We are scattered by storms, and we are gathered by storms. Our storms may be physical or political, economic or spiritual. Sometimes, we are battered by a nasty confluence of all four. Whatever their nature, storms force us to move.
Whitney Houston is gone. But I remember when she was alive in my family’s kitchen. As a boy, I was awestruck by the power of a Sony radio. My parents kept it high on a shelf, up next to all those red and yellow cookbooks and the potted green ivy.
Once I reached a certain age, I was allowed to touch the radio. My fingers stroked its walnut wood casing. I experimented with those clockwise and counterclockwise movements, exploring a world that went far beyond my small Indiana college town.
There, in the kitchen while helping my mom with the dishes, I heard a voice hit a frequency of celebration that only a soul lost and then found could reach.
Surrounded by the toil of clean and dirty dishes, I fell in love with The Voice.
With a delicious Irish meat pie sitting on the table, my 4-year-old son looked across the same table and saw a chubby red rubber ball, 13 months his junior. Carefully, with a small elastic string, he tethered his brother to a hard, mischievous paddle.
“Jaaa-ames,” he pulled, “Me going to drink your miii-ilk.”
“Jaaa-ames, me going to eat your craaa-kers.”
As the “playful” paddling continued, each smack was met with a shrill, vile cry of defiance. Meanwhile, my half-full plate of food steamed in front of me, while a half-empty temper steamed inside of me. The noises were a bloody distraction from my meat and potatoes — like watching a battle unfold on the evening news during supper. Only this was worse — because I had to get involved.
“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26
This verse gets my attention tonight. It makes me question where I’ve been, where I’ve spent my time today. Have I served my Lord today? Have I been standing and walking with Him? Did my footsteps walk in step with His. Did my vision follow His? Or did I just keep Him running in the background, like an application on my desktop, as I went about my business today?