At the brunch that morning, Laura shared about her husband’s diagnosis of a brain tumor going into the second year of her marriage. She explained that his vision and memory are still impaired. In the midst of disability, in the context of going through this, Laura sings the song, “Blessings.”
Alas, after a nudge from one of my son-in-laws who savors my homemade freezer jams, I decided it’s not too late to use up the frozen fruits I stashed away in the freezer many months ago…blueberries, pears, apricots, kiwis, and more. Thinking about his encouragement in the final product (most recently having some of the pear jam on toast) I had an aha moment. Although I had initially badgered myself for the past couple years in not getting jams made in the summer, I realized that the oohey, gooey smashed fruits that sat in the freezer a few months longer are the secret to my successful jam making! When I thaw the frozen fruit and mash it up some more, it’s like marinated fruit, soft and gooey and just waiting for the Certo syrup to be mixed in. If anyone reading this is lamenting the fact that the jam isn’t made yet, pull out that frozen fruit you stashed away and get some Certo! Enjoy! I had so much therapeutic fun making blueberry, apricot, and pear jam this morning! It was therapeutic – one of my sisters and her family live in Newtown and the tragic events touched them very close to home. My nephew had just been with one of the children who died the night before. When you’re making jam, there’s lots of time to pray.
“What is the dream I am supposed to dream? When I look at the life she has I wonder. But God can make beauty out of ashes.
When will I quit pushing my agenda on her or others? Does God need to smash me down again, ridding me of all my selfish pride?
I know God hears my prayers. Just yesterday hubby and I prayed for provision for a new garage roof. Now, there’s a bunch of shingle packs sitting on my driveway. I know they aren’t on the roof yet, but Mr. S. is coming back in a week or so to do that. And the price is decent.
In the book of Ruth, God used two broken women to shake up Bethlehem. Carolyn Custis James says in her book, The Gospel of Ruth, ‘The gospel (even in its most primitive Old Testament form) has the power to rescue a believer from drowning in herself by moving her to think of someone else. Energized by her vow to Naomi and her newfound faith in Yahweh, Ruth turns outward and mobilizes.’ (page 94)
I know God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Why do I think He can’t make sense of all this? Is my real question, ‘Am I ready for what He is doing and will do or am I chomping at the bit?’ “
My friend recently gave me a book by Michael S. Beates called Disability & the Gospel. Although I’m not quite finished reading it, I highly recommend it. Everyone could benefit by reading this book.
Our world and culture cries out for us to highly regard the status symbols of the day: health, wealth, nice car, the popular person. Christ calls us to embrace the lowly, the least of these, the blind, the crippled, the lame…the forgotten ones, the ones we want to overlook or shoo away. But Christ says, “Come to Me.”
When I was in grade school, the teacher wrote this on the board: chURch and asked what it means. I can remember saying, “The church you are.” She said I was close. “You are the church,” she exclaimed. We, the people, are the church. And we all really do need and benefit from one another. When someone with a developmental disability or mental illness comes to church, we must embrace and love them. We actually learn more of His great love as we learn how to best love each and every person.