Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Children and Carpe Diem

Here’s a truth:  children grow up too fast. And here’s an auxiliary truth: life goes by too fast; we are too soon old. Therefore, carpe diem. As a poetry lover, I wish to share with you this poem by Thomas Lux.

A Little Tooth

Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
and four, and five, then she wants some meat
directly from the bone. It's all

over: she'll learn some words, she'll fall
in love with cretins, dolts, a sweet
talker on his way to jail. And you,

your wife, get old, flyblown, and rue
nothing. You did, you loved, your feet
are sore. It's dusk. Your daughter's tall.

* * *

"A Little Tooth" from Drowned River by Thomas Lux. Copyright © 1990 by Thomas Lux. Borrowed from the Poetry Society of America’s website.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Birth of Jesus

The book of Luke tells us that the angel of God said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” And so she became pregnant with the baby Jesus.

Soon after that, Mary went to spend several months with her relative Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah, who lived in the hill country, some distance away. The angel had also told Mary that Elizabeth was six months pregnant; beyond the child-bearing age, Elizabeth had been unable to conceive until then.

As soon as Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby in her womb, she said, “leaped for joy.” This baby, from the womb, recognized the Christ child in Mary’s womb. He was to be John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for the Messiah. The Holy Spirit within him saw the Christ and communicated joy to his spirit.

My friend and Sunday school teacher, whose name happens to be Mary, said this reaction of the unborn baby John to the unborn baby Jesus is a picture of what happens when we accept Christ. The Holy Spirit comes inside us to give us the mind of Christ so that we can discern truth. And so the Holy Spirit in us recognizes Jesus and causes our spirits to leap with joy.

On the previous Sunday morning, a man in our class said he wasn’t so sure all that was possible. In human terms, it is not possible.

Do I believe God can do anything—that he is omnipotent? If my answer is “yes,” then how can I question a pregnancy that happened without human intercourse? How can I question the pregnancy of an old, barren woman? How can I question one unborn baby’s reaction to another unborn baby?

Luke 1:37 says, “For nothing is impossible with God.”

The picture comes from this site: www.dst-corp.com/james/PaintingsOfJesus/NoJS.ht and it is entitled "His Name Shall Be Called Wonderful." The artist is Simon Dewey.

This is a re-print of this entry, from 2007. The picture is different.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fear--A Cultural Focus

The American cultural focus these days is on risk, threat, danger, hazard, warning.  Swine flu, terrorism, AIDS, e. coli, massive blood infections.  Dust mites, global warming, mad cow disease, tsunamis, Lyme disease, autism. Failure, computer viruses, insomnia, PAD, ED, TB, plagiarism, death. Losing face, losing money, losing custody, losing control. We are dogged by angst.

Max Lucado wrote a thought-provoking book about this subject called Fearless: Imagine Your Life without Fear. He made me think about it, and I realize how huge fear is in our culture. I can think of quite a number of important things I could have done--might have done--but never even considered because of my fear and timidity. With God’s help, I can overcome fear in my life. I think it’s my biggest obstacle.

Can you imagine what your life would be like without fear?  What if fear and anxiety went away and left you in peace? How would it be if we could trust God so completely that we relinquished control of our lives to him?  He’s in control, anyway; we just think we are.

Would you live differently? How might it change things?

Picture borrowed from Voices of Oneness Blog

Saturday, December 05, 2009

On Children and Priorities

Some well-meaning (maybe) woman recently said this to a young mother I know:

Look at yourself. You look like a mom. You are a beautiful woman, but your children suck everything out of you. You need to spruce up your wardrobe and do something for yourself! Let yourself be the priority for once!

The young mother was shocked and hurt, understandably. She thought about her priorities, and here’s what she decided:

My children are my priority and greatest blessing, as they should be. My job right now is to love them, guide them into adulthood, and teach them to love God so their lives will be filled with him. That’s how they can best live in the world, which is full of hard knocks--through love of God and other people. Concern about “Self” is of little importance in the rank of major things.

I agree with her. While our children were growing up, I saw my mother-role as the most important thing I’d ever do and as the most rewarding of all hats I would ever wear.  I still feel that way, as a grandmother.  And, by the way, the baby in this picture is one of my granddaughters. Isn't she a cutie? Look how trusting she is. She knew, somehow, even at this age, that she was deeply loved.