Saturday, February 27, 2010
A Visitor for Bear
One of my favorite times of the day is when we are piled up on our chair or couch with a stack of books around us. Most recently we were reading a book called, "A Visitor for Bear" written by Bonny Becker. The illustrations are beautifully done and the story is really sweet. My heart was convicted as I read it. I suppose sometimes I don't slow down enough for the Lord to show me my heart and it's tendencies, but this book stopped me.
There is a grumpy bear that doesn't care for visitors. He is so very against visitors that he has even nailed a sign to his door. There is, however, a little mouse. The mouse is small and gray and bright-eyed. The bear is furious that this mouse continues to completely ignore his disdain for visitors. The mouse keeps appearing and each time the bear chases him out, he goes one step further in keeping the mouse out. He firmly locks the door, boards the windows shut, stopped up the chimney and even plugged the drain in the tub. He did not want company! Eventually the mouse wears the bear down and he allows the mouse to stay for a bit of cheese and a cup of tea. Fair enough. As they share this small time the bear begins to open up, he begins sharing jokes and tricks. He begins to soften and enjoy the company. In fact, when it is time for the mouse to leave, he begs him to stay. What happened to the bear?
He was pursued. The mouse didn't care. The mouse didn't stop at a locked door or a boarded window. Even the stopped up tub didn't phase him. I loved it. I won't tell you anymore, because it really is a precious read, I will say that the change in bear challenged me. I wondered, "Lord, is there anyone that has locked their doors, sealed their chimney, or even stoppered their tub that needs a friend?" Is there someone, somewhere that has a joke to tell by a warm fire and no one to share it with? Is there someone who can do a headstand and no one is there to watch it? Who are they Lord? Who are they and where are they? Please let me see them. Please don't let me be afraid of their barred windows and locked doors.
You see, all of us lock the doors at some point. All of us stopper the tub hoping to keep someone, or something out. As Jesus pursued me...and continues to pursue me I have to pull those nails out of the boards one at a time. Each time a bit more sunlight shines through the window. A bit more daylight warms the cold areas of my heart where I would not allow someone. As He pursues me, I pray that I would be bold enough to pursue others. To ask how people are doing, and wait for a response. I pray that I would sit and listen to stories that I may have heard before. I pray that I wouldn't mock the lonely spirit that wanders into a conversation to which they were not included. I pray that my eyes would be open and aware...looking for the souls that are locked up tight. Perhaps there is a sign on their heart, "No Visitors Allowed." I pray that I would look past that sign, ignore it all together and let them know that I am not a visitor. Visitors come and leave quickly. No, I don't want to visit. I don't want someone to put their best face on and clean up because they know they are having a "visitor." I hope that God would make me into a person that is more than a visitor, something more like a friend.
How about you? Are you the bear? Shut up nice and tight in the safety of your own world, but lonely and longing for a friend to share your life with? Or are you the mouse? Small and gray and bright-eyed that just wants to share a bit of cheese and a cup of tea? I think we are all a little bit of both, perhaps we would all make wonderful friends.
"A friend loves at all times." Proverbs 17:17