Stranger In Your Life

We all came from somewhere and we are going somewhere.

close up of old black and white photos of a young girl in an angel costume and a church

“My house must be haunted. When I try to look in the mirror some old woman steps in front of me so I can’t see myself.”

Change—Life is made up of change. The growth of a baby is marked daily, weekly, and monthly for the first few years of their life. Then it slows or appears to slow.

Most of the changes from birth to old age have a time frame that people fit into. As a child they learn to roll over, walk, talk, run and so forth. The teenage years and beyond are reached with all the challenges, feelings, and nuances. There comes the finding a job, friends, and a life partner, all a learning experience.

Change can be quite a frightening thing. Scriptures tell us, “And such were some of you…” We all came from somewhere and we are going somewhere. Recently I reviewed some of the clips from My Fair Lady. Professor Henry Higgins is wagering with Colonel Pickering that he can change Eliza Dolittle from a common flower girl into someone who could pass for royalty.

I can relate to the trials and travails brought about by the effort to affect change in a human being. Eliza goes into the process wanting to better her station in life. “I want to be a lady at the flower shop… but they won’t take me unless I can talk more genteel…”

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”  (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

And such we some of you… I know there are some folks out there that think they are perfect, but as most of us who must deal with those people can tell you, those perfect people are not perfect. And the rest of us peons down here in the trenches are working to overcome ourselves and our shortcomings.

But change we must as children of God and followers of Christ. Christ didn’t call us to be washed gutter snipes as the professor refers to the original Eliza. She had to change and we must too.

A recent question came to a group about the bona fides of preachers and if they needed a ‘degree’ hooked to their name to be ‘enough’ for people. One person said the degree didn’t matter to them but…

But they said the preacher “should not step on toes.” They drive too many people away when they do. There is a phrase from My Fair Lady that doesn’t really match with this comment but still comes to my mind. “But if you’re naughty the angels in heaven will weep for you, Eliza.”

I may have mushed two different speeches into one, but “the angels will weep for you…” and in this case they should weep at the comment. The preacher is admonished in the scriptures to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

The scriptures don’t tell us not to step on toes, but it does mention ears: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4: 3-4)

As I pointed out in my answer to the comment, Stepping on toes is what it’s all about. Preachers are supposed to be helping people who want to get to heaven. The goal is salvation, the goal is heaven. Changing what needs changed and encouraging good things we need to keep or learn to do—Toes be hanged.

Pictures from the past—There was a time when those who are older were young. In some instances I wonder who the people were and what their life became. The moments I find most startling are when I look at pictures and realize some of those are of the person I used to be. I wonder where that person went and was that really me? I don’t feel lots different, but change has come and prayerfully most changes have been for the better.

I am slower, but I take time that I didn’t always take before. Not to smell the roses, but to contemplate on things.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Yet all through life change is a reality. Sometimes it comes easily such as a baby’s first steps and at other times it comes with risk and work such as in climbing Mount Everest. Our struggles as we grow older are different. Instead of keeping track of children we’re keeping track of ourselves.

But struggle is part of life. Parents with children still at home have their work cut out for them. When the child grows up and leaves the home the child may be gone from the home, but they are not gone from the heart.

As we age we learn many lessons. As anonymous says “Life humbles you as you age. You realize how much time you spent on nonsense.”

Or I identify with: “I’m beginning to suspect the second half of life is about learning to let go of everything I feverishly collected over the first half that wasn’t loving or human.” MichaelXavier

I’ve gotten to the stage where I’m not (consciously) taking on any new projects and am attempting to finish up all of the half-finished things I’ve begun—or that I’ve inherited that someone else didn’t have time to finish. I have almost given up getting rid of the things I’ve feverishly collected.

At one time my Adorable Cousin encouraged me to clean house and declutter. It was a vision of glory, but I’ve come to the understanding…

I’ve come to the understanding that if my dear children cared if I had gotten my life and house decluttered (so they don’t have to go through all of this stuff) they would have been here helping me clean up. As I’ve learned (sometimes sadly)—There are times when it’s just flat too late.

As it is I’m afraid they will get what they get. Some real jewels and some new clutter for their stash—Or maybe just souvenirs.

I have a Pinterest account and I gather pictures of lovely houses, rooms (clean, neat rooms) lawns and such like in order to build the worlds that are written in the novels that I write. It is like building my world with other people’s flowers.

Flowers that are groomed on lawns that are clipped and landscaped, surrounding houses that are perfect inhabited by people—people that aren’t perfect. All stories must have conflict of course and that comes from struggles without and within.

“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:5-8)