Friday, June 10, 2005

Weekly Word for June 10 - 19, 2005

Weekly Word - June 10, 2005

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous.
(Psalm 146: 8)

They were all there, the children and grandchildren. He looked at them, wondering what they would think, after he told them - all about her. He was going to tell them the story of when he first met her. It was the story of who she had been and all that she had been through. It was the story of his wife - - - and their mother . . .

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then - face to face . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 12a)

He was going to tell them all about that first day, when he met their mother. The day he met “me”. . .

It was about 9 years ago, and at the time Mike had just turned 19, and Jen was 14. Mike worked full time 3rd shift, and was in the army reserves. His life revolved around his friends and dating, and I would catch glimpses of him here and there. Jen had just finished up with school - having a terrible time in her freshman year of high school. On this day, Jen was at a “sleep-over” at a friend’s, and Mike was already sleeping - having worked the night before. I hadn’t slept all night, knowing that this was the day! As the alarm went off, I turned and looked at my sleeping husband. He looked so peaceful - and I really wished that things had been different.

I made his breakfast and wondered why he didn’t see my hands shaking or the fear in my eyes. But he didn’t seem able to “see”, as he got ready for work that day. As it came time for him to leave, my heart was pounding in my chest - and I was sure that he would hear it. Instead, he turned and kissed me goodbye, and I struggled to keep from crying. I waved from the door as he backed out of the driveway. And then he was gone. He didn’t know, he didn’t see . . .

Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 12b)

As his car disappeared from sight, I turned and looked at what used to be my home. The pictures on the walls, the curtains and furniture - I had decorated it all. But it wasn’t “mine” - and soon I would be leaving it. Then I turned to Mike’s room. He had been away at “basic training” for six months and I had missed him so much. When it was finally time for him to come home - I had cleaned and decorated his room myself. I had picked out the bedspread and curtains to match, and had hemmed them all myself. But I don’t know if he even knew I had done that. As I walked into the room, I looked down at my first born, and started to sob. I had to say goodbye - and I didn’t want to do it. But it was time . . .

Love is patient, love is kind . . . Love - bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;
(1 Corinthians 13: 4, 7 & 8)

I loved my children, with all my heart - but they were just that - children. And on that day, so long ago, they were doing their best to live their own lives. They were being exactly how they were supposed to be, children learning about themselves and their world. They were learning how to become adults - and hadn’t quite gotten there yet.

I picked up Jen that day and took her far away from all her friends - to a place where I would feel safe. I left Mike in the middle of that house, sitting there wondering why his whole world had been turned upside down. All of this is how I remember that day, so many years ago. But I don’t know how they remember it - or if they even saw “me” - as they were forced to deal with their own lives changing . . .

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
Perplexed, but not despairing;
(2 Corinthians 4: 8)

Ted was going to tell them - - - all about that day! He saw himself standing there, and he knew what he wanted to tell them - - - and then he woke up . . .

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
(Mathew 13: 16 & 17)

So many times in our lives, we do not see what is around us. We don’t see what others are feeling or going through, we can’t - because all we see is our own problems - our own lives . . .

Many years ago, when I was about 13 or 14, I wrote a letter to my mother. In it, I told her about “us” - my brothers and me. Our household was very strict, and my mother was always yelling and punishing us. For the three of us - we were always trying to fight our way out of being trapped in the house. We wanted to see our friends, to go places - and it just wasn’t allowed. And then I wrote the letter. In the letter, I told my mother that she had “good” children - that she didn’t see us! Because if she did - she would know that she could trust us. As I wrote the letter, my hands shook - and I wasn’t sure if I should give it to her. But things were getting worse, and the yelling and fighting was happening every day! So on this day, I left the letter on her bureau as I headed off to school.

To this day, I have never heard a word about that letter! It was gone when I got home that night, and I have always wondered what she thought about it. For a while, I worried that I would be punished, but then it was forgotten. Soon, I was married and could leave the house forever . . .

For the heart of this people has become dull, And with their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes
Lest they should see with their eyes - and hear with their ears - and understand with their heart and return, . . .
(Mathew 13: 15)

I had decided I would never go back home. All those years - I had made vows - to stay away. And then my life started to change. I grew healthier and stronger, and decided it was time to leave another home . . . And start living - without fear . . .

Praise the Lord - O my soul!
How blessed is he whose hope is in the Lord his God;

The Lord sets the prisoners free.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises up those who are bowed down;
(Psalm 146: 2, 5, 7 & 8)

It has been 9 years since I left my first husband - - - and many, many years since I left the home of my parents. Did I see clearly during those times? No. I saw and felt “my hurts” and pain. Since that time, there have been so many changes - so many places where I have asked the Lord to heal me and set me free . . .

“Lest they should see with their eyes - and hear with their ears - and understand with their heart and return,
And I should heal them.”
(Mathew 13: 15)

A few months ago, my brothers and I had a 50th wedding anniversary party for my parents. When we first thought about doing this - I have to admit I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that much work - or spend that much money. After all, I hadn’t been that close to my parents for many years. But it seemed “right” - and so we started the plans.

One of my brothers suggested that we give our parents a video for their present. It would be a video of pictures. Pictures from the very beginning, from when they were children, to now. So the work of finding all the pictures began. As I looked through my photo albums, I wondered what the video would be like - and if I would even like it. I thought that my parents might like it - but didn’t want to have a copy for myself. And then the day came . . .

On that day, we (Ted, myself, and my brothers and their wives) worked so hard! We decorated and cooked and set up tables - all in preparation for when our parents would arrive. And then we waited. Soon the guests were arriving, and I could feel my nervousness as it was getting closer to when my parents would be there. It was a surprise party - and so we had arranged for them to come a little later.

When the “big” moment finally came - we watched as my parents came through the doors of the hall. As they did, I felt Him - I felt the Lord there! I wondered why, but was soon busy with the party. There was the toast, and the food, and cutting of the cake - - - and then came the time for the present. As everyone settled down to watch, I felt Him again! The music started and there on the screen were my parents - as children and then as young people getting married. The pictures continued, and the music changed. There were pictures of “us” as children - and we watched our lives unfold. The music and the pictures continued to change - as we did - on that screen. Until the song “Remember When” by Alan Jackson - and we saw ourselves as we are now - with our parents and having children of our own. As the video ended, I wiped away my tears and realized that the Lord was still there. The video was not just a gift for my parents - - - but a gift of our own lives as well.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully - just as I also have been fully known.
But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; . . .
But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13: 12 & 13)

We don’t always “see” the whole picture around us. But the Lord does - He sees how to heal us and bring us to Life. I didn’t have perfect parents - but they are my family. I didn’t have a perfect marriage - but the Lord knew what each of us needed. He knows what my children need - how to help them to “see”. And He knows what you need, to bring you alive . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, . . . “to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29: 11)

Are you willing? Will you allow the Lord to open your eyes and help you to see? When you do, He will be there to heal your heart and set you free! That is my hope- - - that you will open your eyes - and see Life!

God bless you in the coming week ahead!

In His Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


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