Beautiful Sky

Soul Truth

 

You won’t believe what happened in a very formal church, several years ago. My son, Jonathan, not quite one year old, had the fantastic gift of throwing up everything he ate. So much so that I thought I would catch a lung at some point. I had moved to Dallas several years before and life had been tough so I ventured out and visited a church. I needed the reminder that God was still on His throne, sovereign, and always faithful.

Jon had so many struggles that getting out the door for church, with three kids under the age of five, was nearly impossible. Eventually, we made it and just as we walked into the formal, gorgeous, well-known, and respected church, Jon began to empty the contents of his stomach everywhere. I heard a big splat, and then Jon gasped for air, and then another splash, which spread across the beautifully polished, expensive tile. One usher came over with such care and offered to help. In the meantime, I grabbed a stack of church bulletins, hoping they would soak up something. On that day I discovered paper does not soak up vomit effectively! I also learned a few other lessons:

  1. God doesn’t care about how we try to look, but He does care about our hearts. That is freeing.
  2. We can’t possibly live without some messes, either inside or outside our lives. That is relieving.
  3. Pride refuses help, but humility welcomes help as God’s hand reaching to you. That is refreshing.

I also learned some funny lessons:

  1. Because vomit and stink go together, wear your junk clothes.
  2. If throwing up is even a slight possibility, stay home.
  3. Church bulletins don’t soak up a single drop of anything, so carry paper towels.

I found this prayer written by a man who lost his children and needed some help drying his tears. I love his humble, thoroughly honest words.

Lord of reality
make me real
not plastic
synthetic
pretend phony
an actor playing out his part
hypocrite.
I don’t want
to keep a prayer list
but to pray
nor agonize to find Your will
but to obey
what I already know
to argue
theories of inspiration
but submit to Your Word.
I don’t want
to explain the difference
between eros and philos
and agape
but to love.
I don’t want
to sing as if I mean it
I want to mean it.
I don’t want
to tell it like it is
but to be it
like You want it.
I don’t want
to think another needs me
but I need him
else I’m not complete.
I don’t want
to tell others how to do it
but to do it
to have to be always right
but admit it
when I’m wrong.
I don’t want
to be a census taker
but an obstetrician
nor an involved person
a professional
but a friend.
I don’t want
to be insensitive
but to hurt
where other people hurt
nor to say
I know how you feel
but to say God knows
and I’ll try
if you’ll be patient with me
and meanwhile I’ll be quiet.
I don’t want
to scorn the clichés
of others
but to mean everything I say
including this.1Joseph Bayly, “A Song of Single-Mindedness,” in Psalms of My Life (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1978), 40. Used by permission.

 

Notes:   [ + ]

1. Joseph Bayly, “A Song of Single-Mindedness,” in Psalms of My Life (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1978), 40. Used by permission.
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