Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Scars, Dimples, or Freckles?

The mark that Jesus leaves when He touches us is permanent. It's a mark that we notice, even though we may not attribute it to Him at first. It's not a mark that can be covered, because it overcomes our human nature. 

But the marks I'm writing about are the ones we leave. Think about your encounters with friends and strangers - "That song I really like, didn't Jenny play it for me?", "Never said 'Dude' until I met Joe", "That recipe is from Mom's college roommate", or "I really liked the shirt that the cashier was wearing". You are affected every day by touches from others. In the same way, you touch those you meet.

What kind of marks are you leaving? Scars are left by wounds that don't heal properly. Have you ripped something from someone? My mom has a dimple that was a result of an accident with a bicycle and a glass bottle. So her wound became something that is attractive. Some friendships start off quite rough, but as kindness and forgiveness enter the relationship they provide healing in an amazing way. Freckles are sometimes caused by sun, so a touch of warmth in a person's life can leave a positive mark as a result of your encounter. 

So how are you touching lives? How do you let someone's touch effect you? Remember, you leave a mark, even when you don't realize it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Beware of "The Watcher"

If earthly comparison was an evil creature, I could easily picture a sea creature like "The Watcher" from Lord of the Rings; octopus-like tentacles with fingers, a mouth that opens up larger than imagined, and a tenacious nature hard to kill.

Through my battles with comparison, I have seen relationships suffer deeply and my attitudes reflect my heart instead of Christ's character. Comparison reaches into the depths of our emotions, clouds our thoughts and tries to hide God's truth. If I'm not dwelling on truth, a Godly, talented person can "cause" me to become bitter, towards them or just my own actions. My desire is to become like Christ, so why do I think becoming more like someone else would make it more likely?

Because of this struggle, I found the following quote to be a blessing and wanted to pass it on to whoever might read this.

Elisabeth Elliot said: "My limitations become, in the sovereignty of God, gifts. For it is with the equipment that I have been given that I am to glorify God." (A Lamp for My Feet, p. 125) The Bible reference that this quote seems to picture is 1 Corinthians 12.