

“Kevin! Stop! You’re too close! Come back!” she yelled, trying desperately to pull back on the leash. But he was too determined and did his best to keep going.

He saw the fence, but he had seen fences before. No big threat. He could get past that. But as soon as his nose touched it, he found out different. This fence was NOT like the others. This one bit!

Terrified, he took off, his broken leash dangling behind him, across the large yard and up the long driveway as if he was never going to stop running. He had to get as far away from that fence as he could.

“Kevin, come back!” she called out. “You’re heading for the street!”

But this time terror prevented him from hearing anything. When he got to the top of the driveway, before turning to run down the street, he paused. Did he hear something? Yes, he could hear her voice calling him. Coming from a long way away, it was soft, but somehow loud enough to break through his terror.

He watched her a few minutes as she continued to call to him.

“Come on, boy. It’s OK. Come back to me.” she called gently, crouching down in an inviting position.

Not sure, he just stood there. He still didn’t understand what had happened. How did a fence hurt that bad? And why was it there in the first place? All he wanted to do was check out something on the other side.

But what he did understand was that this girl loved him and could protect him. And he loved her. So he ran to her as fast as he could and hid behind her. And there, he was determined to stay.

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Mary’s Heart in Martha’s Body

She couldn’t go back to sleep. Why did they say that? Did they think her friend loved Jesus more than she did? And here she was carrying the greater load in serving them? It was totally upsetting and hurtful to her and she resented them for it.

To be honest, she didn’t really get that bible story anyway. If Martha didn’t serve, who would? Certainly not Mary, who didn’t even lift a finger to help. Actually, she had always thought of Mary as being lazy and self-centered – she wanted to spend time with Jesus so she did, not caring in the least that she had left everything for her sister to carry. Forcing her sister to carry more than she should have had to carry. If Mary had stayed with Martha to help finish the preparations, they both could have sat at Jesus’ feet.

And she was being called a Martha? Like she would rather stay in the kitchen serving than be with Jesus? Like she didn’t love Him enough to want to spend time with Him?

She still didn’t get it – but what she did get was a revelation of her resentment towards people who forced her into the Martha role.  It wasn’t fair for them to do that to her. The injustice of it hurt her. That and other injustices done to her over the years, especially when she was a young child, kept returning to her as she lay in bed not sleeping.

So she did the only thing she knew to do. She prayed.

“Jesus, I don’t understand all this. All I know is it hurts. But I forgive them for saying what they did and ask that You deliver me from the resentment and pain that has filled me.”

She fell back asleep and dreamed of a barracuda. A poor innocent barracuda that was about to be sacrificed in the name of entertainment. Upset at the injustice, she went to the people in charge and told them it was wrong and that she would tell the authorities about it if they didn’t stop it.

She woke again, puzzled.

“Lord, what’s this about?”

“Injustice. You have been treated unfairly in life.  I can release you from the past, to free you for the future. Just don’t worry about things so much.”

“So I really am like Martha?” she asked, heart sinking.

“Yes, daughter. Sweet daughter,” He said, voice full of love. “You are like Martha in that you get so worked up about things. You don’t need to worry if things will get done.  I’ll make sure what needs to be done does get done. I am here, involved, and I will bring about all that needs to be done. Relax in Me. I will give you the desire to do the things I want you to do. The rest I can handle. Don’t sweat over it. ”

“Do I at least have Mary’s heart? I love listening to You.”

“Yes, you have Mary’s heart. I know your love for Me. But you have been forced into a role I didn’t create for you. IMG_20180511_161925872As you are freed from the past, you will be free to be who I made you to be.”

“How do I get free?”

“Give it to Me -your resentments , your pain. Continually give it to Me. Forgive those involved. Listen for My directions. Practice letting go. I won’t treat you unfairly. As you see My faithfulness, you will be able to relax more.”

As she got ready for the day, she thought about His words. And came up with a plan. When things had to get done, instead of trying to get everything to happen herself, she would say…

“I wonder how Jesus is going to make this happen.”

Then all she needed to do was wait and watch and listen. Like Mary.

I’m Not Hurt, Not Really, Part 1

The sidewalk was crowded as Bella made her way down the street. As she walked, she watched the people. Most of the people were not paying attention to anyone else as they hurried to their destinations, not even slowing down as they bumped into fellow travelers. A few people were looking around, lost in the sea of bodies. Even fewer were the people who were actually smiling and trying to make contact with anyone who looked at them.

Bella felt alone in that crowd of people. Everyone, or at least most of them, seemed to know what they were doing and where they were going. Bella knew neither. Full of sadness that she didn’t understand, she walked through the throng trying to avoid being bumped and jostled.

Bam! Without warning, she was knocked flat to the ground.

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“Hey, are you OK?” Bella looked up to see a lady rushing towards her.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” She said, trying to brush the lady off. She didn’t need anyone’s help. But as she tried to stand, pain burst through her right hip. She looked down and saw that her entire right side was blood red.

“You ARE hurt,” the lady exclaimed, leaning over her. “Stay down. I’m going to call for an ambulance.” The lady touched her cell phone and groaned, “My battery’s dead. I’ll go find a phone. Be right back” and ran off towards a nearby store.

Bella didn’t wait for her to come back. She didn’t want her help. She was sure she was OK. Maybe a bit bruised but nothing to make a fuss over. Not near as bad as the pain inside her. She managed to get on her feet and began limping in the other direction to avoid the lady seeing her. Up ahead was a church. Perfect. she could hide in there. She really didn’t want to deal with that lady’s insistence that she needed help.

As she limped towards the church, she noticed her limp was getting less pronounced. See, she thought with justification, I’m fine.

Opening the front door to the church, she was surprised at how big it was. Much bigger IMG_20180504_145124393on the inside than it looked on the outside. She was in a large foyer. Several tables were scattered around, most with pieces of paper on them. There were signs   directing church goers to the bathrooms and exits. And in the center stood an indoor fountain. As she limped towards the fountain, she noticed several doors along the back wall. Thinking they might provide a better place to hide, she tried them. The first door went into the kitchen. She peered inside. Empty. She could hide here, but no, it was too close to the door and if that lady had seen her enter the church, it would be the first place she’d look. Bella needed to go deeper into the church.

Opening another door, Bella saw a long hallway with many more doors. Even though she wasn’t limping as much as she did at first, her hip still hurt and she didn’t feel up to trying a bunch more doors that may or may not provide a suitable hiding place. So she closed that door and opened the third door. It looked like a living room. The preacher’s private quarters? She didn’t see anyone so she decided to sneak in there to hide. If she was quiet enough, no one would know she was there. And maybe she would be lucky enough to find a back door leading to a different street where that nosy lady wouldn’t think to look.

As she made her way slowly across the living room she noticed there was indeed a doorway in the back. It looked like it led into a hallway. She shifted her course slightly and headed towards it. Just before she got there, she heard a voice.

“Well, hello there!”

She froze in her tracks. Should she make a run for it? But she was already across the room from the door, and there was no telling where the hall would lead.

To be continued.