Sunday, November 28, 2004

gifts

The crippled computer kept me from having internet access at home during this beloved holiday break, a break that has far too quickly ended. And so it is Sunday.

Those folks who disregard the "Please! No cell phones in the Lab!" signs have brought something to my attention. Seems there are lots of group projects going on, and when the MIA group members ring up the cell phones of those in the lab, whereabouts are described as "In the Hart lab." It sounds like they are saying "In the heartland." Like the George Strait song? Something about this reminds me of Big Westums' *cringe* N-E-S-T-S-E-X.

So there is this absolutely not college-aged Spanish-speaking girl who comes into this lab every now and then. She always asks to use the phone, and I let her--just so I can hear her speak Spanish to her mother. I can usually understand most of what she says. Ahem, but not enough to consider it eavesdropping, right? But being able to understand her makes me feel so much better after watching Univision, the Spanish channel, last night and only catching about one word per minute.

I've done it again. I sang and played guitar at church this morning. This time, though, I didn't know that I was going to do it until about 45 minutes beforehand. I was getting ready for church this morning, and I knew I had to do it. It swept over me like I wave, and I was nearly ill with conviction. The song was "I've Always Loved You" by Third Day, and shortly after I knew I had to sing that song, I knew what message I needed to put with it. Now, know that I have gotten very bad about remembering what books, chapters, and verses go with what scriptures, but this morning, I remembered Romans 5.6-8:

He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
How well the whole thing went is very much an example of the miracles, signs, and wonders of which the song speaks. It scares me sometimes when I realize that I have been given certain gifts that I, in no way, should rightfully possess. I cannot sing. We all know that. I do not practice guitar nearly enough for this song to come off as smoothly as it did. To be the recipient of such gifts humbles me so much. Every time I skillfully place a word, every time I take a photograph that captures more than meets the eye, every time I sing the right note, and every time I pluck the right string at the right time, I am as amazed as everyone else. It almost feels like luck, you know? Like everything that I do successfully is a fluke. But it's all because I know anything good is not of myself, and all these things are a microcosm of salvation.

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

Ephesians 2.7-10
Now. God gives us gifts, and sometimes he uses someone else, someone walking alongside us on this earth, to put these gifts in our hands. And because of this, I owe deep gratitude to Dale for making me play guitar. Okay, maybe I picked it up by my own volition, but I was not without encouragement. He was the one who had faith that my clumsy hands could make the chords. I wouldn't call myself a musician by any means, but at least today, my hands and my guitar were usable together for the glory of God. So Dale, I don't care if all you wanted was someone else who would play guitar with you. Thank you.

3 comments:

Jackie Goodtimes said...

Cass, I feel like your blog is the only connection I have to you anymore and I don't like that. Before things get too crazy with finals, we need to hang out... go have dinner or something. I miss ya girl!

Anonymous said...

Ahh, the power of the stage. We're a couple of rock stars, I tell ya.

hollynicole said...

I just would like you to know how long it took me to figure out who "carlos" was. I said to myself, "Wow, who is this witty Latino brother, and where can I find him. Why oh why did he not leave a link to his site?!" And then I realized, "Oh, it's Sassy."

I like my hearts too,
Hollis