She is nice to me, but you can see there is an edge to her just underneath the surface, so that if I ask a question she feels will put her in a bad position, or if she senses I am trying to get something out of her, she sort of bristles. It's unnerving. I also see the way she handles other people and I know she is one of those infamous "Landladies of Chengdu"types. They are known for being hard to work with. These kind of observations make any meeting with my landlady opportunities for an overall sense of nervousness and anxiety. I pace the floor all morning, mulling over the questions I need to address with her and the issues I am hoping to resolve... how best to approach her? And then I throw it all out the window when I realize I only know about five words to even try to get my point across. And then I just pray a lot and hope for the best.
In recent days, I keep coming back to this phrase:
In the morning you hear my voice, In the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. ˜Psalm 5:3It has been a sort of watchword for each day. All three themes are so important:
- He is near, and he hears.
- I have something to give, and it often costs me.
- The cost is worth it. If I watch and wait- He always has something He is doing.
Maybe it seems a stretch to think of a meeting with a landlady as a sacrifice, but for me one kind of sacrifice is each and every one of these "stressor"situations that exacts something from me or causes me to have to lay down my desires on the line, knowing they may not be fulfilled as I wish. There has to be some measure of trust in every one of those moments, believing that the times are not in your hand, but the Hand that holds them is working for your good. Or that what may be asked of you in a single day does yield some sort of fruit if you do it unto Him, even if it is not evident in that span of time that you labored.
All that pretty hair, I wonder what sort of soul lies beneath it. Perhaps there will be a day when it won't be such a mystery, nor a means for a day of prayers.