Finding hope

After a particularly heartening event when Craig first started church planting, Jim Yoder, veteran church planter, advised him to celebrate the current moment the Lord had given. Next day, week might be tough again, so celebrate now.

When I got a phone with a camera, I started taking pictures to remind me of moments of delight. Some I share; most I don’t. But I can visually be reminded of many of the things to celebrate in life. Visually I can reenter for a second whatever was true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable,  excellent, or praiseworthy.

Yesterday morning I was leaving a couple of hours of mentoring educators who want to learn to teach students who struggle with reading and writing. The educators I work with have been progressing beautifully, and I left so pleased with them. Just as I was about to get into the car, I noticed this beautiful flower with the sun smiling on it. I took a quick whatever is lovely photo and ran home.

photo

The day was full: music lesson, date with a child, shopping for another, music store, lunch prep, quick nap, walk to the park, an exciting basketball game, cooking, put to bed a young one. And then this full and good day became intense.

My child with anaphylactic allergies started having his first major reaction in ages. We headed to Children’s hospital. Once the triage nurse saw him, he was taken to the “special” room. He and a toddler headed to surgery shared this room of relative quiet in the midst of chaos. Once his IV was in and the important medicines administered, it’s a wait and watch game. When enough hours passed, we were sent home. Not all the symptoms had stopped, but the dangerous ones window passed.

At 4:45 this morning I was looking at my pictures from yesterday, and I saw the flowers. And they reminded me of what a good day Saturday had been. It still ended ridiculously intensely, but the sun on this flower captured the beauty and reminded me of all the other great moments. While in emergency, I had told the Lord that my heart felt like it was in the Princess Bride torture chamber, and I just wasn’t sure I could handle one more twist. The rag of my heart was just wrung out.

And then home and glancing at the photos of the day, life expanded in my heart as I considered how I am seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, and I’m living some hard moments. It was good to be reminded of beauty and joy; it was life giving because it allowed a million other details of delight from the day to surface.

I’ll be looking for reminders of what’s right, true, honourable, and lovely today.

25 “For this reason I say to you, [n]do not be worried about your [o]life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the [p]air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single [q]hour to his [r]life? 28 And why are youworried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which isalive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clotheyou? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But [s]seek first [t]His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be[u]added to you.

34 So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will [v]care for itself. [w]Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 Matthew 6:25-34
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