Thursday Evening, November 7th, 2019. 8:21 PM
A Journey to Love
The One Who Couldn’t Decide
There was this guy who wanted a beautiful picture to put on the wall in his apartment – so he could look at it while having his morning cup of tea. He went to an art gallery to find it. He looked there at many pictures; but he couldn’t decide which was the one for him; so, he came home with none. Another day he went to another gallery and saw many more paintings and pictures; still, he came home with nothing. So, he talked with his friend about this. He asked his friend to come with him next time; so, his friend went with him. She gave him a condition, though. She said, “I’ll go with you, August, on the condition that you must come home with a picture.” “OK, April. If you come with me to help me get a picture, I’ll come home with one.” So, they went on their journey in search of a picture for August. At the gallery, August looked again for his picture. He just could not decide which one out of all the paintings and photographs and drawings and sketches he saw was the best one to have on his wall to look at each morning while drinking his tea; so, April decided she must act for him. She walked to the wall where all the pictures were on display and she simply took one and handed it to August and said, “August, this is the picture for you.” So, August took the painting into his hands and looked at it. It didn’t especially impress him anymore than all the others he’d seen; but he remembered that he’d agreed to come home with a picture; so, he and April went to the cashier and bought it.
The next morning, August woke up and got out of bed and made his cup of tea and sat down to enjoy it as best he could. He suffered from abdominal pain every day – and he didn’t know why. Sometimes he thought tea made the pain worse – but, he drank it anyway. He really needed the little lift that the tea gave him. He had to make the tea weak because a strong cup seemed to make his abdominal pain even worse. So, the tea only helped him a little. He remembered a hymn about little: “Little Is Much When God Is in It.” He had forgotten about his picture; but there it was on the wall facing him when he looked up from his teacup. So, he looked at it more carefully than he had at the gallery. It was a street scene. August really liked street scene photography. August had been an amateur photographer for many years; but he had gotten away from photography. He did it for the Lord, out of respect for God’s Scriptures. He wanted a closer relationship with Him. Something about Exodus 20:4-6 and John 14:15-18 impressed him. He was also feeling lowly at that time; and he had a small apartment with lots of books and pictures. He wanted to be free of too much stuff; so, he gave up his photography and everything he owned about photography. He had done this once before – giving up photography. And then, after several years, he bought another camera and took lots of pictures again. He noticed something in the picture he hadn’t seen while at the gallery with April. There was a little kitten peering at him. She was at a street corner and only her pretty face could be seen. Her eyes were looking right at him. He wondered if she was a homeless kitten. He wanted to bring her home and give her a safe place to live – with him. And he thought: maybe it would be good for me to see her in the morning while drinking my cup of tea, instead of only a picture on my wall. A cat is a living being, he thought – not merely an image on paper. A cat has a heart and a spirit and soul and mind and body that her Creator gave her. So, a few hours later – when he trusted that April would be awake — he called her — and told her what had come into his heart and mind while looking at the picture she helped him acquire; and that he wondered if she would come with him to a cat sanctuary to help him decide which one was the right one for him. April replied, “I’ll go with you August on the condition that we come home with a cat.” August agreed. So, the following day they went to the Cat Sanctuary in search of a kitten for August.
August looked at every cat and kitten there. They were all pretty; but August couldn’t decide which one to take; so, April decided for him. She remembered the kitten in the picture that was now on August’s wall; and she noticed a kitten there at the sanctuary that was like the one peering sweetly around the corner on the street in that work of art. So, she asked the lady there at the cat sanctuary if they could have that one. The lady smiled and said, Yes. Then August asked the lady, “What is the kitten’s name, please?” The lady replied, “Her name is Lady. And don’t worry, she will be fair with you.” And August’s face brightened with a smile and he was touched in his heart and he said, “My Fair Lady! And I first saw her in a picture — “on the street where she lived.”
“MY FAIR LADY”/”Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” – AUDREY HEPBURN”
“ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE”
“Mario Lanza – On the Street Where You Live – My Fair Lady”
April: “August, she’s a cat. She’s not a lady!”
August: “This is only the beginning, April.”
April: “What do you mean, August?”
August: “Consider the acorn, April.”
April: “What about an acorn, August?”
August: “It appears to be only a nut, at first; but, if it falls to the ground – and by the grace of God takes root and drinks of the water that falls from the sky above, it may very well sprout and begin a new life that is destined to be much more than what it was – even a great oak tree.”
“Cat Stevens – “Morning Has Broken” Lyrics on screen”
April: “That’s true, August; but, an acorn becoming an oak tree is one thing – a kitten becoming a lady is much more of a leap of faith.”
August: “True, April. And Jesus said, “With man it is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” [see Matthew 19:26; Mark 9:23; 10:27. NIV].
April: “So, you think this kitten named Lady is, somehow, going to become an actual lady human being?”
August: “I don’t really know. All I can say to that, April, is: “If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” [see 1 Corinthians 8:2, 3. NIV].
April: “And if God knows a man, then what?”
August: “Then, anything is possible, April. Remember how Jesus the Son of God raised the dead; and fed thousands with a few loaves of bread and fish; and made the cripple walk again; and the blind see; and the deaf hear; and He calmed the sea; and walked on the water; and three days after being crucified and dying; and being buried He rose from the dead glorified. God is not limited by the laws of nature, April.”
April: “But how is He going to transform a kitten into a human lady, August?”
August: “It isn’t necessary, April, for mere humans to know how God does the things that only He can do. We only have to believe in Him, like an infant who doesn’t know how her mother takes care of her; and yet, the infant is taken care of without any knowledge and understanding of how it is all being done. She isn’t even aware, at first, that it IS being done! We live in Christ by faith – not by knowledge. And we walk in His faith that Way, also – by fully trusting Him – not ourselves. And yet, it is not blind faith. No, it is informed faith, based on the Scriptures. And we walk after the leading of His Holy Spirit – not according to our own thoughts and imaginations. And I’m not concerned at all about whether or not this beautiful kitten somehow someday becomes more than a cat. That is all up to God, not me. I’m not trying to make it happen.”
August: “Lady Debbie Decisive.”
April: “Who is that, August?”
August: “That is the full name of Lady.”
April: “And how did that so suddenly happen, August?”
August: “April, do you remember the hymn, “God Moves In a Mysterious Way”?”
April: “I recall the title, August.”
August: “When we get to my apartment with Lady, let’s listen to that hymn, shall we?”
April: “OK August.”
So, when they got home with Lady Debbie Decisive, August played the hymn on YouTube.
“God Moves in A Mysterious Way with Lyrics”
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” -Isaiah 55:6-9. NIV Study Bible.
2 Corinthians 10:1-18. NIV.
2 John 1-13. NIV.
Galatians 5:16-26. NIV.
“The Wonder of You” [a song]
And after listening to the hymn April asked August, “Why have you given Lady the additional names “Debbie Decisive,” August?” I’d really like to understand what’s going on here?”
August: “I looked up the name Deborah in this booklet of “Names For Boys & Girls” and saw that it means industrious. I’m so indecisive that, well, I was thinking, maybe, if I could be more industrious I might also become more decisive.”
April: “How so?”
August: “Well, how could I be industrious without also being decisive? Being industrious requires making many decisions, doesn’t it? How can anything be done without deciding what to do and how to do it?”
April: “And how will Lady Debbie Decisive bring these qualities into your life, August?”
August: “Well, it is written that Love edifies – which means “builds up.” So, I’m hopeful that, if I give Lady Debbie tender loving care every day, she will give me some of her qualities of industriousness and decisiveness.”
April: “And how could she do that?”
August: “Well, it’s spiritual. And God is Spirit and He is Love. And so, I believe that love and God Who moves in mysterious ways could, by His Spirit, make me more industrious and decisive through lovingly caring for Lady Debbie Decisive.”
April: “And what will I get for helping you, August?”
August: “You get love for helping me, April.”
April: “How so?”
August: “Helping someone is love. And Jesus said, “Give and it will be given to you.” Since you give me help I will give you love, if you want my love, April. Lend me your love, April, and I will return it to you every day for as long as we live in Christ’s Eternal Life — so Help us God our Heavenly Father through the Helper Christ promises to send into the hearts of those who believe in Him our Saviour.”
April: “Please tell me, August, about this Wonderful and Mysterious Helper.”
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” -John 14:15-17. ESV Study Bible. [English Standard Version].
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” -Isaiah 9:6, 7. ESV Study Bible.
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:25-27. NIV Study Bible. Zondervan NIV Study Bible (Fully Revised) Copyright 1985, 1995, 2002 by Zondervan
April: “And how do you love me, August?”
August: “How may I help you, April?”
April: “August, would you make us a cup of tea; and play a song for me; and sit down with me on the couch?”
August: “Yes, April. I would love to do that for you and with you.” So, August made tea for them. And brought the cup to April as she sat on the couch. And he played this song for her. And they sat together on the couch and listened.
“Conor OBrien – The Wonder Of You”
April: “Play another song for us to listen to, August.”
So, August played:
“Charlie Dore 1979 Pilot Of The Airwaves”
April: “Thank you, August. Those are heart-touching songs. I enjoyed listening to them with you very much.”
August: “You’re welcome, April. I also enjoyed listening to those heart-touching songs with you and sitting beside you. And I appreciate your help in my life, helping me make decisions. April did you know that God made Eve to be a help for Adam?”
April: “August, how do you suddenly go from thinking of us listening to music on the couch all the way to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden thousands of years ago? You’re a wonder to me. . . Yes, I recall reading about that in Genesis where God created Eve to be a help for Adam. So, what are you getting at with that, August?”
“Get back with lyrics (The Beatles)”
April: “Are you suggesting that we somehow get back to the garden of Eden, August?”
August: “Well, something like that.”
April: “What do you mean by “something like that,” August?”
August: “Adam was banished from the garden of Eden. And cherubim with a flaming sword flashing was placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life.” [see Genesis 3:21-24. NIV.]
April: “So, we can’t get back to where we once belonged? Is that it?”
August: “Well, maybe we can get back.”
August: In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, there were two special trees in the Garden of Eden: the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which Adam had been told not to do. They did not eat of the tree of life. In the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, Jesus Christ sent His angel to John the apostle of Jesus Christ. And in that book of Revelation many things are revealed, including this:
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” -Revelation 2:7. NIV.
April: “So, we get another chance?”
August: “Well, if I understand correctly, those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ get another chance, as explained in the first chapter of Revelation.”
April: “How is it August that you have this difficulty with making decisions?”
August: “I don’t know exactly; but I have some possible explanations.”
April: “Tell me one possible explanation, August.”
August: “Well, I read in the Bible that Paul wrote something like: “But we have the mind of Christ.” And so, I wonder if, perhaps, I’m in a state of being like maybe halfway between giving up my merely human and natural mind on the one hand and becoming in touch with the mind of Christ, on the other hand. And in that in-between space I’m no longer able to see things clearly enough to make decisions, sometimes. Maybe I lack certitude; or, maybe I lack the willfulness to make the decision alone. I’m really not sure what exactly the problem is. I’m thinking now of some Scriptures that may shed God’s Light on this matter that you’re asking about.”
April: “Tell me one of those Scriptures, August.”
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” -1 Corinthians 1:26-30. NIV Study Bible.
April: “Can you show me another Scripture concerning weakness?”
August: “Paul the apostle wrote: “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:7-10. NIV.
April: “Can you give me another possible explanation for why you are unable, sometimes, to make decisions for yourself?”
April: “Tell me, please.”
August: “In the gospel, it is written: “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:1-4. NIV.
August: “Maybe God also wants me to open my heart and trust someone else; so, He has disabled me in this way; so that I will have a need to turn to someone else for help.”
April: “Who might that someone else be?”
August: “A faithful [to Him] friend.”
April: “Any other possible reason?”
April: “What is it?”
August: “Maybe God wants someone else to participate in his mysterious Way; so that they too may experience the mind of Christ. As His Holy Scriptures declare:”
“Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
“Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.” -Psalm 24:7, 8. ESV Study Bible.
“El Shaddai — Amy Grant”
April: “And why would God want us to experience the mind of Christ?”
August: “For the sake of His Kingdom.”
April: “What about His Kingdom?”
August: “He wants believers in His Kingdom; so that they may participate in the divine nature, as recorded in the Scriptures. [2 Peter 1:1-11. NIV].
“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those
who love him” –
“but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.”
“The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
“For who has known the mind of the Lord
That he may instruct him?”
“But we have the mind of Christ.” -1 Corinthians 2:6-16. NIV.
“Little Is Much When God Is in It – Hymn Lyrics & Music Video”
For help with “the eyes of your understanding being opened” please read:
“If This Be Mental Illness . . . ” at: https://marksimaginings.com/2019/08/19/if-this-be-mental-illness/