This is a guest post written by my daughter, Texas Stready. It is her first published piece.
Cool thing happened at church this Sunday. I saw Jesus and the depth of His love for me.
I see better each day what it takes to enjoy this often confusing life. Seems silly to have messed up so much of my existence, yet have the nerve to continue to think my way could work. In spite of this ridiculous idea, God just smiles and keeps huggin’ on me. He’s good like that. This thought amazes my simple mind. Not being able to wrap my head around real love makes me long to understand it. Isn’t that why we do the church thing? To access God and figure out how He works?
In case you’re not sure, and I myself have wondered, God does attend the local church. All I have to do is go there in expectance, and praise without restraint. He can’t stay away from that and truth always accompanies Him. This combination is lethal to my human reasoning. Any real turn of mind requires me to observe things from a new viewpoint.
Anna Campbell is a 5 yr. old with Down’s Syndrome. Her father and mother adopted her. Dad leads praise and worship at my church. This Sunday, while being attended by someone in the congregation, Anna can only find moments of consolation. She shifts and stretches in restless disapproval, searching for the place of peace she remembers.
When the music comes to an end, from the corner of her eye, she notices Dad’s arms branched out in love. The child responds and rushes to her savior’s embrace, in an instant her body language changes. Captured by the feel and smell, she knows this is home.
The calm is effortless; it causes me to breathe easy just watching. In union, they appreciate one another. Dad begins to brush his face through her wiry, untamed hair, his head wagging back and forth, cheek, nose, lips, and chin. Tender, yet filled with intense adoration. It is clear to see how precious she is to him.
That is how it should be. This is his child; she needed him and came as soon as possible. He is committed to being her constant place of refuge. The relief displayed on both faces saturates my heart—like warm, maple syrup on fluffy, buttered pancakes, thick and sweet. It causes my eyes to blur.
Love is hard to comprehend but so easy to enjoy from a distance. God, my Father, feels the same way about me. He has proven it, time and time again. How am I so quick to delight in the pleasures He brings yet slow to consider the cost?
For no apparent reason, the one who loves her shifts things around a bit and faces Anna outward. She’s been with him so much she knows how it goes and her face shows no unease. Regardless of the direction, she remains on Dad’s lap so she’s safe.
After awhile, Anna begins to notice her own hand. Twisting it back and forth, she turns each finger, as if to figure out how it works. She points, wiggles, a pull, a clench, open, then closed. She’s captivated by the wonder of every joint, nail, movement, color, and texture. Spellbound, as if hearing her favorite book read by Mom, on a sleepy eve.
I look towards the thigh that extends from my shorts. It’s connected to the shin bone by a knee, then ankle, foot, and so on. How ingenious! Really! Too often, my intellect is busy handling all kinds of unnecessary duties, leaving my mind dull and unable to appreciate the wonder of it all.
Now and then, just in case, the young one reaches back over her head to touch Daddy’s face. Instantly aware of her need he leans into her hand and begins to kiss each finger. Faithful is his assurance. Retrieving the arm, she lops it over her face, as if her eyes are of no use. All of a sudden, with great pleasure and void of concern, Anna lifts her head and starts to laugh and clap, as if being released from a dark hole.
That bright smile of contented delight is a clear reminder of the freedom I possess, if I’ll keep my eyes shaded from the glare of outside attractions. Truth to tell, they really just appear to glitter in the dark. When the true light is on, they prove dim. I’ve seen the glory of my Father’s light. The Lover of my soul is that light. All I need do is reach for Him and upon my discovery of His sweet lips, always there, I too get lost in extravagant praise.
The musicians head back to the stage. The service is ending. I feel ashamed. I have no clue what the pastor said, and if tested on it, I’d be “high steppin’ it in the F-parade,” as Coach Smith used to say. Why come to church if I’m not gonna listen? I think.
Almost still enough to ignore, comes a kind and familiar whisper, “The message sat across from you, and you were listening…Disable you to enable Me!! Get it?”
God is always speaking. He has so much to say, no matter where I am. The problem is never Him. When I can’t hear, I can be positive it’s not His voice that’s missing.
- Am I assured of His huge love for me?
- Can I trust in His perfect and competent plan?
- Will I follow to the brink of insanity for His sake alone?
I’m sure you would too if you had any idea how crazy He is about us.