He Surprised Me

He surprised me.

I wrote him a note, tracing across my journal page that I was eager to learn from him. “God, talk to me through your word today, please.” We were interrupted by supper and elections, but picked up our conversation this morning. Opening my journal, I saw my scrawled note to God and smiled.

Leaning back in my chair, I rocked in time, noted five blue jays out the window gobbling up peanuts, and turned to Malachi. After several years of working my way slowly through the Old Testament again, the succession of prophet books had left me expecting similar material. I expected refugee stories, walls of rubble, and temple re-buildings. I expected encouragements to persevere, reiterated promises of God’s love and protection, and occasional warnings. 

He surprised me.

From wrinkled Persian parchment in the 400s BC, God shot me with twenty-first century prose.

He was gentle. He was blunt.

Surely, this is contextual for your Jewish nation returning from exile, God, right? This is spiritual analogy, right?

He wielded soft sarcasm and rhetorical questions. I grabbed my pen, writing back to God, scribbling messy across the page. We talked, he countered. My writing grew slower, sobered. I listened and asked questions.

From wrinkled Persian parchment, he spoke to me in twenty-first century prose.

Linking with Emily and Jennifer

Parchment credit        Pottery credit

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  1. Unknown on November 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Beautiful! Love this!

  2. Lisa on November 8, 2012 at 12:17 am

    I am inspired by your practice of a "conversational" journaling with our Lord. Noted to try it myself; with thanks.

  3. Wise Hearted on November 8, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Jennifer, always good to read how tender and teachable your heart is. It's a challege to not let our day go before us without reading at least a little of God's Word. Or at least meditating on a truth God has shown. Good post…encouraging.

  4. Anonymous on November 8, 2012 at 12:49 am

    This makes me think of my post…friendship with God…He calls us friend and He tells us His secrets…it is an amazing thought~

  5. Kath on November 8, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I like that you are so ready to listen to him. What a blessing.

  6. Mommy Emily on November 8, 2012 at 3:19 am

    i agree with kath. it is so rare to find someone who both reads the bible and listens to it. what a blessing you are jennifer!

  7. cabinart on November 8, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Oh Jennifer, this is EXACTLY what I want every day. Right now there is too much noise in my head to hear Him, but I will not stop trying. Thank you for sharing this with us. . . it gives me hope that with practice, I can hear Him.

  8. Alecia Simersky on November 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    soft sarcasm, rhetorical questions-I can just picture his amusement at us sometimes as we slowly start to realize something he's been trying to get us to see all along.
    I love this going back and forth and that fact that he's willing to do this with us, is awesome!
    Thank you for coming by my space and your kind comments, I appreciated them!

  9. Anonymous on November 9, 2012 at 4:31 am

    I love your post today. Being surprised by God is an awesome experience. Just when we think we know what we will find….he shows us something we didn't expect!

  10. Unknown on November 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I love it when he does that!

  11. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 1:42 am

    Thank you, AJ. Thanks for dropping in to say hi.


  12. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Thanks, Lisa. That conversational journaling with God is so fun, and helps me delve deeper into the Bible too.

    Thank you for dropping in.

    Nice to get to know you more,

  13. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 1:49 am


    That's a challenge for me too, friend.

    Wearing your pendant daily,

  14. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 1:54 am


    I am intrigued and will hop over. This must be a theme God is whispering to a lot of us right now. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by here, and sorry for my delay in getting back to you.


  15. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Thank you, Kath.


  16. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 2:02 am


    You are kind to me, but I actually wrestle with obeying him on everything. It's so easy sometimes to obey, and harder others, isn't it?

    Thanks for stopping by and wrestling with me,

  17. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 2:13 am

    Hi Cabinart,

    Not that I'm perfect at hearing his voice, or making time to hear it all the time either… I just like to rejoice when I do. 🙂 Plus it changes me.


  18. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 2:16 am


    Only a gentle God can wield gentle sarcasm, huh? Thanks for stopping by.


  19. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Thank you, V. Yes, I love that about him too.


  20. Jennifer Dougan on November 13, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Hi Joanna at Ostricheslookfunny,

    He throws me for a loop when God dos that. Thanks for stopping by.


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