Monday, June 11, 2012

The Practice of Grillwork

I know we seem to spend a lot of time at "the grille."  That's because the thought of a grille (made up of Scripture and Church teaching) is, for me at least, an analogy that truly works.  I have spent over twenty years trying to "see and respond to all persons and circumstances through the will of God," and somehow the mental image of each situation criss-crossed just, well....  helps.   

I have gone so far as to do a bit of cloistered heart crafting.  I've made little cardboard "grilles," cut holes in them, and then written Scriptures on the remaining "bars."  (yes, I need all the help I can get...)

The idea of the grille reminds me that I'm not called to flee from circumstances, hiding myself  behind high walls.  Life with its joys and challenges IS going to come to me, ringing for my attention.  Part of living within the will of God is meeting life daily, face-to-face.

And so I practice "finding the view through the grille." Like one learning to play piano, I take it note by note, chord by chord, and I practice.  Practice.  Practice.  Practice.  I hit sour notes, try again, do a little better, learn Row Row Row Your Boat, mess up a chord, feel discouraged, think I will NEVER get this, and somehow try again and again and again.

I know I've probably used these exact scriptures before (I do have my favorite bars of the girlle), but for me it goes something like this....

Maybe I don't feel so good.. I'm facing a physical problem.  Not an easy thing, but I am helped by dealing with it through the grille.  "I consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us."  (Romans 8:18).  "God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His decree."  (Romans 8:28)

Maybe I just learned someone has gossiped about me.  Laughed at me behind my back, called me a name, said I was a goody two-shoes.  Why I'll show HER!  I'll tell the neighbors about the time she and that guy went to (do I hear a sour note?... oh, it won't hurt to ignore it just this once...) the park together ummm and then (a bar of the grille seems to pop up in my mind)..... "Do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you and pray for those who maltreat you."  (Luke 6:27)...

That one was almost an oops, but by the grace of God I pulled out of it, because I've been practicing for years and years.  I pray for the person, keep my mouth shut, and it's as if I hear echoes of "Row Row Row Your Boat" sung by a great chorus of golden voiced witnesses (Hebrews 12:1), who've been watching my recital from the balcony, unseen.

What about you?   Are there particular scriptures that help you, challenge you, enourage and srengthen you in various situations?

There are so many things we each face, daily. How I thank God that He has given us Scripture and Church teaching to form the "bars of our grille!"