Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Grumpy"ness and Graffiti

 There I stood, annoyed and perturbed, but not surprised.   Our church had once again been tagged by a local gang of kids with too much time on their hands and a desire to make their presence known by gracing our windows with their "artwork".  "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", they say, but to be honest I was not beholding anything that I deemed beautiful. In fact, much of it was filled with ugly language.

Graffiti or "tagging" as it is called here, is a common occurrence and quite frankly, a real nuisance.

I had just returned from a Saturday off work, enjoying my first- ever game of golf in New Zealand.  I began to grumble under my breath as I washed the paint off the windows and checked the property for damage or evidence of criminal activity.  Thankfully there was no break-in,  no theft, no damage.

Window cleaner and a little elbow grease did the trick.   It was really no big deal to clean, but my spirit was sour as I removed the paint job that donned the glass panes all along the back of the church.  Then the holy Spirit checked me:  "Why grumble Alison?  'Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.' (Matthew 5:44)  That is the test of holiness, of perfect love. "

My complaining was replaced by praying and my bad attitude with a heart of thanksgiving that God has placed me here in Whangarei and has sustained me now over two years.  I was thankful that the paint came off easily, that nothing was damaged or stolen. .. but most importantly that I had the opportunity to affect change in the lives of the youth because I was now praying for them.

Interestingly enough, at the close of  Kids Club the following evening, God painted a brilliant rainbow across the heavens.  Now that is something beautiful to behold!  Thank the Lord that he has the ability (not to mention the patience!) to change a grumpy heart into a happy heart. 

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