There’s a Jackalope in My Bathroom!

There’s a jackalope in my bathroom.
But, before we go there . . .

Last night, I sat on the patio enjoying a lovely summer evening. I decided to call a friend, and our conversation turned to the skunk that’s been wandering through my garden just after dusk.

“It almost got me,” I said. “I went outside to put something in the trash can, and there it was about twenty feet away staring at me with its beady little eyes—”

Those words had barely left my mouth when I looked up and saw those beady little eyes staring at me from a few feet away at the patio’s edge! Thank God it didn’t come closer. The skunk looked at me, I looked at it, and it waddled off into the night.

Yup. God has a sense of humor.

His skunk trick was a lot like when my friend and I went to a rummage sale. That time, I complained to her about rabbits eating my garden, and just after I’d said some very nice things regarding Elmer Fudd I saw it—a jackalope head mounted as a trophy. It’s on a wall in my bathroom now,
a reminder that God likes to laugh.

Think about those funny little things in the bible. There’s Joshua and his guys marching ‘round and ‘round Jericho looking like fools. And Balaam with his talking donkey. And God rescuing Jonah in the belly of a big fish and then allowing the fish to throw him up on shore. And the Book of Proverbs is sprinkled with short, humorous sayings like: “The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion outside!'” (Now, there’s an excuse for not mowing the lawn!)

God’s sense of humor is one of my favorite things about Him. He brings a little laughter into our sometimes-dismal circumstances.

Proverbs 17:22 says: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. So, the next time you grumble a little too much or have one of those days when nothing goes right, open your eyes and your heart to God. Watch for it—His amazing, perfectly timed sense of humor. Who knows? You might end up with a jackalope in your bathroom, too!

(Would you like to learn more about jackalopes? Click here.)

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jan2015FB

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Godspeed, Wally—and Thanks

I lost a friend last week. I hadn’t seen or talked with Wally in almost twenty years. Still, I thought of him as a friend. When he died on the Fourth of July, Wally was 86 years young. I think he would have liked knowing that he would pass into Heaven on a patriotic holiday. Wally was a proud, Korean War veteran—plus an all-around good guy.

We met at the publishing company where we both worked. I was a young editor and Wally worked as the liaison between my department and the printing plant. For a while, his office was next to mine.

He was old enough to have been my dad, and he was wise. Wally had a gentle way of sharing his wisdom, especially with the younger people on staff. He listened. He expected us to grow in maturity: to be true to our word if we said we would do something, to respect the needs of others, and to be on time.

I learned from him not only about the publishing/printing industry, but also about life. I felt drawn to him as a father figure, and sometimes I confided in him when I went through hard times. Wally was a man of integrity and faith. He encouraged me to trust God.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought often about Wally and the things I learned from him. I understand now that when I was young I was not so wise, although I thought that I was. I’m careful now when working with young people to teach gently rather than spew knowledge like a know-it-all. I’m a more responsible older adult because of Wally: I do my best to be true to my word, to respect the needs of others, and to be on time. I can almost hear him saying to me, “Keep the faith. Trust God.” I’ve done that. With each passing year and every hurdle I’ve learned to trust God more.

There’s a little bit of God in everybody, and God was certainly working through Wally. I am who I am today, in part, because of him.

God brings people into our lives for a purpose and sometimes only for a season. It could be years before we find out what we’ve learned from those people, but we do learn from them. Sometimes the lessons create happy, cherished memories, like those I have of my friend, and sometimes the lessons are painful—

But we learn.

Near the end of his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul wrote:

I think that Wally might have said something similar if given the opportunity to share some wisdom near the end of his life.

Like Paul, Wally was:

a role model,

a good guy,

wise,

and a man of God.

Wally, you walked with me for a while on life’s journey.
Godspeed now—and thanks.

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Do you have a “Wally” in your life? What lessons have you learned?

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If you are on Facebook, check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers. And while you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you’ll click on the “like” button near the top of the page. Thanks!

jan2015FB

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

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Filed under friendship