Monday, April 27, 2009

The Noticer

I am a very visual person. I learn best by seeing, and even when talking to someone, if something blocks my vision of them, I have a hard time understanding what they are seeing, almost as if I were wearing earplugs. This is awful when it comes to trying to help my little brother with math problems over the phone, I always hand it over to Molly. It's a wonderful blessing when it comes to reading the Psalms; so many of them are visual in their depictions of God's love i.e. shadow of his wings, mighty fortress, etc. Last night in my reading of Passionate Prayer by Catherine Martin, I was directed to read Psalm 42:8. In my NLT Bible it reads: But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. I had to read that verse several times, because the imagery of God literally pouring out love on me from Heaven captured my heart. Breaking it down, it happens every day. His love for me renews every day. Pours is in the present, not past tense, meaning that is occurring right now and all the time! And his love never fails, no matter what I do or how I stumble, his love for me cannot fail. Because he pours out love on my throughout the day, each night I sing his songs in praise and prayer. After reading it, I imagined holding an upside-down umbrella; instead of holding it over my head to protect me, I turned it upside-down to capture that love and let it drench me.

The verse sank deep into my heart, and I realized that it gives me a reason to look forward to each day. I'm excited to discover how God's love for me will show itself today and tomorrow. This morning I woke up with a smile on my face, and as my entire family can tell you, that is a rare occurrence; I am not a morning person. After everyone left for school and work, I laid back down to catch a little more sleep and woke up in enormous pain. Every joint in my body ached and throbbed, but I sat up feeling good, feeling happy. I've read through the Bible several times, and through the Psalms even more, but never has that verse struck my heart the way it did last night. Isn't it incredible how the Lord speaks to us through the his Word at just the right time in just the right way?

The Noticer by Andy Andrews is one of those books you'll tell your friends and family about, and each one will come away with a different message. The people of Orange Beach, Alabama have been visited for years by a man calling himself Jones, no Mister just Jones, who carries a battered suitcase wherever he goes and changes everyone he meets. Jones takes the time to pay attention to the world around him recognizing that it's the little things that change the world. The book follows him as he counsels married couples, type A personalities, and those who think their life has no purpose. To each he has a message of hope as well as a promise that what they do matters not only to them, but to future generations. This slim novella packs a great deal of punch when it comes to wisdom. I think it's a book I'll reread at different times in my life, because with each reading will come new understanding. This time Jones' story about seagulls was for me:
"Five seagulls are sitting on a dock. One of them decides to fly away. How many seagulls are left? "
"No, there are still five. Deciding to fly away and actually flying away are two very different things."
Did a lightbulb go on for you? It certainly did for me! It's a terrific book for book clubs or gift-giving.

I'm giving away two copies of this terrific book this week, and this contest will be a little different than normal. To enter, tell me about someone who had a major impact on your life, for good or bad, in less than 300 words. Entries don't need to be long, just a few lines will do. An impartial judge (not me) will read all of the entries and choose the two that are the most moving. I will post the winning entries on my blog! So drop me an email with your entry before 10 pm on April 30th. I'll announce the winners here on Friday. Good luck!