Monday, September 20, 2010

Walking on Water...

I saw this heron walk on water recently. It brought back to me the wonder of Peter walking to Jesus in the storm across the water of a lake, just as this heron was doing. Peter should not have been able to walk on water, and he couldn't, once he remembered that he shouldn't be able to. I don't really think this heron should have been able to walk on the lake water either, but it didn't know that, so on it he walked!

Madeleine L'Engle has written a wonderful book called Walking on Water. In it, she talks of flying as a child. I believe many people have that memory, including me. Not flying as in up in the sky with the birds, but doing things like 'floating' down a staircase without touching the stairs, and getting a swing to go as high as it could go, so that the chains buckled back on themselves, then jumping off and just floating effortlessly to the ground. I do remember doing those things. And I also remember that I could no longer do them when my older sister informed me that they were impossible to do. As I write this, I wonder how many of you will think I am crazy to admit such things as fact? But I read a lot, and I believe I am not alone in these childhood experiences. In her journal, my mother-in-law wrote of one of her childhood friends, who could get a swing going high enough that he would then jump off of it onto a second story window ledge of a building nearby. Then they would get his swing going high enough, and he would 'jump' back onto it.

When we go to the lake, I swing on the swings there. I swing very high, and I sometimes have the impulse to let go, and jump off like I did as a child. But now I know that if I did that, I would fall to the ground like lead, and would likely break something I don't really want broken.

Why is it that I can no longer do what I once did? Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “….if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Aha! Therein lies the answer. I believed I could do something that I no longer believe I can do.

According to Madeleine L'Engle, if we have enough faith, if we truly could believe we could do it, we could walk on water, as Peter and Jesus did. As the heron does.

So how many things in our lives are we not doing, because we don't believe we can do them? And why do we limit ourselves so much by our own disbelief? I don't really think I need to fly again, though wouldn't it be a wonder! And I probably don't need to walk on water. But there are a number of things that I probably do need to do; things that God perhaps even wants and expects me to do, that I 'just can't do.' My belief of my limitations limits me.

"Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A reminder....

As I was driving to church yesterday evening, this double rainbow was in front of me all the way. I didn't have my camera, but pulled into a driveway to take three shots with my iPhone, which I was able to piece together.

So all day today, I have been singing the childrens' song to myself, "When I see a rainbow, high in the sky, then I remember that God is nigh. When I see a rainbow or mountain or sea, then I remember that He cares for me!"

I just recently read the verse in Genesis that tells us that God put the rainbow in the sky as an occasional reminder that He loves us enough that, no matter what we have done to upset and offend Him (and we surely must be far worse now than people were in Jonah's time) He will not destroy us all with another flood.

Goodness! I think we need to see more rainbows! Or remind each other somehow that God is in control of our world. We all want to be in control. It seems that even Christians, and sometimes especially people who claim to be Christians, want to be in charge of fixing things the way they want them to be. We forget that, even if things are not the way we want them to be, God is still in control. We can do our best to make our little corner brighter, but to try to 'fix it' is not what God has called us to do.

How can burning copies of the Koran lift up God through our actions? How can expressing hatred to entire portions of the world be a way to share Christ's sacrifice and God's love with and for them? I am so saddened by acts of hatred perpetrated by those who claim to be followers of the One who came to live and die only to teach us to live in Love.

September 11th, 2001 was a very sad day for us all. I think, if we learn anything from it, it must be that we need to be more loving to one another, and to the world as a whole. Hatred begets hatred. Violence begets violence. Only unceasing Love can cure the saddened hearts of the world. This September 11th, remember in prayer those who lost loved ones on that day. And try to remember Who is still in charge. Look for more rainbows to remind you, if need be. You are loved; Pass it on...