Every now and again, you find something you weren’t looking for—a surprise tucked into routine. Sometimes the discovery proffers pain; sometimes promise. Today I straddle the fence between both of them, pain and promise. Let me explain.
For over a week now, we’ve been scouring the nooks and crannies of our home looking for a misplaced video camera. We haven’t seen it since our moving here nearly three years ago, with little to no distress regarding its absence. Why the urgency now? Well, my son would like an IPod, and we wanted to make this happen as cheaply as possible. Accordingly, a trade-in at the local pawn shop seemed in order—a rarely used camcorder for a gently used IPod. Thus, the search began.
Yesterday, after piecing through every single box in our attic, under our beds, and in our closets (to no avail), I sat down in the den, staring at the television in the corner of the room. Slowly, a thought emerged: Maybe it’s in there (“there” being the antique trunk that serves as the entertainment center beneath our television). Figures. The forgotten treasure was right in front of me all along; I just didn’t have the eyes or the inclination to see it.
The like-new camcorder was found, along with the original box and accessories. Delighted with the discovery, my husband began the delicate process of repackaging it for resale; I had a further thought: Maybe there’s some footage on that camera that needs to be erased before its relocation. Maybe there’s a forgotten story or two that we pushed aside in an earlier season, leaving it to marinate and simmer on a 4GB scan disk for later retrieval.
To my surprise, there was some forgotten footage—two stories; one in particular that struck my heart with both pain and promise—a video clip in 2009 of a speaking engagement at Little River UMC. I spoke twice that day, a morning and afternoon session. In hindsight, I recall uploading the afternoon talk to my computer and tweaking it for promotional purposes, but I never did anything with the first session . . . until now, nearly four years later.
What makes that day significant for me (and the many weeks of prep work leading up to it), is that my focus for the event was the underpinning for the manuscript I would write over the next several months entitled On Walkabout with the King. I finished that work with firm and good intentions of getting it into the hands of publishers. But then, life happened—a ministry move, cancer, the writing of Beyond Cancer’s Scars, and homeschooling. So, I shoved it aside, a purple binder filled with 50,000 words about my struggle to make peace between my “Faith” and my “Elaine” (for those of you who don’t know, my name is Faith Elaine).
And just last night, I struggled with it all over again. I listened to the passion and purpose in my heart from 2009, and I wept over and wondered about the woman talking back at me—the one with hair, a slimmer frame, and well, a couple of other things.
Is she still here? Does the flame still burn as vibrantly as it once did?
Tough questions. Ones with which I’m willing to wrestle. And so, I give you this clip this morning, even as I give it to myself—a few words about faith, solidly anchored in the faith of our spiritual ancestors as chronicled in the great Hebrews’ “Hall of Faith.” Indeed . . . every now and again, you find something you weren’t looking for—a surprise tucked into routine. Sometimes the discovery proffers pain; sometimes promise. Today I straddle the fence between both of them, pain and promise.
If you’re so inclined, I invite you to pull up a chair, grab a cup of your preference, and open up God’s Word to Hebrews 11. Maybe, just maybe, there is a forgotten story you tucked away in an earlier season that needs remembering. Maybe it’s in there, hiding and simmering deep within you, waiting for re-discovery. Today, I join you at the table, and I promise to keep you close in my heart as we wrestle the thing out. You are never far from my thoughts.
PS: Congrats to Leah! She is the winner of the audio CD of Alicia Chole’s Anonymous.