Friday, April 30, 2010

the theology of prayer, from a three year old

There is one little girl whom I love more than any other little girl in the whole world.

(I can say that because I only have one niece and none of my own offspring yet to claim.)

Her name is Abby. She is almost three. She is sweet as sugar, smarter than a whistle, and sometimes thinks she's the boss of everyone.

Today we were reading a book about children in different countries. There's a page about Haiti, and the last time we read it, Haiti had just been hit by the earthquake. I told Abby in simplified terms what had happened, and we prayed for the people there.

We haven't picked up the book for months, but when we got to the Haiti page, something clicked in her little mind.
"Lara, there are people hurt there."

"Yeah, Abby. Some people did get hurt in an earthquake there. Do you remember talking about that and praying for them?"

"Yeah. Let's pray for them."
She screwed her eyes up and launched straight into this prayer:

"Dear Jesus God, some people got hurt, please help them. Thank you for all the people. Thank you for my family. In Jesus' name, Amen."

My heart melts into a soft mess of willingness and yearning when I hear her pray. I remember what Jesus said about the faith of a child. She's not praying for anyone but Him. She says what needs to be said. She believes He's listening.
Amen and amen.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

musings from a quiet house

Life is so funny sometimes. Not funny as in I can't catch my breath and I haven't laughed this hard in ages, but funny as is unexpected. A little bit strange.

I never dreamed I would move back to my hometown.

Yet here I am.

I know I write a lot about marriage lately, but c'mon, it's been kind of a big deal in my last year of life. I was thinking about being married to Aaron today. (I'm alone in the house, sort of under the weather, and I haven't talked to anyone since early this morning, so naturally, I am thinking quite a bit about my hubby.) I love being married to him. But it's funny, because marriage to him and even honestly marriage at all wasn't really something on my radar for life at 25. I had a lot of guy friends in college, and I thought about marrying several of them at various points. Single girls dream about marriage, even if they don't want it right away. It's a "what would it be like?" thought digression. I did that a lot in college. I had amazing guy friends, but I'm really glad I'm not married to any of them. I'm glad I'm married to Aaron, a guy who wasn't in my life picture until 22. I never scribbled his name on my notebook or tried his last name on for size in middle school. Okay, I may have done that in college too.

The way God orchestrates things seems funny to me sometimes. Not bad, just different than I would have thought. That's a good thing. He's God, and I'm not.

Here I am in Bolivar, working with youth, married to a man I love.

I am not overseas in Africa serving in an orphanage. Which, when I was 18, is probably what I would have predicted for this point in life.

But here in Bolivar, I love this life. I want to stay close to God's heart so I can follow the next "bend in the road," to borrow a phrase from my good friend Anne Shirley. Because chances are, it might not be what I have planned.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pillow talk

In the early morning hours at the Weaver house:

Lara: (rolls over in bed and punches Aaron)

Aaron: (startled) Ow! Why did you just hit me?

Lara: You were being a jerk in my dream.

Aaron: Awww, babe, I just bought you coffee in my dream.

Lara: Oh. (rolls back and falls asleep)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Why I do not understand blessing and my ability to misuse it

It's spring, and I've been doing some gardening. Let me level with you--if I had written this post yesterday morning, the underlying, ugly motive of my heart would have likely been to show off my flowers. To allow you to see how I have my life under control to the point that I have time to garden and make my yard look beautiful. Gross, but there it is.

Yesterday I got an email that made my heart ache. Something terrible happened to the community in Kolkata that I love so dearly. The injustice and pain of a world 10.5 hours away came rushing over me again. Sorrow. Tears. Questions. Even guilt. That I have flowers and the beautiful women of Kolkata do not.

Today, I'm looking around my life. At the beauty. At the blessing. Do I believe that I possess those by my own merit and worth? Do I believe that I have earned the right to have a pretty flower garden? Do I believe that I own it, that it's mine?

All of this is His grace. When I look at the trees in the backyard, I have to catch my breath. They make me want to cry; they are so amazing. Beauty is grace. It is God's grace to us, and it brings me joy, and it brings me a sharp pain too, a pain rooted in knowing that not everyone is given this lovely cross-section of life I'm currently living in.

I know that God is good, and I bank that His goodness runs far deeper than the outward manifestations in my life: more than my darling first home, more than the clothes I buy and the shoes I wear, more than the variety of food sitting right now in my fridge and cupboard, more than the splurge at Lowe's for a few annuals to plant.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this:

God has poured out His blessing in my life abundantly. But the blessing does not prove or disprove His goodness. Should I count the blessing as something of my doing, or something I deserve, than I'm making a grievious mistake. Whatever He has given me is His. When He takes it away, it's still His. The gift is for a far greater purpose than to make me feel fulfilled or happy. It is for His Kingdom. He has a plan to redeem this pin-head we call Earth, so small in the great universe, yet so full of sadness, hate, poverty, oppression, and evil.

Will I be a part of it?