Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 22:17-24:27
First thing Saturday morning, immediately after finishing breakfast we set up our Bible table right next to the paved path where we were camping. We had hoped to be able to get a booth next to all the rest of the booths where the majority of the crowd would be, but we didn’t have “enough money” for that. Which translates into, that’s not where God wanted our table to be this time. Anyway, I had such high hopes that we would no more than put the table up and the people would just start streaming by and talking to us and taking Bibles and handing us large donations…yeah, I was living in a dream world. When the first Derby of the day started at noon the campground area where we were not too far from the grandstands emptied out! And when I say emptied out I mean ghost town type empty, like the kids and I were the only souls, besides the two dogs next door, in the entire area! EVERYONE had gone to see the show. Which makes perfect sense, because that’s what everyone was there to do!!! I have to admit, I was really ticked off about it. Honestly the shock of my delusion being dissolved before my eyes was so pronounced that I immediately fell into a depression. MY plans had not materialized and I was mad about it. I sat behind that solemn table all day and only one gentleman with a black shirt that said “f___ this sh__” (only not blanked out) came up to talk to me and it was only because he was waiting on his friend and I had said “HI” to him first. At one point I made eye contact with a young man of no more than 11 as he rode by on the back of his family’s golf cart only to have him look me right back in the eye and spit in my direction as he rode by with a look of contempt on his face. I was beginning to understand how Jesus felt when his own people spit at Him. The boy did the same thing on his way back to his camper at the end of the day.
The longer I sat there and watched the few people that were late for the derby walk by, shirts with demonic skulls on them and a tattoo of the grim reaper on a shoulder. My heart broke for these people who were so comfortable in the celebration of evil and yet I felt so completely helpless and unable to reach them! Most of them wouldn’t even look at me – the lady behind the table full of Bibles, maybe they were afraid that I was sitting there judging them… and maybe I was a little bit I don’t know. But I do know that I was sitting there very uncomfortably! My plans had been wrecked like the cars in the stadium were about to be and I was NOT happy about it. So here I was sitting behind a table full of good news, GREAT news really, and I was forcing a smile onto my face as people trickled by. It was pathetic honestly. The longer I sat there the more depressed I became until I finally went into Rover and pulled out an old sheet to spread on the ground so that I could lay down in the shade and pray and think. I ended up writing my prayer out, too frustrated and emotional to even speak.
I’m searching for You in this mess. I’m searching for a reason why my head has been filled with visions of grandeur when all there is, is dust. You know, its one thing to spend everything we have to get here, if I feel like we’ve actually DONE something. But an entire day and not a single Bible? Really? Why did the kids and I come then? Why am I spending every Wednesday night at the local Farmer’s Market if no one signs up for the email devotional or wants a Bible or buys anything? Lord, I’m trying to enjoy myself right now in this beautiful day, but I can’t stay in the moments of joy. I am so weak. And obviously no good at writing, photography or ministry of any kind since no one is interested in even stopping and looking let alone supporting us financially. I mean heck, I can’t even GIVE away Bibles!!! Who would have thought even that would be so hard? Lord, take pity on me! This is all in Your hands; it always has been, I’ve never denied that. Was the test of Thursday and taking that leap of financial faith not enough for You? Why are You doing this to me? I quit. I want to go home. Oh wait, I CAN’T! We’re stuck here until YOU decide we’ve suffered enough. Thanks.
As you can see, I was pretty upset and a little mad at God at the point when I wrote that letter to Him. Thankfully He knows that He made me a strong willed child and He knows how to handle my outbursts with His infinite patience. He just sits there and watches me spiritually kick and scream until my face is purple and my energy is exhausted. Then He slides in next to me and puts His gentle arms around me and holds me tight to His chest until I’ve calmed down from my temper tantrum.
I finished writing, got up off the ground and went into Rover to dry my tears and blow my nose. I was in there for no more than three to five minutes max. Yet when I came back out to the table TWO Bibles were gone!!!!! Not one, but TWO! I never saw anyone walk by and take them, I hadn’t been looking, but they did all the same! God is good, regardless of my selfish outbursts. You sent just the right encouragement at a time when I needed it most.
Thank You Lord for loving me the way You do!