Category: gospel

perspective

Yesterday was a bad day. The kids were all messed up. I couldn’t figure out napping, when they were hungry or find things to entertain them (except TV) for any length of time. I felt slightly depressed, frustrated and a little mad. And I couldn’t seem to break me or them out of our funky momentum, that increasingly got worse as the hours passed. Usually when we have a bad morning some, if not all of us, recover during nap time. It’s kinda of our restoration time and very important to me and to them to reset moods so we can finish out the day well. But that didn’t seem to cure any ills yesterday. Everyone seemed no different–and slightly worse–after nap time.

At about 5pm I turned on a movie for Matthew, put an unhappy Kyler in her crib and went and laid face down on my bed. I figured if I didn’t somehow reset I would come apart at the seams. So I stole a few minutes to pray, and basically told God if He wanted me to love my kids well, He better intervene because I was blowing it up. I got up, not feeling much better, but resolved to finish this day without any further deterioration. I used the few extra minutes of Matthew’s Veggie Tales to check facebook–intending to possibly vent my bad day to the world–and was floored.

The first status update I read was about a friend concerned for Haiti and her son who is still over there. Millions of people are suffering and dying and trapped. Children are orphaned. People needing medical attention have no access to it. The destruction will impoverish this already impoverished nation for years to come. This will be no quick recovery, and in a few weeks, most of the world will have forgotten this and moved on, while the people there seek to rebuild their lives with little assistance from a few who remain faithful.

I know my Jesus loves me. But His heart broke yesterday for the people who are suffering and dying. Where was mine? I claim to be a part of Him. But I couldn’t break outside of my bubble long enough to weep for what makes Him weep. He was with a hurting and dying people. Once again, my shallow heart didn’t plummet to the depths with Him. I remained aloof, caught up in my own cares, concerns and petty vanity.

Today I weep. Today I pray and cry out to God for Haiti, for Amos Ivey, and for a little boy in Uganda. Kyler’s running a fever. Matthew is throwing crayons. Today is like yesterday. Except God grabbed hold of my heart and invited me to share with Him in the suffering of His people.

carrying pain*

by Amy

Would it be better to be blind?
To close my eyes to the injustice around me
To allow my heart not to feel and my eyes not to cry
Could I pretend the pain isn’t real?
that although they are poor they aren’t hurting or dying
Could I separate myself from them?
To be here in body but not allow their wounds to touch my heart
To serve and give and hold but not see.
Maybe it’s better to be blind

Ah but to miss the joys of seeing would never be worth it.
The pleasure of watching Kizza’s face light up as I tickle his bloated belly and to know that although his pain is deep, he feels loved for at least a couple hours a week
To see the comfort on Karim’s face as he nestles his head into my neck and holds on tightly knowing he is safe even if only for those few moments I can hold him in our arms
To dance with them and hear them shouting “God loves me” at the top of their voices as we pray those truths seep deep into their hearts

I will cry.
I will hurt for their pain.
I will scream at the injustice that surrounds me.
But I will laugh with them as a simple toy delights their world.
I will celebrate when a baby once starving is now growing muscle and fat all over his body.
I will experience the joy of God exploding through this nation!

The pain is real and shocking almost everyday. I am falling in love and love hurts. It’s hard to not let it all feel too big. But I believe we are loving a nation back to life as we choose to see and touch and love the child in front of us,

I urge you to do the same. See the one in front of you, the one whose path you cross everyday but remain blind to. Choose to for a moment feel what they feel. And see the one hidden behind miles of distance and a culture that is nothing like yours. Choose to see them and let your heart break a little and then do what you can to change that to a smile for them.

*from amy’s blog

my evil heart

Scenario 1:
Doug and I are working on our budget. I worked hard to figure out exactly how much money we have left over after all the initial expenses (mortgage, utilities, internet, groceries, etc.). What’s left over goes towards less necessary expenses and I just put it all together in one lump sum. Doug didn’t appreciate my effort the way I wanted him to. He doesn’t want it to be one lump sum that we just spend willy-nilly because that money still has to pay for things like diapers and allergy medicine. During the course of this conversation I used two “colorful” words in anger.

Now, I always attributed my occasional slip to a lack of self-control. A few hours after this conversation while cleaning up the kitchen God grabbed hold of me and the gist of it was, “You use those words because you know Doug doesn’t like it.” I purposefully say things to push his buttons when I’m frustrated with him because he isn’t behaving how I think he should behave. Oops. That’s so much worse than an accidental slip.

Scenario 2:
I woke up in time this morning to go work out. That means, I woke Kyler up, then fed, changed and clothed her, and repeated the process with Matthew. I packed our bags, grabbed water for the two that needed it and a snack for Matthew. Tidied the kitchen so I wouldn’t come home to a mess, got the kids into the car and drove to Zilker Park where I work out with some other moms. I got out of the car opened up the trunk and…found a drill, cirular saw and a jigsaw. NOT what I’m expecting. Doug had borrowed my car and replaced my beautiful BOB stroller with items he needed for work. He hadn’t mentioned it to me, and I hadn’t asked.

So, I decide not to be mad or yell at Doug because it really was an accident. But I call him anyway. My justification is “Well, he needs to know this happened so it doesn’t happen again, and next time he’ll remember to tell me he’s taken the stroller out because I always assume it’s just in the back of my car.” But again, a little later, God checked my heart and said “You want Doug to feel guilty.” I wanted him to appreciate how much it cost me to get out of the house the way I did and then to have to turn around and give it all up because of him. Oops.

Five years into marriage and I’m still selfish. So my heart is evil. And somehow that’s comforting. Because if this marriage is going to last I need to remember that it is by the grace of God, putting myself in Him and allowing Him to love Doug through me. The above is what I do on my own.

tolkien and lewis

After continued dwelling on yesterday’s blog, I racked my brain trying to come up with a way that people can have sharp disagreements and still maintain unity. Tolkien and Lewis could be a great example of that. Tolkien was Catholic and because of his influence and friendship Lewis heard the gospel and believed. But Lewis embraced Protestantism and his writings and apologetics took on an anti-Catholic tone. And even later when Lewis married, Tolkien didn’t approve. This seems to have been the final blow to their friendship. All the articles I found online left their friendship there. So I don’t know if we look to them as a solution or not. But what if we did? Some articles talked about their combative relationship and rude behavior toward one another, complete with insults. But it all hinges on how the friendship ended. Did they, in the end, consider one another friends? Were they able to set aside their differences on some level and acknowledge that they worshiped the same Christ? If so, then I feel like we have an example. Not a perfect one. But maybe a place to start. An acknowledgement that believing something slightly different about baptism doesn’t necessarily need to lead to a completely different church.

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