Thursday, July 19, 2012

By Faith

"How do I know, Mommy?
That the God I love is the right one?
Sometimes I am not sure.
I live here and I love God and I think I'm right.
But people in China believe something different and think I'm wrong.
So, how do I know?"

I tell her those are great questions.
I tell her that those questions are important.
That God has no problem listening to our questions or our doubts.

I tell her I've felt that way too.
That I've asked questions like that too.
I tell her that's when I ask God to show Himself again to me.
To help my unbelief.

I tell her that faith is the difference.
We have to make a choice about what we believe and walk it out in faith.

I tell her I love her.
And God does too.

I tuck her in and kiss her head.

And I shake my head at her wisdom. Her depth.
I chuckle that my 7 year old is asking the very questions my thirty-something heart sometimes entertains as well.

I can't teach her all the answers.
I don't want to.
I can teach her how to find answers.
How to discern truth.

I want our home to be a safe place for honest questions. 
A haven where doubts don't have to cripple. 
A space where seekers are nurtured.

So one conversation, 
one question, 
one late-night doubt at a time, 
I pray God will build a home of faith in each of our hearts.

"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see." 
Hebrews 11:1 (The Message)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Crying in 3-D Glasses

I had never been to an IMAX 3-D movie before.
An 8:50 showing on date night.
2 tickets for $25.
(cough, cough)
We walk to the very end of the hallway which opens up to a separate section. 
Just for IMAX.
We walk into the theater holding ridiculously goofy looking shades.
I see the screen.
Quite intimidating really.
It seems to engulf me along with the wall.
The sound in that space is palpable.
I was overwhelmed by the pre-movie IMAX promo.
I am beginning to understand that $25 is really paying for an experience.

The Amazing Spiderman was the film.
And it was a fine piece of Hollywood Blockbuster-ness.
I really like Emma Stone. 
Well, her acting. I don't know her.
But I find her characters endearing and girl next-doorish. And I like that.

I was doing fine.
Me donning my 3-D eyewear like everybody else.
Engaged in the story and working out my anxiety of being in such a large, loud space...I think that's rooted in a control issue I have.

And then the movie could have halted.
I couldn't enjoy the experience anymore.
In the middle of a big film on a big screen with a big reptilian villain, I chance a glimpse of a little girl sitting in this theater watching this spectacle.

Suddenly, I am nauseous.
I can hardly sit in my seat.
All our technological advancements mean heartbreak for me.

For the last hour of the film, I look more at that precious mop of blonde ringlets than what I paid to see.
Each fight scene is a little harder to endure.
Each scripted scream diverts my eyes to this little face to search for tears or upset or fear.

I want to scoop her up.
Play with her.
Tell her she's loved and special.
Protect her.
But I do all I know to do 
- that which doesn't feel like enough but is best.
I pray for her.

I pray that somehow God would protect this little girl from what she sees.
That somehow, though she sees, she would not see. 
Not remember.
Only God could answer such a prayer.
I pray He would keep her safe and secure. 
Something I can't do and don't feel her parents are doing either.

Finally, the credits roll and the tears fall. 
I can't move.
Or look my husband in the eye.
I just watch her leave and let my heart hurt.

He slips his arm around me while I silently emote.
He knows there is nothing really to say.
I wouldn't know how to say it anyway.
I just hurt. Deep and through.

I wonder at myself.
At these goings on inside.
Why? What? Where?

After three long years of desert, I am bearing emotional greenery again.
But this night, feeling something means hurt and pain.
I am ok with that.
Pain means I am alive.
Waking up to life. 
That's what I have been created
Abundant life, actually.
Having life abundant means I fully engage in the world around me.
All it's facets and angles and offerings.
Sweet and bitter. Easy and difficult.

For this night, blonde toddler ringlets were a reminder that God is doing a resurrection work in me.
For this night while I wear 3-D glasses, God is bringing me to life. 
No more two-dimensional desert dwelling for me.

And I I awake, for what work is He preparing my ever-emerging heart?

Whatever comes, I don't want to forget how I feel tonight. 
I want it to drive me to faith. to passion. to action.

There's a whole hurting world in need of resurrection work in their life. 

And maybe, just maybe, the resurrection work God is doing while I wear 3-D glasses will help to bring life to another...maybe even a precious toddler with blonde ringlets.