Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Real Deal~

My grandma,
born and raised
in the deep South,
was a spunky lady,
to say the least.

She had a dry, witty
sense of humor
and was famous
for her one-liners.

While her words
always brought a laugh,
they also revealed her wisdom.

Long after the laughter faded,
her words
resonated in my heart.

As a young, single woman
in my early twenties,
I often traveled by myself.

I thought nothing
of getting in my car
and driving seven hours North
to see my parents,
or ten hours East
to spend time with my sister.

My parents, however,
worried about my safety.
Time after time,
they cautioned me
of the dangers
of traveling alone.

One time,
this familiar
topic of conversation
came up
while we were visiting
my grandma.

"I don't know why
she insists
on traveling by herself,"
my mother said,
as I sat right beside her
on my Grandma's couch.

"I keep telling her
to get a man's hat
and place it
in her back window.
That way,
it would at least
look like a man
was traveling with her.
For all they know,
he could simply
be taking a nap
in the backseat!"

Without skipping a beat,
my Grandma leaned forward,
looked directly at me
and remarked,
"Forget about the hat, honey.
Get a man!"

Laughter spilled into the room.

Then Grandma continued.

"Who wants
a silly ole hat
when you can have
the real deal?!"

And of course,
for all practical purposes,
Grandma was right!

I understood
my mother's reasoning
and felt her love for me
in this odd request,
but I had to agree
with my Grandma.

What good would a hat do?

It was, after all, just a hat.

At a quick glance,
it might give
the appearance
that a man
was along for the ride,
but appearances and reality 
are two totally different things!

Could a hat
change a flat tire for me?

Could a hat
take the wheel
and drive for me
if I got tired
and needed a break
from the driver's seat?

Could a hat
protect me
from a would be assailant?

No,
the hat was merely
for show
and would only provide
a false sense of security.

I didn't need a hat.
I needed a man!

As ridiculous as I found
my mother's idea to be,
I couldn't deny
the joke was on me
when it came to my spiritual life.

I had grown up
in a Christian home
and had attended church
from a young age.

I knew all about God,
the Bible,
and what it meant
to look like a Christian.

In fact,
anyone who spotted me
cruising through life
would have been sure
to notice my Bible,
my Christian lingo
and my Christian ways.

But,
if they would have gotten
close enough
to peer into
the backseat of my heart,
they would have discovered
all these
were just for show.

I was traveling life alone.

I had religion,
but what I needed 
was the man, Christ Jesus.

It wasn't until
my earlier thirties
that I traded in
my religious facade
for a true, vibrant,
living and breathing
relationship with the Lord.

Through the power
of the Holy Spirit,
God became real to me
for the first time in my life.

Now, my Bible
is no longer on display
for all to see,
but instead,
it's words
are hidden in my heart,
guiding, leading and transforming me
little by little,
day by day.

The words I speak
are no longer spoken
to impress others
with my spirituality,
but rather
to impress upon others
the beauty and freedom
that can be found
in a relationship with Jesus.

I pray each day
God will take
the wheel of my life
and live
in and through me.

I am no longer satisfied
with religion.

I am no longer content
to live a life
"just for show",
and why should I be?

Think about it.  

Can religion
forgive my sins?

Can religion
create a new heart in me?

Can religion
live in and through me?

Can religion
feel my hurt,
understand my fears,
or speak to my heart?

No, only Jesus can.

Why would I want to settle 
for anything less 
than Jesus?
...and why should you?






~Stacy



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