Saturday, November 29, 2014

Choosing Where to Dwell

"One person had minor injuries after hitting a culvert in an accident on Cliff Avenue, south of 77th Street."

That's how "IT" got described in the Argus Leader.  Nineteen words.

I am thankful "IT" only amounted to nineteen words.  "IT" could have amounted to many more words in an entirely different section of the newspaper.

I choose not to dwell on that. I choose, instead, to dwell on giving thanks for a God whose hand of protection extended over us at 8:25 on Wednesday, November 26.

Us.  My baby and I.  My baby who won't remember a single thing about "IT".  Who has not one scratch.  Not one bruise.  Not even a sore muscle from being whipped around.  He didn't even have a shard of glass on him from the blown out window.

I choose to dwell on giving thanks for a God who brought along a calm and loving good Samaritan.  Who calmed my baby when I could not get out of the car.  Who warmed him up and then showed me his picture so I could know he was really okay.  Who summoned my dearly beloved.

I choose to dwell on giving thanks for a God who swipped our van into a ditch and culvert instead of an oncoming car.  Who allowed sore muscles and pretty purple bruises instead of surgery, casts, or coffins.

A split second was all it took.  A fishtail followed by panic followed by a scream.  But still I choose to dwell on giving thanks for a God who knew it was happening, who knows the outcome, and who knows me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dear Elijah: A heart like yours

Oh, boy!  You turned 9 this week.  Nine!  How can that be, Elijah?  I won't bore you here with the long, dramatic version of your birth that I regale you with every year.  You've started to roll your eyes at my dramatics.  {Is that something that happens when you are nine?}  I just wanted you to know something. 

You have a great heart!  I think the thing that cemented my suspicion was the first time I witnessed you give sacrificially.  Totally unprompted.  Someone had come to see Dad and had brought their son along to play at our home on 131st Street.  Before he left, he raced back to your room with a book you wanted him to have.  You presented it with a simple, "I want you to have this."

Your giving has not waned.  Once you started gathering money from various birthdays and holidays Dad started you on the road to tithing and saving.  10% was the minimum but you always gave the most to the tithing section.  Your little heart hurt for other children who are in need so you made a gift to Children's Hunger Fund. 

We celebrated your birthday on Wednesday.  There was not much pomp or circumstance about it but the money from relatives poured in.  On Sunday you had a grand plan to buy some Pokemon cards.  What you wanted would take most of your money.  During church you saw David and Mrs. Hill.  You've come to really like them and their desire to obey God by building a school in South Sudan.  Suddenly, during church you leaned over and said, "I want to give them some of my birthday money so they can help the people in Sudan."  I have to confess I had a hard time holding it together for the rest of the service.

I love your heart, buddy.  You have a heart like His.  A heart that cries for the orphan.  A heart that yearns to help and lift the spirits of the downcast.  You teach me a whole lot about loving people and about giving sacrificially. 

You are my sunshine and my joy.  I love you and am so proud of the man you are growing into.
With Joy,