Thursday, December 31, 2009

The New Year

My sister lives three time zones away, which is altogether too far. We can't meet for lunch or go shopping together, so we find other ways to stay close. Of course, there's the phone, but we have to time our calls just right, because one of us might be sleeping. We e-mail and send each other hilarious photos of questionable taste. It helps that the men in our lives hit it off last summer and now are friends, too. But the best way we stay close is by sending each other crazy gifts, a tradition that started when we were in college.

A few years back, she gave me a Jesus Action Figure. (She gave me Moses, too, but he's not nearly as much fun. Tom says, "Moses only divides the water. Jesus makes wine!") Jesus has jointed, bendable arms and little wheels under his feet so he can move quickly to help the helpless and bless those who are wavering in faith, unsure of what they really need.

My Jesus Action Figure has been the visual for any number of sermons (which only works because I have preached in many different places.) Imagine, me seriously preaching about "be what God made you to be, do what God calls you to do" then reaching into the pulpit, and whipping out my favorite toy: "Be a Jesus Action Figure!" I love the surprise, the giggles and then the laughter.

As I write this in my time zone, we have only about five and a half hours of the old year remaining. 2009 has been good and bad for us. Job uncertainty, no jobs, our son needing surgery (and, oh, by the way, since he had no health insurance, we had to pay thousands of dollars up front). Then there was the failing health of our parents and the loss of my father in law, a traumatic move for my mother, worry for her well being and for that of my brother, many trips to visit them in the next time zone east... But then "Eddie's Wake" was published after all those years of work and the book itself looks fantastic, I left my last interim-pastor job feeling pretty good about how things went, our son went back to work, then back to college and got A's and B's his first semester... Our needs have been met often miraculously - more than once - just when we were about to panic.

What will '010 bring? Probably another mixed bag. Sometimes I'm afraid about what's ahead, sometimes I can't wait (will I be able to write a whole first draft of book two by the end of the new year? I hope I've learned enough about writing fiction to be able to do that.)

The thing is... the true, real, live Jesus Action Figure is already there in 2010... and beyond, ready and waiting to move quickly to help the helpless and bless those who are wavering in faith, unsure of what they really need.

Happy New Year, friends. May 2010 be for you a time of joy and blessing upon blessing! Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

Can you get me a Jesus Action Figure too? Oh, that's right, I've already got one. My problem is I forget so often. I forget that He's actually residing in me, in you, and all that know Him. So it must just be me that keeps getting in the way of His desired mobility!

Thanks for sharing this. I know it's been a hellish time for you this past year. Yet I have so appreciated your fortitude to keep moving forward, and I realize it's the actions of Jesus and His lead that your following.

Blessings and hope for you for a very good new 2010.

Your friend and brother in Him,


C. A. Peterson said...

Thanks, Dave!