Friday, June 11, 2010

Channeling Sarah

You remember Sarah – wife of Abraham – (Genesis 11:27 – 23:20). God had promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son. So they waited… and trusted…and waited…. and waited for, oh I would guess around 30 years or so, while all around them, their friends, neighbors, servants, and brothers were bearing sons and daughters and, later, grandchildren. It appeared that all Sarah was able to bear was great shame, enduring the inevitable whispers, the tsk tsking, the giggles behind her back.

Then, what I think happened was that Sarah found that her bones began to take longer to wake up in the morning than the rest of her did. Any extra exertion out of the ordinary left her with aching muscles and fatigue. Bruises took longer to heal and hurt more. Her ankles and thumb joints, especially, ached constantly throughout the day as she went about her work. Close-up work, such as sewing, grew out of focus and became nearly impossible. Her internal thermostat ceased to exist and when she finally found sleep between the hot and cold flashes, it was plagued with nightmares; dark images that startled her awake, leaving her with her heart pounding with fear. She started having trouble concentrating for any extended length of time. She found herself remembering very clearly her childhood friends, her wedding day, the day she and her husband left Ur, but had to struggle to hold onto the names of her current neighbors and acquaintances. Smooth, supple parts of her body began to sag and droop and the waistband of her garments grew tight around a belly that took on the appearance of a bloated bag of lumpy curds and whey. Dark purple veins stood out on her ever weakening legs. Strands of white started to streak though her dark braids. She wondered why everyone around her had started mumbling, forcing her to ask them to repeat almost everything.

And finally, she stopped having periods. It would have seemed obvious to her that she and old Abe had misunderstood the Promise of a son. She came face to face with the realization that she had fewer years ahead of her than behind her. She thought that the one thing she had wanted to accomplish in her life was now hopelessly out of reach. No doubt there had been times over the years when her cycle had been late, or other symptoms appeared that made them think she had conceived, but each time the hopes were dashed, no child was on the way. Ever. And each of those times she would have counted it against herself as a failure. Maybe she even wondered, “Isn’t there some kind of a limit on the number of times one person can fail during a lifetime?!”

Enter: Hagar the Egyptian Maid. Sarah had to watch as Hagar easily accomplished in a very short time what she had been unable to achieve during a lifetime of trying. Can you blame her for getting a little grouchy?

What Sarah didn’t have that we do is 2 Corinthians 12:9 “For He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Eventually, God took Sarah’s greatest weakness and turned it into her greatest victory when she conceived at the age of 90 and gave birth. Sarah would have the last laugh, naming this miracle son Isaac which means “laughter.”

Don’t you just love happy endings?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Feeling a little sarcastic today. I’m afraid the job may be getting to me.

Here are some things that will make a cashier (me) want to whack you over the head with the order separator stick:

Not using the order separator stick and barking out, “That’s not mine!” when I start scanning the next person’s things.

Handing me your reusable bags after I’ve already filled six plastic bags with your groceries.

Heaving a big sigh and tapping your foot when the sweet little old lady in front of you takes longer than usual to write out a check. Have a little patience, for crying out loud. If you’re in too big of a hurry to be polite, don’t stop at the store!

Talking on a cell phone. Hello? I’m right in front of you. Please acknowledge my existence.

Talking to me in that same b#t*hy tone of voice you are using on your small children.

Taking longer to dig through your pockets or purse for a penny than it would take for me to take $.99 out of the cash drawer.

Having both hands busy unloading groceries and holding your coupons, check, debit card, or cash in your mouth right before you hand it to me.

Sneezing or coughing on any of the above mentioned forms of tender.

Handing me money that has been wadded up in your sweaty pocket.

Paying a $22.99 bill in quarters – on the Express Lane. (The Express Lane doesn’t even have an order separator stick, but I’ll borrow one for the occasion.)

Taking it out on me when you try to exceed the limit on sale items. What part of “Limit 4” don’t you understand?

Asking me, “Where’s the ATM machine?” when I’m standing by the bright blue neon sign that says “ATM.”

The following are things I would like to reply when you say:
“That item is cheaper at Wal-Mart.” Wal-Mart is 20 blocks east - do you need a ride?

“The small print in your ad is too small.” Do I look like I have the power to change the size of the print in our ad?

“I’m looking for a magazine that had a picture of a quilt or something on the cover. Do you have one of those?” Seriously?

Ah, well, people are funny sometimes.