Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Grace in glass

"Take the vase." I'm almost ready to leave the house to pick up recut shelves from the glass company - when I hear clear direction. "Take the vase."

I open the door to our almost-empty china cupboard. There's an 8" footed pinwheel vase on the shelf. I guess that's the one. I start to turn away when a 6" plate catches my eye.

"Take that, too."

What? I know we have to get rid of stuff, but I've often used these items in 36 years of marriage. They're expensive European crystal. The vase is perfect for flower bouquets; its graceful foot adds an inch to stems and its lip spreads open the blossoms. The plate is just right for "littles" like teabags, candies, and cookies. Oh well. I grab them both and lean them unwrapped beside me on the seat of the car.

At the glass shop, I hold one piece in each hand. There's a lady behind the counter and a women in front of it.

I hand the vase to the proprietor. "I think this is for you. Felt like God said, 'Take this. It's hers,' before I left the house. So here you go!" I hand it to her.

She takes the vase, looking stunned. I turn to the other woman. "And this must be for you. I also heard, 'Take another piece,' and this is what I saw. I guess God knew you would be here, too."

"Beautiful!" she takes it eagerly, smiling in surprise. "I'm opening a nail school in the complex so I'm meeting my neighbors. I'll treasure this! Would you come in for a free manicure?"

Sure. I'd love to. She walks out the door with her dish.

The gal behind the counter and I talk for a few minutes. She loves flowers but has never had a pretty place to put them. As we chat, I know the vase belongs to her.

"You are so much like me," she says a few times as we discover many things in common.

I pull out the money for my shelves but she waves me off. "Please, no money. I really love the vase, and I would like to do this for you in exchange. I'll keep this in my office and think of you."

We hug and agree to have lunch together another day. Who knows what God will bring about in that conversation?

While I didn't hear an audible voice yesterday morning, I'm learning to trust inner direction. This happens over and over, in many different ways. Sometimes the outcome of obedience is so bizarre or unexpected that I walk away shaking my head in wonder. Other times, like this one, I just come home with a big smile on my face.

What a blessing to me! Could I have sold the items? Maybe. For a lot more energy. Following the small voice, I have shelves, with a potential manicure and two friendships on the horizon. Who knew!

When have you experienced that still small voice? What has happened when you paid attention and trusted enough to follow through?

Read more:
*Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 2 Samuel 7:22 NEV

*Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it. Isaiah 45:8 NEV

*Through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. Galatians 5:5 NIV

*If we have died with him, we will also live with him. 2 Timothy 2:11 NEV

Moravian Prayer: Spirit of the heavens, shower righteousness down on us like rain. Ignite the fire of faithfulness within us, so we may let your light shine through us to all around us. In your name we pray. Amen.

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