What do you see, God?

I have been asked a couple of times how I can go in to a place where there is a lot of sadness and pain and be able to "handle it." When we first arrived I was told by someone here that they had visited this institution before but could not ever go back. It made me sad to hear that but I knew what she was really trying to say. It is very difficult to see children who were hurting, living outside of the design God had for them within family.

If I went each day as Tina, one stand alone gal, with really nothing to offer I don't know that I could go. But God sends us to places not to feel "warm and fuzzy" or to walk in and transform and fix in our efforts. He sends us really for only one purpose and that is to bring His love.

Long ago I saw these children and places like this as sanctuaries, as holy places. If God speaks of orphans as he does in the Bible, than can you imagine the kind of seriously silly love abounding there? That many cannot see it isn't because God is not madly in love with each of these children. Oh he is! He's watching us to see our response. He's poured his love into us now what will we do? Will we care? If He is our first love, than we can't do anything else than care.

The question I ask each morning... What do you see God? Show me what you see! The world tells me lies, but you God, you tell the truth! Everything he has made is GOOD! What man has done is another thing. So if we wake up each day looking at what man is doing, there is no power and ya know what, not much grace. But when I ask the all knowing God to reveal hidden things, sweet and precious beauty that no one else will take the time to look for, He will show it. He wants us to take off the veil and to see Him here, in this orphanage, in your home, neighborhood, workplace.

Recently, it was brought to my attention as a concern that we will not be able to handle another child with special needs in our home. As I swallowed the heavy painful lump in my throat, they pointed to my unorganized kitchen, my almost 2 yr old, my "high maintenance" child with FAS, and the concern to keep my older boys focused on their school. I have prayed and prayed on this. It hurt.

This is the response I wish I could have said but usually I don't have a fast reply.
It's written with love and God was good to wipe the sting along the way.

I often find straggling socks without matches. My boys often have holes in their pants that I haven't had time to mend yet. Some of our schoolwork is done in the van on our way to therapy appointments. My white floors are usually a week behind in being cleaned. My counter tops are collections of art piles, books and misc. items that eventually make it back to their "home." The laundry is never "done" and most definitely the dishes are never finished. The bannister finds a mark as soon as I remove it. I can see hair from our cherished animals on the furniture. On several occasions I forgot to take my shower I had planned on. If you tour my house and judge me in this, you are welcome to, but you will miss much.

You might overlook our joyful pancake making that the kids learned how to do while you are busy looking at the mess it has made. You might not see that we come together in worship and devotion to God if you are distracted by the missing baseboard in the family room. You might miss the twinkles in my children's eyes as you observe the cat on the table licking out of the leftover milk in the cup. You might mistake my children's artwork as clutter. As you stare at the pantry that needs revamping once again, you might overlook the miracle that one of our family members learned how to eat in this house and might not be alive today if God did not bring her here. If you notice dust on my hanging light fixture, well, I might just be glad you are atleast looking UP!








But no matter how I reply, I am still guilty by the standards this person has held me to. Those standards, by the way, are none being taught to my children.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

As I prayed, I washed everything through Christ's eyes. I considered this other point of view for only a time and I found chains there. I lost the joy and peace and love that God promises when we seek Him alone.

As I sat amongst the orphans today I tried to imagine how I could ever convey to them the sorts of reasons laid before me not to come here and not to love them, help them. How would that go?

"Listen, sweetie, Jesus loves you but I have floors that never seem to get clean! I know you are hungry and lonely but God is a father to the fatherless! Let me wipe your tears honey. Surely you realize the importance of my children taking two vacations this year. We need to find rest and relaxation after our "crazy" sports schedules, Christmas shopping and church work. Keep trusting God sweetie! He loves you! He's blessed me with SO much and we are having a big party to celebrate. If he can do that for me, I know he will help you. I wish I could do more but I am getting out of debt...so I can save up for more fun things. Just know that I am praying for you sweet girl!"

Then I was reminded:

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs of judgment.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go I wish you well; keep warm and and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:12-17

We hope we are teaching our children to see Jesus in everything they do, in every place they go and even to love the ones who do not reflect his love in their hearts. Our children know that God doesn't look at the outward appearances, he looks at what is inside. And even when he doesn't like what's inside of us, he still loves us. Our children have learned how to wait on God for their desires and see Him answer. Our children have learned that suffering happens, because they have seen it and some have experienced it. They also know that God saves because they have witnessed his grace. Our children are learning that sometimes, things don't go as we plan, but God is always good.

I hope that most of all, our children know they are never a burden to me and their father. They are hugged, kissed, and told they are loved everyday. They know what it's like to have parents pray over them. They know that Mom and Dad mess up but they also know parents who say "I am sorry." They get to see a Mom and Dad who are passionately devoted to eachother and to their family and to GOD!

There is great GRACE poured out on those who will say YES when Jesus calls your name and sends you. Your house maybe won't be spotless and you might find that there things you just didn't get done that you hoped to. But do not become enslaved by those who have not had their eyes opened to the greater works He has in store. The joy our family marinades in, well, I wouldn't trade it for anything. We will never trade Christ for anything else.

So keep asking, What do you see God? I want more of you JESUS! And when those painful words come at you like arrows questioning why and what and how you are doing what you do, just keep seeing Jesus' love poured out for YOU! You are the beautiful hands and feet of Jesus going places most of the world closes their eyes to! Praise God, you didn't!

Comments

tamara said…
Outstanding! I am truly humbled by your insights.

"Listen, sweetie, Jesus loves you but I have floors that never seem to get clean! I know you are hungry and lonely but God is a father to the fatherless! Let me wipe your tears honey. Surely you realize the importance of my children taking two vacations this year. We need to find rest and relaxation after our "crazy" sports schedules, Christmas shopping and church work. Keep trusting God sweetie! He loves you! He's blessed me with SO much and we are having a big party to celebrate. If he can do that for me, I know he will help you. I wish I could do more but I am getting out of debt...so I can save up for more fun things. Just know that I am praying for you sweet girl!" How many times has He observed this exchange, verbalized or not? Thank you for challenging the lies of this world!!!!!!!! Help me Jesus to see what you see . . .
Tabbitha said…
This is your defense for the hope you carry :) I tell you...it is upheld in heaven, friend! Justified before God, considered foolish in the eyes of the wise, becoming more and more like Jesus, considering it pure joy. Agh!!! Crazy righteousness credited to you :) LOVE IT!!! I know He has given you the capacity to be where you are today and to share it w/the rest of us. He truly has enlarged your heart that He may pour more of himself into it; so much so that it overflows to all those who huddle around you. can't wait to see you on THIS side of the globe, Maxim in tow!!!!
You are such a blessing. I hope it is ok with you, I'd LOVE to link to your blog. Thank you for sharing the TRUTH!
Healy Family said…
May the good Lord bless you sister as you continue to follow His call to care for the orphans. Surely He has given you His eyes to see what really matters! It's so easy to get caught up in Martha Stewart living (no offense to her...) and miss Jesus Living. Keep on Jesus living! And I will too.

Any word on a family for Beautiful? I'm still praying!
sfrancis23 said…
Praise you Lord, for using Tina as a vehicle to speak to us. I needed these words today.
Tina, thank you for listening and allowing Him to use you!
Bless you, sister.
Natalie said…
Amen. Thank you.
Adeye said…
Hello Tina

Someone sent me a link to your blog and the need for Beautiful to find a family. My heart broke. I would LOVE to try and get word out. But I need some details. Could you please e-mail me at nogreaterjoy@gmail.com?
Thanks so much.
Love and blessings.
Adeye
Adeye said…
opppssss...sorry, nogreaterjoymom@gmail.com

I only gave you half the address :)
Hi! I'm a supporter of Reece's Rainbow and I found your blog. Now a follower! :)
Tina,
I check your blog daily for updates as I have been captivated by your story. I pray you are doing well in Maxim's country and know that I am praying often for your family. Hope to read an update soon!
God Bless,
Courtney Connelly from Tulsa
Shan said…
This is SO awesome and SO inspired Tina!!!! I read it on the perfect day. Many blessings to your fam this year. xo :)

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