The computer beckoned. What fun I had typing my scrambled thoughts.
|Scrambled Thoughts and Cracked Pots
By Marilyn Mackenzie
I really did begin writing, regularly, about forty years ago. And although I seemed to be the only one in the neighborhood obsessed with writing each profound thought as it appeared, I wasn’t the only creative thinker.
Some summer days, as we laid in the grass looking at the clouds above and picking out faces and shapes, my friends and I also shared the complexity of our youthful thoughts. We pondered whether having our thoughts jump from topic to topic made us crazy people. Of course it didn’t. Our minds often jump from clouds to animals, from pets to parents, in just split seconds. That’s just the way our minds work.
Today, I wondered if I might capture just a few of my daily scrambled thoughts. And as those thoughts appeared and disappeared, one after another, I feared I’d forget them, much like I sometimes forget dreams I’d like to remember.
I pray just as I think, lifting prayers to God throughout the day as thoughts of people who need His touch cross my mind. I also remember the "teachable moments" shared with my next door neighbor when I was just a child. She told me that women, since they are responsible for the daily care of their homes, have great opportunities to pray for their loved ones. My neighbor explained that as we wash dishes (or today just rinse them to place in the dishwasher), we can offer prayers for the person who used each dish or cup. When we fold freshly washed clothing, we can pray for our family members. Even when we clean the toilet, knowing our prayer time there will most definitely not be interrupted by our families for fear they might be enlisted to help, we can lift them up to the Lord.
These were my memories, my thoughts, as I loaded the dishwasher this morning. Then, just as we spoke of as children, my thoughts wandered and meandered.
While placing one of my favorite coffee cups in the dishwasher, I noticed it was slightly chipped. I thought, briefly, about throwing it in the trash but decided not to do so. That cup was one of my favorites because of the words printed upon it, "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Cor. 13:7) I realized that cup was still functional, even with its tiny chip, and my mind soared on to other thoughts.
First, I thought of my own heart, also chipped, by lost and uncaring loves. Although it has always healed and functions perfectly well, the scars remain from lies told or hurts received at the hand of ones who claimed to love.
As I gently placed the cup in the dishwasher, my mind thought about the author of love and about Love Himself. The Bible tells us that God is love, I remembered. I smiled, thankfully, as I remembered the words, "Love is patient, Love is kind," thinking this aptly describes our God, as well as explaining to us about the level we should strive to achieve in our own relationships.
Briefly, I thought of the impending war in Iraq, and the words, "Love your neighbor as yourself," and I offered a quick prayer for our President, for our troops, and for the people of Iraq. I asked God’s forgiveness, that I wasn’t ready to offer a prayer for Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, at least one of forgiveness for the travesties he has wrecked upon the people of Iraq and the lies he has told the world. I did, though, ask God to give the man enough wisdom to leave that land while he could, so war would no longer be necessary.
Thoughts flew once more, this time evoking a smile upon my face. That chipped cup reminded me of a book, God Uses Cracked Pots, by Patsy Clairmont. He certainly does. "All have sinned...," as the Bible reminds us, yet each of us can share His goodness, can share what God has done in our lives.
Racing once more, my thoughts reached into my memory, thinking, recalling a forwarded email I received many times. That email told the story of a cracked pot or bucket.
Each day, as a farmer carried water from the well to the homestead, he used two buckets. One bucket was new and flawless, the other old and cracked. Each day, the flawless bucket arrived back at the house full of water, but the cracked one leaked along the pathway. The cracked bucket wept one day, sad that the cracks allowed water to leak. But the farmer asked the bucket to look at the flowers growing at the side of the path. He explained that because the older, flawed bucket leaked, it watered the plants and flowers along the pathway and helped them grow. Yes, indeed, God can use cracked pots.
Finally finished loading the dishwasher, I put soap in the soap wells, closed the door and turned the dial. And the thunderous sound of the working dishwasher began. But behind the roar of the hot water, I heard music, a song within the water sounds. That often happens, doesn’t it? Although there are loud sounds around us, music seeps into our minds and our hearts.
As I pondered this, I realized that the birds outside my apartment were singing, not beautiful sounds, but more frantic ones. I wondered if they had spied a dog or cat, and listened intently for the sound of screeching squirrels. Squirrels always sound the alarm when an enemy cat or dog approaches. But no such sounds appeared.
Curious, I opened the door and watched as litter raced quickly past. The sky was dark; dark clouds covered the sky in all directions. The wind blew fiercely, and the birds sang out their alarm, warning each other of the coming storm. Huge drops of rain started to fall as I closed the door.
Across the room, the computer beckoned me and I smiled again, thinking what fun I’d have typing my scrambled thoughts. I wondered how I would explain my racing thoughts, how I would begin my story. "Hey, I may be a cracked pot, but I’m not a crackpot." I decided against that beginning. No sense in putting ideas in anyone’s head.