Friday, July 22, 2011

the lasting effects of chiggers...

Yesterday as I was getting ready for work I mentally ran down my schedule -Bible Study at noon,  the director of music at 1, committee meeting at 7 with regular administrative stuff in between.

I then started thinking about my time at the Wild Goose Festival.  Exactly one month ago I was in the hill country of North Carolina with my son Justin and a good friend, Barbara, and about 1700 other folks for a weekend that centered around music, spirituality, the arts and justice.  It was a tremendous experience and one that I don’t want to forget about in the midst of the busyness of day to day living.

Interestingly, the one thing about that experience that is still hard to forget is my encounter with chiggers…you know those microscopic arachnids that leave one feeling all itchy for days and days?    Believe it or not – I still have marks on my skin from the dozens (yes dozens) of chigger bites.   Oh my!

I kinda wish that instead of chigger bites I could visibly see the marks left on my heart and mind from participating in the Wild Goose Festival, or Iowa Annual Conference earlier in June or Sunday worship with my Trinity United Methodist Church family!  All of these experiences have, in recent weeks, impacted me as a person of faith in ways big and small.

I would like to hope that anyone who has a spiritual experience would say something similar.  I know what happened, and how I have been affected, but it’s often hard to tell others about my personal experiences with the Holy One.  It's also a bit scary...truth be told. 

Regardless, it really is so, SO important share with others how our lives are touched and transformed by God’s love and presence.  If we keep these God moments bottled up inside we aren’t being salt and light to the world, one of the most important things that Christ-followers are supposed to do according to Jesus;

“let me tell you why you are here.  You’re here to be salt seasoning that brings out the God flavors of this earth….You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.  God is not a secret to be kept.  We’re going public with this!”   (see Matthew 5:13-16  The Message)

Whether you start out small sharing with your family and moving toward sharing your experiences with friends, I believe you will be richly blessed by telling others about your experiences of and with God.  For starters, just answer these 2 questions:  where have I seen Christ/God in action this day/week?  And who am I going to tell about it?

To God be the Glory!
In Christ, together


  1. My husband and I were talking about this today - how profoundly affected we were by our Wild Goose experience and how hard it is to share. (And I feel your pain over the chiggers as they got to me, as well.)

    As far as sharing how I've seen God at work, I know of one woman who was very anti-church/anti-religion. Probably more from being harmed by the church than from not hearing about Jesus as she did grow up in the Bible belt. She just sent her toddler to a vacation bible school at a local church and then actually attended that church herself. Why? Because the pastor shows her love and friendship and has no other agenda. Sometimes I think it is as St. Francis said, we should preach the gospel and use words if necessary. I often hesitate to share God's message in words because it seems to alienate people who need them message the most, and rather choose to try to show in deed.

  2. Random stranger here: I found your post because I was looking for chigger images on Google! But I wanted you to know that your testimony of faith shines across the sands of time and the country, too, as your words were written a couple of years ago, and I am in South Carolina! I enjoyed your salt and light reference and encouragement to share testimony of what God has done for us. For me, he has become a very personal Savior and Father. Being able to place my trust and hope in the One who Created all things is a very comfortable place. Now to work on the many parts of me that don't reflect His attributes!

  3. Thank you, Kristin - and blessings to you in your faith journey! Funny, isn't it, how chiggers can bring folks together from across the country...