Scattered Gifts (Exchanging Memos With God)

A few weeks ago a dear friend gave us a computer - out of the blue.

We really needed a second computer, but couldn't begin to figure out how we could buy one. Then, BAM, just like that, before we'd hardly wrapped our minds around it, the problem was solved.

A few days later, another couple we barely know stopped by with a brand new vacuum.

Ours was broken and we'd put the word out that we were in the market for a used or hand-me-down machine.  But here it was, NEW, in the box, with a bow on top.  I sat the box in the living room and watched the children dance around it in excitement when they got home from school.

Then, when I was off writing at Panera on a Saturday afternoon, my husband found a drafting table set out for free on the curb, just down the road from our house.  Exactly the kind of table I've always loved, exactly the kind of desk I've always wanted.  

This was shortly after we put in the verbal offer on the farm house of our dreams - the "long-shot" offer that fell short of the negotiating table and we were discouraged.

"Do you realize," I said to my husband one evening, "that in just a little over a week we've been given a computer, a vacuum, and a table?  It's crazy, isn't it?"

"You're right," he said, "I hadn't really thought about it that way."

"I can't feel it, though," I added, "It's like, I should feel something, but I can't."

It was right around the week of Thanksgiving and I was writing and speaking about gratitude, but I couldn't feel it, because all I wanted to do was send God a little memo that said something like:

                              Dear God:
                              Thanks for the computer, and vacuum and table,
                              but what we really need is a house.
                              Maybe you could just try to focus on that??

My guess is that God gets quite a few letters like that.  Maybe you've sent one too?

I didn't mean to be ungrateful, but my eyes were stuck somewhere in the distance, scanning the horizon, so much so that I almost missed the gifts of Presence scattered at my feet.

Because what I want, truly, is to know that God is with us.  I can wait for a house, if I can be certain that God is in the waiting too.

Shifting my focus, I saw those gifts - the computer, the vacuum, the table - as so many memos, straight from the hand of God and they read something like this:

                               Dear Kelly:
                               I see you.
                               I know your needs.
                               I love you.
                               And, yo, chill about this house deal,
                               I'm workin' on it.


  1. I love this.
    I know just how you feel. We have been wanting to move for years, to the country. Had two "perfect" houses fall through on us. Been trying to leave, trying to move, trying to get a new job, start a new lifestyle, and yet here we stay. Contentment, its a really hard one isn't it?

    1. Good to know I'm not alone, Leah and hoping the doors open soon for us both!
      Thanks for commenting:)

  2. Ah, yes. Holy discontent. I get this, I've got this, too, from time to time. And sometimes that discontent is exactly where we need to be. Of course, sometimes, it's just plain grumbling! (At least for me.) I am praying you will find that house and make it your own very, very soon. Have I told you this story? When I took this church position in Santa Barbara 17 years ago, our home in Altadena was not selling and I was living in the guesthouse of a parishioner while my husband stayed in Altadena during the week and joined me on Saturday nights. (Now this was not your ordinary, damp/neglected guesthouse, mind you, but a large studio apartment on an acre set amidst one of the most expensive golf courses in the entire country!) I looked at maybe 100 homes over the next four months and was feeling very discouraged about midway through that time. A woman pastor friend came to our church for a conference and sat in my office and prayed over me like I've never been prayed over before or since. "Oh Lord, I just know you're dancing up there. You're dancing with joy over the perfect house you've got in mind for Diana and Dick. You're busting at the seams to show it to her when the time is right! Give her patience to wait for that right time." Changed me, right there, right then. And three months later, we did find this perfect house (well - not perfect, but for us, just about!). I AM CONFIDENT this is your story as well. So I'm picturing a dancing God on your behalf today, Kelly.

    P.S. I saw your name/picture/words in InPart magazine this week and just about dropped my teeth. Hadn't a clue you a.) went to Messiah; b.) were licensed with the BIC. That's my husband's family's denomination and the group we traveled to AFrica with 47 years ago. Lived with them on a boarding school campus for two years and just enjoyed a reunion with many of those good people in September at Messiah Village! Did I know this about you and have forgotten it? Cuz I was gobsmacked.