"Deliver me from the liars, God!
They smile so sweetly but lie through their teeth."
What powerful words to those of us who struggle mightily with food. "Deliver me from the liars. They smile so sweetly, but lie through their teeth." It was almost as if I was dreaming because I could see that sweet potato pancake with a broad smile made out of pecans saying, "yummy, I'm so good, I'll taste delicious and you'll feel great about everything." I could see bags of potato chips and boxes of Triscuits smiling sweetly, but knowing they all tell lies. And as a Christian, I know God is powerful enough to deliver me from the liars, but I also know that same God enables me to slay my own dragons teaching me valuable lessons in the meantime. The scripture was powerful and it was a time of very meaningful devotion as the words jumped off the page and into my life. We all have "liars" that smile sweetly and from which we beg for deliverance. Take a moment to consider yours and to whom or what you turn for help. Your God may be different from mine, but we all have to have somewhere to turn when the "liars" become too much to bear.
Growing older has given me an ever-increasing appreciation for the sacrifices made by others in order for me to have the things I enjoy today. A battle is being waged in my soul as I plunge deeper into the history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a place where I find so much pleasure. In order for me to enjoy the park as I do today, many people were forced from the only homes they'd ever known. Yes, they were paid for their land and homes, but once they left them, it's doubtful they ever saw them again. In fact, most of the structures were burned in order to keep the folks from returning. Doesn't that just break your heart? The Little Cataloochee Baptist Church (pictured above) is one of the historic structures that remain although one has to hike no less than 5 miles (round-trip) in order to see it. Ironically, Mr. B and I were alone here at 11:00 on a Sunday morning two weeks ago. There were no children running around, no bells ringing and no covered dishes being carried in for dinner on the ground following the service. I could close my eyes and in the silence, almost hear all of those things happening.
And I was filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the people who gave their livelihood so that I could "worship" in their church on that Sunday morning. Gratitude for my own church where, at that very moment, all of those things WERE happening. Gratitude for renewed health that allowed me to walk far enough to see this church, the Hannah cabin, the Messer cabin, the old apple orchards and the remains of an old apple barn.
But in a setting like that amidst the gratitude, I could not help but be sad for all they had lost. And my prayer was this: Please let me never take my time, my joys, my freedoms, my relationships, my health and any other blessing I've received for granted. Please let me never be so consumed with OTHER things that I fail to see how fortunate I am. Please let me make every attempt to GIVE more than I RECEIVE and always be willing to LOSE in order to GAIN.