Thursday, April 26, 2018

reflections...

The Head of Christ, also called the Sallman Head, is a 1940 portrait painting of Jesus of Nazareth by American artist Warner Sallman. (canary courtesy of Dawn Gebhard!)

Yesterday as I was getting ready for the day, I stood at the top of the stairs and glanced up. There, in the picture of the "Head of Christ," I saw myself. I stood there maybe a bit longer than necessary and gazed at it in awe--not so much at ME, but at how I was reflected in a watery likeness along with that of Jesus. I thought then of how that is the way we ALL should be! Jesus came to set the example of what His expectations of us are. He instructed us to "love one another, even as I have loved you!" He proved that by showing that love to women, thought of at that time as nothing more than mere chattel. He showed us  how to love Samaritans, the poor, tax collectors, adulteresses and more. How can this be so hard, He encouraged? "Love all as your Father loves you!"




A question came up on my Facebook post from a friend, about why Jesus is portrayed as being Caucasian when in fact, he was from the Mid-east. I responded that back when Renaissance art was being made, Europeans did not travel much, if at all. They drew only what they knew. Most were illiterate, so they tried to portray images and likeness from what they thought they should be. Thus, we have Jesus as a white European with long brown hair. As The Andy Williams' song goes, however, some see Him lily white, some see Him brown, and so on. Jesus came for us all, if you wish to see Him in a way that you can understand, why wouldn't you?

The most important way that we ALL should see him, though, is as a Person of Love. And then, we need to become a reflection of that Love to all whom we encounter. No matter the color, the creed, the gender, the religion, whether that person votes a certain way, in the end, we all have 206 bones, we all bleed red. That is what we need to remember! Underneath the cover of skin, we all have hearts that beat in time to a cadence set upon us by God Himself! It is no different at all than what Cain should have felt towards his brother, Abel. No different than what Jacob should have felt towards his brother Esau, or ten brothers should have felt towards their own brother, Joseph! You see, the rage does go back to the beginning of time...but ...did it have to? Who is going to be the one to change history?
I will.
Will you?

Friday, April 13, 2018

ahhh...the storms in life...



The calendar says mid-April, yet much of the upper Midwest is still feeling the chill of February. Snow dominates our forecasts, the robins are looking confused and farmers are questioning if they will ever make it in the fields to plant.
The Bible tells us there is a time for everything...to plant, to sow, to reap....and we blindly trust those words--why? Because deep in our hearts, we know it to be true.

As I sit and wait for my husband to arrive back from near 90 degree temperatures of California, I ponder in thought at the irony that he is leaving summer to return to "winter." And he is driving through a powerful winter-like storm to do so. I have placed all my trust in God that he will arrive safe, even as high winds have toppled power poles ahead of him and ice covers the roads. I trust in the One whose Mighty Hand stilled the waters during Jesus' day, when His followers awoke in a boat that was being tossed in a raging sea. I call out to Him to keep all those who are traveling to be safe. And, just as we await the arrival of Spring, I too trust that soon, this too shall pass.






Those storms of our lives, be they inclement weather, or a change of jobs, the death of one we love, they can really suck the life out of us. They can make us tremble in fear...or we can stand firm in knowledge that when we cry out, God listens! Place all your cares in Him, for He cares for you! (1 Peter 5:7). Or, as the above picture says so well, "hang on, friend, you are in for the ride of your life!"