Thursday, February 14, 2013


"Pastor, since you hail from Texas, I bought you a little gift," the parishioner teased Chuck Swindoll, handing him a small, snuff-sized can. His impish grin betrayed the gift-giver. Chuck chuckled as he read the label:
Pure Armadillo Meat
Sun-dried and road tenderized. Run over by a log truck three miles south of Pollock, Texas.  Not over 20% hair and gravel.  May contain foreign matter.

Pure love.  Texas style.

Stephen Hill, a lawyer, deacon and friend once gave my husband, a wood-worker, two unusual, but treasured, gifts. Both were antiques--a block plane and an old Stanley square.  For many years they held a special display spot in his office.  Most folks had to ask, "What's that?" It was more than "a conversation piece" as the gift tag, still attached, says.  Stephen and Doug knew it was

Pure love.  Carpentry style.

At choir rehearsal I'd take my place on the piano bench.  More times than I care to remember during that hour, someone crept up behind me, poked my shoulder and screamed like a madman.  I'd bolt, slam my hands on the keyboard, jump straight up and scream like a mad woman, "CHARLIE GRAHAM!"  I knew he would do it weekly, and he knew he could time it right.  So the scene became a hilarious ritual the choir enjoyed more than I.  He knew since I dish it out, I could take it.

Pure love.  Mischief style.

Friends asked us over for dinner. The meal was frog legs!  They do taste like chicken.  Another invitation while living in Cuba served us up conch.  Delicious.  Though watching the prep was not appetizing.

Pure love. Cuisine style. 

A fistful of dandelions clutched in my child's cherub fingers, "For you, Mommy!"

Pure love.  Beautiful weed-bouquet style.

Love splinters into many forms, expressed in the styles of both giver and receiver, as different as we all are created.  Worship is love expressed to God.  His Word describes many ways:

hymns, psalms. . .loud-sounding brass. . .in quietness. . .lifting holy hands. . .with trumpets. . .singing praise. . .lifting eyes. . .falling prostrate. . .in silence. . .kneeling. . .standing

(Sidenote: Though we customarily close our eyes to pray, that posture is not found in the Bible!)

We love others with hugs, handshakes, back-slapping, smiles or nods.  We accept that folks do so differently.  Yet many expect others to love God and express it in the same way they prefer, disregarding personalities, cultural differences and even scripture.  

Man looks on the outward appearance.  God looks on the heart.

Whether you're loud like Peter (and me) or the quiet, intellectual type like Dr. Luke, God accepts and smiles at our bouquets of love when the heart is 

Pure love.  Human style.  To the Divine!

Our styles of worship, of love, may appear to others to contain "some foreign matter."   However, God stamps our various weed-bouquets and US

1 comment:

  1. 2/16/13 (facebook message):
    Robbie-Christine Ellis

    Aunt Kathy,
    Chris def. is not the only one who reads your posts and blogs over here. We like to talk about them together and add our own thoughts. I guess blogs and posts are kind of like music, you like the songs that you can relate keep posting and blogging and singing and encouraging, because a lot of people can relate to what you are passing out.
    We love you and Uncle Doug.