I had a "Giant Cavernous Aneurysm" behind my left eye. I went to Dallas for surgery and it was killed...however post op my eye is unresponsive. It is if I am looking out of a steamy shower door. Some days it is better than others. Please pray that my sight will be restored. God has been putting words on my heart that I feel I must put on paper. The following thoughts are those I feel that the Lord is speaking to me lately. Enjoy.

August 23, 2007

Crocs vs. Escalators

Shortly after clearing Security at Denver International Airport, we heard Luke screaming as he headed down the escalator. I rushed down to see what he could possibly be screaming at so loudly. I looked at his foot and it was caught in the side of the escalator. Not just caught, stuck. I have never been gripped with so much fear. Only about half of his foot was visible, the other was somewhere down in the dark abyss of the metal teeth. I freaked out. His tiny foot would not budge. The harder I pulled the louder he screamed. It wasn't until we got all the way down the escalator when his foot finally came free.

I was unsure of what I would pull out of the crevice. I was fairly certain that some if not all of his toes would be missing or badly severed. Amazingly, the only injury he sustained was a cut toenail and burns on the top of his toes from the friction on the side walls.

The usual hurried foot traffic stopped and all eyes were on us. People were horrified when the saw what was left of the Crocs. A man bolted back up the escalator to find a police officer. "Oh good" I thought. "Someone who 'protects and serves' is coming." He slowly walked down the center staircase to us and asked in a somewhat irritated voice, "What seems to be the problem here." I could barely hear over the sounds of Luke screaming and the sound of my own heart beating out of my chest. I answered, "Your escalator sucked my child's foot into the side and almost ripped his foot off."
As long as I live, I will not forget his next comment. "It's not my escalator." Have you ever physically seen steam coming from one's ears? If not, you should have been at the airport that day.
And so went the next 15 minutes. It was "spirited." I've never lectured an officer of the law on manners and etiquette before that moment in time. He wasn't in the mood for a lecture, and I wasn't in the mood for sarcastic comments.

Bottom line...I didn't go to jail and Luke is fine. And we soon found out he really wanted red Crocs anyway.

Suzi and I seriously thank the Lord that it was not worse than it was.

August 19, 2007

Cinderella’s Wheelchair

There’s something magical about wheelchairs at Disneyworld.

It’s as if I was witnessing multiple “Make a Wishes” all at the same time. DisneyWorld is a handicapped child’s dream. Unable to fully participate in life as their peers, the playing field seems more level at the Magic Kingdom. For a few short days, their lives seem otherwise normal. I have never seen so many smiles coming from a prison of leather, chrome and wheels in my life. It was truly touching.

But then I saw her. Her wheelchair was special. As I walked up to her from behind I could see that she was a severely handicapped child. As I approached her specialized reclining chair, the first thing that I could see was her 10 year old arms covered with thick black hair. Her head moved wildly from side to side…a string of spittle came from her chapped lips sagging down onto her shoulder. Its elasticity was evident as she quickly moved her head from left to right. Her grunts were loud and animated. So loud in fact that I became embarrassed for her and especially for her father. It was an uncomfortable sight to see…that is until I looked closer.

Glimmering in the afternoon sun, she wore a shimmery Princess dress….a stunning purple dress with beads and sparkling diamonds. Adorning her neck was a necklace that was fit for Cinderella. As she moved back and forth the sun would catch her gems and send rays of sparkling light into the air. Fixed firmly in her dark hair was a diamond tiara. Left, right and then left again…exhilarated, she moved her crown to and fro.

The image was remarkable, and one that will be frozen in my brain for a long time. But then I saw her smile. No longer did I notice the string of spittle waving in the wind. All I could see was her smile. That smile. It was truly delightful. This was her day. Whatever pain she had felt before this day vanished when her dreams of becoming a Princess were fulfilled. This day she was a real-life Princess...her wheelchair transformed into a horse-drawn carriage.

As big as her smile was, her father’s was twice as big…stretching from ear to ear. He proudly positioned her chair next to a statue of Cinderella, trying to snap the perfect picture. He was completely unaware and indifferent to the onlookers…most of which failed to see the beauty of the moment. His thoughts resolute only on his daughter…his Princess. Perhaps this was a lifetime dream fulfilled. It certainly looked like it when you looked at their faces.

I thought of my Father…my God. I thought of the pride he has in me. With a sparkle in his eye, he looks at me as He sees me, not as I see myself. That was me in that wheelchair…handicapped by hurts, habits, addictions and yes, spittle. What must I look like to those passers by? I look so unattractive so much of the time. As Paul says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Trust me. I desire to stop drooling. I desire to control my unintentional movements that should embarrass my Father...but miraculously they don’t.

This magical moment reminded me of my Father who sees through my spittle. My Father sees beyond my circumstances. My Father sees something that the world cannot see…a Prince. I am a child of God…unblemished.

Christ has offered everyone their “glass slipper.” He comes knocking at your door with only one intention. He desires for you to accept the slipper. He wants nothing more than for you to place it on your foot and rise as royalty.

August 18, 2007

Praying Outside the Bubble

For as long as I can remember, I have prayed a very simple and repetitive prayer. “God, place a hedge of protection around my children. Protect them. Keep them from harm or hardship all the days of their lives.” A noble prayer indeed, but one that lacks faith.

I am so fearful of my boys going through what I have had to endure. I wanted to pray a very safe prayer for them. A very sterile prayer…as if I was praying for the “boy in the bubble” on Seinfeld. God revealed something important to me. And so today I begin to pray a very different prayer.

Real growth and utter dependence on God happens in the hard times…the times when we realize that it is only God who can save us. A time when if God doesn’t come through, we’re through.

I can’t imagine the range of emotions Noah must have felt as he stood on the bow of his ark, watching those he knew and loved breathe their last slipping beneath the rising water below. But, because he obeyed his God in the times of ridicule and persecution, his family lived.

Joseph must have thought his life was the pits when he hit rock bottom, but that is where his faith grew and God allowed his hardship to humble him to become a great leader.

With his wind worn face and sandals full of sand, it was in the desert where Moses met with the Lord and became the leader that God had intended him to become.

Tied to a stack of rocks watching his elderly father wield a sword above his head, Isaac was all ears, pleading that God would intervene. He did.

As his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird, the banished King Nebuchadnezzar submitted to his God and was restored to his Kingdom. God knew exactly the amount of pain the he would have to endure to bring Nebuchadnezzar clawing back to Him.

And, Bart’s faith has never grown more than when he kissed his wife and 3 boys goodbye as he was wheeled down the hospital hallway to have my skull removed. My darkest times in life are those where I have been willing to be placed on God’s anvil.

My boys will fall. I know that. I pray that God will reveal himself to them in those times. I want to have a faith in a God who is bigger than anything I have ever known or imagined.

“Sons, as you begin this journey down the winding road of life, I pray that when you fall, your faith is solid. I pray that your God is so close you can feel his breath. I pray that your faith in God enables you to get up quickly. Get up and rise above your circumstances. And as Nate would say, I pray that you realize you serve a ‘Ginormous’ God. His mercy has no end. I pray that your faith is increased and your wonder of God has no limit. I thought you should know what I am praying.”

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