So… We got home from our sunny, blissful Caribbean cruise a week ago and I'm still recuperating, especially since Iowa is in a freezer right now. Did anything odd happen on our cruise? Of course! 'Odd' follows me...
We sailed on the Celebrity Reflection, a spanking new city-sized ship with a modern hip feel. It's the flagship for the Celebrity fleet and the staff and services were top-notch. The entertainment was crazy good and unique to this ship; standing ovations were given which is very unusual for lethargic Rolaids-munching over-fooded audiences. And speaking of food, it had flavor galore and eye-candy appeal; I had Lobster Melange for Thanksgiving dinner. It, too, was stuffed.
This ship had a Molecular Bar which mixed up outrageous libations with foam and liquid nitrogen. The bartender was a real showman who flipped bottles in the air and 'spilled' smoking stuff onto the bar. I had to sample the "Coming Up Roses" concoction with muddled rose petals and limes. Delicious!
One morning, I saw a rainbow which was for my eyes only. It was directly out our balcony window and lasted just a couple of seconds. John was in the shower and missed it. If you've read my blog entitled "My Favorite Cruise Story No. 1," you know my affinity for rainbows and what a treat they are for me.
I Zumba-ed, of course. John and I kicked up our heels on the dance floor. In fact, I wore a pedometer and tracked 67,600 steps in 7 days. Many many steps are my friends on a cruse ship and help counter-attack all the extra calories.
We ported in St. Martaan and jumped into a rickety van for a private tour of the island. It's always interesting to see and hear what the locals think we should see and hear. Stopped at Maho Beach which is famous for being right next to an airport. Supposedly, people can touch the wheels of airplanes as they fly so closely overhead on landing. I did not do this. I watched from a distance; I need my fingers.
We tasted coconut milk straight out of a coconut. This ain't Iowa!
Our guide dropped us off at Orient Beach which is where the locals like to tan sans lines. It's a nude beach and we saw several parading about getting their jollies from me trying to avert my gaze. Old nudes… everywhere….
Yes! We heard an accordion and followed its sound to this little man playing for pennies. He couldn't play very well, or hear very well… I thought about trying to play his accordion but thought he might not understand… so we listened and gave him lots of pennies! He's my kind of guy!
Even the towel creatures were top-notch on this ship! I was impressed with this guy sitting on my side of the bed. I would guess that our room steward won the towel-folding contest!
But the oddest thing happened during the night right in our stateroom. John and I always pack our pillows as cruise boat pillows are normally foam. We have very luxurious goose down pillows that squish into nothing and easily fit in the suitcase. Well… I don't know what John did to his, but it exploded one night. He said he got up that night to go to the bathroom and was horrified to see his face and hair covered in downy feathers. I woke up to a fairyland of feathers floating in the air. I'm not kidding, it looked like a snowstorm. They were everywhere and stuck everywhere. Oh... how we howled… It was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. I think I aspirated some! As we opened our door, they flew out into the hallway! We sent some flying out our balcony door! As we opened drawers, they flew in. Days later, we still saw feathers on the carpet in the hallway a hundred doors away from us. We picked them off of each other the rest of the week, monkey-style.
I'm sure our room stewart was not laughing. It had to have taken him hours to clean it up. Poor guy. He was headed for home after this particular cruise and did he have a story to tell! We decided to tip him extra.
I couldn't help but be reminded of how the Holy Spirit fills believers in order to explode out of us onto others. Just as feathers fill a pillow, believers are filled with the Holy Spirit of God. As I walk through my daily life, I am to be Jesus to those around me and, in simple terms, it's the Holy Spirit that gives me the ability to do this. The bible calls this 'bearing fruit.' I should spill this fruit out to everyone I meet. It doesn't have to be a big deal, though sometimes it is. I should be encouraging others, lifting burdens, caring, offering hope, peace and love. It's not my natural tendency but it needs to be.
There should be some residue of Holy Spirit, just like the feathers that showed up all over after the explosion. Have I made a difference in that person's life? Have I encouraged her? Cared? Given of myself? I believe that giving out this fruit of the Holy Spirit has a ripple effect and passes on and on. It lasts and has effect far into the future.
As I unpacked my suitcase, yup… you know what I'm going to say…. I found feathers mixed in my underwear and makeup bag and feathers ended up in my dryer lint catcher. I didn't just leave them on the ship, they followed me home and are still spilling out.
The feathers made me smile and reminded me that the Holy Spirit is always with me and longs to spill out fruit wherever I go… into any situation… anywhere… and onto anyone and everyone...