Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Little spaces...Big God

There really isn't a corner for it.  There isn't even an empty wall.  Every inch of space is being used...and being used well I might add.  It's pretty much an eyesore with the orange bucket around it to keep it from falling over.  It should probably be trimmed, but who has time for that? I can barely sweep the floor let alone trim a tree that doesn't necessarily belong in my house.  We all love it though.  Instead of calling it the Lenten Tree we've been calling it the Lenten Forest.  Julia and Caroline sat under it while I read Proverbs this morning.  It really doesn't fit, but I think that's the point.  We make room for practically everything don't we?  Think of Christmas.  How many of us completely rearrange our living room to make room for a tree?  A tree?  In the middle of our house, dangling with a bunch of Hallmark ornaments that have little or nothing to do with Jesus.  We completely restrung our tree this year because of a goofy string of lights (and because I wanted white NON LED lights to twinkle instead...Mike is a saint!).  We moved a chair, we made room because we love Christmas, because we love the God of Christmas.  I think America loves Christmas.  Well, at least the "Holidays".  Target starts hanging neon balls from it's ceiling well before Thanksgiving and I think we all start humming our favorite Christmas tunes long before December.  Then there's that other holiday that makes Christmas make sense.  What's it called again?  Um, there's a rabbit (for some reason) eggs (I have read a book on why that is) and there's something about a, empty AN EMPTY TOMB!  The greatest news.  The fact that Jesus was born is certainly worth a celebration...worth giving our lives to, but I have to say if He didn't follow through we'd all be in a mighty fine mess.  Christmas started it.  It was the 33 years of perfection and then the obedience unto death that sealed the deal.  He finished what He started and because of that we walk in the freedom that His obedience has afforded us.  So, the Lenten Forest that is making itself at home in my "dining room" is here to stay.  As we hang our paper ornaments on it's sparse branches it will remind us all that Jesus is always bigger than the space we try to cram Him into.  He's never going to fit nicely and be something neat enough to "pin."  He's big and bold and far surpasses anything that we could ever imagine.  So, if you don't celebrate the Lenten Season, that is certainly alright.  But may I please ask you to consider preparing your heart for that glorious celebration that sneaks up on us all?  Maybe you don't want a Lenten Forest...but you might just like it.  I run into it when I'm turning the corner and we have to find our way around it when we are trying to get to our Bible.  Isn't that it?  Isn't that the picture?  That Christ would be such a part of our life that no one would be able to move around us without bumping into Him.  That all of our spaces would be filled with reminders that He is alive and so are we!  That there are those who don't know and as we meditate on His grace our arms would stretch to the dark corners and that we would become a Lenten Forest as we follow Him.  Our limbs heavy with good news and reminders of the plan that always was.  That we would be unavoidable and bigger than any space...only because of Him.  Only ever and always because of Him.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Her eyes lit up when she heard his voice.  "Da-ddy."  Then she mumbled a little something special and then I stole the phone back.  "Oh my word!  Did you hear that?"  "Yes," was the smitten response on the other end.  Little Caroline is about the cutest thing going these days.  She doesn't eat much that grows on trees or from the ground, but we do what we can.  She wanders around pointing and smiling and most everyone complies. I have told them that they must stop or she'll be ruined!!!  But the point of this post...she didn't see his face...she merely knows his voice.

(I wish the dog would stop barking.) When I saw her face light up like that my own heart was reminded of what it's like to know someone's voice.  I know my Dad's voice, and Gary's voice (my step-dad).  They don't typically need to tell me they are the ones speaking to me.  You know what else?  I love to hear them say my name.  Dad calls me Mih-Al or Mih Weh-ner. (I bet you have no idea what the mih or weh sound should's the best I can do)  I know their voice and they know mine.  It's only natural.  What about my other Father?  The One that I haven't yet stood face to face with.  Do I know His voice?  I'd like to think so, but there are times when I question if it's me or Him.  Perhaps the reason Caroline knows Mike's voice is because he has been talking to her since before he saw her face.  He set himself apart by how he pursues her.  He initiates.  He calls her by the name that he gave her.  She can't help but to know his voice.  The same really is true about our own Father.  He has been pursuing us.  He initiates to us.  He calls us by the name He gave us: Redeemed.  We know Him because He knew us first.  It's just that simple.

Isaiah 43:1 - But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!

So, now, enjoy the relationship that He has forged.  Join me as I struggle to sit still long enough to hear Him say my name, and hopefully respond with a, "Yes, Daddy."