Wednesday, December 31, 2008
As the end of the holiday season draws near and the new year begins I remind myself of all the people, events, treasures and trials that impacted me. In fact, I can recall one moment in particular that changed my life right before my eyes. It happened while I was visiting a detention center for young men one week before Christmas. A few people from my bible study group and I had gotten together to sing Christmas carols and talk with them. The end of the program was coming to a close but I kept feeling something tugging at my heart. I needed to do more than just sing with them. I needed to pray and speak a word into their heart. At first the fear of holding hands with someone that I didn't know completely overwhelmed me. What if he murdered someone. Or raped someone. What if he committed a violent act toward someone I loved. Then suddenly that doubtful, negative spirit dissipated and I could feel a transformation take place. Not just in the heart of the boy whose hands I held but in the ones of those that were holding them. My hands. I was letting go of the fears and inhibitions of the unknown and letting go of the prejudices that once stalked me. I was lifting and encouraging this young man in a way that even I couldn't understand and I was becoming all the better for it. I prayed that the season that he was experiencing in those cold, concrete walls be ended and that whatever was ahead of him be greater than his past. I prayed that whatever cards life had dealt him or circumstances he had been in before be changed. He was now dipping into fresh water, into a new season, his dew season of life that would bring forth something great. When I opened my eyes, I felt the burdens and pain pour out of him and up to God's hands. As I reflect on that moment, I pray that whatever season of life your in, that today your transformational moment begin and the desires of your heart and dew seasons of your mind come true for each of you.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
As much as I hate to admit this I'm just not into the Christmas cheer this year. I've gotten phone calls from family, dinner invites from friends and holiday notes from strangers but still, it's just not there. I've even tried listening to Christmas music, shopping for gifts, and driving through neighborhoods just to see some sign of big, fat Santa. But still, there's nothing. So what is it about this year that makes it any different from the rest? Nothing has changed, what's the big deal? It's just another day. Or is it? Unfortunately, for some of us, it just can't be. Not when we're constantly hearing all of the bad news about the economy and job or housing loss. Not when our country is in a financial mess. Yet, everything I shared whether it relates to me or not really does affect me. It affects the people that I love and the world around me. When I stop and think about how fortunate I am I get overwhelmed and am simply amazed. Last week I drove through a rainstorm in a car that had a leak so deep in the sun roof that I could have gone swimming. And yet, I remembered the person who stood in the rain with no shelter at all because they no longer had a car. I got a call from a friend who loss her job after having worked there for only 3 months, and I thought to myself, that could have been me. The amount of grace we receive in times like these are nothing short of a miracle. We are able to eat outside of garbage cans while others are eating garbage just to survive. We are resting our heads in warm beds at night while others lay on payment. But, we pay more attention to the things that we have not received without even saying thanks for the things that we do. This year Christmas will be all about that for me. Giving thanks for life, health and breath, breaking bread with family and offering a hand and an ear to those who need it most. For as long as I can, wherever I can, my plan is to dew a new thing.