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When I’m in the flow of the Spirit, it’s easy to add my thoughts to His flow and then forget to check in with my Senior Editor aka Holy Spirit before I hit the Send button.

So, He had a gentle word of admonition about the last devotional, The Porch Light is always on, “We did a good job on that one, but in your eagerness to share the redemption – the transformation – in Terri’s story, your ending seemed a little like an obituary, rather than a living testimony.” (i.e. ‘Beloved wife, mother and grandmother…’ )

What’s the Good News I Left Out?
“Tell them she’s ALIVE…and doing life well; not perfectly…and that’s more than good enough for Me. The Porch Light beckoned her home… Then, in time, the most necessary step of all, she dared to open her heart to welcome the fullness of My Love….the fuel for doing life well.”

Experiencing the Light of Grace…
Our task is to come home to Love and to ask for what we so desperately need.

“…hope (the Porch Light) makes not ashamed, because the love of God
Is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.” Rom. 5:3

“Ask and it will be given to you…for everyone who asks, receives…
If, earthly fathers give good gifts, how much more will the Father give
the Holy Spirit to those who ask!” From Luke 11:9-13

We’re not dancing the “One Step”
The Father is singing to each of us,

“May I have this dance for the rest of your life?!”

Getting in step with Him takes letting go of fear to let Him near
…that took me many a year … and I still have so much to learn about following His lead.
Receiving the Father’s Love is meant to be our ongoing dance. Like moths ever drawn to light, our most basic need…knowing we are called to be loved; called to know we belong to Him; to His family.

They cut Me down but I leap up high
I am the life that will never, never die!
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in Me
For I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!

“Dance, Dance, wherever you may be
For I am the Lord of the Dance, says He.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be
I’ll lead you all in the Dance, says He”.

Words by Sydney Carter 1915-2004;
Music – Adaptation of Simple Gifts (a Shaker tune)

Our porch light is on 24/7. Has been for years, because my older daughter Terri’s long ago definition of love remains etched on my heart. And the story behind the definition touches into the heart of each one who hears it.
There was a season in her life when we didn’t know where she was. During that emotional winter, the Father comforted me with what I still call Terri’s Psalm… personalized, the better to give my soul rest:

“You, Lord, know her thoroughly. You know her downsitting and her uprising (even her uprising against herself); You understand her thoughts…You search out her path and are acquainted with all her waysl There is nowhere she could go from Your Spirit. Nowhere she could flee from Your presence? Ps 139:11-3, 7

And, though she went from “perfect, do-everything-right, Christian daughter, to an out on the streets drug user, He confirmed these Psalm-calming Words with, “Lo, I am with her always …” Matt. 28:20

She chose the self-destructive path to finding “the real me” when she broke free of the constraints of being my “trophy daughter” who I eagerly presented to prove my worth. Surely her being a top student and athlete as well as leader in youth group added value to my stature. (Dumb-de-dumb-dumb).

When supplying her drug use pressed her into felony money gathering, she ended up in California Institute for Women. There her high humor saved her from many a treacherous circumstance. As in a restroom encounter: She was of slight frame; no match for an attempted sexual assault by a giant-sized woman. The Lord prescribed the right prescription for this dire scenario. Terri’s quick witted stance and response, “Put up your dukes!” The assaulter’s lust turned to lusty laughter.
“Laughter is good medicine.” Prov.17:22
Terri had her poignant and profound side as well. In group therapy, she responded well to the Question of the Day: “What is your Definition of Love? She shared more than her definition of love…she imparted how she experienced love; how her definition comforted her. “The porch light is always on. I am always welcome to come home.” Hearing that was and remains a balm to my soul and brings lightness;brightness to the heart of each one who, seeking to be of help, asks, “Did you know your porch light is on?”

The End of the Story…to HIS glory …She DID come home…
Well, not THE END…but The Exit from the old to His making all things new… Terri looks back on her former life as viewing a stranger’s journey. She has long abided in the LIGHT OF HIS LOVE and is a Porch Light of His Love to others. Beloved wife, mother and grandmother…and portable porch light drawing others into His Circle of Love.

May your heart croon with mine: “This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine…”
Public Domain-Based on Matt. 5:14-16

“I love your writing. You really have a way with zingers, but I think what really matters is the life wisdom you bring to the page. You say hard things, but you make them go down like warm apple pie.” David Kopp - executive editor, Multnomah Books

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