March 18, 2013

Cilantro in my underwear and a message from God

Rob walked in after work today to find Silas pathetically wailing in timeout, Jannika asking me for the 5th time what I was making her for dinner, and me slamming pots and pans around in an attempt to align the serving time of all the various elements of the chicken burritos, salad, and sweet potato fries I was making. My devoted husband took in the scene with wide eyes - the russet potatoes I had cooked him earlier in the day for his lunches during the week, the mound of dirty cooking pots, the three rounds of team soccer snacks I had purchased and then readied earlier that morning, the new groceries. And then he looked more than a little worried when I grumpily mentioned I had also written part of a blog post for Families in the Loop during the kids' game time. He hastily offered to pour me a glass of wine while I chastised Silas for the umpteenth time while waving around a paring knife in my hand and vaguely cutting at the radishes I had in front of me.

Basically the whole scene was fairly scary and horrific and filled with lots of loud kid screams and knives and steely-eyed glares from me directed at the kids, the radishes, and the burrito fillings. So I removed myself from the room and went to go to the bathroom.

And a piece of cilantro fell out of my underwear.

I believe God speaks to us; sometimes we listen, but often we don't. Sometimes it's loud and clear, but often it's a little whisper, something we're not sure we're even hearing. I know people who've received loud and specific words from God - Hold a garage sale to raise money for My work in another family's life, and I will bless you with $879. And then they have a garage sale, wait until the end to count the money, and find they've raised $879 to the dollar. Look for the car keys under a mattress in a room you've searched 100 times over. And then they look one last time under a mattress and find the keys their daughter has hidden deep within. Give your saved-up vacation money to this visiting pastor and I will still provide. So she gives her extra savings away without saying anything to anyone...and gets a call that week from someone in the congregation who had a word from God to give this woman the money he'd started saving for no clear purpose other than to bless someone - money that was way more than the amount of her original savings.

Crazy amazing stuff, no?

Me? I get whispers, whispers I'm not even sure are there. And whispers that I don't know how to interpret. Being struck last fall with the conviction that I need to support/join/start some adult literacy program in the local community, I obeyed - I thought it was a "now" thing. But after a few phone calls and hitting some dead ends, I wondered if God was preparing my heart for a "soon" thing. Or a "in two years" thing. Maybe I'm not good at listening. Actually, I know I'm not good at listening.

God sometimes uses words of the Bible, sometimes songs, sometimes the wisdom of friends, and sometimes a conviction in our hearts to speak to us. I'm fairly certain He was behind Silas' "yellow thing," as weird as it was.

But when I saw that cilantro leaf flutter down tonight, I started laughing. The God of the universe, the one who has knit me together and perceives all my inner thoughts, He knew me so well that He used my underwear and a cilantro leaf to send a message that was, for the first time, as clear as day.

Chill out. 

That's what I heard (Kind of in my head? Kind of not at all? But still as clear as day. But delivered in an mildly ironic, eye-rolling, exasperated parent kind of a way - it was a dang cilantro leaf, afterall.)

And so I came back into the kitchen laughing because a piece of cilantro fell out of my underwear, and God just told me to chill out, and I'm 34 going on 7 when it comes to humor and anything underwear-related. And Rob didn't think it was actually funny but made an "ew" face instead, as he probably thought it sounded gross and weird that cilantro would be where it was. So then I'm explaining I had just cut cilantro and it was probably just in the band of my underwear, and then he got a worried look like I'd go and blog about it.

Which is when I totally got the idea to blog about it. Rob loses. God wins.

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