Growing Pains

 Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ricky, why do you always do that?” I say to my oldest son. As he stands there I realize that he’s actually pondering the question in his mind. After carefully considering the question, he answers “I don’t know. I guess because I’ve always done it like that.”

He continues to work on his homework, and he repeats the mistake I just called him on.
“Ricky, didn’t I just tell you there’s a better way, a simpler way to get the correct answer?”

He just stares back at me with this blank stare, never really answering my question he gives a quick shrug of the shoulders and finishes up his work. After checking his work there were a few answers that were wrong. After trying to show him the correct way to do the work, I concede defeat and give up. He’ll have to learn by his own mistake. The next day, it was homework time again. By this time I’m sure that Ricky is dreading it.

“Mama, I got my papers back from my homework we did last night.” He handed over the papers and gave me that look, and said “you were right mom.”

“See honey, if you just slow down and listen to me.” I say to him, feeling somewhat vindicated. And that’s when I had an ah ha moment. You know the moments when the light comes on and it suddenly hits you like a ton of bricks that the lesson you thought you were teaching to your child, was turned around and you had become the student. How many times had I done just as my son did? How many times had I told God, I’ve got it? And how many lessons had a learned the hard way?

If I’d simply just listened and done as I was told, how much heart ache could have been saved on my end. I guess we are more like children than we’d like to admit at times. We get caught up doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. These are the growing moments. The times in life that God is killing, pruning away that thing that is not bearing fruit, or the wrong kind.

It is our imperfections that call us to the Cross. It's our human condition that brings us to the feet of Jesus. Even when we blow it he doesn't say I told you so or rub it in. He's not sitting on his throne wagging his finger in disapproval. There's no condemnation for those in Christ!


I Know A Change Is Gonna Come

 Monday, October 12, 2009

"I know a change is gonna come, if only I can just touch the hem of his garment", she said to herself as she followed the crowd. Shame and desperation had brought her here. Physician after physician had claimed to provide the healing she so desperately sought, but they all failed. So many had called her cursed. According to the other women in the village, God was punishing her for her sins. After all, its normal to bleed but not have a flow so long and so heavy that she remained continually unclean. They had all taken her money, and the shame was still there. You are cursed with a curse…the only diagnosis any of them offered.

She'd heard the rumors of a man but not just any man. He called himself the son God, who had performed miracle after miracle. And a miracle she needed.

"I believe, I believe" she whispered, anticipating her move. Immediately she found herself on her knees crawling through the crowd of people who pushed and shoved and pressed their way toward Jesus.

Stretching out her arm her fingers grabbed the hem of his garment with boldness and determination, and faith that could move a mountain. She wanted to shout for joy, she wanted to run through the streets praising God.

"Who Touched Me"

Anywhere but here, she thought. The reality of what just happened made her cower in fear.

Again, Jesus said "Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me." The crowd was mystified. People as far as the eyes can see and he asks who touched him, thinking to herself.

Knowing that she couldn't just retreat, there at the feet of Jesus she confessed in the midst of the crowd. At his feet she laid her shame, defeat, and pride.

"Daughter your peace has made you well; go in peace."

No condemnation, no scolding, no judgment, no punishment, just love.

Here I am Lord, grasping the hem of your garment. My shame kept me from coming boldly to your throne. Today I bring you everything that has bound me with chains. Today the prison doors are open and I no longer dwell in darkness, you have taken what was broken and made it new. I am your Daughter!


At The End of The Hall

 Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I wondered if anyone noticed her. And if anyone did notice, would they care enough just to stop? There she lingered outside the hospital room trying not to loose herself, her composure. It seemed as though she was hanging on to every ounce of her sanity that she could muster. Brave, determined, but at the same time....defeated.

My task at hand was to make it to the mailbox and back to my office to finish up my work for the day. There are always days like this on this floor. Death, tears, pain, live on this floor.

As I moved closer to her, I could see she was crying. Her eyes were puffy and pink and drained. "Can I give you a hug?" I asked reaching out to her at the same time. All she could do was shake her head. I grabbed this sister in my arms and loved on her. As we stood in the hall, people continued to go by us without thinking twice. She told me her husband was dying. She told me he wasn't going to make it much longer. She took my hand as we walked into her husband's room. There he lay, struggling for every breath, unaware that anyone was there. "Can we pray?", I asked her.

After we prayed I left their room, with peace. I learned later that day, as I was leaving to go home, her husband passed away shortly after me, her, and her daughter stood in his room and prayed. It was an honor to stand in prayer with this family. Sometimes we are called to just listen, to give a hug when needed, or to stand in be Jesus to others. We are the body of Christ.

Where one or two are gathered in your name, there you are in the midst. Lord, continue to show us opportunities to be more like Christ..reaching out in love to do your will Father. As we go through life continue to mold us and shape us to be imitators of You as dear children.