When No One Is Looking

(A devotional thought from the book One Smile, One Heart)

I never expected drama in the parking lot. Three spots were open so I casually pulled into the center one. I didn’t open my door right away. Instead I sat for a few minutes, checking the messages on my phone. At some point I glanced up to notice an SUV pull in to my left. The driver was a middle-aged man and the passenger was a woman of similar age. I went back to reading my messages. And then…

WHAM! I jolted at the impact of metal slamming into metal. My head spun left to see the woman’s heavy SUV door resting against the mirror of my Beetle. I stared through my window at her in amazement. Her mouth formed an “O” and she slapped her hand over it as she stared back at me. She pulled her door back a notch and climbed out. When she closed the door, I opened mine and got out too.

“Oh! I am so sorry!” the woman exclaimed. “I didn’t know anyone was in there!”

DID SHE REALLY JUST SAY THAT???

“That’s not the point!” I replied loudly. “I don’t want my car banged up!”

“Oh, no, no, no. It’s not,” the woman proclaimed arrogantly.

I glared at her. I examined my mirror as best I could in the fading daylight. “Well, I guess it’s ok,” I stated. She turned and started walking away. I called after her, “Have a nice evening!”

Charles Marshall said, “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else is looking.” That most certainly includes parking lots, car doors, and mirrors.

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“I know, my God, that you test the HEART and are pleased with integrity” (1 Chronicles 29:17 NIV).

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Lost

(A devotional thought from the book One Smile, One Heart)

Becky & JuliaSome people have an innate sense of direction. That would be my friend Janice. Other people do not. That would be my friend Julia… and me.

All three of us had a child performing in the “Morgan County Night of Bands” at Brewer High School, an annual show by area high school marching bands. Janice’s daughter was a majorette, Julia’s daughter was a drum major, and my son was part of a drumline.

“Roy and I are going to follow the band bus to Brewer,” Janice said.

“Julia, do you want to ride with me?” I asked. “Surely we can’t get lost. It’s one road from Decatur to Brewer with no turns!” We all had a good laugh.

On the night of the show I picked up Julia. We headed south on Highway 67 and forty minutes later we were there. No big deal. The show was loud and colorful and fun. And, of course, our three kids were amazing! After the show Julia and I said goodbye to Janice and walked to my car. Traffic was backed up horribly with everybody trying to get out of the parking lot. Finally we were able to pull onto the road to start for home.

We chattered non-stop about the different bands and the themes of their shows. We discussed our kids and our husbands and our parents. We dreamed out loud of vacation plans for the next year. You know, best friends can cover a lot of topics during a forty-minute drive.

Then out of nowhere a strange thing appeared—a stop sign. I rolled to a stop. I looked at Julia. Julia looked at me.

“Where in the world are we?” I exclaimed.

“I have no idea!” Julia exclaimed louder.

“Cotaco?” I exclaimed louder yet, pointing to a sign on a country store. “I don’t even know where Cotaco is!”

Julia giggled. “Leave it to us to get lost when all we had to do was pull out of the parking lot and turn left.”

Deuteronomy 4:9 cautions us to stay alert and not let our heart wander off. Otherwise, we could end up in “Cotaco,” an unfamiliar place, a long way from where we want to be.

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“Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your HEART wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live” (Deuteronomy 4:9 MSG).

One Smile, One Heart

Splatter

(A devotional thought from the book One Smile, One Heart)

Splatter“When it rains, it pours” is not a true statement. Sometimes when it rains, it mists. Sometimes when it rains, it sprinkles. Sometimes when it rains, it showers. And yes, sometimes when it rains, it pours.

Today is a “when it rains, it pours” kind of day. I’m watching the water pelt the curved hood of my red Beetle as I drive toward home. Each drop is hitting so close in time to the previous drop that it is creating the illusion of a stream falling from the sky. The heavy drops are landing with such force that they are first splattering, and then continuing as a spray. This is better than a high-powered automatic car wash!

The Bible says God pours His love into our hearts. He doesn’t mist it into our hearts quietly. He doesn’t sprinkle it into our hearts gently. He doesn’t shower it into our hearts steadily. No, God pours His love into our hearts like a stream falling from the sky. It lands with such force that it splatters and sprays onto all the people who surround us.

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“God’s love has been poured out into our HEARTS through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5 NIV).

One Smile, One Heart