Somebody sure got old Marjorie Knight's name plain wrong.
I'm the geeky toothpick-kid from one farm over.
Standing there in Miss Marjorie's aged kitchen smelling of wood stove and rising bread, and you could outline her silhouette there in the window over the sink, her running the water — how she looked like a stone polished perfect.
You could see how the old woman's shoulders rounded under her tufted polyester sweaters, how the edges of the woman had rounded smooth.
They'd said the cancer would take her in weeks. That it'd eat right up the rounded sides of her. I weeded her strawberries.
Mama sent me down the road to Miss Marjorie's farm with Shepherd's Pie. I'd leave the tin foiled pyrex on her glossy floral table cover ripped and fraying at the edges. Her house smelled of a hundred years and Old Spice.
Miss Marjorie never did really just talk — her words chuckled. Like her words rolled like chuckling water over a stony life. I don't have to close my eyes to still hear her.
Forget whatever anyone else said. Forget whatever any doctor said. The miracle simply happened one day at a time: Miss Marjorie laughed through the weeks and lived another 22 years.
All that matters is whatever He said. All that mattered was how she lived.
Do whatever He tells you.
Mary had said that to the servants at the wedding of Cana, before Jesus' first miracle: Do Whatever He Tells You. Just five words. I tape it to a chalkboard, folded it into a purse, let the truth of it round off the sharp edges of my life. I walk straighter, braver.
Do Whatever He Tells You. Walk across whatever field, take whatever mountain, cross whatever sea.
Doesn't matter if anyone else says can't.
Doesn't matter if anyone else says don't.
Doesn't matter if anyone else says won't.
All that matters is whatever He. Tells You.
It's what we'd told our ragamuffin kids when they were little: "Your Dad will call you– and if you can't hear him? You're not where you are meant to be."
Your Father calls you.
And if you can't hear Him?
Ain't that always it: We want clarity — and God gives a call.
We want a road map — and God gives a relationship.
We want answers — and God gives His hand.
Sure, fences and rules are easier:
This is the best life and that is the less life. This is the way and that way is a copout. This family is on fire for the Kingdom and this family is just going to crash and burn.
But the point is: God singularly calls you and a call from God is about relationship and a call is something one keeps listening for — come this way, come to the land I will show you.
It's taking this hick a life time to learn it: God wants you to lean on the Guide — who speaks to you through His Book.
Why would God give a map — when He wants to give you Himself?
We need the person of God more than we need the plan for our life.
His voice is what you keep listening for.... and the heart of faith is your ear pressed into the heartbeat of His Word.
"This is the way for you — not her way, not their way — but My Way for You." Stay close enough to the Word to hear your Father's voice. Do Whatever He Tells You.
Do whatever's the next thing. Do whatever He puts in front of you and do it with great love and this is what makes any day, any life, anybody great. Miracles keep happening in the mundane.
Do whatever makes you a God-wrestler, that makes you push and press into Him, till He wrests your hip socket and you never walk the same.
There are swaggers and there are talkers and there are pundits and cynics and megaphones, but there are annals that bear blatant testimony: The real leaders only limp.
I watched how Miss Marjorie walked. Never trust a leader who doesn't limp. The Limpers lead you lower. Limp into service and prayer and limp under that cross you carry and you walk as the greatest. Just do whatever He tells You.
Don't let anyone tell you any different. Don't let anyone tell you that radical is a geographic location or about any ovations.
Jesus does radical things: He raises the deadened and cleans the stained and breathes the Spirit impossibly weary.
He makes you to do whatever He says; He makes you to do the radically great things:
Live low and trash your anger. Be kind and be gentle and be thankful. Only Speak Words that make Souls Stronger.
Do Whatever He Says. This makes you the Gritty Radical. Simple, daily things:
Never let real joy be controlled by the things you can't really control.
When the heart's a bit bitter, better still the tongue. Tongues are tails of the heart. Trust your tongue only when your heart is tender.
The sin of not finding enough Joy in Christ, this is the sin that dresses up as all the other sins.
This is the radical He's always calling Christians to – the Gritty Radical: the radical that rounds off sin. That lets the water of the Word keep wearing away the sin, sanctifying.
Don't be fooled that there's such a thing as Glamorous Radical. Wherever you are, there's only Gritty Radical. Just Do Whatever He Says.
Do Hard Things — most often means doing small, obscure, everyday things. Just Do Whatever He Tells You.
And it will look upside down and it will look introverted and it won't look like it makes any sense. I tell myself that every quaking morning: You're only living Faith when you taste a bit of Fear in your mouth. It isn't really Faith unless it tastes a bit like fear. Feel the fear and Leap Anyways.
Your Father is infinitely bigger than your fears.
I wear my bracelet, my word for the year marking me: JESUS. Simplicity isn't a matter of circumstances, but of focus. Four words. Do. Whatever. He. Says. #DWHS
It's changing my year. It's changing my life. The miraculous miraculous.... The Gritty Radical: #DWHTY
Success isn't about being amazing.... it's about being obedient.
What really matters is living a life that is good on the inside — not one that just looks good from the outside.
I'd told my mama once that somebody should have called Marjorie Knight, Marjorie Dawn.
It's a thing to be said about a woman, how a woman can make miracles anywhere, just doing whatever He tells you:
The woman had laughed the hard times into wine.