Uncanny

The word “uncanny” gives me a distinct impression: odd, unnatural, almost disturbingly coincidental.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the definition (because I do things like that for fun.)

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines uncanny as “seeming to have a supernatural character or origin.”

The “uncanny” I faced last week certainly fit that description.

My sisters visited last Friday. They were kind enough to babysit Cailyn while Sam and I put in a few hours of work in the morning. We made lunch after work. I decided to try out my new spiral potato slicer – potato-chip-thin slices in minutes! Put those in the oven while we ate. After lunch we decided to take advantage of the sun gracing our sky and walk to the nearby bookstore. We spent about an hour browsing around before heading home. Somewhere on the walk home, potato chips came up in the conversation.

Potato chips in the oven. The oven still on. Nearly two hours since we’ve been home. Panic? Don’t panic. Keep walking. Breathe. If the house was burning down we’d hear/see it by now. Sirens. Sirens?! Coming closer?? No way. Mind must be playing tricks on me. We pick up the pace. Sam starts running. He’ll make sure everything’s okay. Look over my shoulder. Sirens still coming. All the worst scenarios swarms through my head. Look again. Fire truck turning in our direction. Sinking in my stomach. Sickening feeling washing over. Praying. Walking faster but refusing to run. What good would it do? Fire truck whipping past us. Fire truck reaching our corner. Fire truck… keeps driving? Keep walking. Breathe. Can’t shake the feeling. Was it lost? Fire truck turns the next corner. Will it turn back? House in sight. No smoke. No flames. No more sirens. Sam on the porch step. All intact. Sighs all around. Oven turned off. No damage done. Just blackened charcoal chips. Not even a smoke alarm. Just thin wafts lingering in the sunbeams.

Uncanny.

Disturbingly coincidently or undeniably supernatural. It certainly struck a nerve.

But more than that, as I thought back on it over the next few days I felt a deep sense of gratitude, protection, and even humility. There was no reason it shouldn’t have been our house that the fire truck was driving to. There was no reason for there to be no harm nor damage. There was no reason my lazy forgetfulness shouldn’t have resulted in steeper consequences. But it wasn’t. It didn’t. And I don’t think I’m going too far to say it was only God’s grace that granted that, because I certainly didn’t deserve it.

It gave me a renewed awareness of my depraved state. I can’t even avoid making simple – but seriously consequential—mistakes on my own. Not to mention the outright sin I commit and the sin I hide in my heart that I think I won’t commit but that sneaks out when my guard’s down.

Ultimately I was humbled by the precious love of God and our freedom therein.

The fire scare and other — relatively trivial — circumstances that have played out since then continue to open my eyes to God moving. There are so many circumstances I might have overlooked if not for the uncanny-ness of them that points to nothing less than God’s hand at work: a highly frustrating situation at work that threw my schedule off for weeks but also allowed me to attend my morning Bible Study with no time-crunch, for one. Another is simply the timeliness of all this, coinciding with a God-given desire to delve back into the Scriptures. It has provided the faith I needed to face some challenging truths that I read.

It’s strange, the subtle but striking ways God will grab our attention. But oh, am I grateful for it (and grateful that I am grateful)!

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” – Romans 11:33

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” -Romans 2:4

P.s. Although I’m thrilled to share the triumphs of this story, I hope against hope it doesn’t result in me losing all credibility in the kitchen.

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5 Comments

Filed under Christian Living

5 responses to “Uncanny

  1. Charity

    Lose credibility in the kitchen???? I think it’s a trait somewhat that we tend to leave the oven on….don’t know where it came from but at least we are all aware of it!

    So glad you are able to learn the spiritual lessons you are learning as that is the most important thing in life!

  2. Micahael Day

    I do delight to hear yet another one who takes what seemingly spiritually irrelevant circumstances she is given, and chooses to find the work of God instead of shrugging it off as just a circumstance. The Lord never ceases working in our lives, and He never leaves.

    I am reminded of a particular instance last semester. I was in my favorite class, and although I almost always left that class feeling refreshed, knowing that God had moved and changed my perspective, mind, and heart; this time I was hating it. It was the first ten minutes of class, and it was just one of those days where I didn’t want to do anything. I felt spiritually irritable, caged, strangled, perhaps even hostile. As I desperately cried to God in my prayers, “God I want God time right now. I want to leave class and go have time with you…”

    Then He cut me off, plain as day. “I never left.” I cannot explain the degree to which I was humbled…and reminded of God’s consistency and constant pursuit of my attention in my life. I sat there thinking, “Why do I need to be out of class, or work, or away from people to have ‘God time.’ He is with me the WHOLE TIME! What makes that so special. I suddenly realized that I have been fragmenting my life. Even at Bible college it had become ‘God time’ and ‘school time’ and ‘friend time’ and ‘other.’ Instead of living my whole life through God’s lens, with God’s heart beating beside mine, and always walking with Him; I had put Him in a corner.

    Then it hit me: God didn’t ask to be IN MY LIFE; He asked to BE MY LIFE. I call Him Lord, but didn’t even know what it meant. It wasn’t my life anymore. The only difference, I realized, between “God time” and “the rest of my life” was me: am I listening or am I merely setting aside time to listen so that I may avoid listening later.

    It encourages me greatly to know that I am not alone in my pursuit to see God moving in everything, not just the “spiritual.” Thank you for the encouragement my sister. I must say that my heart jumps for joy that you house is ok. :)

    P.s.

    Got any good books?

  3. Evie

    I love seeing the path you are on! Thanks so much for sharing. I can so relate! I also pray for you often and I see this as answered prayer. Big Sigh.

  4. Thanks for the thoughts, Mike. As for books, I’m currently reading Think by John Piper.
    Evie, your prayers mean a lot and obviously are working! :)

  5. Michael Day

    Sounds interesting. I have heard many Piper quotes. He’s a wise guy. :)

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