I first noticed it during a game Uno. You know Uno, right? That card game where you match colors or numbers. Its specialty is the “Draw Four” cards that, when played, load up an opponent’s hands with new cards. There’s a newer version now where a electronic device can spit out one-to-a-bunch of cards to the forlorn opponent.
It’s great fun with friends and family.
But one day many years ago, I sat down to play it with friends and found no great relish in slamming down the “Draw Four” card. It made me sort of… well, squeamish. I held it til the end of the game.
That was when I realized that something had happened inside of me, for I had never before hesitated to do what it took to win.
How has the Spirit changed you?
Once as a child, I had organized a little circus for our parents. The backstage area was my bedroom and so my siblings and I rushed in and out of the doorway to present our various acts to our audience. In doing so, my youngest brother and I met in the doorway. As we crashed through, I banged his head against the jamb. In my next rush past, I found him sitting on the floor in tears.
My response? The show must go on! I was disgusted with his weakness and tried to prod him to get his act going.
The Spirit had some work to do.
That’s why the Uno game so surprised me. A tenderness rose like a thin tendril of smoke from my heart, something new to me.
Last night, at a church Thanksgiving feast, God sat me down beside a developmentally-challenged woman who, at age 55, is hoping to find a job at McDonald’s while fighting her sister’s charge that she is retarded. “I am not!” she insists. She loves her son but hasn’t seen him in years. She can’t drive and hurt her hip recently, so walking is a challenge.
Last night, I listened. This from the self-willed girl who believed you won by grabbing life by the horns and bulldogging it to the ground, no matter who got slammed in the process.
This was the Spirit in me. I am amazed every day. I couldn’t manufacture this compassion and once didn’t see why I should want to. I am changed.
So, it’s your turn. How has the Spirit changed you? How are you amazed?