Friday, October 18, 2013

What a Pain!

Psalm 34:19-20   Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. 

Last Saturday I slammed my little toe into the corner of my big, bulky dresser. 
Big and bulky now describes the top half of my foot.  

Don't think you can tell much from the picture
but the little toe is purple
and across the top, swollen 
I donned tennis shoes to walk Disneyland the next day. Very sore, my pace slowed down.  My friend mustered up amazing patience as we navigated the park. 

I don't know if I broke it or not. After googling "broken toe," there wasn't much advice I didn't already consider; buddy tape, elevate, ice.  

Six days later, it is still swollen, very sore and annoying. 

Things could be worse. 

While walking to my first period class on Thursday, a student sat on the sidewalk between the grass and the lunch area, his friend standing above him, both with puzzled looks on their faces. As I approached them, the boy on the ground called out to me. 

"Can you help me?"

Sensing something anyway, my steps already turned in that direction.   He was sitting, well, sort of, with his legs under him and one leg looked somewhat misplaced...crooked. 

"I fell, he said. We were throwing the tennis ball and I slipped on the grass and now my leg won't work."

He did not seem panicked, in any excrutiating pain, maybe a tad embarrased or concerned.  

Telling his friend to stay with him, most students were now in their classrooms, the tardy bell announcing the begining of classes for the day. I left and walked up to the Administration building, getting the V. P's secretary to get help for this young man. She quickly called campus security. 

Walking back to encourage the young student that help was on the way, I stayed until others began assisting him. Soon, a fire truck and paramedic pulled up in front of the school and the injured kid left in an ambulance for the nearest hospital. ( A REAL injury, I surmised). 

Later I would find out that he had snapped his femur completely through and cracked another bone!

I couldn't believe it; so calm and the nondescript!  Not one kid walking around him noticed, or stopped, only his one friend who he sported with.  

While sitting on the couch tonight, feeling my toe and its surrounding buddies throbbing and distracting me, I thought of the boy and his smashed up leg. Me? Whining, limping, complaining all week about my dumb little toe while many live daily in constant chronic pain. 

Perspective. I need a good dose of this medicine. 

Sometimes, the quiet ones, the ones everyone walks around, the ones who slip easily and stay down are the ones we need to pay attention to, have more compassion for.  I see it everyday in the kids I work with. Some sort of pain, whether obvious or not, exists in all of us.  Pain that is unplanned, unintentional, life changing, sobering, throbbing... Pain demands attention. 

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”  C.S. Lewis 

I know throbbing pain and it's not my toe.  God binded my wounds, tenderly cared for me and paid literally, divine attention to both my loud complaints and my quiet, personal aches. His perscription for me provided a promise to deliver me, send his Comforter and give me strong legs to stand on. In that, I am called to see other's pain, empathize and encourage.  

Maybe someday, an app, touched on one of our devices will instantly "self-x-ray" our boo-boos and "Suri" in her electronic voice will suggest our ailment and our remedy. I know that my God already does that. With a call in to Him in prayer, He sees my pain, my injury, and writes out the perscription of love. In my time and in His time, healing begins. 

Heavenly Father, Why do I sometimes run into things and hurt myself? Oh, yeah, I am human. Why do I worry and complain when things become a bother, annoy, make things difficult. Really? That human thing again?  Please help me Lord to have better perspective. I need Your perspective to see the obstacles in front of me and the hearts of others. When someone calls for help, allow me to be sensitive and wise. You are the Great Physician. Thank you Lord for your Healing Hands on my heart throbs and my toe throbs. Amen. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ticket Master

II Peter 1:11  And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   

Tomorrow night is Homecoming and I am working the gate. Investing in a warm pull over sweatshirt with my school mascot on it, I wanted to look the part, be official, rally school spirit--stay warm!  

I received a page of instructions of "how to be a ticket taker." 

1.) Arrival time to start my job. 

2.) Do not let anyone in without a ticket!  

3.) Recognition of special passes for Boosters. 

4.) Students cannot come and go as they please. Once inside, they stay inside until the game is over. 

5.) No wandering over to the visitors side, must stay on Home Side Only. 

Do you think there are ticket-takers in Heaven? 

I read my instructional manual and studied it well Lord. You've given me a time of arrival, only You know. 

God made special tickets, personalized with the Believer's name on it.   

There they are!  Elijah and Moses waiting to take my ticket stained with the blood of Christ. I've got a crown with my colors on it. I'm official!  

And the Boosters? I see Gabriel, Michael...and all the whole cheering section!  

Why would anyone want to leave the Home Side? We've got a great view, watching and listening to the Heavenly Band, David leading each section. Keep an eye on the scoreboard as more and more of God's glory points flash. God's record is perfect, every season a winner, with a Holy Spirited coach orchestrating sovereign plays through His team members. Well padded and equipped in the huddle on Earth, the Super Bowl of Saints draws crowds every Sunday. 

One booster, in his arrogance, thought his presence on the other side might bring him into the same league. Thing is, the Gates closed on him. Eventually, that Gate closes for eternity, chained up, forgotten. In the meantime, he tries to throw the game by bad calls and fumbles. What a Loser! 

Sometimes a penalty may set us back a few yards, but by trust and faith, good defense in prayer and encouragement, we'll gain the first down, ready to move on toward's the End Zone of this life game. 

There is a Ticket with your name on it, reserved for you. Christ holds it in His nail-scarred hands. Come, join the cheering crowd. We've all experienced losing but that is not how the stats of God add up. He picks every one of us to be on His team--no fantasy!   

Father, thank you for not selling out the stands in Heaven, but instead preparing for me a Suite, the best seat in the House. Thank you for picking up my fumbles, tackling the enemy and promising me Victory. Your grace-filled practices help me to see the Goal Line clearly. Thank you for team mates I can count on and a spirited cheering section. Amen. 

In honor of Ayala High School Bulldogs!  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finding the Pass

 Job 9:5a  "It is God who removes the mountains; they know not how..."

They call it "Capital Hill," but it seems like Mt. Everest. Today, as I write this, the U.S. Government is closed, furloughed, shut down, unplugged, somewhat dysfunctional. 

In the U.S. of A., we embrace a democratic system of government, set up by our forefathers in the Constitution with checks and balances. One branch of government should not become more powerful then another and accountability to constituents is paramount. 

In this age with instant communication in technology, real words of exchange are lost in a cave of ego.  Harmony packed up his belongings, shut off his utilities, grabbed his passport and sailed away to some island in the middle of nowhere. Impasse moved in, set up shop, ordered Chinese take-out, and sent the kids to grandma's. 

Compromise...Harmony, Peace, where are you guys?  

Possibly hanging out with Wisdom, in the realm of the Almighty.

I am sure there are some representitives who bow there heads and call on God to deliver this country. I am sure that there are some representitives who will be in tomorrow's headlines and scandal sheets for their "tweets or vines."  Which one will be immortalized in the history books? 

Everyday I say the Pledge of Allegiance in my 3rd period class. Usually, myself and the teacher are the only ones articulating every word. Most students barely utter. 

One nation, under God...indivisible...


The government is divided by a mountain of uncertainty, greed, debt, pride, rhetoric and waste. I love my country, I truly do. It is beautiful, full of heroes, and diverse. I still believe one can achieve thier dreams and that opportunity exists, God willing, with perserverance and faith. 

Return to Me, scriptures say, and I will heal your land. 

May this be our prayer in every utterance. 

Heavenly Father, giver of life, liberty, and the ability to pursue Your goodness, I pray for the senators, the congressmen, our President. I ask you Father to grant wisdom to those who call on Your Name in Washington D.C. I pray for peace, for fair negotiations and a quick solution. I pray for Your protection as many continue to feel hopeless. Open a pass through the rockslide of legislation to a clear view of a meadow where a deer pants for the water, American Souls longing to return to You. May our passions lie not in our "party," but in ideals like unity, truth, justice, freedom, and compassion and may that shine a beacon of Hope onto Capital Hill. Let us once again be a  government who embraces the motto, "In God We Trust." Amen.