It was 18° and I was in the garage, without a coat, trying to cram a 3′ stack of empty egg cartons into a paper sack. I knew I should be putting on my makeup, but justified it by reminding myself I no longer wear full makeup to church. I just let those stage lights wash me out because I don’t have a trace of a tan anyway. (A few months ago I decided that I would no longer paint on what was fading, I would accent what was left!)
Frustrated, I grabbed the stack of egg cartons, and the smaller stack that held 18 eggs, and went back inside. I split them up between three paper sacks and put them in the side of the van.
I spent several fruitless minutes looking for a K-Mart bag with new eye shadow pencils in it before I pulled out the old ones. They had dried out and I had to press harder to get any color on my eyelids. The last time I sharpened it, I did not remove the wood evenly and almost gave myself a splinter!
David said he was heading to the van. I grabbed my watch and a pair of earrings and shoved them in my pocket.
When we arrived at church, I took my book bag, purse, and first cup of coffee, (that I still had not had time to drink), inside and set them on the floor. I went back to the van, where they were unloading the drums, and slid open the side door.
It was empty.
In shock, I loudly exclaimed, “WHERE ARE THE EGG CARTONS?”
“I didn’t want to mess with them,” David replied, “so I put them in the garage.”
” I wanted to give them to Reeta,” I explained, “to thank her for the box of treats she gave us last week.” (Reeta has several chickens.)
I won’t bore you with the rest of the conversation but it involved accusations of not communicating and a hot pink post-it-note. I was frustrated and mad and had to get over it fast.
Frustration and anger are familiar to me. I want to respond in revenge and the silent treatment. I couldn’t do that because I was getting ready to play for church.
It’s not that you have to be perfect to play for worship, you just have to leave your attitude and ego at the door.
I headed to the bathroom and started praying. I put on my jewelry and re-tied my scarf.
I was still mad.
We were there two hours before the service and I was alone in the bathroom. I went into a stall, shut the door and my eyes, and started to sing. It took a verse and a chorus of “He’s More Than Wonderful” before I was able to let go of my anger.
(David felt bad and after worship retrieved the egg cartons from home and gave them to Reeta.)
Today we read a heartbreaking story of two demon possessed men. They were more than frustrated and angry; they were violent…so violent that they had been run out of town and were living in the cemetery, (v. 28). No one could even go in that area. Yet, when Jesus cast out the demons, the response of the townspeople was not what I expected.
Matthew 8:34, “Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.” NLT
I expected them to bring their sick and oppressed to Jesus for healing. Instead, they asked him to leave.
This town must have written the idiom:
“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”
We all face demons of some sort. Instead of hiding them from Jesus, we need to take them to him. Only he can remove them.
Thank you for making a way for us to overcome the things that plague us, like anger. Thank you for worship, that fills us and forces all evil out.
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