Sunday, August 19, 2007

Innocent faith and awe

Our camp pastor this week was explaining to the kids how much God loves us.
It's a tough concept to get across.
Hard for us to understand.
More than we can possibly imagine.
And in a quiet pause following his explanation,
a 7 year old voice from the front row of boys called out
completely honestly, and innocently.
"Even more than my mom and dad?"

"Yes," was the reply.
"Even more than your mom and dad."


"Let the little children come to me, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

I might add,
that I was so wonderfully encouraged as well
by the fact that this kid knows beyond a doubt
how much his parents love him.
I teach kids every day who aren't always sure.
Maybe that's part of being 10 and not 7.
Of realizing that your parents aren't perfect.
But for now,
I just want to revel in his complete surety
of his parents' love.

I pray that he can be that sure of his Father's love, too.

Monday, August 06, 2007

How S"weed" it Is

garden flowers

The man who led our prayer in church yesterday started off by telling us how he had been working in his son-in-laws fields and gardens earlier in the week.
He talked about growing the food we eat,
about growing it without pesticides,
and about how great it is to be outside,
taking part in the process.
He also talked about weeding
and how sometimes we need to pull out the bad stuff
in order for the good stuff to grow.
What caught me however, was that the weed he mentioned pulling
was the portulaca.

When I was a kid, we lived next door to a garden centre.
Every summer we got to go over there to buy a couple of flowers
and then we were given a piece of the family garden to call our own.
My first choice every year was the portulaca.
It is bright and colourful
and it looks a little bit different.
You might expect its stems and "leaves" to be sharp
but that's just their shape.
They are in fact, very soft.

What got me was that what to me was beautiful
to a vegetable farmer was a weed.

Sometimes our strengths -
the things that are our beauty -
are the same things that become or stumbling blocks.
They are like weeds that need to be pulled
or at least replanted in a better location.
A place where they can be used humbly
instead of with boastful pride;
where they can be used to serve
not to judge or pull rank.

It's the same with our weaknesses.
Within the right context,
with guidance and support
and patient prayer
they don't appear to be weaknesses at all.

I feel like this is cheesy - and not very fluid.
But you get the point?
I guess I've been off for too long! :)