Oh, How He Loves Us

If you read blogs much at all then no doubt you’ve heard Debra Parker’s plight in trying to get her newly-adopted son Ronel out of Haiti and into her arms.  I’ve wept as she has shared how her husband, Ernest, has slept on the floor of the Embassy in Haiti interceding on behalf of this child who is already theirs in heart. This is a woman I do not know other than through the world of web and yet this family’s anguish and frustration has completely hijacked my thoughts and prayers since I heard of it a few days ago. 

Can you imagine?  Your child is in a country of collapsed and crumbling buildings.   Inadequate food.  Unimaginable stench.  Surrounded by death and dying.  Held captive by bureaucracy.  Hopelessly aware you’ve done all you can do to get him out.  A signature – a seemingly simple transaction – is all that stands between this boy and new life.  And you – his rescuer –  wait and hope for the decision to be handed down that will mean his freedom.

I told Luke about Ronel this morning before church and sobbed like a baby.  He may have cried too.  In a world that shuts its ears to the horrors happening around us, these stories and images are the things that awaken a frenzy to do something to relieve the suffering of those who are living in conditions we deem unlivable.   It was while I was pondering these things that something occurred to me.

We are all orphans. 

Orphans living in a world that is collapsed and crumbling.  Starving for spiritual food.  Surrounded by death and dying.  Held captive by bureaocracy.  And all that is between us is a transaction –  a simple decision – between us and eternal life.  The same angst we feel and then fades when we come face-to-face with tradgedy and injustice is the eternal, urgent heartbeat of a God who is on a mission to rescue each and every suffering one.  He’s aware He’s given His best to get us out but this time, the decision for freedom is ours.    

How great is the love the Father has poured out on us that we should be called the children of God.

Please join me in praying not only for Ronel to be united with his family, but also for the many other children who are without homes and food and parents tonight.  Also, please pray for my brother-in-law, TJ, who has traveled to Depinos (changed from Port Au Prince) to minister there.

UPDATE from my sis-in-law, Laura Beth: 

“They are going to The Haiti Gospel Mission in Despinos (as far as we know). The plans changed again the morning of the trip. Just spoke with him and they were about to cross the border into Haiti. Said the poverty was unbelievable.”

In Real Life…

UPDATE:  Girls, THANK YOU for your enthusiasm!  This wouldn’t be near as fun if I didn’t get to share it with you!

 

This afternoon I pulled out of the driveway to go visit one of my besties, Deedra, who had an abruptly scheduled surgery yesterday.  (She’s doing great, by the way.  She is every woman.  Girlfriend gets more done in-firmed with three kids on her hip than I get done perfectly healthy when my kids are at school for eight hours.)  But that’s not the point.   Of course you know me by now so you aren’t at all surprised that we are getting to this thing the long way around.

So, I’m pulling out of the driveway (isn’t that how the first paragraph began?) and notice there are a few boxes on the front porch.  It’s not unusual for UPS or FedEx to deliver church packages to the house if it’s after office hours so fleetingly I thought, “Awana…” and kept going.  And then it hit me. 

Could it be?

But it’s not time yet!

But what if…?

I slammed the car in reverse, pulled into the front yard and ran to the porch with keys in hand.  My eyes went straight to the shipping label which was addressed directly to me. (Definitely not Awana supplies!)  I banged on the door, yelled for Luke, took my keys, ripped into the package and it was…….   

!!!!!!!!!!!THESE!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!SQUEAL!!!!!!!SCREAM!!!!!!SQUALL!!!!!!!!

 

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Hello, love!  It’s about time this computer relationship took the next step.

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You’re even cuter in real life!  How often does that happen?

 

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As beautiful on the inside as on the out…

 

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And look, we even have mutual friends! (Yes, the same Deedra as above whose visit spurred this discovery.  No question who has the better camera skillz.)

This relationship has been brewing for a very, very long time.  I knew I wouldn’t have adequate words to describe the first meeting when I finally got to see all the contents of a glowing screen come to life.  Until I do, I know you will excuse me if I return to my crying. 

More later when there isn’t so much snot involved. 

I promise.  (More that is.  I can’t assure you there will be no snot.)

My Happy Place

Two weeks of Christmas Vacation are now over and as hard as it was to say goodbye, I managed to drop the kids off at the school house and squeal away in a fit of maniacal laughter.

Oh, not really.

They walked.

(Yet another perk of living next door to the church AND the school. Could my life be any easier?)

For real, as much fun as we’ve had over the holidays I’ve been craving some routine and today, oh blessed day, I finally got it. For the first time in a sweet forever, I settled into my little chair behind my little desk in my little room at the church and sighed.

My happy place.

It’s really nothing special, this little room of mine. It was originally a pastor’s office before a new sanctuary was built, then a junk room, then a library, and was quickly becoming a junk room again until I claimed it as my own. Don’t know if anyone at the church minds but better to ask forgiveness than permission I always say.

Why is it my happy place? Because it’s cleaner than my house. Because I’m surrounded by books. Because it’s solitary. Because the block walls block the internet connection so there is no distraction. Because it feels like God gave it to me as a tiny corner of the Universe to do the thing He’s asked of me. I read a quote by an athlete (can’t remember his name) not long ago that said, “God made me fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” I guess I feel a little like that while I’m in that room praying and studying and writing and contemplating.

You know I gotta ask….do you have a Happy Place? One where you can run and feel His pleasure? Doesn’t necessarily have to be a location. It may just be a state of mind or a certain thing you do that causes you to be aware of His favor or motivates you to follow harder after Him. I’d love to hear about it…

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