Month: January 2016

Gift of Love

The world has enough “successful” people, but too few who know how to love.  Imagine the difference we’d make if we chose to fully love all of those within our sphere of influence.  Such love would be a greater contribution to our world than any of the greatest missions in history.

Source: The Gift of Love

When the Lights go Out

Blog_CandlesI spent the night in the neonatal intensive-care unit once with my son. It was enough to know I’d never want to be there during a power outage. My cousin in-law, a director of the NICU at a local hospital, woke up early one January morning to that very crisis. Severe winter weather resulted in a power outage, and the back-up generator lost connection with the fuel supply.

She was responsible to oversee the safe transport of several critical-condition babies by teams of professionals through darkened hallways and stairwells. With only flashlights to guide them, the teams effectively intervened. Once power was restored, the babies were safely, miraculously returned to the hospital unharmed.

When she shared the story with me, I was amazed how she could have remained so clear-minded in the midst of such chaos. She said when she arrived at the hospital, she stood in the pitch-dark stairwell of her unit thinking of all the lives that were at stake. And she prayed.

Her story reminds me of how Captain Rostron of the Carpathia responded upon hearing the distress signal from the sinking Titanic. Before taking action, shipmates observed him praying. Once they moved forward, they were able to successfully navigate the same sea of icebergs that destroyed the Titanic.

Prayer may seem to some an afterthought or a crutch. But for the person of faith, prayer is the very lifeboat that draws us to the presence of a limitless God. For my cousin as for Captain Rostron, God responded to their prayers by bringing peace and clarity of mind to navigate through an otherwise catastrophic situation.

When the lights go out in our lives, there is one who supplies greater power. He may not make the difficulties go away. He may not make them easier. But He will give us the wisdom we need to make our way, and even lead others, safely through the darkness. He will give peace that passes all understanding, when there is no other source for such peace to flow.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

More Than a Day Off

Blog_CivilRightsChildren_GordonParksWhile multitudes revel in a day off work, history calls. As we indulge in the glory of our pillow and comforter, our slumber unhindered by the blare of the alarm clock, something stirs. Do we hear it? Do we remember?

Today, I will enjoy a day home with my children, blessed with their ringing laughter, incessant fun, and smiles that shine with their glowing brown skin. Tomorrow, I will return to work, teaching precious children with skin of every beautiful color. I can’t imagine it any other way. And it’s all because one man had a dream.

It was hard last week to tell my classroom that there was a time when what we have wasn’t allowed. Their best friends wouldn’t be their friends. Their classmates wouldn’t be in the same building. They wouldn’t know each other. All because the color of their skin. What an ugly place, the world of segregation. What an ugly, hateful place.

It was just as difficult to tell these kids that though there’s been progress enough for us all to enjoy one another’s friendship and learn under the same roof, the world is still not the beautiful place it should be. There are still awful evils. There is still gross injustice. There is still racism and prejudice. Things that should not be with all the sacrifices made for change to come.

We live in a fallen world. And it will be as long as we live on the wrong side of heaven. I told my kids we each still need to do our part to bring the change.

And I told them we will have a day off school to celebrate a man who believed against all odds that things could change for the better.

So today is more than a day off. It’s a day to remember the darkness we’ve come from, resolving never to return. It’s a day to reflect on where we still need to change, repenting of our own sins of racism and prejudice. And it’s a day to dream, with Martin Luther King Jr., that ALL our children “will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

May it be on earth as it is in heaven.