God is Like…

Right now I am in Real Estate Overload mode. I am working on several deals that need special attention, so the terminology and nuances of buying and selling houses are whirling around in my head consistently. But writing helps clear my head and focus on the parts of my job and life that truly matter. So, since I can’t really block the Real Estate thoughts, I figured I might as well make good use of them. Sit for a few and join me in my maelstrom of thoughts on how God is like various Players in the Real Estate Game.

God is like a Home Inspector. But let me set it up for you. If you haven’t sold or tried to sell a house lately, here’s how it goes. You are given a list of 23 areas that you can mark as either a yes, a no or a Not Applicable. Your agent cannot help you with that at all. Only you can give an honest answer to the questions that are in this list. In the past few years, a new question has been added and you will be relieved to know that a seller is required to disclose whether or not there was ever a methamphetamine lab in the house. Phew! As a seller, you reveal any defects that you are aware of and then give an explanation for them. Then, after your house is under contract, the buyer will send in a Home Inspector who will spend several hours searching for everything that is wrong with your house that you didn’t even know about. It’s a nerve wracking thing for a seller and they are often surprised that there has been mold lurking in their basement and that their toilets flush backwards. In this way, as I said, God is like a Home Inspector. There are many defects we have that we are fully aware of. But then, He takes it to the next level. He searches the nooks and crannies of our hearts and souls and finds dry rot and hot electrical wires and gas leaks and termites and all kinds of things that threaten our “house”. Dangers we didn’t even know about. Defects like pride, image-management, dishonesty, greed, lust and jealousy. Defects that aren’t as obvious to the casual observer but can cause structural damage to our lives if left un-addressed.

God is also like a Buyer. A really easy buyer. One who sees the results of the home inspection report and the laundry list of flaws and imperfections, and buys it anyway. He buys it AS-IS. I just love those kind of buyers. They understand that every house has its issues and don’t expect a 100 year old house to present itself like new construction. He has bought us at a great price. Actually, I am fairly sure we would “under-appraise” for what he sacrificed to make us His own.

And, He is like a Seller. He has a list of Disclosures in His Word. He reveals everything about His House, which is to say, Himself. He shares it thoroughly, honestly, and freely. It is our job, our privilege, to do the Inspecting. There are many characteristics of God that are obvious. Anyone can tap into them if they give it just the tiniest bit of effort. His love and compassion and forgiveness are available to anyone who asks. But it’s when we take extra time to explore His House that we really find the beauty of what’s often hidden from plain sight. Luckily, we are always pleasantly surprised by our findings. When we pray and meditate and read and open up our Being to His will and wisdom, we experience His presence intimately. We begin to anticipate what we will find around the next corner of our relationship with Him.

Today I am grateful for what God can teach me about Him, even in the midst of circumstances that seemingly have nothing to do with spiritual things. I am reminded that this is how I stay in constant contact with a God who is not just interested in my spiritual life, He is interested in my life. All of it. And today He and I are gonna do some serious Real-Estating together.

What is it that you and God will be doing?

Growth, Patience/waiting, Recovery, Uncategorized

“I’m not fat, I’m fluffy!”

Well, maybe a better word would be “puffy”. Please refer to my previous blog entitled, “Fat-Suit” so that you can fully appreciate these follow-up thoughts. Before I was diagnosed with Leukemia, I was unfortunately mis-diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. The main marker in determining this was my RA factor, which basically tells you how “puffy” or inflamed my joints are. The normal range is between 0 and 14. Mine was 842. Very NOT normal. Since I am now recovering from Leukemia, we suspect that the inflammation was due to cancer, not RA. I had my RA factor checked last week and they told me it was 142. Still not normal, but  I’d say 700 is a good drop. I called my oncologist to see if he thought this number was still high due to residual effects of Chemo. The answer: absolutely.  It turns out that my “fat-suit” isn’t actually fat after all. It’s chemicals and drugs and my bodies’ reaction to Leukemia. What wonderful news! I told the nurse that I was just getting ready to do some hard-core dieting so I could fit in my winter clothes. She told me not to worry about it because it was just going to take some time. I can’t control the rate at which I “deflate”. When I begged for a projected end to this foreign body, she said, “it’s hard to say. It’s different for every person.”

Here’s my take away: one: I, we, all have a certain amount of “inflammation” due to toxins and chemicals (sins and defects of character) that cover our “real” selves and two: we all shed this layer of foreign substance at our own pace. It’s different for every person, just like with chemo. We each have our own unique process of sloughing off the poisons that prevent us from being who God designed us to be at our core. This will take a life time for most of us. A lifetime of inflammation and deflation as we navigate, humble ourselves, surrender our will and take it back again-over and over and over. Oh-but friends…We have a patient, understanding and forgiving God, who does not give up on us or put a timeframe on our recovery. He does not wish that any of us should perish. Our soul disease is like my Leukemia: cured. But there are still remnants of it that take time and prayer to rid ourselves of. He will do it in His time. We just have to be willing to show up for the treatment and take care of ourselves in ways that promote healing. He alone can reduce the swelling in our “fluffy” and inflamed souls.