26 January, 2012

Eyes to see?

Last week, I ate lunch with two of my dearest friends from China. They are both Ph.D. students at the University of Alabama and we often lunch together. One girl was telling us stories of her math classes and tutoring experiences. One little tidbit she shared was about an elementary school student she tutors. The following is their dialogue:

Little Girl: Your eyes are different from mine. They’re squinty.

Tutor: Yes, the shape is very different. Yours are round and mine are more oval.

Little Girl: Well…can you still see all I see?

After telling this, our friend broke into a huge smile, which made her eyes totally disappear, and she giggled in delight at the little girl’s question. She was not offended but thrilled with the relationship and innocence of the little girl. We all laughed and oohed about this darling little girl and how cute her comment.

But now a week later, I’m still stuck on the question…Can you see all I see?

Certainly, my Chinese friends can see all we see physically. But have they been given the opportunity to see what we see spiritually? I have known both of these friends for four years. I know that before that came to the United States to study they had never been introduced to the Christian God, Jesus. We’ve gone through sickness, hospital visits, broken relationships, scholastic difficulties, job problems, celebrations, births, deaths…. basically, we’ve lived life together. In all these experiences, can they see all I see? Have they had the opportunity to see my Jesus?

Years ago, we were living in Corpus Christi, Texas. In south Texas, there are no tall trees; therefore, you are able to see from horizon to horizon. On this day, there had been a huge rainstorm and it was still clearing off. My 5-year-old daughter (who is now 17) and I were traveling home when we noticed a rainbow. I decided to drive straight to the bay so we could fully see it. As we got to the bay, we saw it was actually a double rainbow extending the full horizon – I had never seen such a sight! Sarah and I were thrilled and we begin to name all the colors we could see. It was truly amazing and quite a day for a mother’s heart.

That night at bedtime, I was tucking Sarah in and we begin to say our prayers. I first prayed and thanked God for our day, and the clouds and the rainbows. Then Sarah prayed….and changed my world. “Dear God, thank you for today with my mama. Thank you for showing us the clouds and mostly, God, thank you for giving us eyes to see rainbows”.

These two very different days and times in my life feel connected to me. My daughter teaching me to thank God for giving us eyes to see and a young Chinese girl telling a funny story that strikes at the heart of who we’re called to be…. can you see all I see? I see these people who don’t know our Jesus and I walk right by them or ignore them or get too busy to interact or I’m too insecure to try to interact. Are you like that too? Or is it just me?

We have been given eyes to see and know there are those in our world whose eyes do not yet see all we see…so what’s my response?

Give me eyes to see. Give me eyes to see your people. Give me eyes to see people who do not YET see all we see…the nations will be streaming to you – Hallelujah!

In the last days, the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established 

as the highest of the mountains; 

it will be exalted above the hills, 

and all nations will stream to it. Isaiah 2:2

03 January, 2012

NewYear Tears

Warning: the words below are personal. I take no offense if you skip this blog…

For me to write is a way to healing….so I must write…to let HIM into my brokenness.

When I was growing up, I learned two difficult things: words can hurt people and the silence of no words can hurt people. So it seems words have always surrounded me in good ways and in bad. I find it interesting that now I write words to express my own heart’s joy, pain and celebration. I also find it interesting that my love language is words. So in contrast this also means that the way to hurt me most is through words.

It’s January 3, and for the second time in this New Year I sit crying. I sit in my prayer chair, typing on my laptop as the tears stream down my face. So why tears today?

It’s all about the words…words spoken plainly, unguarded and matter-of-factly from a teen or from a mom struggling with dementia. Harsh words from people I adore absolutely kill my heart. I think back to earlier days when my little girl would run to greet me and throw her arms around me as though I was the greatest gift she had ever received. I remember my mama’s sweet words of love and pride in me….

…when these earthly words are gone…I cry and I doubt who I am.

But as I sit with my eyes closed and tears streaming, I hear Him using His words to woo me, reminding me that I am His and He is mine forever. He assures me of His love for simple me. He affirms my being, He reminds me that He is here IN me now. “Let me hear your words Father”, I breathe. '

You are my child. I created you. I have a plan for you – a future and a hope. Cast your worry on me. I treasure your tears and your heart. I will not forsake you. I will not forsake you. You are my child. I accept you and love you…forever.'

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children on God! And that is what we are!” I John 3:1

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