Jumat, 25 Maret 2011

Little Blessings

Wes and I were on our way to the mall to grab some lunch and a Dairy Queen ice cream cone after church on Sunday.  We still haven't figured out the most direct angkot route to get there, so we went a little out of our way and had to walk more than was probably necessary, no big deal.  (Angkots are a form of public transportation.  They are vans with benches on the sides in the back.  There are lots and lots of different routes.  You just jump on and then tell them to stop when you want out.)  We were feeling pretty good about ourselves, because we actually understood some of the sermon and could at least come to the conclusion that like a banana tree, God has to "cut" at us to allow us to bear more fruit.  It also helped that we bought an Indonesian/English Bible, so we can actually find the passages and read them.


Anyways, we finally find an angkot going in the right direction.  We are hot, sweaty, tired, and ready for our Dairy Queen cone by this point.  As we hop into the van, I acknowledge the woman with her two kids who seem to be heading home from the market.  As we are stopped at a red light two little boys hop on, one with a ukulele and one with envelopes asking for money.  My heart breaks a little every time I see this, but especially this time.  The youngest boy, probably 6 but looks like he's only 4, has sandals on that are about 4 sizes too small for him.  Because of this a huge knot has formed where it rubs his foot wrong.  I couldn't stop the tears and my stomach started churning.  Part of me wanted to take the easy route and just put money in the envelope, but then I thought about who might actually get the money.  I knew the Spirit was leading me to do more, but what could I do?  And plus, I really wanted an ice cream cone.  As soon as I thought that I wanted to throw up at my selfishness.  Wes and I got off and I immediately asked if I could buy them some shoes.  They looked up at me with their eyes full of hunger, hunger for food, love, and the feeling of belonging, but didn't respond.  I thought maybe they only knew a tribal language, so I played charades with them until they understood.  We started walking towards a store, about a half mile walk.  They followed us, the older boy with his arm around the younger one the whole way protecting him, encouraging him.  We made it to a store and the younger one got some croc-like sandals with Spiderman on them, and he started to jump up and down clapping-the most life I had seen in him.  More tears.  The older one picked out some flip flops.  We stopped to get them some fruit and then we were on our way.

Can you tell how small and beat up his old shoes are?

I hated leaving them.  I wanted to know so much more about their lives, and tell them how much they are loved by the one who created them.  I've been pleading with God to give me another chance, and to give me more words.  Their faces will forever be imprinted in my mind.

God gave me such peace after this.  I am so glad I didn't ignore the Spirit moving like I have so many times before.  I'm so grateful that I was given another chance, that maybe this time I wouldn't let him down, maybe this time I will push myself, my fears, my insecurities away to trust what I know to be true:  That I am nothing, yet God chooses me to bring him glory.  That this life is not about me at all.  I am thankful to be reminded and humbled once again.

Please pray that no one takes those shoes away.

Selasa, 08 Maret 2011


Sometimes I yearn for something familiar.  Most of the time I can echo Paul's words and say that I am content wherever I am living.  It is truly by God's grace that I have been content living in all the various places He's sent me.  However, I have days, sometimes just hours, of longing for something familiar.  That's why once a week we order pizza or go get McDonald's (which by the way, tastes a lot better in foreign countries).  This happens when I get frustrated with my inability to really communicate with people, to tell them my heart.  Sure I can tell them my name, but that's about as deep as it gets.  Or when it takes an hour to do something that in the USA it would take five minutes, like washing clothes.  Usually I love this way of life, I don't think I am one to complain or even wish I had it easier, but sometimes I want something familiar.  While reading the Psalms I ran across this passage, "You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are FAMILIAR with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely."  This is from Psalm 139.  When I reflect on this passage I realize I don't need anything familiar. My God, the one who created the earth by His Word, and then came to dwell among us and then sacrificed Himself for my sins, and yours, and then defeated death by rising from it knows me... is familiar with me, with all of me. I take comfort in that today.  What are you taking comfort in today?