Pearl in the Sand

Pearl in the Sand is a diamond in the roth.  The historical fiction by Tessa Afshar tells the story of Rahab from the Bible.  The prostitute who lives in the wall of Jericho saves the lives of two men, jumps into Jewish culture, and ends up being a part of royal bloodlines.

A woman dressed in sheer clothing must learn about the untailored ways of her redeemers.  The dust gathers on your clothing as you read about Rahab’s new home in a tent.  The smell of fire drifts from the pages as you read about Rahab’s family take hold of the change of lifestyle and burn their blended clothing.  The taste of fear mounts as Rahab’s beau, Salmone, mounts his ride for war.

The fortunate part is that all these things remain as culturally accepted and Biblically accurate as possible.  Rahab did have to learn a new lifestyle, adapt to tent dwelling, and support the new nation as they fought in war.  Rahab takes claim in the Bible’s book of Joshua, she takes claim in Jesus’ bloodline, and she also takes claim in our hearts through Pearl in the Sand.

Highs and Lows

My good friend, Carol Stratton, just released her new book, Changing Zip Codes: Finding Community Wherever You‘re Transplanted.  But she still has time to maintain her blog, and was gracious to post my thoughts.

Mollie

See this at the original site:  http://www.changingzipcodes.com/highs-and-lows

Carol’s note:

We have another blog from Mollie Bond who has just moved.  She is a very adventurous young woman and always has an interesting slant on moving, especially choosing a large versus a small town.  I know you will enjoy her blog.

I moved from a town of 50 people to a town of 50 million people. Many things I had grown accustomed to drastically changed. I got funny looks asking seemly innocent questions.  My new neighbors were accustomed to things that were new to me. But, I believe the greater the highs, the greater the lows. Moving to a big city had its benefits (highs), and its disappointments (lows).

High: Being close to a store. In an unincorporated town, there is no store, no mayor, no post office, no police. In my new city, I can walk to the store. And it’s not walking to the store that is exciting, it’s the choice of which store to visit.

Low: Being close to a store. It’s impossible to have a five-minute visit. I find the line where the person in front of me has limited English skills. That takes time. Although I try to be patient, I’m from a town where there is one customer in the store at a time, and we all speak the same language.  (“Done?” “Yep.” “Ten bucks.”) It’s hard not to stare as the cashier answers back in their language.

High: Choices in churches. On Sundays, a couple of people show up at the same leaning church, the only one for 70 miles. So my family does the 140 mile drive each week. Leaving at 7 am before Sunday School and arriving home at 1 pm after grocery shopping makes it difficult, and leaves me hungry for lunch. In a city, there are many churches. It’s hard to choose one, but I am glad for the abundance of good community right around the corner.

Low: Not being from here. Most people are from the area, and even if they’ve moved, it’s been so long they’ve forgotten the lessons. Like radiator heat. I had to learn on my own what to look for when apartment searching, whether the radiator is broken or okay.

High: Driving. It never takes long to get anywhere, as long as the time of day is right. Mostly, I’m just glad all the roads are paved. It saves me on washing the car so much, but also saves my shocks from the washboards. I probably save some dentist work too from the lack of teeth rattling too.

Low: Parking. I have to look at a website before venturing anywhere to see where the closest—free—parking is located. Parking on the street is new for me. I fret about whether my car will be stolen overnight, or I’ll see the side view mirror hanging because the streets are narrow, or I will I find a ticket on my windshield. What’s parallel parking? And oh vey! the prices on parking passes can suck the life out of your budget. I miss the small town for it’s traffic, or rather, lack-thereof.

High: Peers. Where I attended church, the closest person in my age group was either 18 (living at home because they haven’t graduated yet), or 37 (with a husband and children). For me, the 26-year-old single, it was difficult to relate to anyone. While I sat on a bus recently, I tried not to get carried away guessing everyone’s age, knowing most were around my age.

Low: It costs! Not only is the tax rate higher in a city, but everywhere you go there is a cost. Cost to park, cost to drive (in the form of a toll), cost of admission. A day out can drain a bank account quickly.

Living in a large city, the choices, the people, all excite me. Yet those highs outweigh the lows of parking, prices, and some other small inconveniences.  I think there are some who disagree, who see my highs as lows, and my lows as highs, and I can respect that. If that’s the case, there’s a town of 49 looking for that 50th person again. We all have highs and lows.

Prayer–Squirrel!–Journals

Photo by Diya B on Unsplash

“Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’” John 13:7

Squirrel!  In the movie, <a href="http://<iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=hopelesslyhop-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B0055B7K7A&asins=B0055B7K7A&linkId=96fd1a05441b323d00199945bc67ffad&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff"> Up!, the dog is distracted by squirrels.  He’ll be talking full speed when—Squirrel!—he sees an animal high in a tree and has to pause before moving on.

I find myself in the same patterns.  “Lord Jesus, I’m going to take some time to be with you today.  (I wonder if I should keep it short so I can still make it to the Post Office before work.)  I’m grateful for your sacrifice.  (Did I remember to turn off the coffee maker?  I should check before I leave.)  And I’d like to lift up my friend.  (I should buy her a card.  Maybe I can do that before the Post Office?  I think my prayer time should be over if I’m going to do that.)”

Part of the tragedy is evident.  I miss out on some seriously beautiful intimacy.  However, I also miss out on seeing God at work.

I started to journal my prayers.  When I wrote them out, I was undistracted.  Then, when a moment of urgency arrived to do something else, a squirrel moment, I kept another pad close by.  I jotted down the note, and returned to my journal and my prayers.

Years later, I am able to look up prayers and remember the outcome. If I hadn’t written down the prayer of gratefulness, I may never get around to thanking him properly. If I hadn’t written down the prayer about whether to change jobs, I couldn’t see the proof that I can listen to him on which job to accept. If I hadn’t written down the prayer of emotional confusion, I couldn’t see him weave that into my faith.

Jesus says that we don’t always understand what is going on, but sooner or later, it will make sense.  I love reading a past prayer and saying, “Ohhhhh, now I get it.”  But if I didn’t journal those prayers down, I would have never seen his goodness.

No one said the written prayer had to be in perfect handwriting.  It doesn’t have to be long, or formal.  The spelling doesn’t matter.  You’re the only one who will read them.  It also helps—squirrel!—to keep distractions at bay as well.

What distractions keep you from a fulfilled prayer life?  What squirrels contain your attention when talking to the King?  What prayers of thankfulness should the Lord hear from you today? Share your answer onFacebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks

This devotion was featured on Bible Love Note’s Journal Blog Hop. Since 2012, it’s been removed. Please do visit Bible Love Notes for a 1-minute devotional.

Photo by Diya B on Unsplash

© 2020, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.wordpress.com.

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