Wielding a broom…

broomWe still find traces of her around the house.

It’s been about a year since our beautiful Maine Coon cat died and I still find fluffy bits of fur now and then. She was gorgeous and I can’t imagine why anyone would dump such a good-natured cat unless it was because her fur was taking over their house.

Every rib could be counted when she first sidled up to our door but she quickly made up for those lost meals. We joked about a taking a picture of her seated, with a caption below her triangular shape: “Does this fur make my butt look big?”Chewie

Chewie was definitely a curvy girl. And she shed. A lot.

I thought about applying for some kind of breeding license. The result of the dust bunnies mating with the cat and dog hair, had to create something worth putting a sparkly collar on.

Some of you still have your mouths open at those first words “still find.”

I really admire you guys. Dust bunnies quake with fear at the sound of your step and Chewie’s fur would have rolled obediently into your dust pans without being asked.

Me? Not so much. Dust bunnies love me. They hide out, invite their friends and hold parties under my bed. They see my broom and giggle derisively, knowing they can escape. I host a dust bunny safe house. I am beginning to look at it as a charity. Perhaps I’ll file for a non-profit.

Lately, I’ve begun to see this as a metaphor for giftings and callings.sword¬†Some of us would rather face a fire-breathing dragon than a dust bunny any day of the week. Our weapon of choice is a sword. Dust bunnies do not die at the edge of a sword.

Others are truly gifted at taking care of the details that overwhelm some of us. These people are really good at wielding brooms, at slaying dust bunnies. Broom wielders and dust bunny slayers sometimes feel under-appreciated (and quite frankly, sometimes you are overlooked) but without you, things simply would not run and a whole lot of dragon slayers would wind up falling on their own swords in desperation.

Please understand that I am not talking about housework or someone being needed to keep the home fires burning. While those are important and necessary gifts, I’m certain that there are people quite handy at wielding a figurative broom who have literal dust bunnies under their beds.

(I’ll never forget the memorial I read back in my obituary writing days. A presumably well-meaning family wrote a poem eulogizing their deceased mother, describing how she went on to dust and sweep the streets of gold. Questionable theology aside, I’ve often thought of that poor woman and how much she must appreciate her heavenly mansion where she doesn’t have to clean up after anyone.)

The importance of being a broom-wielder

If you want a good Biblical depiction of the importance of the dust bunny slayers, just read the book of Leviticus. Every time the Israelites moved camp during their 40 years of wandering about the desert, the tabernacle had to be packed up a certain way. If God had picked someone like me to do the unpacking, the golden lampstand may have stayed in the box the whole 40 years.

I am not a dust bunny slayer. And since I want to be good at things, I don’t like that. I would love to take broom-wielding lessons. But learning to be comfortable in the role of dragon slayer is a post for another day.

When God first gave His laws to Moses on Mount Sinai, Moses and Aaron took a census. Only Kohathite, Gershonite and Merrarite men between the ages of 30 and 50 were eligible to serve in the temple. (These were all of the tribe of Levi.) The count came to total of 8,580 qualified men. Out of those, only three were allowed to pack the tabernacle and it wasn’t three nameless workers from Three Guys Movers.

Aaron (heard of him?) and his sons. That’s all.

God gave them very detailed instructions on exactly how to wrap each holy article. (Numbers 4) The second most important man in the nation was given the job of packing.

There were items that God called holy and there were certain people to whom He entrusted those items. They were the detail guys. There were routines that God called holy and there were certain people with whom He entrusted those routines.

Routines of Holiness

The laws that God gave the Israelites give a beautiful depiction of the holiness of everyday living. These “broom wielders,” these slayers of dust bunnies, were protectors of the routines of holiness decreed by God and it was a high calling.

In Leviticus 18:7, God says, “I give your priesthood to you as a gift for service…”

We see the importance of this come full circle in Hebrews 8:1-5.

“Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.
For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore, it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.
For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle…”

Do you see this?

God gave the Jews 613 commandments to govern their daily lives. These were not designed to make their lives oppressive. Among many things, these laws taught them that every thing in life – down to the way their daily food was prepared – everything is holy.

This was a copy and a shadow of what was to come. Everything we do in the service of our Master is holy. Every regimen. Every routine.

A dragon-slaying sword-slinger was not the kind of person to teach those precepts.

 

That job belonged to a mighty broom wielder.

Slayer of dust bunnies.

Protector of the holy.

green-swirls

For more on the study of routines of holiness, click here: CelebrateJesus/RoutinesofHoliness

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Dragons & dustbunnies

BeFunky_overwhelmed-26867-27583-hd-wallpapers.jpgWhat is it that overwhelms you?

Do you tend to rely on God more when it comes to the big things or the small ones?

I call these the dragons and the dustbunnies.

Dragons are the big battles in life – the bills that are impossible to pay, the illnesses that have no apparent cure, the spouse who isn’t faithful.

Dustbunnies are the little things, the things we “should” be able to take care of ourselves – the monthly budget, a busy calendar, and, well, dustbunnies.

Not everyone is a dragonslayer. We aren’t all created that way and it is a good thing. There are all sorts of problems that need to be taken care of.

David boldly faced the giant, chiding his fellow Israelites, saying, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God.” (1 Samuel 17:26) He’d killed a lion and a bear, knowing that it was through God’s deliverance. He recognized God as his deliverer. “…for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” (verse 47)

He was a dragonslayer – trusting in God in the big battles.

I suspect he had a harder time with the dustbunnies. We see David get depressed and weary. This is understandable. He was a king. The guy had a lot on his plate. But remember Bathsheba? David didn’t do so well when he stayed home from the battle. (See 2 Samuel 11.)

Have you ever noticed that in Psalm 23 he says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures”? Verse four is much bolder. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

David was a dragonslayer.

I didn’t realize it until recently but I get that.

When my husband was spending months in the hospital, I did okay. I had a daily round of doctors, nurses, IVs, medications, dressing changes and the regular details of life to keep me busy. And where David had his mighty men of war, I was surrounded by a wonderful cadre of Believers lifting us up in prayer, walking the dog, bringing me food and quite literally, killing my dustbunnies.

Then we came home. People did not desert me. But daily life set in – school, medical appointments, bills, dishes and, yep, dustbunnies. Believe me, when dustbunnies and dog hair breed, the offspring is an ugly sight.

Trusting God with my husband’s life? There was not one thing I could do about it except follow every step of his medical care. I had to trust.

But I am supposed to be able to take care of the little things on my own.

And that’s boring.

I want to get out and slay dragons, swing a sword.

But I have dustbunnies to kill.

    They get bigger and become dragons.
      They grow teeth, snarl and breath fire.

I get

        OVERWHELMED.

Do you know how David fought his dustbunnies? The same way he fought Goliath.

He recognized he could not do it on his own and cried out to God for help:
Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry out to You,

When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

He recalled how God had helped him in the past:
For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.

He rested in God’s promises:
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

He renewed his praise:
So I will sing praise to Your name forever,
That I may daily perform my vows.
(Psalm 61:1-4,8)

Dustbunnies or dragons – it doesn’t matter what they look like to other people. They can loom large in our lives.

We get

        OVERWHELMED.

Then we realize that the battle is the Lord’s. We cry out, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Next time, we will take a look at someone else who had to learn to trust God with the little things. But for now, I have some snarling dustbunnies to kill.

“Dear Father, help me to lean on You, no matter how big or small my battles may seem. I know that there is no problem too small for You.”

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