What is your favorite costume?

I had just turned seven anPlaza_Mayor_de_Madrid_06d we were living in a hotel in the center of Madrid while waiting for our apartment to be ready. My mother, older sister and I spoke a total of two words in Spanish: “no comprendo” which means: I don’t understand. We had discovered that it normally took about three repetitions before people understood that those were the only words we knew and started communicating via pointing and gestures. We were struggling with feeling uprooted and not being able to communicate, much less fit in.

Now, it was almost Halloween and my sister and I wanted to know what we were going to dress up as and where we were going “trick or treating.” We didn’t care or understand that they didn’t celebrate Halloween in Spain. We wanted what we knew.

There were a couple other American families in the same hotel. The parents got together, figured out something to use for costumes, and arranged that we would go from room to room trick or treat to help ease our angst. I remember prancing through the lobby while the other guests looked at us with confusion and my parents tried to explain the tradition.

2 Corinthians 3:18 [widescreen]

Halloween is over for this year, but pictures of children and adults in costumes are still circulating. Some costumes are of princesses and super heroes and cute animals, and some are of scary and evil characters. The choice of costume displays something about who each person is and what they want to be.

We all wear costumes every day, putting forward an image to the world that we want them to see. We do this with the clothes we choose, the words we use, and the actions we take. The question is whether we are using this costume to pretend to be something we are not, or to reflect the person we are now and the person we striving to become. God put on a costume once, too. He put on a human body and came and lived among us. The difference? He accepted this costume to reach us in a way that we could understand and to show us another way to live. Ironically, instead of hiding God’s identity, this costume revealed who God is. Jesus reveals to us the great love, and power, and mercy and justice and forgiveness and humility of the one and only glorious majestic King of the Universe.

What costume are you going to put on today?

C.S. Lewis Quote 1

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Floating on the Wings of God

Hebrews 4:9 [widescreen]Arriving at work one morning, I was surprised to see my boss (the Chief Financial Officer of a Fortune 500 company). As I passed his office on the way to my own he called me into his office and told me to close the door. Red flags were now flying high; this was definitely out of character for him and for our working relationship. Sitting in the chair in front of his desk and putting my briefcase down, I said “ I’m in trouble . . . We’re in trouble . . . “ at which point he completed my implied question saying “We are all in trouble, the Chairman of the Board (majority stockholder) sold the company last night.”

As the impli1 Peter 5:7 [widescreen]cations of his statement sank in, I realized that I was out of a job, as were the rest of the corporate office. My response? I started laughing. There was nothing else I could do. My car had been totaled a few months ago, my parents were assigned out of the country, I had virtually no savings, and my sister was still recovering from her own crises. In other words, the last leg holding up my life had just collapsed and I had no safety net. At this point, I had a choice. I could not chose what was going to happen. I could choose how I was going to respond, and I chose to laugh.

My boss, with surprise on his face and concern in his voice, thinking I did not understand, explained the realities to me. Out of my mouth came a statement that would carry me through many challenges in my life. Matthew 11:28 [widescreen]“Larry,” I said, “when things happen we can either laugh or cry, and I choose to laugh.” He let me leave and go to continue my job, later bringing me lists of the divestiture schedules we needed to create. We also had a couple of acquisitions slated to close within a couple of weeks. Needless to say, our office became a whirlwind of work, stress, and chaos as we each struggled to keep up and adjust.

A few days later, Larry walked into my office and stated “You are right, and we are going to laugh our way through this.” From that point on, whenever things appeared impossible or ridiculous, instIsaiah 40:31 [widescreen]ead of stressing, we laughed. Most of the rest of the people in the office were worried about our grasp on reality, but our laughter at the inane situations we found ourselves in helped us to cope, remaining focused as we completed all of the required tasks. I sometimes wish I had video of the two of us crawling on the floor of the Boardroom in our suits laughing as we verified the completeness of all of the piles of divestiture schedules lined along the walls.

It was, while my life was floating in chaos, one of the best periods of my life. Without understanding it at the time, it was probably my first experience floating on the wings of God. Maybe one day I will master being able to always rest on His wings, allowing Him to direct me wherever He desires, while I simply enjoy the vistas and the ride in complete and utter trust for His love and care for me, one of His dearly beloved children.John 15:9 [widescreen]