#changetheconversation

I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

We got back from our most recent trip to Haiti about eight hours ago. I, and three very humble, gifted, generous, funny, faithful friends had a full day of travel and retrospection. As is true after pretty much every trip the conversations kept steering to what could we do to “fix Haiti.” We didn’t use those words but that is the bottom line.

There are many responses rolling in your mind right now.

“Heal thyself” might well be one of them.

I digress.

By “fix” we are pretty much skipping over some of the greater truth to chase an economic solution.

Economic change is greatly needed there.

That’s exactly the thing we cannot fix.

To dwell on that is to come to a level of frustration that leads to spiritual stagnation that leads to defeat.

There is a line in a Book I read fairly regularly that says “the One who began a good work in you will see it to completion…”

We aren’t called to finish the job. We don’t even have a good grasp of what the beautiful result should look like. We are simply called to be participants in the project.

If we lose sight of this we also lose sight of something very sweet.

The good work is exactly that.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Anderson for that matter) but there are over 600 children going to school through the work that was begun in us. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or Washington for that matter) but there is a young woman with new clothes going to college. New clothes and college weren’t even an option, not even a dream. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti (or even change one hair on my head) but there is a very bright young man who is back in classical (secondary) school who’d dropped out because he didn’t have the $250 for the annual tuition. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but I also can’t get the image out of my head of several people leaving our outdoor woodworking area with chairs, tables, stools, and HUGE smiles. That means something.

We can’t fix Haiti but there is a freshly painted building with new pews to sit on where people gather to praise and draw strength and find hope in a place where these things are as essential as air and food. That means something.

I can’t fix Haiti but I can believe in a Friend who is in the process of doing that very thing - and fixing me in the process.

I got to the church building here in Rogersville about 11 last night. I checked my messages and mail. There was a note from a sweet lady who had a serious injury and several surgeries last year. She had no money for food - or for Christmas gifts for her children. You gave generously to her. The note she sent included the words “you have no idea how much that meant to us.”

She’s right.

As our Friend and I were winding up a fairly brief stroll this morning I felt compelled to confess the part of my life that wants to see everything fixed. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“I prefer to look at the fixers.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

#changetheconversation

I just came in from my morning walk.

My devotions led me to this.

Some motivational writer once opined that often folks “spend their lives tuning their guitar but never sing the song they came to sing.”

That is a statement that can rob your peace.

In a hurry.

Certainly we are good with “getting on with it”, whatever that means.

But an endless quest for the next adventure, adrenaline surge, or public notice fuels a lot of Facebook space.

You know what I mean?

Here’s the thing.

One of the most needed things…

One of the most gratifying experiences….

One of the special gifts…

Is tuning guitars…

Helping someone else contribute to the concert…

Making the harmony happen.

You know what I mean?

Those quiet, unobserved, deeply felt words of encouragement you speak are a vital part of someone’s life.

That simple, humble, sweet kindness you show wherever you go with whom ever you travel tunes two guitars - minimum.

The peace you have from being content helping the band play together is quite likely the loudest, most melodious, most visible gift you can give yourself - and show the way to the real Giver, the master tuner.

Sing that.

It will be heard by the audience that matters.

As our Friend and I stepped out on a goodly Tuesday we were talking about the race to center stage that so easily becomes an addictive and destructive obsession. He smiled at me the way he does and said…

“Tighten the A string just a tad.”

Your move.

Brother Pat

Posted 3 weeks ago