Here in Texas, we have a way of destroying the boundaries of solid grammatical truths. Years ago, when my parents were living in Venezuela, I left a message with my dad’s secretary. Once the message was relayed it became a big joke that she had understood that I needed help repairing something. Actually, what I said was, “I was fixing to go out of town.”
Y’all may not get that if you’re not from ’round here.
My Utahan grandmother used to tell a story about visiting family friends from Texas. After the reunion had ended, they’d said their tearful goodbyes and my grandparents were pulling out of the driveway, and their hostess yelled from the porch, “Ya’ll come back now!”
So they did.
My grandma told the story as if she’d been so humiliated, standing on the porch confused by the demand; their hostess just as confused.
A few weeks ago I was making beans and cornbread a man-child came downs stairs and said, “What is that fabulous smell woman!?!” I said, “Beans.” He scowled and moped away.” An hour later he returned, “Mother, what is that smell? I’m so hungry my stomach thinks my throat’s been cut!” Again, I said, “Son, it is beans.” and He said, “Ugh, I feel like I smell something I want to eat. Why can’t it be brisket?”
I responded, “I feel like you aren’t hearing. It’s beans.”
I am not even exaggerating, 30 minutes later he was back. “The smell is killing me!” He begged, “It makes me feel like I smell something that will be delicious and then I hear you say beans and I feel like my heart is breaking.”
Heaven forbid I break a man-child’s heart, and I had a coupon so I said, “Okay son, I am fixing to order you a pizza.” And I got a fist bump.
Misunderstood, misinformed, or just flat out unable to comprehend what in the tarnation someone is trying to say or what you are making for dinner can be frustrating. Wanting to understand is an entirely different kind of frustration. And I have been struggling with something for a few weeks. Granted, like John, I felt like I was hearing the instructions correctly- but I was hearing wrong. No matter how I fought it just wasn’t turning beans into brisket. And you can put kittens in the oven, it don’t make them biscuits.
And what I felt, what I heard, and what were truth were making a jumbled mess of words in my head. Words that I wanted to express and bring glory with – but just were not coming to Jesus… at all.
Yesterday I got to drive to Houston alone, Words can’t describe the silence, because – it was too quiet. I shut off the radio, turned off my phone, and prayed “Okay, I am fixing to just listen.” And I am not saying an audible voice was explaining things to me, but the silence was quite loud. After an hour, I felt I had heard. And what I felt I heard smelled like sunshine and rain!
I am like a chicken running with its head cut off and so bogged down I don’t have sense the good Lord gave me to make simple decisions, let alone big ones. Things that should be crystal clear get caddywonked and I am left crazy as all get out. And I am stubborn enough to start an argument in an empty house. I have a mind to pursue clarity but can’t seem to get a mind to putting down my cell phone and getting still and just listening.
Sometimes I need someone to jerk a knot in my tail, and just say, “Look here, hush.”
Sometimes, it’s the Good Lord.
And when I get quiet, and undistracted all of the sudden I think “what in blue blazes what I thinking???” And I’ll tell you, I can feel the right answer in my bones. Now, I am not gonna bite your head off, but I am going to say, come to find out – silence is golden. So, “Y’all hush.” Get quiet if you can. Don’t spin your wheels beating a dead horse.
I am fixing to try it myself again.
“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
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