Hey y’all, I’m in a full out run of preparation. I’ll be leaving for Guatemala this coming Monday, part of a Compassion Int’l mission trip. Amidst all the packing and double checking of the packing, I’ve turned my kitchen into an assembly line to put good food in the freezer for my beloved farmer to enjoy while I’m away.
It’s what you do when you were raised by a good Southern Mama. (Thanks, Mom!)
My heart was full as I walked back towards the retreat center where I’d been speaking for the last couple of days. God had taken the words I felt He had given me to share, and blessed us all, working in speaker and hearers alike.
He does that. A lot. He is good for our souls and through our souls towards others.
While I was considering the win/win life of peace with God through Christ, our Savior, I was watching my path for hearts. And crosses. It’s a thing. I like to find them hidden in the beauty of nature, in leaves, clouds, rocks, etc. I see hearts all around me. I’ve seen them in big puffy white clouds and I’ve seen them in the knots of old oak trees. I’ve seen them drawn into the scales of a fish and outlined on the back of an insect. I can trace this fascination to the earliest days of writing Heart Wide Open and I’ve never gotten over it, and I’m okay with that. I hope I always do. I once mentioned this heart thing to my oldest grandson. That story is going to be included in my next release, “Devotions for the Hungry Heart”, Chasing Jesus Six Days from Sunday. Here’s an excerpt for our purposes..
Grant and I were walking across a parking lot holding hands when I pulled him to a stop and showed him a heart formed from the mortar of the pavement at our feet. “God shows me those,” I told Grant. “He knows I like to see them, so He shows them to me. It’s like a little note from heaven right in the middle of the day. When I see it, I think about how much God loves us.”
Soon after that, another trip to Texas came with a sweet surprise. My grandson had become a heart seeker in his own right. He‘s good at it, too. Grant showed me all kinds of hearts around his house and his mommy said he’d been showing her hearts all around Humble. Of course, the hearts have been there all the time. Grant is just now seeing them– because he’s just now looking for them and expecting to find them.
That story beautifully illustrates one of the discoveries I’ve made about pursuing God. If we walk in this world demanding special visions or revelations from God that He might prove His existence to us, we seldom find the evidence of God we’re after. However, if and when we surrender that type of antagonistic demand and focus instead on looking for God in our everyday unspectacular lives, we find that He is all around us and He has been here all the time.
Now, back to the retreat.
I’d been on the lookout for a little physical memento from the weekend when I, rather unconsciously, began to pick up sticks and form them into little hearts and crosses at my feet, even as a prayer formed on my lips.
“I want to tell you that I don’t have to see a heart or a cross,” I said aloud, “I don’t really need physical evidence to know that You have been with us, and You will go with us from here.”
And that’s when I saw the beautiful irony between what I was doing and what I was praying.
Someone else would find the crosses I’d been forming with sticks from the roadside brush.
Someone else would have their thoughts turned to God because I had traveled this way.
And isn’t that what we want? For our lives to leave evidence of God to those who walked with us, and for those who will come behind us?
Is it possible? Can the eyes of our faith see Him so clearly that the imprints of our lives reveal Him to others? The Bible says yes. And I’m after every word of that Good Book. Jesus promised to save to the uttermost those who believe in Him.
Me, Lord. Make me an living example of your power to do just that.