Uncommon Touch

Uncommon Sense(s) #5

Touch—feel, stroke, pat, caress

5touch_Image by RitaE from Pixabay

  • Touch the hand of one you love
  • Touch the softness of a baby’s cheek
  • Touch the arm of one who’s suffering
  • Touch the rose petal, the brook pebble, the ocean surf, the caterpillar fuzz
  • Touch the fabric silky and smooth, furry and sleek, velvety soft

Spiritual touch

  • Touch the unnoticed—the children,1 the lepers,2 the rejected,3 the poor,4 the sinners 5—with the compassion of Jesus’ touch.6
  • Touch one another—with a holy kiss,7 with a helping hand,8 with an encouraging act,9 with Christlike 10
  • Touch Jesus—by the hem of His garment, seeking healing;11 by the prayers He invites, seeking answers;12 by the cup of cold water, seeking to bless in His name.13
  • Touch heaven—with overflowing worship.14

Tomorrow’s touch

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”15

1Mark 10:14; 2Matt 8:2-3; 3Luke 14:13-14; Rom 12:16; 4Luke 12:33; 5Matt 11:19; 6Matt 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; 7Rom 16:16; 8Heb 6:10; 9Rom 12:9-13; 10Phil 2:5-6; 11Matt 9:21; Matt 14:35-36; 12Matt 6:9; John 14:13-14; 13Matt 10:42; 14Rev 5:13; 15Matt 25:21
Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Being Present

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My dear Friend,

I love our relationship and that we talk every day. You mean so much to me! But… I long for the conversations we used to have, before life got so busy. I treasure our time together and I want our friendship to deepen, not diminish. That’s why I’m sharing my heart with you today.

It just seems that you’re not “present” when we’re together. There’s so much I want to talk about but I feel like you’re distracted. I long to hear about your life—what you’re thinking, feeling, loving, struggling with, excited about. I remember when you would eagerly share your hopes and dreams with me and I really liked that!

I love it when we exchange ideas and make plans. I love seeing you happy and enthusiastic, on the cusp of a new venture. I even love the times when you come to me crying—I want to be involved in the good and the sad parts of your life. I want to do life together.

I guess what I’m asking is, can we go back to the way things were? When we get together can we be present and engaged? Can we shut out the roar of the urgent and relax together? Can we again share what’s important to us, what makes us laugh, and what brings us to our knees?

I would love to do that… regularly. Do you have any time today? Whatever works for you, wherever, I’ll be there. I love you!

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you,” Jesus. (Rev. 3:20, paraphrased)

Graphic credit: AnnaHelsinki@Pixabay

…Who is in Heaven

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Did you find peace in bringing your prayer concern to “Our Father” last week? Today, let’s take that same concern and give it to our Father “who is in Heaven.” The phrase is my update on “who art in heaven” from the King James, but I love these words too much to omit them as the modern translations do.

“Our Father who“ tells us that father is more than a role, a statement of paternity, or a genealogical designation. It reminds us that our Father is a who—a person—with feelings, thoughts, emotions, hopes, plans, disappointments. At first glance it hardly seems necessary to mention but when we focus on the person-hood of God, we realize that the burdens we bring Him are met with empathy and love. Being made in His image gives us some understanding of His emotional investment in us. The depth of feeling that brought us to prayer is more than matched by our Father who hears that prayer.

This wonderful Person, God the Father, feels our pain, aches with sorrow, receives us with love, listens with patience, and cares more than we imagine. He is more than the God who created this wonderful world for us to inhabit and more than the King in Heaven who will one day welcome us home. The God of our past and future is also the God of our present.

Our Father who is. At times I stop right there and savor the fact that He is. He’s here, He’s real, He’s God. “Lord,” my heart cries, “You are!” I am overwhelmingly grateful. Someone bigger than me sees and cares about this weight in my heart, this confusion in my mind! God is with me—and He is in heaven.

It’s sweet to know there is a place from where He rules over the affairs of earth with unchallenged authority. It’s His home. It’s my home. When I contemplate that, my perspective changes. The concerns that brought me to my knees are quieted in the recognition of heaven’s reality.

Today, let’s be especially grateful for our Father who is in heaven, knowing that He embraces the concerns we bring, He is present in our troubles, and He reigns unopposed from His home in heaven.

Behind Me and Before Me

Ps23_6Psalm 23:6

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…

I can be sure spring will follow winter. I can be sure the sun will rise tomorrow. And I can be sure—absolutely, positively, without a doubt sure—that God’s goodness and love will follow me, tomorrow and every day.

Whenever I turn around, there they are: goodness and love. God’s goodness and love—constant, pure and generous.

Every day, as long as I live, His goodness and love are mine. I may not be attuned to God’s presence; I may not see evidence that He’s there, but He is, following me with His goodness and love.

His goodness is wholesome and right, kind and honest. It makes me more, not less. It blesses my life and adds to it. It’s behind me, pushing me forward, pressing me on, giving me courage, rooting for me.

And His love? Well, when I love people I bless them, think about them, want to make them happy and be with them. I believe in them, think highly of them, encourage and support them. God’s love is greater and purer than that—and it follows me around.

…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

If what’s behind me is wonderful, look at what’s before me, in my forever after. I will dwell—reside, make my home and be at home in the house of the Lord. I will be in His presence, at His side, under His shelter, forever feasting on His goodness and love. No longer catching mere glimpses but enjoying full disclosure with ever new revelations of His person and greatness, His beauty and wonder.

Lord, I scarce can take in your goodness and love, following me today and awaiting me in my tomorrows—so generous, so undeserved, so pure, so You!

The Bear

I didn’t covet… and I wasn’t envious. Let’s just say I r-e-a-l-l-y appreciated carved bears. In the car, I would comment to my husband about each bear we passed. They’re friendly. They have character. I wanted one.

logTwo weeks ago we had a large pine tree cut down in our yard, so I decided I would make a bear myself. My husband asked the tree cutters to saw off about a three-foot section — I doubt that he told them why. After spending an hour watching bear carving demonstrations online, I knew the awful truth. I can’t carve a bear — I don’t have the neck-to-ankle apron that protects the carver! Okay, it was more than that. Even if I had the apron, I couldn’t wield a chain saw with the precision and control that was needed. And… I realized this would take practice and I only had one log. And… it looked hard! So I quickly converted the plans for my log from a bear to a bench.

Then, for no reason but love, my husband bought me a bear. Be still my heart — I love that bear! I watch him out my kitchen window; I pat him on the head; I say hello when I pull in the driveway; and I’m sure that with the warmer weather, he and I will have great conversations.

bearAs usual, I had imagined the bear carving project would be easier and shorter than it actually is (see my previous Flea Market post). This put me on a contemplative path, thinking about the time and methods needed to turn something good enough into something attractive, usable, endearing.

I like to think that God can simply show me a flaw to work on, or a behavior to correct, or a thought pattern to modify. At most He may have to chisel a little away – you know, gently but firmly with a penknife. But, let’s face it, sometimes it requires a chain saw, motor roaring, chips flying, chunks falling to the ground. I have been there and it’s kind of where I’ve now been for a couple of months. But of this I am sure, when the roar dies down and the stench of the fuel stops, when the chips are swept away and I’m covered with a protective preservative, I’ll be a better bear.

I will reflect the loving skill of my Creator. I’ll be more attractive to Him and to others. I’ll be usable and, hopefully, I will endear others to Him and bring Him pleasure.