Order in da courtroom, here come da judge.

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280When a someone speaks berating and unbecomingly in your office, in front of others…especially when they’re wrong, since they didn’t properly fill out their paperwork.

When you’ve spent ridiculous amounts of time trying to help expedite a Medicaid mess for a someone, and they walk into your office upset with you…because of a misunderstanding.

When a person treats you with distain and disrespect, then expects you (expects, mind you) to help them when they need it.

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Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson

(Thankfully, God’s sense of justice does not match my sense of justice.)  

Okay, these are First World problems. No, not even problems.  These are inconveniences.  Irritations.  Now for some quality perspective.

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Akure with her 4-year-old daughter Ikeno and 2-year-old son Lochuch, who are trying to suck the marrow from donkey bones. The family’s last cow died in the night. (©2017 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Especially when the hunger is exacerbated by government graft, not merely lack of rain…

Here’s another bit of perspective buried pretty deeply in an Old Testament story.  Now, the Hebrew culture at the time allowed for polygamy, (which is a whole separate theologically and socially relevant discussion way beyond my early morning brain cells or word count.)  The judge Gideon, of the “famous fleeces”, had a bunch of wives and, correspondingly, a tassel of kids. 

He also had a concubine, sort of a live-in, not-quite-a-wife, it’s-complicated kind of relationship, but it got really complicated when the one son she had, Abimelech, decided to stir up trouble in a massive power play by getting all of his half-brothers murdered.

All, that is, but one.

Jotham made a summarily bold move, (okay, from a hilltop, but still…), by confronting the men who allowed this to happen. 

“For he [Gideon] fought for you and risked his life when he rescued you from the Midianites. But today you have revolted against my father and his descendants, killing his seventy sons on one stone. And you have chosen his slave woman’s son, Abimelech, to be your king just because he is your relative.”

“Jotham continued, ‘Now make sure you have acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelech your king, and that you have done right by Gideon and all of his descendants. Have you treated him with the honor he deserves for all he accomplished?…’” 

Then he went home, wherever that was now, since his previous place of residene had become a blood bath.

“After Abimelech had ruled over Israel for three years, God…”

Jotham had to wait…for three years. (Which is short compared to some.)  He did NOT take matters into his own hands.  His hands were too small anyway, whereas God’s hands are always big enough.  God made good on the situation, as He always does, in His time and in His way.

Still, I empathize with Calvin in the Watterson’s cartoon.  But in my more rational, wizened moments, I am thankful for the sure “goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life”—‘cuz I know I need it as much as the next guy. I am called to mercy this side of the Cross, not revenge, not offense. 

I am also called to smell pretty:

“Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.”

Everywhere, every situation, every encounter, every irritating people, perhaps the one in the next pew. 

Or even with, (especially with?) my own fallibilities and mistakes. 

lightningThank God for the lightning bolts that haven’t come my way.

Judges 9:17-19, 22,23; 2 Corinthians 2:14 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Kraken (#8)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE.)

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From: gizemlervebilinmeyenler.blogspot.com and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?) 

The Kraken

By Robert L. Jones, III ( check it out at Pneumythology)

VIII. Their Just Desserts

The captain was a wicked man who took his crew to task.

He kept the cheer he’d shown ashore contained within his flask,

Capriciously applied the lash to undeserving backs,

And spurred his vessel on along its chosen ocean tracks.

 

They worked the shipping lanes to find their merchandise at sea.

The Orca was a brigand ship intent on piracy.

All profits were contested first then split among the ranks,

But none would be for proper trade or kept in proper banks.

 

The holds were bare upon this trip. No raid had been as yet.

Too late did Galen know his plight once caught up in their net.

Repenting of impatience, he maintained a solemn fast

And put up the appearance of a spotter in the mast.

 

Neglecting to cry out, he spied a distant ship or two

And let them pass. It was his luck no other shipmate knew.

One day he gave a signal. There was no approaching storm,

But dark beneath the surface moved an undulating form

 

Of massive size. In consequence, they sounded more alarms.

The hardest pirates feared their fates within the Kraken’s arms.

With sails drawn slack and cannon down, the boat began to drift.

Keen eyes were peeled upon the waves to see what shape might lift.

 

The watchmen at the bow first saw the dim, primeval sign.

Two giant, round, unblinking eyes stared upward through the brine.

Just then, cries sounded from the stern in warning of a trap,

Long tentacles in tight embrace that made the timbers snap.

 

In spreading, inky camouflage, the surface waves were oiled.

With serpentine appendages, the darkened waters boiled.

So as a sword but one third drawn and two thirds in the sheath,

The Kraken writhed above the waves with twice more underneath.

 

The shattered ship was sinking low. The Kraken held it fast

And killed the crew in minutes, save for Galen in the mast,

And as the hull was pulled below, the mast alone still stood,

A crucifix above the sea, scant shelter for the good.

 

The Kraken then released its grip once filled with evil men.

Seen from above, it seemed to grow, thus fed on mortal sin,

While Galen, from his tilting perch gaped at the floating mass,

For in a coil of tentacle, he saw his true love pass,

 

A deathly pale upon her face, once radiant by day.

Her comely corpse through many years had suffered no decay.

The hair that once the wind had swept by water now was combed.

Her captor pulled her out of sight as to the deep it homed.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT THURSDAY (dot, dot, dot!!)