Sunday, October 02, 2005

The consideration of others

I am often amazed at the consideration one person gives to another. In this life of drivers on the road not caring about anyone around them but themselves, it tends to surprise me when one person goes out of their way for another. Last week I was surprised close to tears.

Christine, a at church, and high-schooler I often talk about authors and books in general. She's recently (in the last few years) discovered the author Neil Gaiman. He's an English author who writes generally dark comedies. While he isn't my favorite author (he's Christine's favorite) he's pretty high up there.

Neil Gaiman recently published a new book, Anansi Boys. Christine and I had talked about it, how cool it was that he had a new novel coming out (he doesn't have that many full novels, lots of comics, short stories and kids stories). While we'd talked about it all, I planned to buy the book but hadn't given it much more thought past that.

Gaiman has been touring recently and giving book signings. Christine got to hear him speak twice, Saturday on the Mall (in DC, that big swath of land between the Washington Monument and the Capitol, it's not a shopping mall, trust me), and Sunday at a Border's near us. She even got a bunch of books signed, one for her dad and a few for herself.

You should have heard how excited she was. She has pictures with him and everything. I've heard some of the stories but I know there are even more lurking which she has forgotten to share. Sufficed to say while signing her books, Neil Gaiman took the time to actually talk to Christine. He semi-posed for a picture and went on a big rant (in a kind and joking manner) about digital cameras. It was amazing that this man who had over 300 people to sign books for took time to actually talk one on one with Christine.

But that's not the best part.

On Wednesday I ended up driving Christine and her sister to bible study (I'm a youth minister, I get youth to church any way I can :) ). She handed me a copy on Anansi Boys which she had signed and told me to read the dedication. so I flip open the book and kind of skim the dedication, a little jealous Christine got to talk to Neil Gaiman and got the book signed...

Then I looked at it again. It still took a minute to click. It was my name at the top of the dedication.

I couldn't believe Chrstine, who is a non-working high-school student, and thus insanely poor, actually bought me a hardcover book at Borders and got it signed. I mean, this is something she did only for her dad. I was moved beyond words.

It is people like Christine that make me realize this world is an awesome place to be. Someone who listens to you and actually listens. Listens enough to know what kind of present to get without being told, and without there even being a reason to get a present.

I haven't posed questions much lately. But here's one for you. Are you the type of person Christine is? I know with my life as hectic as it has been lately, I haven't been as considerate as she was. But now I'm really going to focus on others more than on myself. Will you?


Devotional on Acts 12:1-17

When is the last time you got some really, really good news?

My entire life I have worried about finances. It seems the no matter how much I earn there’s barely anything left to save.

This year a lot of continuing debt has been lifted off my shoulders. It began in little bits (Erin's wedding and engagement rings were paid off) and turned into huge amounts (paying off all of our credit card debt). It's not even stopping there, within 3 months my student loan will be paid off. Besides a car payment and mortgage we will be debt free.

As I mentioned earlier though, I have worried about money for as long as I can remember. Since I started working at 12 I never seemed to have enough. At times I lived beyond my means, but when I finally began trying to live at or below my means it didn't seem like to be possible. Over this past week all of that changed.

Truly, I don't believe it. It’s simply far to good to be true.

God has blessed us with financial security and the ability to save and give it away.

This thought continues to reel through my mind as I think of Peter and Mary.

An angel comes to Peter and frees him from captivity, but Peter thinks he must be dreaming. Finally Peter realizes what he’s seeing is real and understands what he must do next.

Then there's Mary. She's with friends praying for Peter's safety. While they are praying Rhoda comes in and tells them Peter's standing at the door. It's so incredible it can't possibly be true, right? No one believes it. They've been praying for so long that when God answers they almost miss it. Thank goodness Peter kept knocking and they understood that they must open the door.

I find myself in a similar situation. This huge burden has been removed. I still can't believe it. I'm finally waking up from the dream to a reality where God has provided what I thought was impossible. I know He is knocking at my door right this very moment and asking me to go the next step... I think it's time to answer the door and find out what that step is.


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