On Easter Sunday, after dinner, the kids and I were just sitting around talking in my mom's living room when the question came up, "How many people hate you, do you think?"
We had to define "hate", of course. It was not a feeling so strong that someone wished you dead. It was more like, if someone thought of you, or was in a conversation about you, they'd be thinking, "Oh? That Jane O? Can't stand her...." That sort of thing.
One son thought that maybe 2 people hated him. Another son thought maybe 5 or 6 people felt that way. And the other one? He was thinking that there was a long crowded list. Dozens or more.
Which, of course, was sad for me. And got me thinking.
As a teen I got some anonymous hate mail. I think it was from someone who thought I was after the same guy she had a crush on. I so wasn't.
Years later, after my marriage had ended, the same thing happened. Hateful letters from someone who thought I was after her guy. I so wasn't.
Haha. Those are the only two instances I can think of. And both were based on non-truths.
I wonder if that's true for most incidences of hatred? That the seeds of hatred are planted in feelings of insecurity, and grown in a field filled with bullshit?
Anyway, today I looked at the question from the other side.
How many people do we hate? Do I hate? Like, how many people do I have only negative feelings toward?
Maybe one? Possibly two?
How about you? What's your hate quotient?
Remember that colouring page I was stuck on because I was disappointed in how the yellow-green looked on the page.
I fixed it.
Just blackened those leaves.
Can't say this is now my favorite page, because it definitely ISN'T, but at least I don't want to rip my eyeballs out when I see it.
Last night, the sermon at Northview was the final one in the 7 Psalms series.
It was Psalm 23.
And surprisingly, it undid me.
(Surprisingly because I didn't expect to hear anything I didn't already know. Haha. This was likely amongst the first verses I ever memorized. He is the shepherd, I am the sheep. Yeah, yeah, I know...)
This is what I learned:
The Lord? The One I refer to as God? (As in all day long when I chat with Him, I start with Dear God)?
He is MY Shepherd. (God is Jane's shepherd.)
And Shepherds look after their sheep. (God is looking out for Jane's needs. He knows what they are even before Jane does. And He's totally on it.)
He provides me with a bed with a memory foam mattress topper and fresh clean drinking water FROM A TAP.
He restores my soul.
He restores my soul.
(I love that.)
He. Restores. MY. Soul.
He will lead me... (Lead me, not push me. Not drag me. Not force me. Not guilt me. Not poke me from behind. Not scare me ... He will lead me along the right path because of His reputation.
(His reputation? Is that He is a Good, Loving, Caring, Perfect, All-Knowing, Shepherd who calls His sheep by name. And because He is those things, He can be counted on to lead me along the best path.)
And if/when I walk through valleys of dark seasons of death and divorce and depression and dementia and other negative D words, I don't need to be afraid. Because He (The Creator of The Universe) is holding my hand. And He has a staff, which He uses to pull me back before I unknowingly stumble off a cliff or wander into a thicket or get chased by a wolf. His staff, will yank me back to safety. Even if I don't know I'm in danger. So that staff? It's a good thing.
He's preparing a spot for me at His table; He is heaping blessings on my head - and my cup? Is overflowing. I feel like the luckiest woman.
And the best part? Goodness and Mercy (also known as GOD) will pursue me with tenacity and passion and tireless devotion every single day for every day of my life because He loves me.
(That last bit? About being pursued?
Undid me on Saturday night.
Those are magic words for a woman...
Being pursued. )
If he's pursuing me? He's pursuing others, too. People like, R, J, A, M, C, L, L, ad everyone else on my list.
"It's what I do for a living. I get people home safely..."
I was at Charles Davies funeral this afternoon.
(He was a commercial pilot for Air Canada.)
The first passage of scripture that was read?
I sat next to Maxine and joined her in crying for 1.5 hours.
I am a fan of funerals.
I love hearing The Stories.
We need to hear each other's stories.
I had a pinterest inspired lunch on Sunday at the lake:
And that's about it.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. The colours in my life lately. Seriously. From the sunsets at White Rock where it felt like I was in the middle of a canvas where the painter was splashing vibrant colours all around me, and I got to walk through the middle of it - to the tulip fields in Greendale and everything inbetween, this has been an amazing few days.
2. Friends who come together. Pastors who preach. Families who share. Writers who write. Readers who read. Actors who act. Landscapers who dig. Leaders who lead.