Friday, November 26, 2010

God Math

Has anyone ever tried to figure this one out: God takes 1 + 1 and makes 10,000...or 500...or 22. One person doing one little thing with the talent He has given them and it can turn the world upside down. It’s crazy. It makes me smile.

I have this friend named Tammy Rada who God is using to make 1 + 1 equal a lot of change. She heard about a little 5-yr.-old girl named Emily who was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor is located on the stem of her brain thus an operation to remove it would be out of the question. Treatment possibilities look grim. Meanwhile, the parents are commuting to a special treatment hospital and staying in a hotel they could not afford while awaiting a spot to open at the Ronald McDonald House.

It’s a situation that moves most of us to tears including Tammy but then she moved to action. She acted as God’s hand of care on this earth because it is so true that “All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.” (James Russell Lowell) She did what she could and that was to let everyone she knew about Emily, asking for them to give what they could to help this hurting family: a gas card, $5, a prayer.

I spread the word about what Tammy was doing to my circle of friends and another dear friend moved into action too. She got mad. Carol Sheahan didn’t want to just accept the grim outlook from the doctors, not until she rallied people to get on their knees and petition God on Emily’s behalf. She spread the word and got people praying and I know God is still using her one act of uniting people to pray to keep them believing for a future of hope for this girl.

It keeps going. It happened again yesterday when I mentioned to my mom, Pat Bradbury, what was happening and without hesitation, she pulled out her purse and pressed some money into my hand, “Buy them a gas card from us too. And we’ll tell everyone at our church to pray.” When we act, we are letting God act through us.

I love seeing God’s hand at work, working out BIG answers to little problems of 1 + 1. I love how He took a few little pieces of fish and bread from a willing kid and fed over 5,000 people. I love how he takes a little piece of faith and moves a mountain. A little talent. One dollar. A single act. One willing heart.
I don’t know what will happen to this sweet girl but I know what isn’t happening: nothing. Something changed because someone cared and didn’t let it stop at a care.

It really doesn’t make sense to me but God takes the little talent or gift we entrust to him and invest it towards eternity in such a way that it would bring down Wall Street if it could be recorded on the charts. That is God math.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What If?

Somewhere between changing a dirty diaper and tossing a pancake onto a plate for my little peeps, I froze and thought: “What if?” What if…I miss it?

What if I rush through my day, through my week, through this LIFE and don’t take time to BE God’s hand of love. To SEE God’s hand of love. When this thought popped up, I didn’t feel guilty or even condemned. It was a GOOD thought really because it inspired me to get BUSY.

Not that I need any inspiration to get any busier than I have been these days. With four kids under the age of four (all still at home…with me…24/7. Did I mention 24/7?!), I have plenty to do! So I am not referring to the running-in-the-hamster-wheel-of-life-busy. More like a busy getting to what could answer that “what if” question that is leading me to an open road of adventure and mystery. That question is grabbing me by the hand and throwing me out of my comfort zone. Did I ever mention how comfortable my comfort zone is? So…it’s been uncomfortable but yet thrilling.

And this thrill…this JOY that is a result of kicking up some dirt down this unknown road has inspired this blog. Simply because I want you to come with me. Well, not with ME really (though I bet it would be a blast to road-trip with you!) but rather with God.

Don’t freak out-I promise not to get religious on you. Religion is boring. Take it from an X-PK (that’s code for x-pastor’s kid) who was around church most of my existence. I’m thinking more: REALationship with a VERY REAL God who doesn’t want to SIT in a darn (PG-13 rating here, ha!) pew on Sunday and then DO NOTHING Monday through Saturday. Meanwhile, we are surrounded by a dying world in need of a serious trip to the ER that is trying to cover their injury in silly band-aids. Will ya’ll join me in some triage work on this journey? In some little steps that just may bring about a BIG change? In saying, “Yeah, I’m little. But God’s big. (Veggietales songs sum up life well!)” Can that be enough? I think so. Isn’t it a relief to know it’s not all on your shoulders? That God has the super-powers but yet chooses to save the day THROUGH US? (Crazy, right?)

I am a classic over-analyzing Mom who is fighting the guilt wars (Did I give my kid enough veggies today? Read to him enough books? Discipline her correctly? Laugh and play with them enough? Teach them to be responsible? Prepare him for school well enough? Give her too much sugar (obviously since she’s bouncing off the walls…)?? Etc…etc…blah and blah!). Thus, the thought that “you must become less so I can become greater” (Jesus’ idea, not mine!) is liberating! It’s amazing to think all I have to do is the tiny step of obedience God leads me to take. Then, ta-da!!! HE takes over! HE is the star, not me (thank goodness because I heard the camera adds ten pounds…). HE is the One who actually makes the plant grow. I just got to put that seed in the dirt. Yeah, I can do that.

Will you come with me? This is just thought #1. Next blog? The front-line reports of HOW we are putting some love into action. Be ready for some smiles (who can’t smile at how cool God is walking on this earth in scuffed up sneakers worn by imperfect people?!)…some tears and some serious fears (I have got them…remember? We are now leaving the comfort zone.).

And what if we don’t do this? What if we don’t leave our comfort zones NOW? Well, why not now? Will we truly ever be less busy? So I have sleepless nights with a newborn this week, but as they grow, won’t it be sleepless nights with worry when my teen is out past curfew? Will the list of home repairs ever really get shorter (hint, hint, honey, if you are reading this! Ha ha.)? Will the errands ever cease? Will I one day just wake up and realize, “My gosh, my house is cleaned. Errands all done. Home projects complete. Finances in perfect order. Kids gone for the week. I have TONS of free time…whatever will I do? Oh, NOW is a good time to be God’s hand of love. I finally have arrived!”

Well…I am not planning for that though it sounds kind of nice…really nice…okay, back to reality. So, I am choosing (isn’t everything in life a choice?) to start TODAY. Messy home or not. Three kids in diapers (no joke) or none. Bad hair day (or year) or not. I am thinking anyway that it’s hard to relate to a perfect person and since no such fellow exist, let’s dive right in. As is.

Because one day in the sweet by and by I’ll be standing face to face with my BFF (Best Friend Forev, good ol’ grade school memories!), my King, my Savior. And when Jesus says, “Were you faithful?” (Thankfully he doesn’t require us to be successful, just faithful, whew!) I sure hope I won’t say, “I was going to be…once I wasn’t so busy.” I really, really, really want to be able to reply, “Yeah, Jesus. I was BUSY letting YOU love people through me.”

Let’s get busy.  Because...WHAT IF?