Is There Room?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are now crawling out from all the good food and memories.

One of our best ‘memories’ this season, apart from the wonderful family, adorable kids, much anticipated gifts and all, was a deluge of much needed RAIN!  We came out of our church’s Christmas Eve service to buckets of sweet warm RAIN! It’s been 6 months without a drop in many drought and bushfire stricken areas so you can imagine we all had shouts of joy and some crazy wet dancing, all for the Glory of God and for answered prayers. It continued on and off all Christmas day and beyond.  Our yard is coming back to its original color and the temperatures have dropped from record breaking heat as well.  We are truly blessed!

Yesterday, I was trimming hedges (a summer job I know, and a nasty one at that, since I’m the ‘main hedge trimmer’ for awhile till Tony pulls himself together).  I decided to take them all down a notch or two, since as long as I’m going to have to stretch, I might as well get the tops down where I can reach them. All you hedge trimming pros out there know, and I’m learning, that the farther down you go the bigger the branches get. What started as an easy task for my little electric trimmer soon turned into a major forestry project, with bigger and bigger tools coming out of the garage. I finally ended up with a cross cut saw (meant for two men, I might add, but this one woman managed it. They don’t call me Scrappy for nothing!). Task completed, I stood back to admire my work, and have to say, even I was impressed. Tony said it reminded him of his days in Estes Park, Colorado, when the elk would come down out of the high country and rampage through every yard in town. That’s one of life’s mysteries: how do they know when hunting season begins, and how do they make it into town just hours ahead of starting time?

Well, anyway, I may have gone a little overboard with the hedges, but I was listening to Christmas music, in a world of my own and unaware of my own abilities. I heard a Christmas song that I don’t believe I’d heard before, but maybe you know it. It’s called

“Do You Have Room?” by Casting Crowns. I set down the Paul Bunyan crosscut and just stood there absorbing the lyrics while I thought about the question.

Do I have room for the Savior or has he been shuffled off to the hypothetical stable?  Yes, it’s true, there’s been a LOT on our minds these past several months.  Cancer has a way of coming in without an invite and re-arranging all your perspectives. Add to that the lifestyle changes, the occasional fear and anxiety, mixed together with perhaps just a twist of denial, and you might find that you don’t have a lot of room left for guests.

Or do we?  We were able to have a truly blessed Christmas, and for a few days we didn’t think about unwanted intruders in our hearts. Tony feels fine and continues to be (we believe) healthy.

But with all the resident joy, there still lurks the fact that many of our own people are in pain and struggle all around us.  To add to that, Tony’s only and favorite aunt went to be with the Lord the week before Christmas.  That was sad for us, because we’ll all miss her. She really had a gift for the wonder of it all and always made our lives a little bit better.

But our sadness is exacerbated by the fact that her husband, Tony’s uncle, while being teamed up and happily married 63 years, remains a staunch unbeliever.  Over the years he’s been seeing ALL of his family come to Christ, but still he sits on his own recognizance (that must hurt) and insists that, even if there is a God, He wouldn’t condemn a man such as he is. And that much is true: he’s one of the best men I’ve known, a real patriarch for the family. But when it comes down to Jesus, there’s simply no room in his inn.

Please pray with us for this wonderful man, will you? His whole family is grieving doubly this year, saying goodbye to our aunt and wondering what will become of our uncle. We know that the prayers of righteous people can accomplish a lot (James 5:16). Please join us in making this truly the best Christmas ever!

Love you,

Marsha

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