God's gifts

For most of mylife I have labored under the falsehood that I was too insignificant for God to take notice of... God was concerned about the major players like David and Paul.  People mentioned in the Bible.  I was priveleged to worship our creator and love him, but God was not going to see me and my life in its minute detail.  Overtime, God began showing me that actually He was interested in me personally.  Not necessarily in the ways I might have dreamed of and hoped for... and it has taken me awhile to get a grip on how He is my friend.  You know how a friend sees something they know you will like--a book, a song, or an experience and then seeks you out to share it. 

My pespective got a jolt when I won a trip for 2 to Ireland in a St. Patrick's Day raffle.  It was unearned, unexpected and a heart's desire.  This shift in perspective opened up the opportunity for me to learn how God's love can be intimate.

Shortly after the raffle prize, I started going to Northern Ireland to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Belfast.  About this time I started to be open to the idea that God cares about me as a daughter or friend.  At the end of a marvelous week with the Ambassador Build I had a few days with Shirley from Florida and sometimes David from Vermont to explore other parts of Northern Ireland.  I had one day where I hoped to go to Donegal to visit the sweater shop that Cameon and I discovered on our adventure.  Shirley really wanted to see Derry, and I had been to Derry so I knew how great a place it is to see--especially for the first time.  There was not time to do both, so I gave way and drove with Shirley to Derry.  We spent the day exploring, walking the walls, looking at the murals.  Then we walked down one of the main shopping streets and discovered that the sweater company that I loved in Donegal.  They had opened up a shop for just one week to have a clearance sale.  Yippee! 

When we got back  to Belfast we met David for dinner and I told him and Shirley that I knew that this clearance sale was arranged as a gift from God for me.  They looked at me skeptically and smiled as we do when our friends say something kooky.  Since then I have noticed that God has many more gifts like this for me if I pay attention. 

Here in Auckland there has been the studio apartment and other events.  Soemtimes I am witness to it in other people's lives.  My friend Kris from California, who I have been getting to know over Thai food and urban walks, mentioned that he plays the piano but since he got to Auckland has not found a piano to play on.  My studio apartment has a piano!  When I looked at the place I laughed because so much of my precious space is taken up by a baby grand piano and I have not played since 5th grade.  It was not for me, it is for my friend Kris. 

Then yesterday I sat on one of the comfortable chairs in the library to use the wifi for my iPad.  I looked up at the display of books on rugby and there among them, inexplicably, was a book by John McCarthy, A Ghost Upon Your Path (for the record, nothing to do with rugby).  It is his memoir of going to Ireland to resolve his grief and find his roots.  Here is the back story: When Cameon and I were in Dublin we went on the literary pub crawl and the actors spoke warmly of Brian Keenan's book An Evil Cradling about his captivity in Beirut.  It became one of my favorite books and as a result I have read everything Keenan has written and everything book by the man he was chained to for four years:  John McCarthy.  Now McCarthy and Keenan's books are not always published in the US, so I usually discover them when I am in Britain or Ireland.  I was thrilled to find a new book by John McCarthy, and it has really spoken to me.

Some of you reading this are probably skeptical and saying these could just be coincidences.  I have grown to believe in these simple gifts from God as part of our on-going relationship.  I also believe in miracles.  And it makes life much more fun and full of joy. 

What will today hold?