Tim Raeburn-Gibson
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Not Just for Me     

On Monday, I’m sitting out on my deck in my plastic Muskoka chair. The weather was perfect, sunny, 28 degrees. I’ve got my paper, my coffee. There is the hummingbird feeder that Kimberley put up. Two hummingbirds buzzing around competing for first rights to it. The two robins, who have built their next right above our front door, which apparently is good luck, hopping around on the grass, looking for breakfast. The air smelled sweet and clean, like blossoms and growth. A few wasps were out, enjoying the sun as much as I was. They didn’t bother me at all. They were doing their thing, I was doing mine, live and let live

And, I was sitting there, surrounded by goodness and peace and a sense of well-being.  It was as if God said “Here, here’s a little piece of heaven, go ahead, take it, bask in it, just to tide you over until you get here for good”.   

So, I’m sitting there, reveling in that moment. And when I open up the newspaper, I’m hit by a very different reality. Lots of sad things. Like crime. Another shooting in the States. Political division. Corruption at FIFA. There were the articles of baseball players making 12 million dollars a year who get so much more attention from us than the hundreds of thousands of refugees worldwide. “The Avengers brings in close to 500 million dollars at the box office. All time high!” Next section: “Homelessness in Canada looms larger than ever”.  

A hummingbird buzzed my head, the sweet scent of spring and cut grass and blossoms pouring down over me like a massage from the hands of God himself. And then, I heard God’s voice, speaking to me. I didn’t hear it so much with my ears, but more with my heart.  

God says to me “Are you enjoying this?”  

“Yeah, this is great. Sunshine, robins and cardinals and warm sun.”  

“Good”, said God. “Because, that’s what I am. I am a God who loves you and desires for you goodness and warmth. I am the source of all goodness.”    

“I know”, I said back. “I’ve known that for a while. Believe me, I’m thankful for that”.   

“I know you are” said God.  

“Oh, and God”, I said “I know what you’re going to say next, so, don’t even bother.”   

“Oh yeah?”, God said. “What am I gonna say?”      

“You’re gonna say ‘This warmth, this goodness, whatever beauty you have in your life, it’s not just for you.” That’s what you’re gonna say. “Take all of this beauty out to the streets. After all, that is what Jesus did. And you, as a follower . . .”  

I knew he was going to say that, because that’s pretty much a cornerstone of Biblical teaching. “As I have blessed you, now you go, and be a blessing to others.”   

“You could bring a little piece of heaven into someone’s life today. You could choose to do that. My kingdom can come, today, to the earth. To the earth, just as is it in heaven. Through my living Spirit, and, through your hands, we’ll be partners, OK? We’ll work together, you and I”.  

That’s what God said to me, that day, sitting out there with the sunshine and robins and sweet blossoms.

It’s not just for me. It’s for you too.