Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Archive for January, 2015

Seeing the Grand Design

The other day I finished a cross-stitch project for my youngest granddaughter that I’d been working on for several months.  As I worked up close on this monochrome piece (a kit!), I often wondered how good it would actually look when finished, especially since there is no outlining to define the picture.  I would wonder why this dark stitch was put next to that light one, or how those light sections could even be part of the picture.  All I could do was trust the designer and follow the pattern since I have no artistic sense myself.  

Only when the whole thing was done and I could step back and look at it from a distance could I see the beauty and wisdom of the pattern and admire the result.  Yes, I had a part in it, but that was only in following the instructions which I lovingly stitched night after night in anticipation of my granddaughter’s (and her mom’s) delight.  The real credit goes to the designer, and I’m grateful to have had a part in it.

MA's cross stitch, front

Life is like that, isn’t it?  An unknown poet says it much better than I could:

My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.

Two on the Fringes of Society

Two men, each on the fringes of society, were stationed along the road one day in Jericho when Jesus passed by.  And they were never the same again.

Both of them wanted to “see” Jesus, but both had a problem.  Bartimaeus couldn’t see Jesus because he was blind.  Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus because he was too short to see over the crowds. 

Bartimaeus was destitute, handicapped, pitied, helpless.  But not stupid.  He had heard about this miracle-worker, so when he heard that “Jesus of Nazareth” was passing by, he recognized who this really was:  the Messiah, Son of David!  And this was his big chance.  He was not going to be put off.  “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  And He did!  Bartimaeus was healed and joined the crowds of excited people following Jesus, praising Him even more because of this miracle.  Bartimaeus’ life was totally changed from that moment. 

As the procession continued through the city, it passed Zacchaeus, a powerful and wealthy man who had two handicaps.  He was short, and everyone hated him!   He had climbed a tree in order to overcome the first of these problems and see Jesus!  This time, it was Jesus who initiated the contact, stopping right under “his” tree and inviting Himself to Zac’s place for dinner, much to his delight!  And the crowd?  They turned from praising Jesus to criticizing Him for associating with a public enemy: a cheating tax collector who had fattened his purse at their expense.  But again, Jesus’ touch on this man’s life completely transformed him.  By the time He left the house, Zacchaeus had been so changed that he vowed to restore four times as much to everyone he had cheated, plus to give half his possessions to the poor. 

Has Jesus’ touch changed your life? 

What happens when Jesus comes?  Listen here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8-ixOyO0TM

God, When Will You Speak in My Tongue?

For people who speak almost 2000 language around the world, this heart cry applies, whether or not they are aware of it. It needs to be the heart cry of those of us who already have the Bible in our language as well–both to read/study/memorize/obey/cherish it and also to do whatever we can to provide it for people like this author.

Heart Language

The poem below was written by a man from Southern Sudan expressing his desire to have the Bible in his language. Sometimes, Bible translation is presented as something done where there are few believers. But in Africa, there are places where there has been a Gospel witness for decades and a growing church, but no Bible in the language of the people, their heart language. In such cases, believers long to have God’s word in a language they really understand. They know that the Bible is being translated into languages around them, and they wonder when it will be their turn. Put yourself in the place of those believers when you read this poem.

Lokuuda Kadanya James Lokuuda Kadanya

Far and near
It is said that you, God, speak!
How do you do that?
Is it in their tongues?
If it is truly so,
God, when will you speak in my tongue?

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