Thursday, February 18, 2010

Loving the Unlovely

Lately, I've been praying a prayer that goes something like this, "God, send me to the unlovely. Send me to the least loved, I will go and love them. I will be Jesus to them."

Yesterday, as I walked to work, the Spirit of God was stirring in my heart. I could tell God was preparing my heart for something but I didn't know what.

About ten minutes after we opened the store, a man came in. He looked at us and started sobbing. His daughter had committed suicide the night before. He wept for a half hour and continually cried, "I want to see my child. I want to see her again. Just one more time."

Then his story came spilling out. A horrid childhood and a life of crime as a gang member of Hell's Angels. An alcoholic to drown out the pain that rings in his ears of the years of committing murder and other acts of violence. It made him a bad father, he said. I wasn't a good father and I couldn't help her, he said. I'm worth nothing, he said.

I told him about Jesus and His love for him. And he said, "I keep hearing that. Everywhere I go."
So we had a discussion about how God gets our attention. He chases us down, He is not content until we know His incredible love for us.

His love ruins us to what would seem like the pleasures of this life. Those things taste chalky and dry compared to His love. His overwhelming love. His perfect love. I can't fathom it, I can only ask for more of it. More of it to give away.

After this man left the store, I hid in the employee lounge for a few moments and fell on my face before God. I was overwhelmed with God's heart for this man. And I heard Him ask me, "Are you still willing to love those who others reject?"
I thought for a moment. This man was drunk, in despair, rambling, smelly, snot-covered and tried to hug me twice inappropriately. I, myself, didn't want to stand and cry with him. I wanted to walk away.
But then God's heart of love for this man overwhelmed me. And I had to stay. I had to tell him that he was loved. That forgiveness of all the sins that play over in his head every night was available to him.
"Am I willing to love those who others reject?"
I am. And I know that I cannot do it in my own strength but He can love through me.

How about you? Are you willing to love the broken? Are you willing to lay yourself aside for the things that are dear to God's heart?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope your day is filled with surprises and loads of love, love, sugary love!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Flashback: Olympic Flame

Here is a memory for us from a little while ago:

This morning we went and saw the Olympic flame. It was running through our town and so we bundled up the crew and stood in the cold waiting for the flame.

We are huddled together with all sorts of community members, including an elderly couple, a guy who keeps starting his sentences with 'man' and a few families.

We watch as the Coca-Cola truck and the RBC truck come by blasting music and cheering us up. Followed by the local vehicles and a few police cars.

"Man, this is one time I don't mind seeing the police drive by, " says the guy who starts his sentences with 'man'.

Oooookayyy, I think.

The runner who is going to do our 300 feet of road arrives. She smiles and tells us that since her company is a sponsor she was drawn randomly to carry the flame.
She lets my girls pose with the torch.

Man, she was so nice to let us hold the torch.

She was, I think.

Then people from all around take photos with her. Interspersed with "Do it quick, here comes the flame."

Here comes the flame!

It draws closer. I jump up onto the wall and steady my camera to capture the moment. Crowd frenzy is starting to build.

Suddenly, I realize that a stampede of running kids who are following the flame are heading straight for us. It results in a shaky video and bad photography. If you squint you can kinda see that the flame is lit. But you can't really tell, since I'm trying to take photos and shield my kids as the local Bulls of Pompleno head our way. But...

The torch is lit. And she's running our stretch of road.

Shouts and hoorays fill the air as she makes her way down the road. Suddenly, everyone feels connected and we're all screaming and shouting and encouraging the girl who let us hold the torch.
"Go! Go! Go! Come on, Ashley! " we scream.

She starts to fade away as she heads further down the road, the flickering flame shining above her head.

"Man, Canada does it right, eh?"

Yeah. Canada does, I think.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My name is not Inigo Montoya

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not watch Princess Bride yesterday.

And even if I had--which I didn't--I would never say, "Stop rhyming and I meant it! Does anybody want a ________?" I wouldn't say that with the actors because I don't speak out loud when I watch films. I am quiet like a stone.

In fact, finding me giggling at Vizzini saying, " You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"! " Me, giggling at that? Inconceivable!

And I don't get scared when Buttercup is swimming in eel-infested waters. I did that when I was a kid and I am so not afraid of shrieking eels growing closer and closer and aaaahhhh! Becoming afraid like that would mean I've become totally engrossed in the film and I find I am watching the film as though I was little again. I never pretend to be little again. Ever.

And I did not pick up on jokes that I missed when I was younger. Because I am astute and nothing gets by me. Not even when the man in black says, ' Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.' I think I would've caught the first 20 times I watched it. After all, I am observant like a stone.

And I did not snicker when the clergyman said, " Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... Snickering isn't something I do. It sounds like you are coughing through your nose and I don't know how to do that.

And I never imitate the Albino. Imitating requires skill and a good ear to be able to deliver the lines, "The Pit of Despair" with a raspy voice. I don't have a raspy voice, even though I am an albino. And I never guffawed as Prince Humperdink says to Buttercup "Please consider me as an alternative to suicide." Guffawing is awkward out loud laughing that draws attention to yourself. I don't draw attention to myself. Ever. I am part of the background. Like a stone.

And I didn't have the biggest smile on my face when Princess Buttercup flies through the air in her wedding gown looking like a beautiful falling star. I wouldn't get so much joy over seeing a beautiful bride, after all it's only a fairytale. And I don't believe in fairytales.

And I would never think about my own love story and the romance that I have with my own hero. That sounds so girly and silly. You'd have to ask me to dream to do that. And you know what I'd say to that, don't you?

As you wish.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Flashback: Flushbacks

This has been my week.
We now keep all doors to the bathroom closed.
Anyone want to guess what my third child is busy doing these days?
Keeping his Mom employed in the department of rescue services

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Love is in the air...mail

We're getting all our love packaged up and shipping it out to those who live far away. We may have snuck a few candy hearts along the way.

Monday, February 1, 2010

F is for...


We're under the blankets recovering from the flu.
Wishing we could keep down food.
Reading about flies swallowed by ladies, fudge and full moons.
Counting down the days to the upcoming fun with the Olympics, and following the flame.
And getting ready for fruit salads and funny valentines given on the fourteenth day of February.

What F words are you celebrating today?