Monday, July 11, 2016

Learning to See, Learning to Love


"But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

"He replied, 'Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!'” John 9:25 NIV

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 NIV


Does anything I do make a difference?


It’s an old story, a little cheesy, but we’re still going there.

You’ve no doubt heard the tale of the "Star Thrower," the boy who walked along the beach and threw starfish one by one back into the ocean. A skeptic approached him and scoffed. “There are thousands of starfish. There is no way you can make much of a difference.”

We all know how the story ends, with the boy smiling, flinging another starfish and remarking, “It made a difference to that one!”

The world we live in is a hostile place, folks. It’s been especially troublesome this past week as events and tragedies have unfolded in the U.S. and threatened to divide us. May I remind you that division is nothing new? Strife and evil, tension and hatred, violence and angst. . . these have all inhabited our world since sin first entered it.

With all the shouting and the vitriol, it can be easy to shut down, retreat, and convince ourselves that nothing we do or say — or even worse — who we are — doesn’t matter.

This is the lie the enemy wants us to believe.

God Looks at the Heart


Never have I come to know more intimately the love God has for each individual person than through being the mother of an autistic son.

Hard as it’s been, I thank God that He saw fit to give me such a wild and beautiful opportunity and privilege. Because through my child, God taught me how He sees me. And how He sees you. And how He sees every single soul He’s ever created.

He loves you. He loves me. He loves our children, and yes, all the children of the world as the song says. 

He doesn’t care about those other identifiers. . . the color of our skin, the places where we live, the politics we espouse, whether we are or are not disabled. Mankind looks at those things, the outward appearance.

But God looks at the heart. And He sees you. Underneath all those other layers that can get confusing sometimes. 

He sees you.

Learning to See, Learning to Love


As parents of special needs kids, we get a first-hand look at the beauty of the heart. Our kids are what the world would deem “flawed,” and yet because of the intense love we possess for our children, we get the privilege of wearing “Jesus glasses.”

We see right past the disability and love the incredible person inside.

We’re actually ahead of the game in that regard, aren’t we? So many in our world don’t know how to look past the outer appearance.

But we know.

And God wants to use it, not only for our good, but for His kingdom as well. We can take what we’ve learned in parenting our kids, and learn to love the world as well.

  • We can love the unlovable, the misfits, the ones who are different. 
  • We can love the broken and the hurting and the lonely. 
  • We can love the lost and the grieving and even those who seem to be our enemies.


Why? 

Because we have the love of Christ, and because He has given us this gift to see, in glimpses, the way He sees. 

Beloved parents, let us go forth into this world of darkness and see not skin colors, not differences, not ability or disability. Let us see people, made in God’s image.

Let us love them. One by one by one.

It may not seem like it’s making a difference.


But it makes a difference to that one.

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Lord, grant us peace, a peace in our hearts that comes only from You. Peace that passes all understanding as we place our trust in You alone.

Our world frightens us. There is violence and hatred and evil and we don't know what to do. But our eyes are upon You, Lord. We know You are sovereign and that You are the solid rock upon which we stand. 

Thank you for the gift of disability in the lives of our children. It is a hard road, a journey filled with heartache and struggle, and yet, Lord, we see how you use it to mold us and make us more like You each day. Help us to use what You have taught us to make a difference in the lives of others. Show us how to spread love and further Your kingdom in Jesus' name.

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