Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘compassion’

My Father’s Eyes

They came in the door, inspected my face, and pronounced the verdict:  “Yes, you look like a Finn.”  I’ve always been proud of my (half) Finnish heritage even though I’ve never been in Finland and don’t know the language.  (Does having a “Sisu” mug count?)  Many years ago, I randomly ran into someone who had known my dad during his college years, and he surprised me by saying I looked like him, especially around the eyes.  This was odd since people usually remarked on how much I resembled my mom.  Of course, I had to find the nearest mirror and try to see what he had seen.  Yes, I saw it. 

1941 John Juntunen

While I’m happy to identify with my dad, I’m even more eager to be seen to resemble my Heavenly Father.  I want people who see and know me to recognize Him in my words, deeds, and attitudes.  I want to have His eyes, see as He sees, love as He loves.

I may not be every mother’s dream for her little girl,
And my face may not grace the mind of everyone in the world.
But that’s all right, as long as I can have one wish I pray:
When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say,

She’s got her father’s eyes,
Her father’s eyes;
Eyes that find the good in things,
When good is not around;
Eyes that find the source of help,
When help just can’t be found;
Eyes full of compassion,
Seeing every pain;
Knowing what you’re going through
And feeling it the same.
Just like my father’s eyes,
My father’s eyes,
My father’s eyes,
Just like my father’s eyes.

And on that day when we will pay for all the deeds we have done,
Good and bad they’ll all be had to see by everyone.
And when you’re called to stand and tell just what you saw in me,
More than anything I know, I want your words to be,

She had her father’s eyes…

(Father’s Eyes, by Amy Grant)

From Horror to Hope

I’m a bookworm, but I don’t buy, keep, or re-read books unless they’re very, very special.  Those that merit a permanent place on our bookshelves are the exceptions.  Today I want to share an exceptional book with you which my husband and I have just read together.  It is truly a keeper!

River Kwai2

Miracle on the River Kwai, by Ernest Gordon, is a story of grace in the worst possible of circumstances.  Under the most extreme duress, despair and hopelessness were transformed to faith in God, redemption, and selfless love for one another.  It began with a few POWs who sacrificially served and even laid down their lives to save others in what had been a dog-eat-dog environment, every man for himself.  The power of God changed lives long-term as they served, taught, shared and worshipped with one another for several years as the war raged on.  When they were finally released, one of the men said, “I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.  It was rough, all right.  But I learned an awful lot that I couldn’t have learned at the university or anywhere else.” 

When hard times come for me, I pray that God’s grace and power will do the same, shining through the darkness to refine my character in ways that may not be possible through peace time.

God’s Self-Introduction

If God came to you in person and introduced Himself, what do you think he would say?  Incredibly, this actually happened to Moses, and those words re-echo through the pages of Scripture.

On Mount Sinai, Moses had seen powerful signs of God’s presence, including thunder, earthquake, fire, trumpet blasts, and more.  But still not satisfied, he begged God for the privilege of seeing His own glory.  God did not allow Moses to see His face but he did let him see his “back” as He passed by.  This was accompanied by a full introduction to His name and character:

The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out,
“Yahweh! The LORD!
The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger
and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations.
I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.
But I do not excuse the guilty.
I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren;
the entire family is affected—
even children in the third and fourth generations.”

This foundational description of God’s character is cited at least seven more times throughout the Old Testament.  It is the way He wants us to remember Him.  (Numbers 14:18; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalms 86:15; 103:8; 145:8; Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2) 

God’s primary nature is love:  compassion, unfailing love, faithfulness, forgiveness, mercy, patience.  But He is not a big teddy bear in the sky!  He is also holy and cannot tolerate sin and rebellion.  For more about God’s love and patience, Israel’s rebellion and then God’s response, read Psalm 78.  It’s quite a story! 

Tag Cloud