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Archive for the tag “God”

Love Your Enemies and Grow Like Heck

I’m about to have a God is awesome moment on the blog. If you aren’t religious, you may want to stick around anyway because what I’m about to share is just general good karma/doing the right thing kind of stuff. And if you are interested in generally being a good person, whether you are religious or not, this still can apply.

I’ve mentioned on this blog a number of times a person at work who over the years has done a number of things to make my work life difficult and about two years of hell dealing with her and her nasty ways.

I’ve also mentioned that recently she’s been having a very bad year, bad health in her family, deaths, and difficulties at work. I’ve said I take no joy in her having such a tough time, and my prayer has been to see her humanity and put the past behind me.

Well I had that opportunity. I noticed she’s been out of the office a lot and I stopped by her office to tell her about a new food truck she’d probably like. Well she told me she just returned from a funeral of a loved one and she is drained. The work she left behind for those who were supposed to help her wasn’t done and she basically has to start all over and is several days behind.

She looked tired, and haggard and defeated.

I told her that I was really sorry for such a loss in her family and that usually word gets around the office and that I hadn’t heard anything at all. She said that she felt slighted that no one really offered any support or rallied around her the way others have been treated in similar situations.

While I felt bad for her, in my mind, I knew what it was. Her past behavior, her disregard for other people’s feelings, her negative attitude and unnecessary cattiness and delight in other’s misfortunes turned a lot of people off and now people’s inaction and indifference toward her, during her difficult times is speaking volumes.

So there’s me.

I’ve probably suffered at her hands more than anyone in the entire place.

But as someone who identifies as a Christian (yes, I do. I have A LOT OF WORK), this person being in my life has been a real test. A huge one. God has used this person to stretch me beyond belief. God used this person to make me fight for myself and stand up for myself and show that humility and patience and favor is a very real thing. And as long as I didn’t lower myself, the people who mattered would see and do the right thing at the right time.

And since our troubles, I’ve been promoted twice and when we all had our salaries cut, I was one of the few people able to negotiate to get my money back some months later. God was positioning me. He blessed me to have a great schedule and be able to work from home. He was working on something greater in the midst of a really tough struggle. But folks around me saw that I didn’t have to lower myself, or put her down. My actions and how I chose to react to hers spoke for the both of us.

But the truly amazing thing about God is when he wants to teach us a lesson, he doesn’t stop at one point. He keeps it going.

When I talked to that co-worker yesterday, something in my heart said, get her a card and a little gift. It doesn’t have to be anything big.

So I went to one store and didn’t see anything.

Then I went to Target. I bought a cheap card and carefully looked at the wording. One of the cards, I laughed and said, “Now I’d be lying, so let’s keep this simple.”

Then I looked around for something simple. And found a cute little box of chocolates in the clearance. Between the card and the chocolates I spent less than $5 dollars.

I got to her office before she arrived and left the chocolates and card on her desk.

About an hour or so later I got an email of her thanking me and saying she cried.

That touched me. Because I knew it wasn’t me, it was God using me to bless someone else. And it doesn’t take much, because even though I was being led and pulled to go get a card and some candy, and I obeyed that, I was also saying, “Lord, I know you are leading me, but this ain’t gonna be expensive. I ain’t spending but x amount on her. You brought me a long way, but nah. I ain’t make it that far.”

Her reaction today made me think about God’s love and mercy toward me. He really leaves the past in the past and does not hold my ugliness against me, but still continues to give to me and bless me when I don’t even deserve it, and when I neglect doing what I’m supposed to do for him. We do jerky things, we can treat each other terribly and tear one another down with harsh words. But we wake up to new mercies everyday, with a chance to start over. We have homes, food, clothing, health and family and friends.

I’m blessed. I’m about to spend five days in Curacao next week and celebrate a dear friend’s birthday. I know people who didn’t live to see 31. I know people who have never left where they are from to see something new and me and my friends this summer have been able to visit great places all over this world and try new things. I have an education and a brain and an opportunity to work in an industry that has been hit hard over, and over and over again.

God has protected me and provided for me. I can live independently and pay my own bills every month. My needs are supplied.

I feel great joy today for my blessings and just knowing you can do something small and it can make a difference to someone else. God used me to send a message to my co-worker and I’m proud of that.

It isn’t about her and it isn’t about me.

So if you feel compelled in your heart to reach out and do something for someone, don’t even start making the list of things they’ve done to you or for you. See the hurting heart. Understand that you needed and appreciated a blessing no matter where it came from, you just knew you needed it. If you really feel a pull at your heart to do something for someone, even a person who was against you and treated you poorly, you do it. God is working on YOU by working THROUGH you. He’s helping you grow through that moment of obeying what’s in your spirit and going beyond yourself and your limited sense of human justice and karma.

That’s the end. Do some good today, yall. It can be the tiniest thing that makes a huge difference. Spread love.

 

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My Creative God Complex

I am creatively restless.

I am about to explode. There is so much in me.

I lamented to a friend that I was itching to get out of my office, go away someplace, create, write, paint badly on canvas (never painted in my life), eat the most wonderful foods, drink amazing wines and have sex. That would make me happy right now.

My day dreams are becoming really powerful these days. Too powerful, distracting, and intoxicating for me to ignore and not act. They are far more fabulous and filled with passion and purpose than my current state.

In them, I am ridiculously happy, well-dressed, healthy and traveling as I please. I am working on my various projects, I am launching my novel. My non-profit for young women is doing powerful things.

Tyler Perry and Oprah are very interested in turning the novel into a movie. I’m asking Tyler over lunch respectfully about how he feels about the black bourgeoise crucifying him on every turn and blaming him for the coonization of black people in today’s media landscape, and how my main concern is that honestly those same people are the ones who love my book. How will he and his brand legitimize me in the movie world? He looks at me intently and says he loves the challenge and that is exactly why he was drawn to the material. His question was how will me and my book finally make those folks see him with different eyes?

He assures me not to worry. He’s ecstatic that I am so humble and wanted to learn everything about screenwriting that I can. He is impressed that I tactfully asked my question about coonery to his face. I’m so heavily invested in my book, and my characters that while I’m open to working with the pros, I want to be hands on…

See there I go.

To make matters better or worse, I get a breathless email from a friend who is traipsing through China this week, eating great food, exercising vigorously, immersing himself in language and culture and having a wonderful time. I’m jealous and inspired at the same time.

My sister sends me an adorable photo of the diorama of the wetlands she (mostly probably) and my nephew made for a school project. I think it is the finest diorama I have ever beheld.

These things heighten my senses.

I opened my fridge this morning to find spilled milk. I laughed while cleaning it up, and laughed harder at the irony of laughing at spilled milk. I thought of a new shirt design from that one incident. I thought of writing this blog. The creative force was beckoning me and I was already starting to run late for work.

Work is standing in the way of the greatness rumbling within. Damn…

Because I feel I am an artist today. On this extraordinarily rainy day, I decide to wear large jewelry, a shorts jumper over a white turtle neck, and blue tights, a massive statement necklace and long black jacket and tall black boots. It’s so extra for where I’m going to spend the next 8 hours, but I’ve got to be free. I’ve got to express myself today and through my clothes too (fashion is art). I recently finished reading an amazing novel, “The Human Stain”. I believe in order to be a great writer, you have to read great reading and study what the author was doing.

I was entranced by these characters Philip Roth developed. They each had a story that was thoughtfully played out. They were flawed, they were messy, arrogant, some how they were all intertwined with one another. They had secrets, they made massive mistakes, they carried their pain and they were often reckless in the quest to feel alive and free, if only momentarily.

I followed that connection in me. This yearning for reckless freedom. Freedom from the hold that paying bills and eliminating debt has on me. Freedom from the quick, scary pangs of fear when it’s really quiet in my apartment and I hear a random sound foreign to the regular sounds of my home and realize I am alone.  Whatever that sound is, if it is evil and wants to have at me, it has a very good chance of doing me in and no one will be able to save me.

I fill the noise with the low hum of the radio, say a prayer and go back to sleep.

So how do I break free?

The sobering reality is, I have to toil on in my practical world to pay the bills and finance my dreams that I feel are well within my reach.

Then came the rational roll-up-my-sleeves mantra I’ve adopted to “do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do.”

In my Holy Spirit-filled home church, there was a saying people often said. “Your gift will make room for you.”

This meaning, if you stick to your God-given talents, acknowledge Him in it, recognize where it comes from always, opportunities will present themselves.

I am a creative person. I am a writer. I had gotten so far from the writing path professionally for a number of reasons. It’s time to come back full circle, this time doing it on my terms. I’ll finish my book. Tyler and Oprah will come…

I feel a power and a connection to God when I write from my heart or when I sing. The creative force itself is Godly, in my opinion. Why wouldn’t it be? He is the ultimate Creator, I think He delights when we start combining our intellect and what’s in our soul to make something meaningful, even if it is only to one person.

Folks often think when we love others unconditionally, or treat people kindly, that is when we are most God-like.

That’s cool, But I think when we create something, see an idea through until it is materialized into something we can see, hear or feel, smell or taste (food is art too) that’s when He says, “Wow, look at my children.”

When we make something beautiful or useful or meaningful, I think that’s when we are most like Him.

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