Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Open the Eyes of My Heart

"Open the Eyes of My Heart"
8" by 8" Oil on Canvas Board
Study done at Nancy Franke's Workshop in Atlanta, October 2013
To see her fabulous work, click here !!!  

You know I hate it when God makes me come clean with you guys – well, it was one of those days.  Having been gone for a week, I had planned the day to catch up  on everything I didn’t do last week.  After all, Thanksgiving is just next week and there are bedrooms and bathrooms to clean, turkeys to fry, and pies to buy (bet ya thought I was gonna say bake!)  Then we do it all over again the next week for Christmas –well, it seems like it’s that soon. 

So, I was behind schedule and rushed to Schnucks for the second time that day – had forgotten three things that grew in to six.  Got a great parking space, and before I even got out of my car, I heard the familiar jingle of the Salvation Army bells.  As I approached the double doors, there was an older gentleman (probably about my age) manning the bucket and sure enough, he (not really a vocalist) began singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  Yep, loud enough for the whole parking lot to hear.  Who does that?

While silently admiring his boldness, since I was on a mission I simply smiled and nodded as I passed by, then made a mental note to have some cash in hand on my way out.   Shopping was a breeze but feeling a bit weary, I eyed the coffee bar on the way out.  The aroma won me over, so I stopped for a cup of their special Holiday Blend Coffee – hoping it was just the pick-me-up I needed.  Juggling the extra-large bag of dog food draped over the top of one of those new extra-small carts, my purse, and my coffee, I trudged toward my car. 

Jingle, jingle.  There he was again, only his tune had changed to Frosty the Snowman.  Well, Lord, I’ll have to donate another time – this is just not convenient right now.  I mean, I’d have to find a place to sit my Gourmet Coffee so I could dig through my Designer Purse to find some real money - doubt he takes plastic - not enough time.

A bit uncomfortable, I kept my eyes straight ahead, and after unloading my groceries, I looked for a place nearby to return my cart.  The closest one was way down the row and I didn’t want to walk that far (it was a bit chilly.)  I guess when you get such a great parking spot though, it’s just as easy to return it to the store. 

Wait.  Seriously?  Looking to God, I said, “You are gonna make me walk past him AGAIN, aren’t you?”  No audible answer was heard.  Didn’t need one.  So, I sat my Gourmet Coffee in the drink holder of my comfy car, dug out some cash, shuffled right up to the singing gentleman and sheepishly made my donation, certain he was unaware of the conflict that had just taken place within me.  He said, “Oh, ma’am, you are making God smile.”  Uh, not unless God thinks stubbornness is funny.  Replacing the cart, of course I had to walk past him AGAIN.  He showed me his handy ruler that he brought to stuff all the money to the bottom of the bucket to make room for more.  I said, “You must be doing a good job!”  His response, “God is doing a good job – He’s just using me.”  OMG, could You be any clearer, Lord? 

Agreeing with him, I turned around, smiled, and said, “Amen!”   By the time I returned to my car (seconds), he began singing, “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord.”  (I don’t make these things up.)  I stopped asking questions, returned to my car, and sang that song out loud - softly, with the windows tightly rolled up - all the way home.

So, THIS AFTERNOON, I pulled into Schnuck’s parking lot.  Got a great parking space, and before I even got out of my car, I heard the familiar jingle of the Salvation Army bells.  As I approached the double doors, ……and I’m guessin you know the rest of the story :)

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”  Hebrews 3:15