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STORY: The Pummel Makes More Powerful

Jonathan seemed to be always getting beat up. He was the one in his family that was tenderhearted, but it seemed like whenever his brothers were going to Disneyland with their kids, or having neighborhood bar-b-ques, Jonathan was helping some schitzophrenic homeless lady get a bus ticket to somewhere safe.

Maybe that doesn't feel like getting beat up to some, but for Jonathan, it drained him.

"What do you mean you can't make it again?! You only live ten minutes away, Jonny! The kids miss ya!"

"Sorry, Stewy. I'm just beat, man. I'll miss seeing the kids... again, but I helped this lady who I met at a bus stop. And it took it out of me."

"Bro, I think it's good to do that stuff, but you have to ask yourself if it's worth missing your nephews and nieces grow up and stuff!"

"I know, I know. I can't really control when I find these people though." There was a silence. "You okay, Jonny? I can hear defeat in your voice."

"Yeah, I'm just trying to do the right thing, like what Christians are supposed to do, but I feel like I'm getting beat up from the ones that love me too."

"I'm sorry. I just don't want you to miss a good thing with the ones you're most committed to: your family. That's partly why you moved here, remember?"

After they hung up Jonathan made some tea and took a blanket to his apartment's balcony. "God, I think I'm doing the right thing, but I feel beat up and like I'm letting people down. I want to go tomorrow, but I just feel drained."

Jonathon looked out into the tall trees. He saw a bird bringing food to what he assumed were its chicks in a knothole of a tree. Some kind of falcon or owl maybe? That's gotta be a hard life too, he thought, always needing to fight the elements and predators to provide for those you love.

The sun was nice here, coming through the trees in glistening rays.

The bird launched off the tree and flapped its perfectly splayed wings in a glorious motion. And then it folded them in for a moment and twisted its tail as it swooped between trunks. What an amazing, beautiful creature. So elegant and strong, partly because its species had to work so hard to survive, he concluded.

Then he heard Snoop snore from behind him. Jonathan looked through the screen door at his dog laying half-way off the carpet and drooling on the linoleum. Snoop was fat and slow. Jonathan smiled. As his gaze turned into a stare he felt like God might be saying, 'This is the difference between you and someone who isn't open to struggle.' I am making you into a glorious creature.

Jonathan felt his eyes well up. These moments were what he had started considering the Holy Spirit showing up. A word that spoke beauty to him and wetted his eyes.

"Thank you, God. But what should I do about the Bar-b-que?" He waited a moment more and ideas came together. "I'll just spend some more time with you, here. I'll put away my phone..." He had recently realized that if he didn't put away his phone he'd waste time scrolling. "And I'll just really soak you in for the next couple of hours. And then I think I'll have enough energy for the bar-b-que tomorrow after church. Thank you, Lord."


Sometimes it feels like, although we are doing the right things, we're getting beat up. I've asked before, does that mean I'm doing the wrong thing? But maybe God invites us into the struggle because God is using our willingness not only to help those in need, but to grow us into something more glorious.

Raw Spoon, March 6, 2023



These BLOGS are usually inspired by messages I (or friends) feel we have heard from God. This is the nature of our God. Listen for how he may be speaking to you.

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