Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Your Best Witness Protection Plan

"I've been part of two shop-lifting experiences," she told me this week, leaning across the coffee-shop table. Her blue eyes were wide in astonishment.

"You witnessed them?" I clarified for anyone eavesdropping.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Fourbyfourblazer, Creative Commons cc license
"Yes," she continued, telling me of brazen behavior by two bootlegging rogues.

"What did the store owners do? What did the police say?" My questions tumbled out.

"I just told them what I saw," she said, stopping to sip her peppermint tea. "We were glad the manager went out cautiously. What if the man had had a gun?"

We shook our heads.

At a recent women's weekend retreat I walked into a beautiful cedar-sided lodge. Silver-haired and white-haired grandmas chuckled, checked in, and carried their luggage into rooms stacked two-stories-high. Suddenly, an inexplicable shyness crept into me. What could my paltry forty-two year old frame try to teach wise grandmas?

"Just tell what you've seen. That's all I've ever asked you to do," I felt God whisper inside me.

Calm coiled and crept deep. My breathing lengthened. That's right, I smiled. This has never been about me, I reminded myself.

"God, this is for you," I spoke in audible soft words as I stepped across pine cone-strewn sand and under towering evergreens. The lake glimmered turquoise below the hill. I made up songs, singing them in breathy tunes, grinning crazy to myself.

"God, you're so good! Thank you...." I stammered in wooed, whipped love for him, naming his gifts and making up lyrics as I went, singing a love song for this God who weaves tri-color sunsets, stretches pine trees tall, and who tells me again and again, "Just say what you've seen."

In our comparing-prone world, we can forget it so fast, huh? I can. And then the truth comes crashing back. I am loved, delighted in, enough, sufficient in Jesus, and absolutely free. Loved unconditionally by the God of the universe, I am free. The weightlessness of that bubbles up tall most days, stretching my shoulders wide in joy. Later, and throughout that weekend, we got to pour over God's words together and watch him move and teach all of us. I was thrilled and thankful to be a part of that.

I saw it this Sunday morning and my giggles shook the bench. My husband glanced at me, and shook his head grinning. I pointed, and he smiled too, but my mirth was evidently greater. I sang and laughed, switching from one verse to another, giggling harder as I sang.

Because caught up in the joyful song, two little girls in the front row of church were tossing their baby dolls into the air. Blond plastic braids flying wide in the air, the dolls arched up, froze for a second and then curved earthward again. Their owners caught them, swung their legs in joy, and catapulted their dolls again.

The song* sang about freedom and joy and new life, and I felt a bit like soaring as well.

"Oh your grace so free 
Washes over me
You have made me new
Now life begins with you 
It's your endless love
Pouring down on us
You have made us new
Now life begins with you...

Free, free, forever we're free..."

Throwing dolls in the air seemed like a perfect response to me too. I giggled and kept singing, my face wide from smiling. Because our best witness protection plan is to rest safe in who we are in God, and to just say what we've seen.

* "Death Was Arrested" by Coker, Smith, Kersh, & Ballztglier. 

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Trying a comment

Jennifer dougan said...

Trying a comment

Dolly @Soulstops said...

Jennifer,
What a great song and great advice....to just share what you've seen, what God has shown you. God has given you wisdom.

In reply to your comment over at my blog, I am so sorry for what you're going through. I pray God will uphold you and your family with His comfort and strength during this difficult time. ((hugs)) drop a line if you ever want me to pray.

Bill (cycleguy) said...

Funny...I had never heard of this song until my daughter sent me the link yesterday. Now I read this. Free indeed!

Betty Draper said...

Love the girls throwing their dolls up in the air. Such freedom and a good picture of how we need to be. Throwing our hands in the air, our voices, our time, our money, giving everything with freedom. Easier said then done. The enemy of our soul tries to get us to compare, lose hope, get wrapped up in ourselves till we are so tight with everything God has given us no one see our witness. Good post Jennifer, need to get over to your blog to find out what you are going through. Whatever it is I know you will throw a doll or two after it is over. Blessings sister.