How to be where Jesus is….part 2

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I opened it up, and it pierced, as it always does. Pierces right down to the core, the place where darkness can be festering…pride, hoping in things other than the Savior, praise of men…

and I knew what I needed to do, and I wrestled with God over the piercing, for I want to be a voice for people like Patricia, but more importantly,

I want to be obedient.

So instead of a crazy story that Jesus led me into on Saturday night, I type out words far more important. And I take down words spoken by a mere person, and post words spoken by the Humble King.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them,

for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you (post no blog post),

as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.

Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

so that your giving may be in secret.

And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “

Matthew 6:1-4

How to really be where you really are.

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A husband deliriously ill.  A set of children who needed to get to school, who would have gotten there by that aforesaid husband, who now needed a wife to run the carpool and hunt down a doctor’s appointment.  The one year old is half eating-half finger painting oatmeal over kitchen table.  One kid is still deep in slumber, another having just stirred due to wetting the bed from such slumber. A quick dash out the door with school kids and oatmeal boy (now wiped up), hoping the groggy ones won’t reap typical destruction in the forty-five minute time it will take me to return. The trash is overflowing…sick husband can hardly lift his head, much less it. Oatmeal bowls towering precariously, oatmeal artwork crusting away on table, wet bedsheets, and the doctors calls all await my return.

The day planned for all the laundry and those extra chores, and three errands, and that appointment, and a hoped-for chance to exercise, that day that had been laid out in a mind distracted from the present to the future dreamings of “all she was going to get done”…… now that day rearranges to revolve around getting ill husband to a doctor, with three small kids in-tow.

During the drive-to-school- turned-Scripture-memory-time, we sang and resang the passage we’ve been working on. Until…until the looooong line of traffic was noticed.  Not in front of me, but rather to the left of me, the entire route that would take me back home, to a 4 and 3 year old under the care of a sleeping,  feverish, delirious husband. The questions and chatter from the kids in the car were tuned out. Suddenly mother was transported, transported to sitting in traffic, stressing about hurrying home, agonizing over how long it was taking. Shoulder’s tense, the priceless moments with chatty children are escaped, escaped into a stressful scenario not even reality.

And she was no longer present in the present.

Her mind carried her to a future, predicted, imagined moment not yet happening, or maybe never to happen.

“Whatever is true….think on these things.”  Philipians 4:8 
 
What is NOW is what is real. What is tangible. What is enjoyable and savorable. But this is not what I was living in.  I was living in the imagined stress, the conjured prediction that i would be sitting in traffic for an hour just to get back home again.  But it wasn’t real.  It wasn’t true. And the opposite of truth, are LIES. The hurry of my heart and mind, keep me there, bound by lies of anticipated future and unable to savor and receive the present.
Sitting in a car with children ripe for receiving attention and heart probing questions…THAT was real.
Getting time with the older ones without a whining three year old and a complaining-about-her-seatbelt four year old…THAT was true.
A chance to sing together, or laugh together, or tell a funny childhood story…THAT was a reality.
An opportunity to really ask questions about the passage of Scripture being memorized…THAT was truth.
But all those, they slipped by…I exchanged the truth for a lie (Romans 1) and meditated on the imagined annoyance of having to wait in miles of traffic while little kids and husband needed me.  Where I was, it wasn’t true, it wasn’t real. And those kind of lies bring death, and steal, and kill, for they are from the one, that ancient serpent, whose purpose is to do such.
It was a death of opportunity.
It was the stealing of my moments.
It killed my joy.
As what was REALLY happening, crystalized in my mind- what was real came into focus again.
And Mamma was present in the present again. So, long hugs were lingered over and heartfelt prayers poured. And life and courage and approval were spoken over, into those children instead of a hurried, “Bye, honey, have a good day!” so i could rush off to the anticipated reality that was not yet.
And He, gentle Teacher, and Loving Father gave me a picture, to lead me into worship and prayer.
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Under a sky like that, traffic time can be prayer time and therefore productive time. Joyous time. Time in the PRESENT.
And lo, and behold, that long line of cars had already begun to dissipate by the time my faithful minivan drove up to join the ranks of sitting.
All that worry, stress, and missing LIFE….all over a LIE.  Something that was not, nor ever would be TRUE.
…whatever is TRUE, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.   Phillipians 4:8
….and tonight, my husband played THIS for me….an expression of the same heart lesson, much more poetically communicated….

From the Mouths of Babes…

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No request is too small, with a Savior that put human skin on.  For the God-man who himself had to be potty-trained at one point, a busy Mamma’s and a curly headed three year old’s  askings for help is not too trivial.  Simple requests for remembering to “go potty in the big potty” are not beyond His scope of influence.  And those requests were answered, in a week’s time.  Much to that busy Mamma’s thankfulness….and relief.

And in the mean time, curly headed Benjamin said some pretty funny things.

Like, when we were finishing our business in the bathroom before Daddy was going to pick us up to go somewhere.

“Hurry, Benjamin!  I just heard Daddy pull up!”

“Moooommmyyyy! You so silly! Daddy not wear pull-ups!! Daddy wear unduwahr!”

And, when we were past the pull-up stage and he marches out in his oh-so-fine superhero underwear…and says matter of factly.

“I Superman. I ha Superman unduwahr.”

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And then, today….I’m in an important meeting and I get a text from the nursery worker…

“Did you know that Benjamin doesn’t have underwear on?  We’re going to put a pull up on him, if thats OK…”

Sigh.

You win some.

And you lose some.

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Seriously, Mom? You’re gonna talk about my potty training on the internet?!?

Lord, I want to see!

He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more,

“Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him,

“What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, I want to see!”, he replied.

Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”  Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.

(Luke 38:40-42)

And I also call out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

As the diapers needs changing, the bathwater is overflowing, lasagna is still smeared over the kitchen floor, dishes are piled high, while the clean clothes are piled higher on the beds that need to soon be gotten into. The girls are nit-picking at each other, and a son is in tears over a Lego castle recently destroyed by one of the smaller sons….

He asks,

“What do you want me to do for you?”

I could tell him I want a personal maid, and perfect children, and a nice long vacation,

but instead, I cry,

“Lord! I want to see!

I want to see past all the work that these little people create, to the wonder of their little personhood.

I want to see the little struggles they have that are nuisances to my getting dinner on the table, as opportunities to engage in their world.

I want to see each as an individual, rather than a collective herd of noise and need.

I want to see, really see into their eyes, rather than a blur of tops of their heads as I bark orders over them.

Lord, I want to see!

I want to see each moment as a chance to REALLY be HERE, rather than view each moment as a means to the ever-elusive, and never-attained “there” where all the work is done, and the house is tidy, and the kids are calm and I can finally be content.

I want to see, really see, each person I encounter at the check out line, the grocery store, or neighborhood park as a soul, that will only be satisfied in knowing the Living Water, Jesus.

I want to see these neighborhood kids, not as increases in decibels, mouths to feed, and wear and tear on our house, but as little disciples that get to experience the reality of Christ in our home, and the feeding that happens when we feast on his Word.

I want to see my husband as the one I get to be a helpmate for, rather than just another set of adult hands to help me deal with this chaos called KIDS.

I want to see my Maker’s creativity in the fall foliage, the brilliant sun streams through the trees, the call of the owl, and the rhythm of the crickets song, rather than rush right past it all, just as thankless as if I were blind and deaf.

Lord, I want to see!

And often it’s the noise, not the visual that causes the blindness.

The internal noise, the head noise, the to-do list rattling off in my brain, the worry over an upcoming situation, the self-degrading inner talk over the failures of the day.

Its the noise that keeps me blind.

“Lord, I want to see!”  the blind man told him.

“Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”

And the cure is in the receiving. The cure is in the faith that it takes to be still enough to receive.

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it. (Isaiah 30:15)

Its in sitting before Jesus’ feet, its in seeping in His Word, its in being still and knowing that He is God, its in the seemingly-not-so-productive act of worshipping Him for His Character.

And right there, in Isaiah, and then again in Luke, I see I can choose my blindness.

He offers me sight, He offers me salvation. He offers me strength.

but if I don’t take the time, this moment, to be still enough to receive it, I declare that I “will have none of it”.

May it not be so.

Jesus!

Son of David, have mercy on me!

Lord, I want to see!

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