Our hands do so much and they are unique to each person. I don’t just mean because of our hand lines or gen codes. They are unique i what they do. My nana had hands that were often found playing the organ, crocheting or holding a cup of hot tea. My dad’s hands are usually found doing the work I don’t want to do like cleaning the barn, they can also be found gripping a tennis raquet or an old book. Mom’s hands are always working, dishes, laundry, meals and not just for her own household; they are also happy holding a hot cup of tea or a good book, but are happiest in the dirt of the garden or trimming flowers. Poppa’s hands are always covered in dirt from working in his shop or with his welder, that’s when they aren’t hugging his Bible or typing up sermons. My dog’s paws are even unique to him, not many dog toes are found in kayaks and climbing through hay bales. Our hands speak of our personalities, hobbies and jobs. They speak of our passions and what we love and who we love- my hands are often covered in animal hair because they are often touching my dog or horse, so they say, ‘yep, she’s nuts about her fur family.’
Jesus’s hands told His story too, they still do. Hard and calloused from His work as a carpenter and His time tenting during His ministry. Yet gentle enough that a colt would let Him touch him. Strong enough to lift a hammer, soft enough to be pierced by a nail. If Jesus stood before you and held out His hand you would know it was Him instantly because no one else would have His scars. Funny how everyone in Heaven is healed, except Jesus; His wounds remain as a reminder to us of His passion, job, personality, what He loves and who He loves. We are all in His hands.
If you see flaws you know it’s real.
My mom and I were sitting in the airport waiting for her flight. There was a plant infront of us. It was nice and green and healthy and looked fake so I asked her if it was, (she used to be a florist). “Not at all, see the flaws? If a plant has flaws you know it’s real.” Then she went and moved the plant forward more because people kept banging into it and damaging it’s leaves.
We are so fake in this world. We use filters to fix the flaws in our photos, we use lies to fix the problems in our lives and then people bang into us thinking we can’t get hurt because of how perfect we are. Yet we are not perfect. Our lies don’t fix our problems, our filters can’t filter out pain or illness, then when people treat us roughly we damage even more and have to hide even deeper. It’s when we show our flaws and admit them that we can finally be seen as real. Our real-ness doesn’t always stop people from hurting us, in fact it might make them hurt us more; But when we give Jesus our whole lives, true and real and ask Him for help, He moves us out of danger by placing Himself between us and those who are out to get us. The nice thing about being real with Jesus is that a. He truly cares, and b. He can actually help.
When we admit to Jesus that ‘no, I’m not really okay. This hurts, this is a problem, I can’t cope anymore, I don’t want to live in this anymore.’ He guides us, aides us, and fights for us. Jesus loves us. So be real with Him and show Him your flaws and watch how He helps you. You might not see it right away, but someday you’ll see the moment you fell at His feet and He picked you up and carried you.
In the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, on the shores of Aslan’s country, the children find someone they don’t expect, a lamb. The gates to the country of the great lion are watched by a small, delicate animal of sacrifice.
But between them and the foot of the sky there was something so white on the green grass that even with their eagles eye they could hardly look at it. They came on and saw that it was a lamb. – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader chpt. 16 pg. 267/268
“There is a way into my country from all the worlds,” said the lamb; but as he spoke his snowy white flushed into Tawny gold and his size changed and he was Aslan himself towering above them and scattering light from his mane. Chpt 16. Pg. 269
I cried great tears when I read this. I knew the lamb would be Aslan, but that made it all even sweeter. Lewis never missed an inch, right down to an image almost akin to Revelation with the lamb waiting at the gate.
Of course the lion of the Narnia saga wouldn’t move me to cry so (I would still shed tears, just not such flowing tears) much if he were just another story, but because the author made him a rendition of Jesus I can’t help but long to be near him. Jesus is such a wonder. He’s a mighty lion and a slain lamb. It’s easy to miss the lamb while being caught up by the lion, but he’s just as much a part of our King. Remember, only the lamb is worthy to open the scroll. That terrifying and wonderful scroll. Lions are so big and powerful and lovely; lambs are small and soft and delicate, no one would choose a lamb to be the hero of a great tale, exept someone who knew we needed a pure sacrifice. Nothing is an accident in God’s plan, no one would sacrifice a lion or a warrior, not without great accolades and songs in his honor- but who notices a lamb? (Plus a lion would not be a perfect sacrifice.)
Yet isn’t that the whole mystery. Jesus is both. He’s a great warrior even if we miss that fact, and He’s a gentle lamb.
Don’t forget that Jesus is a warrior. He said He would return with the armies of the Lord, He’s not sitting back thinking swords look dangerous, He is King and Ruler and we owe Him honor. Someday, we will reach Heaven’s shores and lay our crowns at the feet of the lamb who is also a lion.
Kindness is such an odd thing. Sometimes you might do something thinking you are being kind yet the person you do it for is unhappy about it. Like the lost dog I found, and after searching for the owner and not finding him or her, brought the dog to the vet where they could scan his tattoo. They did so and then sent me (the vet doesn’t take lost pets to their homes anymore) to the address. The owner, snatched the dog away and skidded it inside his house and then informed me that he lets his dog just run loose and that’s normal. This is illegal in our town hence my thought that a roaming dog with no owner was a lost pet. You see, if my dog was out wandering I would want someone to find him and take him to our town office or vet office where they could call me, so in my eyes I was doing what I would want someone to do for me. He wasn’t mean, but he wasn’t happy, and boy did I feel guilty for ruining that poor dog’s only time to play outside, even though it had been chasing traffic and could have gotten hurt. You see, kindness is such an odd thing. Like someone who is always correcting people when they make mistakes. It seems rude at the time, but I’ve met people who think they are offering a kindness by not letting that person go on doing or saying that thing wrong, they are being helpful in their own eyes.
So. How do we know what to do to be kind? First. Think what Jesus would want you to do. Check your motive next. Then if those two things fall into place go forth and do what you can. Sometimes what you think is kind may be a hinderance to the person receiving your effort, but theres nothing you can do about that. Just do your best to be the best example of Jesus you can be. Everything else is out of your hands.
“Help her to know that the world is not a safe or nice place just because Jesus came, but that we still need His grace.”
Tonight I found a video of my Grandfather and Grandmother praying over right after I was born. They said a lot of great and kind things, yet this stood out to me. It’s so terribly true. So many people come to know Jesus and think that by knowing Him the world will suddenly change into a nicer, better place. Then it doesn’t and they- like the seed that fell on the side of the road- lost their faith as soon as bad times came. We preach that Jesus will make everything better, and He does, but not in the way that most people understand. Like the Jewish people expecting the Messiah to over throw the Roman tyrany, we expect something that our carnal minds see, not what God actually has planned. When Jesus comes into our lives and changes things for the better it doesn’t mean that He changes the world around us, it means He changes us. Sometimes God does something crazy and fixes every problem and cures every illness, but many times He doesn’t. Many times He changes our outlook, our plan, sometimes even our friends circle changes to help us where we are in that season. But the most important thing is that He Himself comes into our lives and His presence makes everything better. Jesus didn’t come to make the world a better place, He came to make us better people and to prepare us for His kingdom.
We still need His grace.
CS Lewis spoke of a place that you want to go to but can’t because it doesn’t exist. A place you long for with all your heart, but find yourself in desiderium. You grieve for it as something lost, yet you’ve never been there. Narnia was like that for Lewis. Yet as the author he was able to visit there in his mind. I found that, after reading Prince Caspian for 1000th time since my dad read to me when I was too young to read myself, I felt that same ache and sorrow I always did when the children went back to England- back to our world. It’s always so sad in my opinion. Our world is dark and evil. The White Witch hasn’t been slain yet here. Children aren’t permitted to just be kids anymore and adults are stuck into a mill of being what they are told to be and acting as the government demands us to act. It’s sad and depressing some days. I want to go to that world where the great Lion is king and evil is shown to be evil and is destroyed by the shaking of his Mane. Yet that world is fiction. Or is it? My Poppa was singing an old song the other day, one I forgotten about, and it reminded me of a joy that I had been missing lately by being caught up in the world around me, (that happens to us adults from time to time). Want to know what song it was? When we all get to Heaven.
Remember it? If not I recomend finding it on youtube. It goes:
‘ when we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.’ Now slap your knees and sing that one full throated!
We forget sometimes what Heaven is like. We don’t know how it will feel, taste or smell, but we do know that there is no sin, no sickness, no fear, hunger, shame or sorrow. Best of all, Jesus is in Heaven. This world feels so real right now that we feel desiderium for the past and for worlds that don’t exist. Yet Heaven is real. Heaven is not a faèry tale. Heaven is promissed to those who run the race and keep the faith. There is a place where evil has been seperated from God, a place where sin is not welcome or relevant, a place where the great Lion of Judah shakes His mane and all wickedness is destroyed, a place that I am unworthy to enter but by Jesus’s love, death and Resurrection, and my choice to leave my sins behind and follow Him, I am permitted to come and join in the feasting.
We long for a world other than this one because God programmed us to long for where He is. The made up realms are nice for now, but it’s the very real place of Heaven that is the true escape. We just have to hang on until the end and remember that we are strangers and aliens and not of this world, we are from God, we are Heaven bound.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
John 17:20-26 NIV
Right before He was arrested and about to be sent to His death, the last thing Jesus did was pray this prayer for us. Not thinking of Himself, right to the final hour, we were who was on His mind.
Lent day 22
We all know the Agape love of God that is spoken of and written on Church billboard signs; but what about the Agapao love of God?
Agape is a noun. We all know what a noun is. In fact I struggle with Agape being a noun because it doesn’t seem to fit the feeling the word offers. Yet Agapao is the verb and this word being a verb is exactly what we feel when God says He ‘Agapes’ us. Now, I’m not a scholar or a linguist so I won’t dive into these words too much because I know I will get in over my head. But here’s the “big idea” for the day: God’s love is an action. His love is never stagnant. God loves is with a love that chases is down and fights for us. There is an old poem called ‘the hound of Heaven’, it speaks of how God relentlessly pursues us even though we run from Him. That’s what His love is. It’s never giving up. Never battered down. Never beaten back. Always persuing us. God is waiting to come until the whole world hears, why? Because He doesn’t want a single soul to be lost so He bides His time until every ear has heard about Him, so that the ones left behind are there because they chose to be, not because they didn’t know any better. I bet it breaks His heart when people choose to not live for Him. He actively loves them. Actively pursues them. And actively holds all of us in His arms if we choose not to struggle away from Him.
God’s love is an action.
Lent day 20
This is funny. This was my last post three years ago before the first ever Covid lockdown in our area. We had a great church Survice, dad and I were working on the bathroom reno. Then the news it. I wonder if that’s the way it always is when something tragic happens. All is okay and normal and then it’s not. Praise God our family made it to 2023 and saw God do many wonderful things along the way. Tragedy happens in a moment, but so does joy. The world will never be what it was pre covid because the virus wasn’t the only tragedy that struck during those three years, and there’s no vaccine for the political crazyness or the way the Church has declained or the rights we lost as Christians without even knowing it was going to happen. You can’t wear a mask against the wars and disasters, or against the uprisings. But maybe during the darkness we saw Jesus shine brighter, bolder and as the sheep and the rams become seperated, maybe we are finally seeing what being a Christian is truly all about. In the end, Jesus is still King and Saviour.
Don’t gloat when your enemies fail.
This one is so hard. Yet, it’s in the Bible. When people are nasty, unloving, cruel, conceited and so on, it’s hard not to be happy when they fail. In fact, how you respond when they fail shows you if you love them or not. I don’t mean a group, orginization, or even government, that has wronged you failing and you being happy or relieved, I’m sure every person in the Allied Forces was thrilled to tears when enemy finally fell, there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean how we feel when an ondividual person fails. Do we smile? Do we cheer? Are we annoyed when they succeed? Then we don’t really love them.
I felt that recently when someone I have had trouble with in the past failed, I smiled and was glad. Then I felt rebuked (justly) by God for the next several hours. I knew ot was wrong to feel glad about that and now I see that I truly have problematic feelings toward that person that I need to deal with. But we all have someone we feel this way about from time to time. Some people we have to fight with ourselves to love every time we hear their name. Some people are hard to even tollerate. If Jesus didn’t tell us to love our enemies I’m positive we wouldn’t bother. But He knew that we needed to be different from the crowd.
This makes me think of a time when I was out walking my dog. We came across another dog and it started barking and snarling and flipping out at my dog, my dog started barking and snarling and flipping out in turn. I got down, put my hands on his back and said “be the bigger dog bud.” To my shock my dog turned around, looked at me and woofed. Everything in his face said ‘why should I be the bigger dog? he started it.’ Now I’m sure my dog didn’t understand what I had said, but he would have understood the corrective hand and my tone of voice and could have very easily felt like he shouldn’t be the one who needed to give in. How often does God have to pull back on our leads and tell us to be the better person? How often do we argue His words? How often do we ignore them out right?
Don’t gloat or say ‘I told you so’ when someone you can’t stand fails. No matter how much you want to. Because God will be pleased if you don’t and pleasing Him is what matters.