Sunday, April 07, 2013

Dishes and a Hobbit


So, I have read the book.  Maybe 15 years or so ago.  I haven't seen the movie.  But I heard this line today and I can't get it out of my head.  The hobbit is being challenged out of his comfort zone to go on a big mission.  A dangerous mission.  One that's important.  But he doesn't want to go.  He doesn't want to leave what is safe and known.  So he is asked this question:
“When did doilies and your mother’s china become so important to you?
I really don't like it.  I mean, I Really Don't Like It.  I literally announced to my a few months ago that I was never going to give my dishes away again.  I will store them somewhere, but I will not give them up.  I don't know if that was more of a challenge to him - or to God.

I had to leave my dishes away when I left college.  When I left Haiti.  When I left Italy.  I still find myself hunting and have to remember that it belonged to a specific kitchen on a specific latitude on a specific longitude.

And then, today I hear this line at a missions conference... and I feel like lightening has struck me.  It's not that God is asking me to get rid of dishes to go to the ends of the earth. But, for some reason I'm a little angry.  I could make a big ole list of why I need to keep my dishes.  And just to prove my right-ness, I shall make said list:

1.  I've had to give mine away or leave them more times than most people.
2.  Some belonged to my grandmother.
3.  Some were gifts from people.
4.  I like them.
5.  It took a lot of years for me to get these dishes... well, to get the husband so I could get married and get all these dishes as wedding gifts.
6.  I need them for when I have a big enough space for huge dinner parties.
7.  AND, if someone needs dishes, I'll just buy them their own.
8.  My two green jars are the only things I have of my husband's blood line.

So There.  Take that, you husband who desires to honor God by living simply.  Take that, you God who desires to have everything.

And the blasphemy of my heart over something so temporal, so... silly.  Things that could easily break.  Things that will easily break.

And yet, I look back at my list - even with that in full understanding, and I beg God that I will be able to keep my two green jars.

I love my doilies and mother's china too much to __________.  I love them too much to donate them for someone's garage sale for their adoption?  I love them too much to sell them and give them to the poor?  It doesn't really matter.

But the big question is - am I ready to repent of all this?  To ask God to not only change my sensitivity - but to change my heart?

I think of some people in Joplin who lost their house.  What would they say about me?  And what about the ones who lost their daughter?  What would they say about me?

And in Eternity... what will my dishes mean to me?

And what are my dishes saying to the God who gave the Cross for me?


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