Living Before the Face of God

Jane walked out of the grocery store in a frazzle. It seemed everyone in town had decided to join her in grocery shopping after work on a hot Friday afternoon. It had been hours since the clock struck 5pm at her office and she wrapped it up, but even after 14 extra hours this past week, Jane still had piles on her desk. Thinking of it caused anxiety and Jane’s heart started racing. Maybe she should sneak back into the office tomorrow and catch those files up before Monday morning? Jane sighed, her house was a mess, laundry was piled to the ceiling and everyone had been living on take out all week. How could she spend more time at the office?

Jane loaded her grocery bags into the car and saw movement out of the corner of her eye. It was the homeless man who hung out around the grocery store. He always reminded Jane of “Pigpen” the character from Charlie Brown who traveled along inside his dust cloud. She sighed again, pulled a couple of wrinkled dollars out of her purse and smiled at him. “Sir?”

He stopped, smiled back and accepted the bills. Then to Jane’s surprise he bowed low before her and said, “The Lord bless thee and keep thee: The Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious to thee: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.”

Jane was speechless, and the homeless man bowed to her again and said, “I thank thee for the generous gift!” and in a whirl of dirt and dust, he was gone.

His words kept repeating themselves in Jane’s mind all the way home. “The Lord make His face to shine upon thee.” What did that mean? Why would God shine his face on her?

Jane got her grocery’s home to a chorus of “FOOD! Mom, what are you fixing us?” as rambunctious teens unloaded her bounty then retreated to the TV. Jane smiled, “I bet they would not say a word if I ordered another pizza and fell in front of the TV.” But she started chopping vegetables. With the homeless man’s blessing still on her mind, Jane clicked her audio bible app as she prepared the food. Psalms 139 filled the kitchen.

“Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend into Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your Hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall guide me.”

Jane stopped and closed her eyes, feeling God’s peace flood her heart. The Lord’s face was indeed shining upon her, as she chopped vegetables, grocery shopped, showed kindness to a homeless man, worked overtime hours, faced a mountain of laundry… No matter what she did or where she went, Jane was living out her life before the face of God. Jane said a quick prayer, thanking God for the dirty angel who reminded her of His presence.

 

“Weather eating, drinking, laughing or working, all we do, is done before the Face of God.”      Kelly M. Kapic

Coram Deo

My Habitation

Habitation is a noun defined as the state or process of living in a particular place, with synonyms : occupancy, residency.

I’ve spent most of this summer living out of a suitcase with plenty of time to think about where I live. Where I am comfortable, the places that make me happy. I have found that my true habitation has nothing to do with four walls or a roof, comfortable furniture or a nice kitchen.

My Habitation, my dwelling place has been in the arms of my Father God. Trusting Him, trusting His provision, trusting His word that promises He will make all things right.

The bible tells us that we start with milk and move up to meat as we mature and are ready for “solid food”. Babies progressing up the food chain as we grow. But in this journey, maturing has been a process of regaining my nature as a child.  I cherish this child inside who finds perfect peace in her Daddy’s lap. She is as simple as my writing. Because the beauty of the gospel is simple. Love.

The pure love of a parent for a child. The complete trust of a child in a parent. Occupy this space, make His love your place of residency. Come home.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  Psalms 91:1

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation. Psalms 91:9