Friday, September 23, 2011


Sudoku is logical. Black. White. Finite. Numbers written into squares. Right. Wrong.

I enjoy the Sudoku challenge, yet it is not a daily habit – too many shades of gray calling me into the world of words.

Scrabble. Now there's a game!

My paternal grandmother made time for Scrabble. She'd play with any grandchild old enough to form the letters into words. As we got better, she unleashed her depression-era dictionary full of words we didn't know – but she
never beat us so badly that we gave up. We bounced back from defeat, eagerly asking to play again. Some days we'd get caught up in the clamor for points, try using words we really didn't know. We ran the risk of a challenge, forfeiting a turn when a misspelling was revealed.

There was tension.

This morning, while deleting posts from my social-networking profile, I rediscovered this list:

Coffee black.
Diet Coke, never Diet Pepsi.
Dark chocolate, not milk chocolate.
Dogs, not cats.
Reading not television.
Compassion not vengence.

The words NEVER and NOT imply a person who has it all together, a neatly completed Sudoku, black and white, right answers, nothing wrong. A person whose beliefs are sharply-edged and well-defined.

As I cut and paste from my profile into my blog, I see a couple of commas missing. Vengeance is misspelled.

Today, I am more forgiving, tolerant, flexible, gray.

I am striving to be less clever and more humane.

Diet Coke? Yes, please. Diet Pepsi? No thanks, but maybe a Diet Mountain Dew or an ice tea. Thank you. Seeking the eyes of the server, making contact, acknowledging humanity.

Following after Christ brings more challenges than a Thanksgiving weekend of Scrabble with Grandma. I often get beat. I often get beat bad enough that I don't want to play again. There is tension. I am human. In my summer of waiting, when exhaustion has overtaken my body, the steady message for my soul remains.
Be still. Cease striving.

Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything.

Psalm 46:10

God has this. Me. My husband. My worries. My children's heating bills. The women in the clubs. The orphans in Sudan. The fate of the world. God's got it all.

When I was a child, my maternal grandmother had awesome red hair and played guitar. Her four daughters could really sing! Her grandchildren were encouraged to join in. He's Got The Whole World is the song I remember.

God's got it.


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