I’m a firm believer in strategic whimsy.
That there are miracles strewn throughout each of our days, tiny gifts of love from a Father who comforts and loves us even in the darkest of circumstances. To me, strategic whimsy (a term I originally read in Bob Goff’s newest book that you can buy here) is the intentional remembering of the miracles God has done in your life and the appreciation of daily wonders, no matter what you find wondrous. My miracles usually have to do with the continued life of my houseplants. Today, I saw one of those coat hangers in the Starbucks bathroom that looked strikingly like a baby octopus. At that moment, it restored wonder to my stressed-out little mind.
A friend of mine who lives in Germany, but is very very British, once told me (in his delightful accent) that the Holy Spirit doesn’t just speak to you through religious words or images.
He doesn’t only abide in the church building. You are His church. That’s where He is doing His work in and through you.
And if He speaks to you through something that looks like a sea creature, then good. Christians these days can be so hung up on how things sound or look that they forget- God can and will use a scrubby desert bush to speak. That’s not something you see on Instagram a lot. So stop caring about what people think holiness is restricted to. Stop letting the spirit of religion tell you how God speaks.
If someone has a problem with the bush speaking to you, with your need for time alone seeking God instead of constantly being with your friends, with your propensity to have deep conversations, with your love of something simple or something too generic for this generation, then tell them to shove it. Kindly. But firmly. It’s not anyone else’s responsibility to listen to the Lord for your life.. Except for you.
Now there’s a place for fellowship, for soul community, and for your mentors, close friends, and community to correct you. But David didn’t stop believing in his calling just because it might hurt Jonathan’s feelings. No, they championed each other in love and in truth. Jonathan believed in David’s anointing, even though it seemed unlikely.
Sometimes, these daily miracles aren’t for us to open, but for us to give.
In the Bible, the feeding of the 5,000 is often preached as a big and bold stroke of Jesus’ divinity. He was painting a portrait of who He was to the disciples, showing them the depth of His character and His ability. He fed a football stadium of famished people with only some tilapia and a few rolls.
But the part that I always got hung up on was the second time that Jesus tells the disciples to feed thousands of people. They balk at his direction again, despite already having experienced an almost identical (but even bigger) miracle. “We don’t have enough,” they complain.
I don’t have enough, Jesus. I can’t do this again. Besides, that last miracle? It was exhausting. The faith. The work. The process.
And Jesus replied to the disciples (and to me), “Are you still so hard-hearted?”
Jesus’ inner circle was focused on the grit and grime of 4,000 sandy people who wouldn’t go away. I think they were disappointed that this day was less comfortable than the day before. Maybe some felt homesick for the comfort of the past. Maybe others were just focused on the next steps and cities. They forgot what Jesus did last time, and what he wanted to for this group of people right now. They were so engaged with the discomfort of their current situation, they forgot how Jesus had provided for them and the crowd in the past.
How often, I wonder, are our own hearts hardened because we don’t really want to be where we are right now?
We forget about how Jesus provided when we stepped out in faith last time. We forget how He has blessed our boldness with community, with joy, with nourishment.
And we forget that we are part of a miracle for someone else. Maybe it’s a big, bright miracle. Maybe a tiny one. Either way, over-thinking it just makes us stressed. And less likely to take action in compassion.
Even in a new place, this new crowd, Jesus is the same guy working the miracles behind the scenes. He is working miracles in you right now, so demonstrate your faith.
Do you feel hard-hearted right now? Numb to the goodness of God and numb to compassion for others? What time can you go back to when Jesus did a miracle for or through you? Do the deep work of remembrance. Have the deep talks with God and ask your inner circle of family and friends to remember with you.
Rooting for you!