Image can be such a tricky concept. What we perceive our own image to be and how we see others. People are paid big bucks to work on the image of celebrities and politicians. Obviously I don’t run in the kind of crowd where I have people to groom my image for me, but still I have been given some direction for what my image is.
Gen 1:27 (NLT) So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself, male and female he created them
I have to say this concept can twist my mind in amazing ways. My image is not about how I look, how I dress, what I can say or who I am seen with. My image is about love, righteousness, truthful, joyful, trust, patience and the list goes on.
How screwed up can we possibly get when we lower our eyes to compare ourselves with one another, instead of looking into the mirror of the one who made us? What I behold I will become and let me tell you, I’m not looking at today’s flavor of the month. I am setting my eyes on the very one who created beauty and understands what my image is to be.
“I want you now and tomorrow won’t do, there’s a yearning inside and it’s showing through”….from a song I liked years ago that stuck in my brain. The sentiment is still the same but my directive target is now heart based upon the one who has always been calling me.
We all ache so desperately for the desires and longings within our hearts. I have been examining my own heart “aches” from past and present. I can honestly tell you some of what I desired could not have been more pathetic. Shall I confess? House…money…yep, even a nice ride at one time! Higher up on my list of wants was “high power job” which only meant authority and position to be recognized in this world.
My current yearning is still just as desperate as the song I remember from back in the day, only now it’s for something “real”. I long for the eternal answer, the eternal dream! I want the promise of Jesus….
A header in one of the books I was flipping through tonight was, “when we practice real love”. It caught my attention because of the word practice. I can walk in real love in any given hour or situation simply by acting upon what’s in my heart. Being consistent in this however can be a whole other ballgame.
Shall we talk about a mood or inconvenience? These are times when walking in real love is not always my first response. It’s now I can appreciate the practice of doing so. When we practice, we begin to exercise what’s in our heart so it comes naturally to us, and we no longer give way to mood or other factors.
The picture I was sent on my phone showed the tiniest little girl as she lay upon her mother’s chest. You could see her breathing tubes and i.v. still hooked up to her frail little body. It was touching to see her lay so still, listening to the heartbeat of her mother.
Being chosen to participate in this life story wrenches my heart and leaves me in awe of my heavenly Father’s ways. This was a mother who fought for her child’s life against all odds. She had been pressured over and over again to abort her daughter. Despite the obviously difficult medical decisions, my friend chose to put the odds in God’s hands. As the story unfolds, this little girl has lived weeks beyond what she was given as predicted time for by doctors. She continues to grow.
I look forward to seeing her 1 year photo and the many to follow.
There are days I just want to lay on the carpet feeling the softness against my cheek; a tender moment just being quiet to listen. So much around me is constant noise I can’t always hear the voice my ears desire to hear speak. It’s time to turn off the phones, the computers and the distractions. Now is the time I must take to pay attention to what’s really important.
A fool lets it all hang out, a sage quietly mulls it over. Proverbs 29:11 (The Message)
Finding great treasures of visual stimulus fires up imagination and question centers in my brain. Old barns or abandoned houses are a favorite wonder to me. When I see one of these out in an untended field I can’t help but ask “who did that house or barn belong to?” and of course, “who does it belong to today?” I wonder because the building sits on a piece of land someone holds a title to, yet they have not been able to do more then let a home or barn come to a place of disarray and a beginning of ruins.
How many of us today own treasures and let them come to be dilapidated ruins? I know I only mentioned barns or houses, but how about those more precious things; our families, our lives, our hopes, our dreams, our destiny, our salvation?
You ever have a conversation where someone steps upon a landmine in your history of life? They didn’t mean to but hey, that’s just your damage detail right? War torn country for sure! Somewhere in your discussion they have tapped into something painful you feel from your past. In these moments I have to hope they don’t realize what they’ve done. I put myself in check not to be outwardly wounded or offended.
My mind doesn’t always shut down when I want it to about such things. I find myself wondering if I am such an open book that anyone could read the personal chapters written about me by others? I only wonder because I sometimes feel I have x-ray vision into the soul of those who have been hurt. What I don’t have vision for are details of the hurts. I am grateful not to know details actually, it helps me focus on compassion.
As a wounded soul being healed, my desire is to understand the needs of another soul in pain and come alongside them in support and love. I may have to carry first aid supplies, just in case I accidentally step on one of their landmines. I need to be prepared for the unknown. The best way I know, is to not rely on myself, but to pray for my heavenly Father’s mercy and grace He gives so abundantly.
I will draw closer to the very one who seeks my death so that I may live in fullness. I long to die to everything I ever thought I wanted. Let my hands grab hold of the better things. Let me leave behind emptiness, confusion, and vanity. May I know the joy of humbleness, the peace of living not for myself. Let my eyes see the fires lit in others I am meant to serve when I pour out all of myself as an offering of love. It is time to fully lay down my life so that I may know the greatest of loves.
My downtime can be sweet when I really take time to be “in the moment” for what I enjoy. Last week I wandered the famous attraction of Pier 39 in San Francisco although I am not a fan of crowdedness. This was a great place to forget the aspect of “me” and simply enjoy my surroundings of people living in the moment too. A tangible presence of excitement, expectation and wonder filled the atmosphere.
While I enjoyed a gifted musician sharing his songs, the scents of wonderful flavors permeated my senses, and I longed to taste some of these morsels. Although there were plenty of “quickie” food joints, my mood was low key. I chose an Italian restaurant closer to the end of the pier on the second level. It didn’t drip snob, but still offered white cloth napkins and atmosphere to feel pampered. The view also helped this be an easy choice. When the hostess took my request for “table of one” without blinking an eye, I knew I’d enjoy this place for my brief experience. Seating me at a small table, there was a chair on the other side, room for one more.
Tonight I listened to a talk about how the Lord’s table is like this. He is inviting us into a mighty banquet and He’s made sure there are seats for all who would come. My mind was drawn back to that empty seat across from me in that fine restaurant. My absolute desire at the time was not to have sat alone; I had truly wanted someone else sitting in the seat, enjoying the wonderful experience with me.
My heart is still the same. I never want to experience something so wonderful without others. I want everyone to join in this special banquet the Lord offers…