I've heard it said we all see the world through a different lens and I imagine that is true; however, I believe there are times, when our flesh is willing, when we can see through the eyes of God and share His perspective. I had a moment of that yesterday and thankfully, so did my two eldest boys.
We spent the morning in Tampa at Metropolitan Ministries. MM has a Christmas offering, much like Toys to Tots, whereby needy families receive a Christmas meal and toys for their children. We had the blessing of serving in the Chapel for a morning shift with other members of our church. Anyone who so desired was able to fill out a prayer card and either place it in the box or sit with a member of the Chapel team for prayer.
Upon arrival, I started praying over cards already streaming the walls, just trying to get out of my flesh and into a prayerful place. Our pastor led the team of 9 in prayer, then prayed with my boys and I, as this was their first time serving in this way. I was particularly hopeful that my son, Bard and Book Devourer, would open his heart to this day, as he has been in serious need to serve others and, like most 13yo boys, take his mind off of himself.
It didn't take long for the people to come and within ten minutes, the perspective flowed. The first man has family in Haiti. If you remember, there was an earthquake there recently. Perspective -- I have all my family in tact, in America, the land of the free. I have shelter. I have running water. So much for any trickles of worry about my not-running-so-great van.
Next, another Haitan. She was in the earthquake and a mother in a family of 7. I could see the weariness cover her and I really did understand it. Sometimes, simply the volume of energy necessary to tend to a large family is tiresome, and that is on the easy days. When I told her I too had a family of 7 and that I felt her, that I knew what it meant to be tired, we prayed and she released. Tears flowing, I knew the Holy Spirit touched her, He gave me words to bring healing and through my own lessons of the past week and I was able to encourage her to lean on God's strength. It funny how we "know" something as head-knowledge, but when we live it, we experience it, there is power behind the message. That power is God's revelation -- God's strength. When we lean not on our own understanding, we are stronger. When we walk humbly in the strength of God, our testimony is a blessing to others because people recognize Real. People recognize hope in your eyes just as they recognize pride. Two women sitting together in prayer for the earthly thing that mattered most to them - family. Perspective. We are strongest when we are weak and humble before God, when He is our strength, when He holds us up.
The people came. The prayers were sent up. Amazingly, the spots the Lord has worked on in me this week, were exactly the spiritual truths I needed to serve those strangers. Strangers, yet brothers and sisters in Christ, praying and believing as One Body, serving One God, believing together that He loves us.
There came a point where I had to pause and just sit for a moment. I was overwhelmed. I believe at this moment, it was not an overwhelmed flesh or pity cry, but honestly, and to some this may sound strange, but honestly, I believe the Lord blessed me with a glimpse of what He sees; how much He loves us; and the sorrow He feels when our sin, when the sin of a fallen world, bring suffering to His people. I stood for a moment and weeped. Weeped for suffering. Weeped for loss. Weeped for the consequence of sin. Weeped for a hurting people that God simply waits to turn toward Him. Oh, how He loves us, and longs for us to turn toward Him. To recognize who He is, our Father, and how He loves us enough to have sent His son to die. Could you send your son to die? Could you even get to the top of the hill and lay down your Issac? God did through Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.
When the next group of people came forward, I had to get it together, so I entered the chapel and sloppily got through the next prayer. I asked the Lord to let me pull it together b/c I knew I needed to minister to others and the while the compassion never left my spirit, the tears stopped falling. It was a most remarkable experience. One I shall never forget. I believe for a brief few minutes, my spirit was in total agreement with the Holy Spirit and it changed me.
We returned to the church that afternoon and my boys helped me get toys and food ready for the families at my church. Since the afternoon was soon lost and it was nearly time to attend Wed. night bible study, we stayed on. The boys enjoyed their passtimes of reading and guitar playing and I piddled about helping our pastor with office duties. At the end of bible study, pastor asked those present who also attended Metropolitan Ministries to share their testimony. He let Bard go first. I was anxious to hear where he was. I had left him alone for the day, just allowing the Holy Spirit to work on him. (He's at the place in his life where I need to cut the cord and let him practice walking his faith without holding my hand. He is now accountable to God for his actions. This time is worthy of both celebration and tears). The words he spoke were beautiful to me, and encouraging as his mother. "We are always complaining about something. We don't have anything to complain about. Some of the people I prayed with had nothing. I mean nothing. We really have a lot to be thankful for. I prayed with these people and they walked away crying. It was amazing. It was cool." He seemed humble. He seemed touched that his prayers, a meager child's prayers (in his mind), were used by the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of grown folks. As his mother, I was pleased and grateful that all the things his father and I had talked to him about the evening before were shown to him through serving others; as his sister in Christ, I too was humbled and full of praise that a young man is learning the essence of servanthood and in doing so, receiving the blessings of our Father.
Rockin' Out Guitar Dude has a strong sense of family. Always has. Perhaps it's b/c he's the eldest of the five we have at home. In any case, he spoke of a family of 10 whose father was recently deported. He harped on a family being divided and how painful that is. He too said, "We have so much. We have no place to complain. We should be more grateful." Again, as a mother I was proud, but so humbled that there was no pride in me, only thankfulness that our Father not only gave me a glimpse on this day, but also shared His truth with my sons--His sons. Perspective. Perspective. Perspective.
It was a beautiful day. May God's Perspective move through your home this Advent season. It surely has done so in mine.
Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend
- I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.