Ghost Writer

The wall mounted mirror is behind the door so you don’t see it when you walk in. Only when you walk out. Even then, I never paid any attention to it.

On this particular day life was pouring in more than usual. Like the way I used to feel shoveling through a giant drift after an Iowa blizzard. I’d finally see sidewalk when a big chunk would bust loose from the top and I’d be up to my boots again in snow.

Some days you just can’t shovel fast enough.

I was telling God about my plight and wondering out loud why it seemed to me that He wasn’t as aware of my situation as I thought He should be. I mean, God, if you’re not going to help me shovel can you at least keep the stuff from pouring in so fast?

A little help here, maybe?

It was time to go pick up my kids from school. I opened the door about half way and that’s when it caught my eye. The mirror. I closed the door and looked again. Nothing there.

Ok, I know I only have one eye but thanks to a contact lens, it works reasonably well. I know I saw something in that mirror.

I opened the door and glanced again at the mirror, this time the way I used to look at the old 3-D baseball cards that came in the cereal boxes when I was a kid. Up, down, sideways. And there it was. There were words on the mirror. Almost invisible, and because of the light in the room I couldn’t see it unless I looked from an angle and even then the letters only faintly showed themselves against the reflection of my black t-shirt.

“Serve the Lord with all your heart and consider the great things He has done for you.” – 1 Samuel 12:24

Whoever stayed here before had scrawled this verse on the mirror with lipstick or some other oil based marker. The mirror had since been cleaned, yet at the right angle in the right light, the message remained.

This verse, in context, is the prophet Samuel exhorting the people of Israel during the coronation of King Saul. In his speech he reminds Israel of God’s faithfulness to them through every generation. From Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Aaron, God had remained faithful to them in spite of their sins and disobedience. Even their asking for a king was a sin against God, preferring a human leader instead of God as their King.

Samuel makes the point that even in their short-sighted and often stubborn disobedience, God’s love for them continues. Because God is faithful to Himself, He is faithful to them. Through it all, God did great things for them.

Back in 2008, I was starting life over from scratch in a new place and with a new sales job. I do dinner shows for people and sell high-end cookware. In following up on a contact, the girl on the other end of the phone asked me if I traveled to Snyder, Texas. I said, “I sure do.” Now, I’d never heard of Snyder let alone have a clue how far away it was. But when you’re starting over, you do whatever you have to do. That dinner generated my first customer in that area and led to more dinners which led to many more customers in Snyder, TX. And with each dinner God put me in front of some of the kindest, good-hearted, hospitable and encouraging people I’ve ever met.

When last year I was unsuccessful in my efforts to prevent my daughters’ mom from moving them away from me, I was incredibly discouraged. Instead of being 5 minutes across town, they would now be attending school 85 miles from me. I have equal time with my daughters, but how would it work? Where would I stay when I came to be with them? How would we have a place to be together?

Back in 2008 I thought Snyder was just the place God had me working for a season. I thought I was just meeting new people in the course of my job. I had no idea that He was preparing for what would happen to me two years later. God was preparing future relationships that He would use to encourage us in ways we could not imagine.

The mirror with the ghost writing is in a guest house in Snyder, Texas, the town in which my daughters attend school. It belongs to dear friends who started out as customers back in 2008. When I confided my situation to them last year, they said, “We have a place in our backyard. You and the girls can stay here anytime you want.”

“…and consider the great things He (God) has done for you.”

Is God aware of my plight? The ghost writer left behind the obvious answer to that question. “Consider the great things God has done for you.” God is more than aware. He is involved. His faithfulness toward us never ceases. His love toward us is constant. His attention to detail is complete. God, forgive me when I fail to consider the great things You have done for me. Give me eyes to see You and the works of Your hands in my life.

As much as I like things squeaky clean, I’m only going to Windex the bottom half of that mirror.

Some messages should never be erased.

Todd A. Thompson – January 6, 2011

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