Thursday, July 22, 2010
There is grief and loss in my family today. It is all I can think of, but I know of nothing to do to help, except that I am finding comfort in holding on to these scriptures, so I will share them with you.
Psalms 34:18 "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalms 27:13-14 "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received."
I am asking that you will pray for my sister and her family, who have lost their youngest son in a car accident. He was a young man of faith and he brought joy to their family. His loss is like a light gone out much too soon. I know he is just fine where he is now, but his family, especially my sister, will be devastated by this grief. Please pray for their comfort. Pray that they will be surrounded by those who will comfort them with Godly comfort, the only kind that can possibly heal such a loss. Pray that God will restore them to His abundant life after this time of grief. Pray that Satan will not use this time of grief to take advantage of them; they are all people of strong faith, so he will be watching for weakness. Pray that they will hold on tightly to God and to the comforters He surrounds them with, and especially to the One He has sent to fill their spirits with.
Thank you for your prayers on my family's behalf.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Matthew 10:16 warns: "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." I used to think those were opposites; serpents and doves. One is a predator and the other is prey. But that doesn't mean the prey need be stupid. I told you in a previous post about our resident doves moving house to keep away from the neighbors stalking cat. These are no dumb birds. Our neighborhood is filled with cats and owls, and we even saw a falcon in our front yard recently. But the doves have been here for a number of years, harmlessly yet wisely avoiding being prey.
I have been thinking this today, because I was targeted as the 'prey' by an internet Art Scammer recently. It never 'felt right' from the very beginning of the interaction, but I was willing to give the person the benefit of my doubt until I was sure she was not legitimate. I was not raised to be a suspicious person. I was raised by two people who are trusting of everyone, always expecting the best of them, and usually getting it. But, for some reason, I have a somewhat suspicious nature anyway. I do not automatically trust people; I expect them to earn my trust. I guess I have always seen the wolves that we have been sent out amidst. And I often feel that we sheep are quite outnumbered by them! The predatory wolves who would 'have at' we sheep are not an endangered species.
When I was a child, we learned a weekly Bible verse, which we had to say in front of the congregation on Sunday. One that stuck with me as much as any other was 1 Peter 5:8: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." The Bible told the truth, I knew, so that verse made a huge impact on me! It scared me to death to think there was a roaring lion out there, in disguise of course, wanting to eat me alive! Nightmare stuff, to be sure.
So when the lion comes knocking at my very studio door, it is hard for me to react as an innocent dove. I want to lash out. At the very least, I should use my little dove beak or my tiny sheep hooves to peck it's eyes out, shouldn't I? But I find that I really do not have the nature (nor the resources) to do that. I have been wise as a serpent; the scammer did not get anything from me. And yet I am as harmless, even as defenseless, as our doves. The beak and the hooves are not as mighty as one would like. There is nothing for me to do but to warn others. And to know that revenge and justice in this case is not in my hands.
I am grateful for the warnings, though, Matthew, Luke, and Peter. I've got my eyes on those wolves; my very wary snake eyes!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I have been plagued with chronic headaches (or the same one chronic headache) for the past several years. Sometimes I find that the ache in my right temple corresponds with a vague yearning feeling ... a need to be, do, or have more. It is not a yearning for material fulfillment; I certainly do not need more 'stuff' - though I often try to fulfill the yearning by buying a new book, magazine, or tube of paint. It is a spiritual yearning.
I can read the same yearning in the words of many authors; religious and secular, fiction and non-fiction. I hear it in the voices and words of many singer-songwriters. And I see it in great art; the work of Van Gogh comes to mind. When I see his work in a museum, I am almost always brought to tears by the yearning I see in his brushstrokes.
What are we all yearning for? What is it that we need so badly?
We need to express who we are. We yearn to be able to do that, especially those of us who are compelled by that yearning to create in some artistic arena. I remember when my oldest grand-daughter was a precocious 18 months old; she burst into a very loud rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" in a restaurant. Her mother asked her to be quieter, and she leaned over to her mother and said very earnestly, "But Mommy, I NEED to sing!" There are times when I, too, NEED to sing. And sometimes, to sing loudly.
For some reason, I also need to paint and weave tapestries and often to write. All of these things are things I do to try to fill that void, that yearning; to reach out towards God and towards the people He has put in my path.
Michael W. Smith sings that he is "desperate for" God. He yearns.
Today I am yearning. There is something empty that needs filling.
Dear Lord, open the floodgates and fill our yearning hearts and souls.