It's not as odd as it sounds...

Prayer happens everywhere, even in the tanning bed.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'd stand in front of a train...

That's what a good friend told me when we were talking 22 years ago. She  had a toddler and was pregnant with her second. She said to me "Karen, I'd stand in front of a train for her". I couldn't relate, really. I had been trying to get pregnant to no avail, and needed someone to talk to. But, I didn't have that kind of love for anyone, not yet. I didn't even feel like that about MJF - after all, if anyone was standing in front of a train it was gonna be HIM for me... he's the man.

Sam is almost 18
He graduates May 2011
Drew is almost 21
He leaves for the Air Force
June 1, 2011

Today, well, I SO know what she meant. I've been given 5 opportunities to learn about what kind of love that is - between parent and child. (Rebekah Joy is living joyfully with her heavenly Father)

Josh is 13
He's the perfect mix
of Drew and Sam

 This is Kate, she's 9
she gets a big picture because
she's my baby and it's my blog
I would stand in front of a train for each and every one of these delightful creatures. And yet, they NEVER think about that. They probably realize, in the depths of their being, that I'd do anything for them; really, anything. But when they tell me they love me it's 


Because I have done something that makes them feel...

                           or because they just got what they wanted.

It's NEVER because I will stand in front of a train for them.

But it's ok, I'm the mom, it's my job to enable them to feel totally secure in my love even if they don't really KNOW why they are totally secure in my love. 

But on those days when we are joking or cuddling or just being affectionate and I hear this "I love you more" from one of them, I stop, hold their sweet face in my hands and say "No you don't, only when you hold your precious 1st born in your arms will you REALLY know how much I love you and how little in comparison you love me."

To be honest, they look at me with that little puppy-faced cocked head as if they haven't the slightest idea what I am saying or why I'd say such a thing. But they smile and assure me that I have no idea what I am talking about and insist they love me more.

Christ crucified.... for ME

I love you... more?  

Not even close. Standing in front of a train for me would have been more palatable. It would have been EASY.  NO, not only do I not know how to love Him MORE, I can't even begin to love Him equally. 

...My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?

yet that is not what I tell Him. I tell him I love Him because He makes me feel:

           But it's only this week that I REMEMBER 

that's gotta change. 

Remember who was willing to stand in front of a train for you but instead was crucified - slaughtered - for you. And yet, that wasn't what He most dreaded - it was the wrath and separation from God that He most wanted to avoid and yet He said "Not my will, but yours, be done."

May your Easter be a happy one knowing He gave everything for you and yet the grave didn't hold him. 



Monday, April 18, 2011

That darn video...

So, last night was our fabulous Easter Music special at church. I love what we do for Easter and Christmas because it's more of an extended Praise and Worship time with a bit more glitz than it is a performance we are just siting and watching. But...

               They insist upon playing, every year, THAT VIDEO....


It's always a little bit different but it's always enough to make me fall apart weeping.

                                                    As it should.

We don't remember this enough, we should, but I know why, it's an horrendous thing to watch.

For any mother of sons, to see Mary's face as she watches what is done to her son. It's almost more than I can bear....

But then, at that very moment, as I thought about Who did this and who didn't. Who deserved this and Who didn't. Who HE did this for and then... It dawned on me, there is another video....

PLEASE don't misunderstand. I will never hold the sacrifice of a human man equal to the sacrifice of the God-man, my Lord and Savior, but in a way, it was almost uncanny for me as I sat behind.... well, mostly stood behind... my oldest son praising the name of our Lord, hands held high rejoicing in the knowledge that Christ died for him.

Drew may die for someone too.  Drew leaves on June 1st for basic training with the Air Force and to learn what it takes to defend his country. More than that, how to defend the freedom and liberty God so graciously bestowed upon us and to fight to the death, if necessary, to enable others around the world to enjoy it too.

He may die for people who don't even know him. That they would rejoice as they cast a vote for THEIR candidate, not the one that is forced upon them and who would force them to live a lifestyle that is the antithesis of why God created them.

He may die for former class mates and neighbors - those who loved him AND those who thought he wasn't cool enough to hang with them... it doesn't matter... because everyone deserves to be free and to retain the freedoms that they enjoy.

Our freedom in Christ is so much superior to our freedom in this country. And yet, I couldn't help but see right in front of me, literally, the closest thing to following in Christ's footsteps that I've seen in a long time.

43-47"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

Matthew relates this truth clearly: friend or foe, lover or hater, regardless of their relationship to us, we are to love them, share Christ's love with them. Do what is best for them. Not consider ourselves when we are with them.

Christ did only what His Father wanted Him to do. He gave it little thought, He just did it. Drew will be trained to do what he needs to do regardless of his circumstances. There won't be time to think about the personal implications of what he's trained to do - he will be trained to give his life if necessary for the greater good.

                               And I? What do I give? What do you give?

That is a question each of us have to answer in relation to the "basic training" that we've received from Our Father. It's a worthy question to ponder this week. Ponder it, see what He says to you.