The other day my husband brought me home a surprise. In the past, surprises included apple fritters, chocolate bars, DVD’s, and one time a diamond ring…but that’s a story unto itself.
This day he brought me home a sprinbrush toothbrush. He had bought one for himself and really liked it. Since he had a coupon and they were on sale, he thought I would like to have one, too.
And like it I do!
But this morning, I realized anew just what a creature of habit I am.
I squirted the toothpaste on my new brush. Put the brush in my mouth. And proceeded to manually brush my teeth.
The bristles aren’t designed for this. The brush moved sluggishly across me teeth…then it dawned on me…I forgot to turn it on. And the Spirit niggled my heart…I ended up giggling out loud.
God decided to use my toothbrush to remind me to do more than go through the motions and rely on habit.
This little reminder came as I was getting ready to head out to the funeral service for the woman I had cared for the past five and half years.
Relying on habit would mean that I put on my pastoral mask and face the folks with a demeanor of peace and confidence. Behaving this way has carried me through some really tough services in the past. But it seemed clear that I was to leave my mask at home.
The power I was to draw on was not the usual thing. The power source available to me would work much better. It was up me to access it.
I heard the words of Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
My habit or standard mode of operation would have been stiff upper lip, show no emotion, tough it out…hang strong. God was inviting me to leave that habit behind and “come clean.” I meekly said I’d try.
I sat at the funeral and wept. I sang the songs, prayed the prayers, remembered…and wept. That may not sound like much to you–doesn’t everyone weep at funerals? Not people who are in control. Not me. I didn’t anticipate weeping. But there I sat soggy and snotty and totally sans tissues. I had to get up and go retrieve some from the narthex.
I can’t remember a service that touched my heart as much as that one. Living into the multiple layers of loss, feeling the pain, I came heart to heart with the Great Comforter. I would miss this lady, but I was able to focus on the many gifts I had received from her. I would miss having a job, but I had an indescribable peace that God would lead where I needed to be.
God used a toothbrush to remind me to rely upon Him. What is He using in your life?