Tune In!

What key are you living in?  Normally I like to sing in the key of E, play in the key of C and write in a way that theoretically doesn’t make much sense.

For the last few weeks in our Wednesday night Talmidim, we have been discussing really “tuning in” to God.  Getting still, focusing, intentionally having a “life of prayer” as opposed to a separate “prayer life” as we often times refer to it.

Without sounding too cliché, it definitely ‘struck a chord’ with me.  I know how awful it sounds when the G string on a guitar is tune to an A flat.  When it’s out of tune, even one string, a half step, it sounds terrible!  It’s that fingernail on the chalkboard kind of shreeeek.  So, I can’t help but wonder if the chaos that often screams and shreeeeeks as it clutters my mind, keeping me from focusing on what God is really trying to say to me, is just a matter of simply being out of tune.

Now, I’m not saying ta-da, I have found the solution to worries, fear, questions, why’s, and stresses of life, but at least for my “right now” I am intentionally trying to “tune in.”  It would be a lot easier right now to just un-plug and be done with it.  But I DON’T WANT MY MUSIC TO DIE!  There are still songs to be written, melodies to be sung and lives to be changed!  I can’t stop NOW!

Last night before our Talmidim began to “officially” hagah over the word, one of the guys told us about a mother who was here from China with her 18 month old son, Josiah.  It was just the two of them as the rest of the family was still over seas.  I’m still not sure the complete medical history, but what I do know is there are respiratory issues and he only has one ear, and even that one is not fully formed.  Ping (the mom) and her son needed a ride to an appointment at Vanderbilt this morning.  Immediately I knew, I was supposed to drive them.  My Thursday morning was unusually open and despite having a lot of work to do, I actually didn’t have an appointment until 1:00.  Right away, I said “I can take her” about the same time Mike also spoke up.  I don’t know if I looked poised for a fight but he quickly offered me first dibs on getting to serve this family.  (I say “getting to,” because it truly is an honor when God uses us to work in someone’s life.  “For even He did not come to be served, but rather to serve.”)

We exchanged numbers after our class & I got her address and time to arrive.

After chickening out on ‘diving in’ to a certain decision last night… I went home and got a call from Jonathan in our class.  He said that Josiah’s nurse would also need to ride with us.  Apparently as his nurse, she had to be “available” at all times to perform CPR. on him if needed.

“What have I gotten myself into?” I thought.  Immediately my heart turned from one of compassion to one of skepticism.  I just knew this was a setup.  The mom and “nurse” as she claimed to be, were really terrorist who for some reason thought I was America’s best kept secret and were going to squeeze me for information.  (Having an incredibly over-creative mind, is not always a fun thing! :))   So, my survival instincts kicked in and I sent Mike an email basically telling him I found out the nurse had to come to and I wouldn’t have enough seats in my car to accommodate her and he agreed to take her.

About five minutes later I felt overwhelmed with guilt for lying about the reason, and especially to Mike.  Of all the people in the world someone would feel the need to lie to, it certainly would not be this accepting, on fire for helping people kind of guy.  So, I basically laid it out that I was just too doggone scared to.  I was blunt.  Mike, I was raped once.  I was mugged just a few months ago, and thought I really did want to do it, my body (and my incredibly over-creative mind) was working overtime against me.  And, those thoughts were more than likely being escalated by satan, knowing in that quiet waiting place, he could make things very loud and cloudy for me.)  I’m really not a psycho-paranoid person.  No really, I went to a doctor and they confirmed it. 🙂 ha.  But I am definitely not normal!  (Thank goodness!)  I have been blessed with a couple extra doses of creativity and a mind that works at a very fast pace.  And though I am also haunted by some extremely traumatic events that bring about understandable fear, I also believe that satan would love nothing more for me to walk, or swim, in fear every minute of every day… because then HE wins.

As I was driving out to Nolensville this morning, I heard a song on the radio, I haven’t heard… in probably years.  Steven Curtis Chapman’s “I”m Diving In.”  Now remember, a couple months ago, we decided we weren’t going to believe in ‘coincidences’ anymore, and this most certainly was not one.  I quickly sent Rob a text and said “Guess what song is on the radio right now!!”  I knew he would call it!  The comment from him, the blog yesterday and now a song to really call me to “tune in.”  No coincidence.

Moments later I got a text back that said Mike was having an issue with his car and asked if I could still be available to take the mom, son and  nurse to Vanderbilt.  Really?!  I had already told Rob the night before about my fears.  You know it’s great to have someone you don’t have to ‘filter’ things with.  I have a few people like this in my life.  Some folks you have conversations with, others you have what I call “thinkspeaks” because very little thought goes into what you say, much less much ‘filtering.’  But Rob is one of those that I just have “speaks” with.  I rarely actually stop to see how I think something is going to sound, but rather just speak exactly what’s in my mind as it comes in my mind. 

WARNING:  SPEAKS ARE NOT ADVISED WITH EVERYONE.  YOU ARE HEREBY CAUTIONED TO INVESTIGATE FOR YOURSELF THOSE IN WHICH YOU FEEL SAFE TO HAVE ‘SPEAKS’ WITH.

But, Rob is one of the faithful ones, like Becky and Baley and a few others, that I don’t feel the need to have a disclaimer for what I say.  I am free to be me… whatever that means or looks like.

So, I was admittedly nervous about picking them up, still this morning, but as I “tuned in” to “diving in” I could feel the hug on my heart string to go ahead and take the leap.  After all, I had Mike & Rob, stirring the water to help give me that extra burst of courage, so I said yes!

I drove straight to Ping’s house where a very sweet nurse met me outside.  We exchanged pleasantries as I began to secure Josiah’s car seat.  I met the mom and we were on our way. 

The drive was short to downtown, but I did find out the nurse was from Portland, Oregon, home to the one and only Donald Miller (see how God whispers these subtle ‘ah-ha’s’ when you’re “tuned in” to Him.

We talked about Covenant Baptist Church, Oasis, but mostly about how I came to know the amazing men and women at Tusculum, including her neighbor in the adult Talmidim.

We arrived at the drop off point at Vanderbilt and I helped them get all the gear inside.  Then, I gave them a “Love Card” with my number on the back of it.  It basically says “Nothing Is Louder Than Love” on the front, and on the back something like “The greatest commandments are to love Jesus with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself… this is my attempt to do both.”   And it has the web address for Tusculum.  They are going through an entire series that is simply focusing on loving others, expecting nothing in return, and then being intentional about letting them know it is Christ’s love in you that is fueling your love for them.

It’s quite a different take on “random acts of kindness.”  These are “intentional acts of love.” 

It was an incredible experience to meet Josiah, a well-fed, dark haired 18 month old, who I wasn’t sure if he could in fact hear me or not, but smiled an adorable crooked smile when I made faces at him.  Just showing interest, across language barriers and hugging him, I could see the light in his mom’s eyes.

God’s a lot like that too.  He looks at what we sometimes see as our “ugly,” based on earthly standards, and calls us beautiful.  It’s the times when we fall on our face, weeping uncontrollably, in broken, full surrender to him (tuned in) or when we stop testing the waters and just dive in fully trusting if for no other reason but to be obedient, that I believe He looks at us and says, “Now! Now, I can really use you!”  I see running mascara, puffy eyes and the need for a Goody powder, Jesus sees a child that He fearfully and wonderfully made trusting Him.

Oh how I long to fearlessly be “tuned in” every second of ever day, 52 weeks, 365 days a year.  I can’t even begin to imagine the seatbelt I would need for that kind of God-Reality ride!

Did you dive in?  Are you going to?  My hopes are that at least for these last few minutes, you’ve thought about what you’re tuning into, and believe me, the truth is much more productive!

Take a minute and “Tune In” to this fantastic reminder that we should sing no matter what.  My good friend Todd emailed this song & lyric video this morning.  I was privileged to do all the harmonies on this and love how it spoke to me this morning!  Enjoy & I’ll let you know when the ‘real’ video comes out.

Click Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H_YoXat3hw

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