Where’s God When You’re Running Away?


Have you ever experienced a paraffin wax bath? Massage therapy and physical therapy locations use them for a myriad of things, but my limited experience has been in a nail salon.

When you get a manicure, or pedicure, you can opt for a paraffin wax bath: a hand goes into a miniature vat of wax, and warm glorious warmth finds its way between fingers. Then a plastic bag, followed by a towel, is wrapped around the freshly dunked appendage and left to set. Once it’s removed, every joint, every muscle is loose and relaxed, and every inch of skin smooth.

Two months ago I was on loan to other churches two weeks in a row. Being away from my church was a welcomed escape from my responsibilities and having to confront my decision.  I was set to sing a solo at my dad’s church one week, and then to present two pieces the following week at First Congregational United Church of Christ with Valley Women’s Ensemble.

I trying to choose a school at the time and my brain was entirely preoccupied by the process. As I have said before, it was not like choosing jazz or country music (Easy…jazz all the way.) It was a decision bearing the weight of eternity. My choice would force change not only in my life, but in the lives of a number of people, and in the life of my church.

And yet, I knew the choice but was not ready to commit. The most enriching, life-giving things on our “To Do Lists,” the things tugging at our souls, are the ones at the bottom…the ones we keep putting off. We put them off because change is not merely plausible, it is absolutely certain, and we just don’t like to deal with change if we don’t have to.

When I returned to my home church, I felt like my soul had been covered with the warm paraffin wax of God-in-community; enveloped by affirmation of who we are in Christ and called to claim all such an identity means. I was fresh; I was new. All the yuck my soul had collected during the fretful decision making process, the weight of eternity, had been stripped away.

In truth, being away from my home church was a built in way to avoid the decision, but when God’s got His eye on you, which is always, He has a way of making your means of escape His means of redemption.

I would challenge you to examine the things at the bottom of your list. What life-giving change do you keep putting off?

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