“what’s that racket?” you asked,
As I flung open the doors
To the sunroom.
All around me countless birds sang!
Feeling the warmth of an almost spring day,
I heard “too cold!”
Basking in the radiance
Of the morning sun streaming
From a cloudless sky,
I heard you closing the blinds
“too much glare!”
My smile faded a bit
As I knew we were together,
Yet in vastly different placed.
By Martha L Shaw – © 2-17-2014
Life seems beyond belief.
That was yesterday.
It was a very bad day,
One of many . . .
I cried out.
You sent one of your own
To be your hands,
To touch my hands
And my heart.
I do not understand the pain I feel
But still I sing and rejoice
For you are closer to me than ever
And your love for me is so real
As is my love for you.
By Martha L Shaw – © 4-3-2013
In Genesis 37 we learn of Joseph, the pride and joy of his father Israel. I thought of this earlier today as I lay in my bed on a beautiful spring day with my foot elevated and in pain and wondering what to do. Without sufficient financial provision nor insurance, injuries and illness presents unique challenges. As I lay there trying to focus on something other than all the “I should be” and “Oh, I wish I was up to” in my life, I tried to meditate and pray and laying down to elevate my l.eg was making staying awake difficult particularly since sleep at night has been difficult. I found my mind interfering with my spirit and thoughts of “why” and “how” kept slipping through. Then, however, I looked at the chair by my desk. Slung over the chair was a jacket I picked up at a delightful church run thrift shop. It is satin with lots of bright colors. It makes me think of stained glass windows and I do love them so.
Today, though, my thoughts turned to Joseph. You see, like many people, some parts of my life seemed to go great and others seemed unexpectedly disappointing. “But I did all the right things, so why” filtered through my mind. Today, as I caught a glimpse of my jacket, I was reminded of Joseph. Seemingly much-loved, but we know what young Joseph, his father’s much-loved baby boy, experienced. For, this son of privilege experienced much pain at the hand of his own brothers. Surely deep down he must have been tempted by thoughts of “but why me” and “don’t you love me?” and “this hurts” and “surely I was made for more than this” yet his life went from his father’s love to something very different, didn’t it?
He went through a time of darkness and pain yes, but when he accepted this and kept his eyes on the tiny speck of light, the speck grew, didn’t it? His trust and faith in his father God lightened his load, healed his pain, and he was blessed and used by his father God in ways which brought the Father’s blessings to many. The things in his life likely were not at all what he’d expected and not necessarily what he wanted, but his faith carried him and the Lord’s plan was AMAZING.
I don’t understand what’s going on with me, not entirely. It sometimes hurts and is sometimes scary, but unexpected joy erupts and I am reminded of the hope I have in the Lord. In my life there have been many times in which my wants went unfulfilled and yet it was wonderful because the Lord’s plan is always best. He’s working on His plan for me right now. The pain will pass. I seek to grow in Him, to listen to Him, and to follow. Fear comes but it need not stop me. My trust in Him means walking, even limping, in fear. When I do, He calms my fear and I am blessed. Today, I was reminded of His love by a $2.00 jacket from a thrift store.
As I walk in pain to a long three days in a low paying and physically brutal job, I needed an encouraging word to lift me up. The Lord put this one in front of me. Thank you, Jesus, for you immeasurable love.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for theLord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Mom is watching a television game show and remarked “look at that fat slob! . . . and that long straight hair! What a mess she is!” I have to admit, though her words were directed toward a television set and not me I still felt hurt by her words. We are all unique . . . fat, thin, tall, short, curly hair, straight, very long, very short, bangs, pony tail . . . the list could go on, but as she still rants near where I now sit typing I hear “ick, what a mess! That hair” and I see the face Mom is making. The truth is, she knows nothing of this woman’s story. I care little for the hair style choices of those who walk the earth with me, I’m thinking . . . This game show contestant is by appearance clean and neat and appropriately dressed and is playing the game as well as the others in the game. But is life a game show?
I keep picking up newspapers, clicking websites, and hearing news on television, internet streaming, radio and so forth about breakups in relationships. Which newsworthy couple has split, which politician has been seen smiling with “someone else,” the latest shooting at a school, a residential neighborhood, a restaurant or mall. Then, of course, there are the constant broadcasts about “problems” in the church. I guess it’s not news to speak of all the healthy relationship, all the malls which do business well, provide good customer service, contribute to the community . . . all the churches who are strong, following Christ, and united as His body. Oh, just heard the words “look at THAT hair.” This truly isn’t about Mom. For Mom is all of us. No, we don’t all spend 30 minutes complaining non-stop about a person on a show. I admit, I hear this each time she watches this show and she lives with me, so YES I’m tired of it and it bothers me each time I hear the ranting. Again, this isn’t about Mom. What I find myself wondering is two things. If the “news” broadcasts spoke of all the good in the world, would any of us watch? If one grumpy elderly woman who is yelling at the television (as many of us do, especially during football season) can sadden me and somehow make me feel the pain the woman on the screen will never know of, the real question? Since we know without question that Jesus hurts when we hurt, how often during each day of my life have I inflicted pain on Him? It is Lent and this is a time of much contemplation, but especially of His death on a tree so that my sins can be forgiven. Haven’t we caused Him enough pain? Haven’t I?
A man walked up to me at a fast food place the other day. He looked nothing like “me” and while I smiled, I caught myself noticing his clothing, his uncombed hair . . . he walked close to me and stopped. I glanced at him and he said “wow, that’s a beautiful crucifix you’re wearing! You have a blessed day, M ‘am.” As I write this, I am thinking that on Wednesday of this week, Jesus walked up to me and blessed me. He had messy hair and wrinkled clothes , poor posture and ate a .99 cent hamburger for His lunch, and His Father God loves Him so very much! He loves this flawed human too, and He wants you to know of His great love for you. He just told me to remind you that He loves each one of you so much that He was willing to die a brutal death for you and for me.
Greetings friends! I thank you so much for your faith, your continued prayer support for Mom, Me, and for others I’ve seeked your support for. The update on Alan reflects some encouragement yet we need to keep those prayers heading up. This wonderful man of God is suffering from pain in his back, his hip, and his knees daily, often in tummy as well. A recent blood test and physical find him in good health, yet there seems to be little the medical profession can do to relieve him of the pain which prevents him from leading the life he was anointed to live for Jesus.
Please pray for his total healing and for him to be placed, if the Lord desires it, in the correct hands for healing should the Lord choose to use medical professionals for His purposes. Please pray as well for Alan to know the Lord’s hand in this and to feel the Lord’s joy and peace. Please pray, as well, for his wife Erica since we all know how the struggles of one we love can weigh heavily on us.
Please pray as well that during this time of healing Alan will continue to be able to serve the Lord in ministry in the ways of the Lord’s own choosing and that Alan will know His hand is upon him.