What’s the Deal With The Pitcher?

My friend and former sister-in-law, Sandi, gave me one of my favorite things.  It’s a “Rebekah Pitcher” she made.  It lives in my kitchen window, often holding flowers picked by my boys for me.  It never gets put away because it’s a reminder to me of who I am and what God wants me to do.  Go with me here…

Rebekah of the Bible (Genesis 22) was walking along one day, headed to complete the chore of carrying water.  I can picture her (ok, in my mind she looks like me, especially for the purposes of this story, only she’s workin’ a type of B.C. style of clothing and footwear) with her pitcher perched on her shoulder, moving forward with the business of the day.  The pitcher might have been heavy.  She might have been in a hurry.  But there was a man at the well, and when she saw he had need, she quickly lowered her pitcher and watered his camels.  He didn’t even have to ask!  Little did she know the man had been sitting there praying that the girl who agreed to water his camels would be the one God wanted him to choose for Abraham’s son, Isaac, to be a matriarch of the nation of Israel.  She wasn’t looking for a meal ticket, she just helped a guy on the spur of the moment, but she ended up opening the door to quite an adventure.  Through that one act of compassion, Rebekah became Isaac’s pride and joy, practically a queen, and gave birth the the house of Jacob, thus becoming part of Jesus’ bloodline as well.  Imagine that… a random moment where she simply acted like a daughter of the Most High, doing something pleasing to Him, and lo and behold she walks right into His plan for her!!!

What has entrenched itself in my mind is the idea that Rebekah quickly lowered her pitcher and offered herself to help another, without thought of her schedule, her future goals, or her bottom line.  God took care of those things.  She just lowered the pitcher.  She clearly had things to do and was in the midst of accomplishing her daily tasks, but evidently had the kind of freedom in living that lends itself to the impromptu lowering of one’s pitcher to participate in an act of kindness and compassion alongside another person.  She wasn’t too busy, wasn’t in too much of a hurry, and wasn’t so wrapped up in herself that she might miss a moment of life’s joy shared with someone else.  If Rebekah were around today, I imagine she’d have a constantly running coffee pot, a lot of miles on her vehicle, and a lot of smiles shared with those she’s touched along the way.

Sure, ol’ Bek had her faults.  She showed favoritism between her sons, deceived her husband, and it seems she could be pretty demanding at times.  She didn’t always get it right.  Still, the way she lowered her pitcher to help the man at that well with such immediacy and ease speaks volumes about her.   I imagine that she lived with her head up, eyes open and expectant, looking for the next opportunity to “lower her pitcher” and experience the joy of helping, serving, encouraging, or interacting with another person.  That’s the Rebekah, or  Rebecca, I want to be.

God has definitely given me a “pitcher” (we all have one) and I want the contents of mine to be used by Him.  That means I have to be willing to lower said pitcher and share the contents.  That’s the reason for this blog.  Pouring out what God has given me to share.  That’s the reason for my life.  That’s what living out God’s calling means to me.

And that’s the deal with the pitcher.


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My Christmas Gift

Christmas Day I got an unexpected gift. It was one of those gifts no one but God could have orchestrated for me. I was feeling a little blue because we had an early Christmas with the big kids before they left for their holiday visit to Florida, so Christmas morning was rather anticlimactic at our house. We are in a time of financial recovery, so there weren’t any big gifts under the tree. Dwayne was working, so little Caleb and I got up and went about getting ready just like any other Sunday morning. We made it to church and I got all set up for the service I would be leading since the Pastor was out of town. I had a few minutes to drink some coffee before time to start, but got to the kitchen to find the percolator had lost it’s “perc” and there was nothing but yellow hot water. I sat in a chair, hoping for a quickly passing morning so Caleb and I could get home and relax. I was in no mood to be making merry.

All of a sudden, I heard a voice behind me and turned around in time to get “bum-rushed” by a friend I hadn’t seen in quite a while. I had heard she recently had moved into her own apartment. Not a surprise to me since I knew of the very difficult marriage situation she has been in for years. I yelled “HEYYYYYY!!!” and we embraced, both of us in tears. There just isn’t anything like the open arms and understanding smile of an old friend.

She just decided on a whim to come by and see me at the church that morning. Well, we all know it wasn’t a whim. She woke up to her first Christmas morning alone. I know what that feels like. She knew I know what that feels like. God knew she needed me and He knew I needed her. We don’t attend the same church anymore or live in the same neighborhood, so we hadn’t seen each other in too long, but as kindred spirits can do, we picked up right where we left off. It didn’t take much arm twisting to get her to come home with me, so we spent Christmas together. Hearing her voice in the congregation, catching up over an awesome Christmas dinner made by my sweetheart (duck, oyster dressing, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, apple pie) and then just lazily baking cookies, snacking, and having coffee as other friends stopped by the house. We laughed, talked, ate, baked, laughed, talked, ate, and baked some more. She went home long after dark with hugs and, I hope, a warm heart. I certainly was left with one.

My first Christmas alone included a visit to a church service where the pastor commanded everyone to kiss his or her spouse. I stood there alone feeling horribly rejected, disgusting, useless and gross. But God brings beauty out of ashes. Because I knew what a terrible feeling a first Christmas alone can be, there was nothing more natural to me than to give someone else a better first Christmas alone. I’m THRILLED that my sweet friend knew where to go. She knew whose arms would be open. Believe me, in this town, she could have easily found a party anywhere. What an honor to have been her safe place.

This is my calling. It may have taken on different forms. It may look way less Beth Moore-ey than I expected, but it hasn’t changed. I once thought God calling me to minister meant that He would use me in one certain way. For a while, He did use me just as I expected He would. Then… well, then things changed, and sometimes it’s easy to feel that God isn’t or won’t use me anymore. What a gift it was at Christmas to know that He is not finished with me. No nasty divorce, no hurricane, no crazy job, no amount of stress has taken away God’s ability to use me.

Can’t wait to see what’s next.

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