I’m in Cambodia & have met women here in the sex industry & their eyes are vacant. On the surface, our initial reaction could be one of shame, disinterest, judgment, revulsion or not even seeing her. When a persons eyes seem empty or vacant, it can be easy to overlook them. But we need to see past the surface & we need to look beyond our initial reactions to see a human for whom Jesus died & deeply loves.
No one, including you & me, wants to be ignored, overlooked, shamed, judged nor rejected. With genuine love there is never a scarcity, so this helps us to see beyond the surface. In contrast, there’s always a shortage with transactional love.
Let’s let Holy Spirit Help is to see beyond the surface!
It’s easy to be a spectator, watching from the sideline, making comments & suggestions. It’s an entirely different experience to participate rather than spectate. This principle rings true in all kinds of contexts:
attending church in contrast to being an active participant,
watching people struggle with problems in contrast to helping people with prayer & presence,
only reading the Bible rather than applying what the Bible says.
Let’s never forget that God put skin in the game for humanity by letting Jesus become God in the flesh. So let’s be sure that we continue to imitate Jesus in our daily living by being active conduits for God’s presence wherever we go & in whatever we do!
I like to go fast – snowboarding, quick flights & speedy travel. In the last two weeks, however, our family has taken a “slower” vacation. We’ve driven from Denver, stopping to see relatives & friends, all the way to Washington DC. We are now driving back to Denver from DC. I’ve done the round trip flight from Denver to DC more times than I can count & it takes about 7hours total (including driving & airport security) to fly one way. In contrast, it will take us 2.5 days to drive from DC to Denver, with minimal stops.
Along this vacation, I’ve noticed some significant advantages to this slower travel stuff:
More time to think, pray & explore – rather than focusing on the travel, slowing down allows me the space to pray & process
Beauty in various forms – from flat farmlands to the Smokey Mountains & rolling forested hills of West Virginia, there’s beauty everywhere. Being on the ground let’s me experience this beauty & appreciate Gods immense creativity.
Deeper conversations – getting to chat with my relatives & friends face to face has been a great benefit to this slow down approach to travel.
There’s some good wisdom to the Simon & Garfunkel song, “Feeling Groovy”
Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.
I pray that you can slow down & enjoy your weekend with the Holy Spirit!
I started reading the book of Job a few days ago & I always find it interesting to read how his friends reacted to Job’s sufferings. At first, they sat silent with him for a week, feeling the magnitude of his pain & struggle. After this time of quiet support, it seems to me that they became less helpful. They frequently seemed to think that all of Job’s suffering was his fault & that he’d done something wrong. So here are some things from Job’s friends that I want to learn. I want to be a friend who:
can be quietly supportive
helps others see, experience & enjoy God
uses words that build up faith & dismantle doubt & fear
stays the course & doesn’t merely show up when things are smoothy groovy 🙂
I would venture to say that all of us have more to us than what a quick intro would reveal. I have friends who are petite, gentle and gracious but you’d never know that they love to mash an opponent on the boards in the hockey rink. I have other friends who look like they are the most physically fit person you’d ever meet but they are slowly ebbing into oblivion because of their heart is filled with unforgiveness, pain, bitterness and revenge – tragic beyond words.
When I think about Jesus, I’m always discovering more than meets the eye. With Jesus, consider that when He was hanging on the cross, He appeared to be a poster child for loser & failure, but there’s so much more than what meets the eye. Consider that Jesus does these things in our lives:
touches our heart
guides our steps
stengthens our hands
invigorates the lifeless
illuminates our mind
stirs our soul
makes boldness out of timidity
fuels the future
empowers what was hopeless
Consider that with Jesus, there is always more than what meets the eye 🙂
There’s been some interesting news lately about Pablo Picasso & one of his famous paintings, Blue Room. In this painting, Picasso painted a woman, but art experts have found another painting behind the surface painting. The image behind the woman is a portrait of a bearded man & experts are trying to figure out who the man was, along with many other mysterious & important details. It appears that Picasso used his canvass for more than one painting (not an uncommon practice with artists).
Perhaps this is also true with the greatest Artist of all, our Creator. Perhaps God has not only made the external masterpiece that we can all see on the outside of each other & maybe there’s also an internal masterpiece inside of us that God has also created. Let’s be careful that we don’t get stuck in looking at the outside of people, but let’s allow God to show us the masterpiece inside someone & not merely the external painting 🙂
I hear and see lots of situations that need miracles – including stuff in my own life. I was talking with God about this whole topic of needing miracles yesterday and I was expressing some of my own needs in my prayers. It was an interesting time of prayer because I had the distinct impression that God is alwaysdoing miracles, even when we’re unaware. Some of God’s miracles are small & we can easily overlook them because of the busy-ness and demands of everyday living. Some of God’s miracles are camouflaged and aren’t as obvious because they’re not very dramatic. Some of God’s miracles are so big that we altogether miss the experience because we can be so easily focused on something that’s relatively minor. And sometimes we miss God’s miracles because we get too focused on our methods rather than leaving the method stuff in God’s hands. So God is always doing miracles because that’s Who God is – miraculous!
Here are some miracles to consider:
strength to go through a difficult season
wisdom in areas where we are totally inept
provisions that come in unexpected ways
healing from bitterness, hurts, unforgiveness, etc
nautre – sunrises, sunsets, ocean tides, the immensity of the universe and the minuteness of a quark
This has been an interesting winter & I’m getting to notice things that I’ve not seen or felt before:
nests in trees that were covered by leaves in the summer,
branches of trees that reveal designs of strength & creativity with refreshing beauty,
birds who sing with unmuffled strength and much more.
I’m noticing that winter reveals a weakness and frailty that I often don’t perceive during the summer, vulnerable exposure. Maybe sometimes God leads us into winter seasons in our lives to increase our intimacy with God – exposing our vulnerable frailty so we can be all the more closer to God’s strength, truth and presence. Winter reveals what summer conceals 🙂
It seems to me that our nation has some very strong opinions about politics and the direction in which we want our leaders to go. Some of us are very happy about the election outcomes & some of us, not so much.
It seems to me that many of us have felt very passionate about this election & have expressed our opinions & thoughts quite strongly & even sometimes with animosity.
Regardless of this elections’ outcome, there are a few things that we need to maintain:
*lets be sure that we continue to pray for our leaders, whether we like or agree with them or not – 1Tim2:1-2
*live in peace with each other – 1 Thess 5:13. It’s all groovy to have disagreements but its not groovy to be disagreeable 🙂
This has been a pretty amazing trip so far with lots of different experiences & feelings. It’s been completely outrageous getting to have my family around, ministering, enjoying the culture with me & watching them fall in love with this fantastic country and people in their own unique ways. It’s interesting to watch them individually process the various experiences, challenges & opportunities. My kids were initially put off with the massive differences & now they seem pretty relaxed & almost casual about adjusting into this culture. My husband goes into his uber friendly & curious mode making all kinds of interesting observations & acquaintances.
I like to watch all of this because everyone has their own unique ways of adjusting & enjoying these experiences. They make the trip a much richer & diverse experience for me as their mom & wife.
So today, some of them have gone touring up to Siem Reap & one of my kids is staying with me to do some more work with Saving Moses. My thought on this is that while I’m COMPLETELY enjoying my family & our experiences, I also want to be engaged with I believe is disturbing to God’s heart – giving genuine love in places of indescribable horror & evil.
Needless to say, this trip is nothing less than amazing