Lessons from a southpaw

There seems to be a day for everything. In August alone there is a day to celebrate ice cream, watermelon, root beer floats and S’mores (we celebrated that one a few days early). There is also a day for baseball, relaxation, black cats and eating outside. So, today is Left-Handers Day.

My husband was a left-hander as am I. Growing up I was no athlete, so I never mastered much except for riding a bike. I could do other things like skating, swimming, tennis and bowling, but was just average. When we had to play baseball (or probably it was softball) in PE in high school, if I ever caught a ball, I would pull off my glove and throw it. I was using a glove for right-handers. I didn’t know much and the coaches obviously didn’t notice. After we married, my left-handed pitcher of a husband taught me how to to it all properly.

southpaw

My beloved southpaw taught me so many other important lessons.

He taught me to stop holding grudges. It was a lesson he had to learn, also, and he helped me by example and encouragement.

He taught me the importance of being in God’s Word. I am learning this even more now after his death as I find notebooks full of scripture passages and notes. There are also index cards filled with verses and catechisms. I knew he spent hours reading and studying, but now I have some of the fruits of his labors to help me. 117583984_624356968284379_3935415109455524714_n

He taught me to live for the eternal. Over the years most of our moves revolved around the Gospel. We moved to go to school at Clearwater Christian College in our first year of marriage. We went from Jacksonville to Orange Park to be nearer our church. We moved to Georgia when Chuck was called to pastor a church. We moved to Winter Haven to be a part of the church there. We often lived hand to mouth, but we never went hungry, we never lacked clothing or shelter. I worried when I should have trusted, I put my eyes on the earthly when I should have been leaning on Christ. He taught me to trust the One who provides.

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  –  Matthew 6:25-34

I am thankful for the lessons – the gifts that keep on giving. 

Happy Left-Handers Day.

Shadows and Reflections

rrp4

I’ve been thinking about this picture I took on Thursday of a little boy walking along the water at Railroad Park. He probably didn’t even notice his shadow or reflection, but I did. The first thought that popped into my mind was the poem My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson. My daughter memorized this in elementary school for a talent contest.

It starts like this –

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,

And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.

Today we hear people talk about “shadowing” someone. It means to follow around someone who is in a career you are interested in. In this case, shadowing is a choice. But, when it comes to our physical shadow, we have no choice – it follows us no matter what. It may be in front of us or behind us and we can’t outsmart it. Most of the time, like the little boy, we aren’t even aware of it. And when we do notice it, we may see it doesn’t even look like us. It may be taller, or shorter, or wider than we really are.  Our shadow is kind of like what people think of us. They may see our shy shadow and think we’re stuck-up; or our laughing shadow and not realize we are covering up our hurt.

You’ll find the word shadow many times in the Scriptures. Here are some of the most comforting –

Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,

Psalm17:8

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. – Psalm 36:7

And most pointed –

Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow. – Psalm 144:4

The little boy also has a reflection in the water. Now, our reflection looks more like us, though the reflection in the water is kinder than the one in the mirror. I’ll REFLECT more on this in another post. 🙂