I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am about the furthest thing from a doctor, but even I can recognize how undeniably miraculous it is that our bodies work the way they do. It simply can’t be an accident. It’s so purposeful with all the pumping and filtering and breathing that happens without us so much as thinking about it. A human autopilot. Seriously…how on earth do we work?
Like I said, I’m nowhere near qualified to answer that question, but since I have a body that is pumping and breathing, I will take a stab at ‘why’.
I think God made us so wonderfully, like the verse says, so that we are capable of being wonderful to one another. To revel in another’s good fortune, or to help pick up the pieces when life gets hard. He gave us the capacity to feel. Too often I find myself rushing through everything to actually feel anything, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m in really good company. You know who you are.
I completely take for granted that I will wake up breathing and pumping blood every morning. I think God’s okay with that. What I think He’d rather I not take for granted is my ability to love, to be loved and to give what I have to offer to humanity. I have more to offer on some days, but it’s tragic when I withhold, when I ignore the pull to do some good because it’s not convenient or it’s uncomfortable.
I’m sure you’ve had those odd feelings, when you feel like you’re supposed to talk to someone and get drawn into their reality for some unknown reason. Being somewhat of an introvert, I get conflicted when it happens because I know it will be awkward.
I recently met a woman in the parking lot of a nice outdoor mall as I was wrapping up a shopping excursion with my daughters. Deanna was her name and she approached me and right off the bad told me she wasn’t going to hurt me, but did I have any loose change? I wasn’t afraid because she looked like the African American version of my 69-year old mother.
My kids loaded in the car and I told Deanna I didn’t have any cash to give her, but asked what she needed. She needed diapers for her granddaughter, and she’d be thrilled with some meat to give the other three grandkids as their mother is in jail and Deanna is doing it all on her own and things are tight. Really tight.
The introvert in me wanted to get a fistful of change from my car, drive away and not think about THAT anymore. I signaled my kids that we would be going into Whole Foods (a ridiculously expensive place to buy anything, but it was my only option) and Deanna, my two confused daughters and I had a shopping experience together. It was the most proud I have ever been of my girls as they carried armfuls of diapers and oranges and other items Deanna thought her grandkids would enjoy. I think they knew somehow it was an important moment of giving for us, we who have a much looser viewpoint of tight times. And important because we showed Deanna she wasn’t invisible.
I left Deanna with a hug and suppressed tears as we made our way back to the car where our shopping bags full of wants, not needs sat waiting for us. Items that seemed much less important than they were an hour earlier.
So… that’s WHY I think God made us. To give of ourselves, whether it be time, money or talents, and to love as many people as much as humanly possible.
Be The Light
God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
I imagine the light was gradual, like a dimmer switch, slowly going from black, to gray, to light, to piercing brightness.
I wonder what prompted God to flip the switch? Had he been toying with the idea for a while or was it spontaneous? How long did He exist in the dark, and why?
Questions. I have questions…
But I am thankful for light. I’m thankful for lights in my house that when illuminated, vanish darkness. Thankful for people who light my way, lighten my mood or lighten my load. And thankful for a man from the Bible I’m learning about named Jesus, who is called the light of the world.
So when I read God’s words, “Let there be light,” I can’t help but think about the kind of lightness I have experienced through my short faith journey so far. Peace and strength that have calmed and anchored me when I have felt caught up in the hurricane of my problems. If this is available to me now, someone who’s just getting started, I can’t imagine the amazing things that await me as I grow and learn more.
It also makes me think about the kind of light I can be to others. What I need to remember is that I can shine my light on others in simple ways every day.
Kindness = light, compassion = light,
and those don’t cost me anything, so why am I not constantly giving them away? It’s a message I give my children frequently and I should remember to take my own (darn good) advice… “You can shine your light, or cast shadows, the choice is yours.”
Shine. I choose to shine.
In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.
What a great opening line of a book. I can hear the richness of Morgan Freeman’s or James Earl Jones’ voice, saying the words, adding layers of depth the way that they do.
It’s a simple sentence, yet it’s hard for me to grasp all that it encompasses. Seriously, this includes EVERYTHING. Dinos to no-see ‘ums. Glaciers to grains of sand. Outer space to atoms. The vision it took to create and piece it together like a puzzle is mind-boggling. Were there things He made and then reconsidered? Was the world as we know it His first draft? There were no bar napkins back then on which to sketch and plan it out. My forgetful pea brain has a hard time comprehending it all.
As I’m learning about God, thinking about what “In the beginning…” means, has a profound effect on me. Some days I doubt and question, and other days simply glimpsing the beautifully intricate pattern on a leaf or the workings of the human body can settle me into a place of certainty that there must be a God. Brilliant designs and a masterful plan... I mean, can you imagine thinking through every last detail of every last thing?
It sounds reasonable to me that a big bang, or two things colliding could form a planet. But start adding people who think and love and reproduce, animals (who do the same!), and vegetation of almost infinite variety and stars and the tides and seasons? It’s then that something inside of me just knows: How could all this life and beauty be accidental? It’s simply too miraculous for it to be anything else. And it’s okay for me not to understand it, to simply appreciate it and believe there’s something out there that’s bigger than me.
Clearly it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There’s ugliness galore. But even beauty and goodness can be born out of pain and suffering, and that, I’m quite certain, was no accident.