For probably the first time in over three months, I baked for no other reason than I wanted to fill the house with good smells. I wanted to watch Katie stir the batter with equal parts care and artistic flair. I wanted Sophie to beat the eggs as her smile widens with each pass of the whisk. I wanted Lucy to fold in the grated zucchini, proud that even a two year old can help.
We talked about lemon zest as I generously added it in and smiled and laughed. We sat in front of the oven, just watching it bake, because we simply wanted to. I have a must-do list that is many, many pages long and needs to be completed. But this? This was important.
The loaves baked and there is something about that lemon-scented bread that centered me. The girls each ate a slice, hot out of the oven, dripping with butter. I do declare I heard the Lord himself say, "It is good."
Now they color and make an army of paper dinosaurs out of paper stars while I slip away to write. We all are happy.
I meditate on Psalm 64 as I have been for days. And I read the words:
They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent man; they shoot at him suddenly, without fear.
The enemy is the tongue.
The enemy is my tongue. How often do I bemoan others, unaware of my own culpability? We fight back, launching words and blog posts like arrows, hoping to penetrate the opposition's position. Hoping to highlight their weakness. Win the battle.
There is so much hurt. So much wrong. So much pain.
There are boys being shot when walking home at night. There are children being shot in parks while watching fireworks in my city where a total of 55 people were shot over the Fourth of July weekend. There are little girls who are so abused and neglected that they have maggots growing in their wounds. There are people dying of hunger every day. There is so much bad, so much wrong, in the world that sometimes all I can do is bake a loaf of bread and try to catch my breath because if I think about it to much I might just break down forever.
I think about Psalm 64. I think about those who sharpen their tongues like swords. But what if we do, but don't aim at the innocent, but instead......?
I will fight against injustice. I will fight myself and my own desires. I will fight to see His Kingdom come.
Jonathan Martin said on Twitter today:
The work of Jesus is to bind up the brokenhearted. You are surrounded by broken hearts on all sides, so roll up your sleeves & join him. What feels like poison to you will one day be the antidote for someone else. Your wounds will be a resource for healing - so don't give up.
And the brokenhearted are all around us. And the world is moaning and crying out in pain. And I can't act like I don't hear it. It's time to use our words for Kingdom work.