Thursday, March 14, 2013

French Press, China, and the Flow of Influence

She left my favorite cup full of fresh french press coffee sitting on the table before she rushed out the door.  I see it and the tears start to flow.  Those five letters scrawled in red that grab my heart - C-H-I-N-A.  I pour the cream and the memories and the heart cries pour forth.  One Thousand Gifts words come like a flood. "I am blessed.  I can bless."  I missed it the first time, but it's so clear today.  And sometimes we need to read things twice, thrice, or more.  Read our lives over and over again, praying that we will see.  What miracle is this!  I am blessed, and I can bless.  And it is not for me to manipulate and strive, for God, never-ending God, makes a way... always a way.  So I pray, and I trust that He will use me to bless just like He uses the pianist, and the roommates, and the dear friends, and the children, and the colleagues, and the boss. The flow in my life becomes clear before my eyes.  I would hear the words later and they would ring true and help shape my Sanity Manifesto.  Influence (and that's precisely what I am praying for... for influence, to bless) is just that, the flowing in.  And I look at what's flowing into my life.  So many blessings!  And I wonder what's flowing out?  Could I be the blessing?

And the Spirit warms more than the coffee, and she may never realize how God used that simple action.  And maybe I... maybe I don't want to know how I'm blessing because pride creeps so near, a constant companion.  Perhaps God hides some things from us to save us from ourselves.  I long to stay humble, to savor the miracle, to call it that, because I am a mess.  One blessed mess!  And tomorrow I will be impatient and I will grow angry and I will forget to be thankful and He will love anyway and grant me the grace of two.  Such glory I am allowed to walk in!  Such glory flowing all around, flowing in, influencing my every move.  And I thirst for it.  I long for His Spirit to flow into me.  I long to see the blessings flowing in and to call them what they are: miracles! And I long to remember that my life can influence too.  Blessings can flow on through me because He lives in me, just like He lives in each of them.  So I ask myself: What's flowing?  And I open hands and heart that it may flow on.

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