Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Seeing with new eyes

I've finished my morning reading, and I'm nearly finished with coffee. I have the taste of a blueberry bagel lingering on my tongue. The dishwasher and the ticking of clocks drown out the occasional drone of a dozer down at the end of the road. But none of it drowns out the song of birds, twittering in the woods.

My feet are terribly cold but my belly is coffee-warm.

I'm thinking about how glad I am that my sister-in-law has been writing to me. She's been having many deep, thoughtful questions, the kind that send me to the scripture for edifying verses. I've been able to look at what the Bible says that God wants of us - how to conduct ourselves - in a simpler light. I suppose trying to simplify it (as I can get rather wordy) for my replies has made me see how simple it really is. Cleared my head.

The whole 10 commandments, even, are really just two. Love God with every fiber of our being and love one another. (Matt. 22:36-40) As for keeping our bodies holy, just don't eat 3 manners of foods (which we didn't eat anyway) and to not be sexually immoral; fornicators. (Acts 15:29) This one is a hard one in American culture. That one is easy now too. Thankfully, God himself reached down and pricked my heart to set me right, even before I understood that I was being disobedient. He told me before I read it. I only wish I had understood sooner, but I'm sure the prostitutes that Jesus saved did too. But, he says that it's in past and forgiven and "sin no more." I look up to Him with such gratitude that I wonder if my face is glowing. I know my eyes are.

Now, the thing that I know I'm lacking in, that trait I can feel Him calling for more in me, are good works. To actually reach out beyond myself and bless others. Like to edify the saints, to feed the hungry, to reach the lost. As my heart swells with love for Christ, I find myself wanting to do his will. I had been comfortable to do His will as a wife, and mother, a friend. But then something happened...

It scared me at first. I remember it first happened when Son and I were shopping for his college stuff. In a clothing store that we had been in many times before. The pounding of the music and the t-shirts displayed - I suddenly saw them in a different light. I knew they were displeasing to God. I pondered why we were even in there. Then, I saw a young man. Actually, there were two of them, looking - dressed very much alike. But for some reason, I didn't see him as a person at all. I saw a soul. I found myself staring at him and then trying not to stare at him for fear of seeming like a weirdo. (After all, I was an obvious MOM in a store for the lost.) But, I suddenly realized... "is this how God sees us?" I saw all his features, his clothes, his skin, his hair, his stance, all as a drapery that could just easily be pulled away, like they do when they unveil works of art - the fabric soundlessly slipping off polished marble. I saw the work of art.

It was then I knew that God was showing me something marvelous. And asking of me, "speak to the lost. Tell this BEAUTIFUL work of art - work of my heart - that I love him, that I want him to know Me."

Just speak to him for Me.

But I looked away. I was like a deer caught in the headlights. It was all too new, too strange, and I was inexperienced. Doubt screamed in my heart. Surely, not me?!! I'm sure it looked like I was just a mom, browsing the store with my son. And that day, I'm ashamed to say, that's all I was.

But, it's happened to me again since then. Out of the blue, I'll see another soul. In a restaurant. The inmate helping to clear the brush on our roadway. At a party. On son's campus. It's almost as if I get tunnel-vision and suddenly their exterior melts away and what is left is a glowing resemblance of them - a beautiful vision. I feel compelled to speak to them. To tell them simply, "He loves you and is calling to you." What needs to be said afterwards, if anything, I have no idea. I get the feeling it will be one of those "let the Spirit speak" kind of deals.

It is a bit scary. I've always been hurt by rejection. But, how much more has He been hurt by rejection. I'm nothing special. I'm just His. And HE is special. And I find that more and more, I want to please Him. If He is showing me something then I want to do it. And I'm humbled to think He would do anything through me.

But wanting and doing can be two different things. So, I will try harder. Love more.

I want to hear "well done..."


annette and matt said...

Thank you for sharing that! I have found myself wondering at different times how I would react to that kind of situation as well. I pray you find strength through him and are able to spred his love. I pray some day, I will be strong enough to do the same.

love you,

MrsCatherine said...

This is the precious and dear Teresa I see! Knowing you...if you told someone that God loved them and spoke to you to say something to them...they would listen. I have sat and listened to you many times now and am in awe of how sweet and gentle your voice is. And in that gentleness you say things that others could not, dared not because you say them with that gentle and sweet heart of yorus! God has given you a definite gift Teresa!

xoxoxoxo Cat

The Tile Lady said...

This is beautiful. It touched me to the core this morning. I too have had personal inspiration to spiritual growth in recent weeks and months. My husband and I have been going through a difficult time in our lives. We have basically been homeless since my husband lost his job back in May. He has taken a temporary job for half the pay and this has been rough, staying with friends and relatives and trying to move toward getting settled into a more permanent situation, and a new home for us. I have prayed so hard to totally trust in the Lord for what lies ahead, and I have been reading a wonderful book The Holy Spirit, by Billy Graham, and also trying to memorize Bible verses. I would keep fretting, worrying, giving in to anger and despair....and finally a beautiful truth came to me. If we yield ourselves completely to the Lord, and ask Him to take away all the hinderances we have like anger, resentment, worry, disgust with someone who has done something that hurt us, etc etc then the Holy Spirit can fill us, and work through us, and use us. I have been praying for a sweet and gentle spirit, for a forgiving heart, and God has made a huge change in the way I look at things and react to people, and now I feel like He can truly use me. Plus, I know that as this sail on our boat, tearing in the winds of this storm in our lives, has to come down completely before God can erect a new, bigger sail and we can move on to the place he wishes us to be! So I have great contentment.

I have been longing to find something God could use me to do. I was a mother, and now a grandmother, and have cared for both child and grandchild and those are precious holy trusts! I am a wife and life partner to a wonderful man. But, I felt like there must be something more. And now I realize that there are many gifts, and as I have moved away from caring for my child and grandchild, I now care in part for my Dad and help to support my Mom emotionally through the trial they face. And I can be a good and loving caring friend and neighbor, and do what is needed for all whose lives cross mine. But, I also think God expects us to share His great gift with others, as you are saying. Why should be hoard such a precious treasure!!!! If it is truly the Spirit in us, then it will not be wasted. I think those moments are important, and God wants to use us in that way.

Thanks for sharing such an important post. And it stirred me to share this morning too! Sorry I am making such a long-winded comment! By the way, you have an award! Please stop by my blog and retrieve it, and pass it on! And, thank you for your wonderful sharing self! You have been a blessing to me, and I know to others.


tipper said...

Just a beautiful heartfelt post!!

Happy late Birthday to your beautiful daughter!!

Louise said...

A wonderful, God-inspired post my dear friend. We can all learn from this. May we all be open to the leading of our Lord. Why do we fear when He calls? That's a part of our nature He desires to change if we will allow Him to.
Bless you for sharing this.

Judy said...

I enjoyed reading your post very much and your thoughts about ways he is using you. You inspire me with your words.