I was in a hurry.
Work stacked up, meetings to attend, important stuff to think about.
But I was hungry.
So, I’m at the kitchen counter spooning rice and beans into a bowl, throwing on some olives, tomatoes, and cheese, water for the French press close to boiling in the kettle … when my wife comes up with her phone and begins showing me some funny pictures of people wearing makeshift coronavirus masks.
A plump woman on a scooter at Walmart with a plastic bag over her head, a pants-down-to-his -butt guy at the checkout counter wearing a paper bag mask with cutouts for his eyes and mouth, a girl on the street with what appears to be a mini-traffic cone strapped onto her face …
I was trying to peel garlic, turned to head for the sink, dropped the knife and darned near stabbed myself in the foot.
“Do you want to see some more?” she asked.
“No. I don’t have time to browse Facebook looking for funny pictures of people at Walmart.”
That was the wrong thing to say. She heard it as “No, I don’t want to spend time with you. That doesn’t rate very high on my value list. I’ve much more valuable things to do right now.”
I immediately knew I’d let my mouth get way ahead of my brain. She gave me that hurt and angry look I’ve seen far too often in our twenty-plus years together, and headed towards the bedroom. I sat down at the kitchen table to eat alone.
Here’s the problem …
In my Daily Deep, I’ve been working with a bring-myself-back-to-focus technique I call “The Way of Hineni.” It’s based on the practical application of a Hebrew word that literally means “Here am I.”
Hineni is pronounced “hee-nay-nee”
Hineni’s legendary uses in the Bible include these:
- Abraham, when God called to him as he was about to sacrifice his son
- Moses, when God called to him from the burning bush
- Jacob, when God appeared to him in a dream
- Samuel, when God called to him as he slept in the temple
- Isaiah, when God wanted to know who could be sent …
Hineni, here I am.
What I Learned Today – #1
As I sat there on my lonesome, it occurred to me that I had failed to practice the Way of Hineni. Dreadfully failed. Had I been even a little bit in touch with my Deep work when my dear wife approached me, I would’ve remembered “Hineni.” I would’ve brought my awareness to focus and stopped to consider these three things:
- I show up … present before God and all creation
- I am present to the moment and to you
- I am listening, and I’m eager to learn
I love the word. Lord, help me practice it more diligently.
And where’s that sleeping bag I’ll need for spending the night on the sofa? 🙂