Don’t get blinded by “sameness” when you are surrounded by beauty which you are overlooking! Your ordinary life can be EXTRAORDINARY if your heart is willing! Take the challenge! To rebuild your mundane existence, open the eyes of your heart!
It amazes me when Christians claim healing and miracles “were back then”and not now! THEY HAPPEN EVERY DAY and to you and me, yet we get caught up in our “if onlys” and miss them. In this Easter season as we celebrate our Lord dying on a tree and rising to life again,I can think of 2 miracles in my life involving trees.
On the day of Christmas eve in what was then my first home I got up and before coffee headed to the front steps for the newspaper. Bending to pick it up, in my half asleep stupor, it came to mind that the sun seemed too bright. I stood up and realized the huge oak tree next to my driveway had fallen during the night . . . I slept through it not hearing the snap, crash, crunch . . . and my home was untouched.
A couple of years ago, in a different home, I was awakened by a loud BOOM in the night and in the dark saw little but by day realized a large portion of a tree behind my house fell missing damaging my home by ONE INCH!
Miracles happen folks! Sometimes much smaller than trees and other times MUCH LARGER but good gifts come in all sizes! Take notice and be thankful.
What a thought-provoking topic! My immediate reaction was, quite likely, not what most would expect. You see, my life, my lifestyle, my home, my finances, my vocation, my faith, and ultimately my heart has changed greatly in the fairly recent past. Change is good. Change is growth. Change can be scary, especially when one no longer fits the mold of familiarity that friends and family have grown accustomed to. Suddenly, this land I’ve been in for so long has become a strange land. Suddenly, I am a stranger to myself . . . or expressed more clearly, I have become my true self. What do I like best? Well, the food . . . I’m eating a mostly vegetarian diet and that’s good. People watching is fun but sometimes frustrating. People expect me to be the easily molded one I allowed myself to be in the past . . . architecture! That might be it! My favorite, that is!
What is architecture? When I think of that word, I envision two things. First, I see a framework from which a structure grows, and secondly I see changes made to change a weak structure into a strong one. Yes! In this strange land, I find the study of architecture the most profoundly interesting. The nucleus of what is Martha Shaw is unchanged yet fear, conformity, and being downright and entirely too sensible has led to so much external remodeling and redecorating that what I was originally meant to be . . . my purpose and the plan for my life which was set in place long before I was born . . . was not visible until fairly recently. The Great Architect is still doing a good work in me and the project is far from finished. It might take an eternity! That’s fine with me!
Complete the following: Finish this sentence: “When I look in the mirror, I . . . “
My answer? I saw the need to change my attitude!
Did you ever find someone in your life really “pushes your buttons” so to speak? You know what I mean:
Do you, in your secret heart, find that you cannot ignore this person? Perhaps, you tell yourself they are distracting? Tiresome? Annoying? Do you argue with him/her to try to set them straight? Get them to look at things your way?
Look in the mirror:
I don’t like being the one to have to tell you this, but it might be that the reason they BUG you so is that they are reflecting your attitude back at you! That’s what I saw in my mirror!
Don’t blame or shame . . . because if you do, you’re acting the SAME way! Not saying we do not ever need to share our concerns, problems, or challenges, but sharing and ranting aren’t the same thing.
My old driving instructor said “where you look is where you’ll head” and I couldn’t STAND IT when he said that but in life when I look down, that’s where I wind up yet when I look UP things brighten, hope comes, impossible becomes simple . . . because I hand it off to the Lord. He doesn’t want us to carry more than our share! He seeks to be our personal Lord and Savior and we are to reflect Him. Look in the mirror. What do you see?
(Fictionalization based on the true character of my late father- this COULD really have happened)
Dad could fix anything that needed fixing from decapitated dolls to his daughter’s broken heart. Though he’s been gone for many, many years, I still believe this. So, picture the scene: we were on an errand, the details of which are unimportant but for one or two. We entered a big building in the city. It had too many floors to count and too much gleaming high-tech “showy” stuff for my country boy father who knew what was truly important was much simpler than this “dang thing” which would surely break and cost “an arm and a leg” to fix.
Having said this, he and I got into the elevator to ascend to the 15th floor. As Dad’s heavy feet thumped on the floor on the way in, the elevator shook a bit, but we thought little of it. We pushed the “dang” button and Dad, always good-natured, shook his head and no doubt was already thinking of the ice cream stand on the back road which he’d insist we take to get home, not to mention the lake we’d pass en route and the bench we’d sit on while we ate our treats. It was his favorite way to run a 20 minute errand and thus such errands could take an hour or two or longer. You’ll soon understand why. A small seasonal and weather-beaten building with walk-up windows to get the ice cream, then a bench by the lake which no longer betrayed what color paint was used on it . . . pleasant thoughts suddenly and dramatically interrupted by a thunk, a squeak, and a screeching halt as the elevator stopped running. My Dad’s vocabulary at that moment made me glad he and I were its only passengers.
We both stood very still for a moment as we waited, wondered, and held onto the rail attached to the walls of the elevator. Nothing. Stillness. Silence. The realization of our being in a big building on a strangely quiet day suddenly came to mind in each of us, though we said not a word. Two deep breaths, mine and his . . .
Did I mention Dad could fix “darned near” anything? Didn’t bother him much if it was something he’d never seen before. He’d embark on the challenge anyway and usually succeed then sheepishly when asked how he’d done it, admit he’d never seen anything like it before but fiddled with it some . . . and so he did, but this time without his usually positive result. I was sitting on the floor by then so he joined me, good-naturedly mentioning that I’d have to “yank” him up from there when the time came. We were quiet for a time. I am not afraid of high places nor small enclosed ones . . . as a rule, but that being said our circumstances didn’t give me a feeling of peace. I was just staring at the wall and suddenly felt like I was being watched. I looked over at Dad who couldn’t fix this for me and saw him looking at me with such love in his eyes. He knew me so well and I’m sure my quiet didn’t fool him any. The quiet in our small temporary prison was broken with the words so etched in my heart that in telling this story, they bring tears to my eyes: “hey, did I ever tell you about . . . “ and on came story after story of his childhood, of his time in the Navy, of characters he’d met along the way in life . . . mostly familiar stories with a detail or two which changed in the retelling, but it didn’t matter to his daughter’s loving heart. I could always listen to these stories regardless of how many hours passed in the telling and retelling. I don’t know how long it took “them fellas” to fix the elevator, but I was kind of sorry they did. Love you, Daddy.
If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be, and why? If that seems too easy, try this one: who would you like to have spend a day as you and what do you hope they’d learn from the experience?
Wow, what an opportunity it would be to be able to spend an entire day as someone else. What to do? Whom to choose?
Ah, but alas for me it shall be none of these. Whom would I choose to be? Why? First things first. I choose Jesus Christ. No, not on the day of His birth in a smelly stable with animal dung, even if someone did bring me fancy perfume to help cover up the smell.
No, not at age 33 for as it is still the Easter season in the Christian church year, we know what happened then. I think perhaps at age 32 or so.
Why, you ask? Well, no I do not wish to turn water into wine. No, I think perhaps training up the 12 (soon to be 11) wouldn’t be my first choice for how to spend my last days . . . oh, that’s right. It took 3 years. No, my reason is more simple. You see, I find it hard sometimes to love as He loves, to forgive as He does, to see as He did and does, and to know our hearts – our real and authentic selves – even when they are wrapped in layers and layers of human weakness and flaws. If I could be Him for one day, surely it would make it a bit easier to reflect Him on others, even the ones I unfairly judge sometimes . . . yes, them too, if only I could really experience Him that deeply.
If I could be Him for just one day, perhaps it would be easier to walk in fear or even to let go of fear completely? Perhaps, if I could be Him for just one day, it would become simpler to say “yes, Lord” when He speaks and not hesitate so often? Perhaps it would be easier, if I could be Him for just one day, to walk where He walks even if I am sure I’m going to get lost . . . or to know, instead, that with Him I can never be lost?
If I could be Jesus for just one day, maybe it would be easier to be the real me that I was truly created to be! You see, if I could be someone else for just one day, I cannot imagine wanting to be any other than the one I love most, to be one with Him. Seamless. United. Consumed. All Consuming. Never to be apart. Even for just one day.
Hey, you know? With Jesus, I can be all that. I don’t have to pretend. It’s real. He’s real. He lives in me. I can do this! Wow! Join me?
Ah, challenges! We all face them. I can’t speak for you, but I often face them reluctantly. Not always. For example, this Daily Post Prompt Challenge is a challenge I both enjoy and strongly recommend your participation in. On the other hand, when nearly 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with an incurable eye disease, that was a challenge I feared. You see, I had just moved 900 miles from all that was familiar to begin a new life in a new state which in my heart is “God’s Country” for sure, just as your favorite destination likely is for you!
Reaching this point in my life was exciting for me. It was a true gift from God that I arrived when I did and landed where I did. Oh, the stories I will tell in other posts . . . but just months after my arrival as I anxiously seeked a full-time job, and did all the other settling in things, the added weight of facing a somewhat treatable but incurable eye disease? Ouch. My vision became weak and thus a costly trip to a retinologist without a job or health insurance led to a worrisome problem for economic reasons as well as for health reasons and finding constant treatments required made it more challenging still.
I am at this time without employment and have had only temporary positions of employment since the move but my faith was never shaken since the Lord in his infinite love has made it clear that He is in control and has a plan. My eyesight has improved greatly since my initial diagnosis, but has still been quite weak. However, two weeks ago, something remarkable happened. God’s will and His timing is perfect. I can’t say I always understand it right away, I have felt in my soul that I am at a point in my life where the spiritual season is about to change. I have wondered how, with sight still weak, this will work out.
Two weeks ago, one of my priests at church prayed for me for healing and other needs. It became immediately apparent that some healing had taken place. My pain and my strength of vision are both improved. My sight is much improved and seems to grow stronger by the day. My constant eye pain is gone completely. Many people believe that the miracles Jesus performed when He walked this earth are still happening today, but sadly many I have met do not agree. Well, my friends, I am living proof that in His way and in His time, He still heals today. It is just as though He was still here today in human form touching us with His human hand and saying, as He’s so often been quoted in the Bible “Be cured!”
Regarding this specific challenge: we were asked to turn to page 82 of the book nearest to us and to find the third complete sentence on the page and to incorporate it into a post. I was just given a book as a gift. The book, one I highly recommend, is called “Healing” by author Francis McNutt. The story I just related is true as you may know in part from other posts I’ve shared. What was the third sentence? “Be Cured!” I believe He wanted me to relate this story as I’ve just now done for a purpose and thus had me just now find the email which led to this post and that it is no coincidence that McNutt’s book was near. Praise Him with me, won’t you?