what a night

it’s been real cold around this house this week. the furnace stopped re-starting itself. we have to run downstairs to manually fire it up. sometimes every 20 minutes. because it’s like 12 degrees outside and the temperature inside so quickly drops. but i have friends who sleep outside on the alley-facing porch of an abandoned house, and i know it could be worse than this (being tucked under a quilt and down comforter, between flannel sheets, with a husband-heater besides).

still, i feel whiney about the darn furnace and the 50 degree air that greets us when we get out of bed each morning.

tonight there was a Love Feast and for the first time ever, and for reasons i do not know, the volunteers that were going to be bringing and serving the food to 150 friends and neighbors never came. we waited until the last minute. we prayed for God to provide. i wondered if there would be a small miracle — the sort where a stranger received a nudge from the holy spirit and comes sheepishly to the door bearing food enough to feed 150 simply because they were being obedient to the nudge, and not because they knew we were in need. we kept the kitchen doors closed so the gathering crowd wouldn’t notice that there was no activity and no food in there. and we waited some more. in the end we made an emergency call to little caesar’s and ordered 38 single-topping pizzas, paying for them with a check that, quite frankly, is likely to bounce. because our account is running low. but we did it anyway, because people needed to be fed, and because God can make provision for that pizza. yes, He can.

and so it was  humble family dinner, and not a balanced meal.

but then a young man i will call A fell down in a grand mal seizure while his hysterical girlfriend shooed everyone away, shouted for someone to call 911, and generally acted hysterical. helpful friends — some with medical training — gathered round him, though she wouldn’t let anyone help, so most of us stood nearby, some half-heartedly munching on pizza, and prayed with hands extended in his direction until emergency services came. they came so fast — within 5 minutes of my hanging up the phone. but A will be okay, i know. at least okay in this sense.

this is the sort of night that leaves me feeling frazzled and a touch overwhelmed…

…and scratching my head about the many small ways (the furnace, the missing food, and the seizures are only three examples) that God seems to be stirring the pot these last couple of weeks. it’s been churning ever since we started on this journey of learning about and opening up to the ministry of the holy spirit with all its unpredictability and power. it seems like things have gotten a bit crazier. i’m sure they actually have. and i keep thinking there is some sort of faith response He is looking for in us, or some thing that He wants to open up to us here, perhaps a display of His glory. but i feel like we’re mostly sorta bumbling. praying differently as we bumble, though.

and now i need to go to bed before the temperature drops another 5 degrees.


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