Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Real Eyes

Hi again. I didn't have to dust for God's fingerprints today, I saw His hand big and bold. My 2nd son made huge strides in correcting a spine disease. Because of his hard work he has been approved for a brace....a 2+year committment. The doctors were amazed at his progress. Later in the day one of our Women's Ministry team coordinators got side-swiped but everyone was okay. It could have been a lot worse. Her passengers were her young daughters and 2 of the 3 trainers who had just been picked up at the airport in Oakland. They were coming to lead workshops at our church in the Inductive Bible study method...they have a passion for studying God's Word. I know someone who just maybe doesn't like that we are learning to study the "owner's manual" that God gave us for living. I also got a lot of small things done while waiting at the doctors...oh, and speaking of braces...my daughter is entering her next phase of braces...twisting teeth...more bands, bright blue this time. Blue...now that's an entry all itself. What does "blue" feel like and how many kinds of blue are there?

I have so many 'thought trains' going. One is that I can sense (or see with 'eyes' inside myself) the huge amount of prayers and know that is what is holding me up. I need it, I appreciate it. At the same time I see myself...almost outside myself...ministering to others. I'm glad and in some ways it helps me heal. I wish it was that easy. Sometimes I just want people to go away....no...just walk with me...let me talk as I go through another pile of papers that I "should" have put away the first time I dealt with them...or the first time I saw them. I really don't deal with the papers most of the time. Some are reminders. I stopped the bike magazine, but it keeps coming...until it really stops...I don't think I'll miss the magazine...but then why should I get my magazine? Why should I keep my yard nice or get rid of clutter? For my kids? They're the best. For me? Why would that be important for me? (I'm glad I don't need answers to my questions...I just need to be able to ask them.) I have learned I need to simplify my life. Even that takes time. Job had 3,000 camels. Roger and Anita had 101 Dalmations. We have books. I'm glad I don't have 3,000 camels.

I realized the other day that I end up ministering because that is what Michael would do. One of the things that first attracted me to Michael was his mercy for others...not a pittying mercy, but a real compassion. Because Michael was (ugg...hard word to use) a pastor, he had a lot of deeper relationships with people...from his "Greenhouse" Children's Ministry team all the way to people he met in met in different venues of endeavors in his life...storytelling at schools or in the mall...spin cycling at the gym...practicing sleight of hand with other magicians. He just naturally got entwined in people's lives. And there were always people he wanted to know better...like our neighbors. Years ago people really knew their neighbors...and now it seems like everyone is so busy. I guess in a strange way you do get to know your neighbors over time...they are there for you...in the past year Michael did seem to be slowing down some and "walking next door or across the street."
Michael would often tell me when he thought someone was having a tough time. I did not have those kind of eyes. I think I am learning to be "present" in a conversation, but I have a long way to go to be merciful.

Do you notice how I get side-tracked by intellectualizing my grief? Maybe if I rationalize it to understanding it won't hurt me as bad. I think God is beginning to give me "real eyes" to see where I need to let go and walk the road that might have a lot more tears and ache. I think God gives us real eyes, but in some way...for whatever reason...we choose not to slow down to see, to listen. Could real eyes be the eyes of our heart. I am learning about love. I'm learning we can be quick to learn with our mind, but slower with the heart.

My heart is starting to see...to realize that I have a big hole in my heart. I struggle with the saddness of knowing that you, too, have a loss in your life. For some of you Mike was a dad, for others a brother, pastor, son, and friend...even a windbreak on bike rides. There is a lot in realationships that can take people "deep." There is so much I want to share....but I realize it's very late...and grieving is tiring. As you rest tonight, pray for eyes to see God's heart...to listen to the pain other people have or are in. There are so many who have relatives with cancer or are struggling with difficult life situations...even sending children off to military boot camp. Some friends just shared about a neat website that helps parents with prodigals. ... dealing with the pain of prodigals, drugs, and alcohol, called"You're Not Alone." The website is notalone.org.

If you think my mind has gone in a million directions...(in the words of a friend on my behalf)... "welcome to my world." Say, there is a neat song out there, "In the Blink of an Eye." Pretty telling questions to ponder. I guess eyes are the theme tonight. My son probably thought I was saying eyes cream....one track mind.

4 Comments:

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Annie. I like reading your blog! Take care.
-Lisa C.

 
At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Annie,I've visited here before, but tonight I decided to write and let you know. The insights you share are wonderful guides to praying for you. May God continue to open the eyes of your heart.
Praying for you,
Meg S.

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger Dan and Pat said...

Hey Annie,

God is shining through you as you honestly communicate. I am privileged to be in on your thoughts and your journey. We're praying for you.

Dan and Pat
Orlando

 
At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend,
What a great idea, blogging! I have written you hundreds of e-mails in my head. Notice none came over the internet, though. Looking forward to seeing you in the next few months. Much love and many prayers. My "guts" still hurt for you and yours! love, Lynn

 

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