A few weeks ago I lay in someone’s king-sized guest bed, a few feet from my husband. He and I had disagreed about something. The fact that I can’t remember for the life of me what it was about tells you just how trivial it was—but suffice it to say I was still disgruntled. My hide, as they say, was chapped. I was still kind of glad that there were a few feet between us. Had one of those nights?

But I’m pretty sure it was the Holy Spirit rattling around in my skull: Put your arm around him. Because trust me, the rest of me was not convinced. The rest of me wanted to camp out in my little corner of the bed, and then enjoy the slumbering pleasure of forgetfulness.

Then, probably after a quiet sigh, I shimmied over those rather long two and a half feet. I draped my elbow around the broad shoulders that, when I am not angry, I actually tend to find pretty smokin’ (sigh again). Yet—as is so often true, when we do what we should be doing even when we’re not “there”, our heart comes moseying along.

And that’s when I realized that so many minute battles are fought on small fronts like these. I love the line from “Joy to the World”—the Christmas, not the bullfrog, version: He comes to make His blessings known far as the curse is found. In this case, the curse was found in me, laying there like a stubborn little kid holding onto his kickball. I wondered, there with my head on the pillow, if sometimes the curse is not most steadily turned back in little moments like these, when no one sees what we lay down, what we resist, what we overcome. Maybe it’s that swallowed sarcasm, or offer of genuine kindness  to someone who’s snubbed or shamed us, or that phone call in a relationship where we’d rather emotionally vacate.

I wonder how much we overcome in small, unseen confrontations of the soul.

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