You Tell The Story

Most of you have probably heard the joke about a children’s Sunday School teacher asking the children, “What is furry, with four legs, as swishing tail and loves nuts?” The young ones all look around at each other hoping someone else will answer. Finally, a little girl answers the teacher, “The answer’s gotta be Jesus, but it sure sounds like a squirrel.” Well, today’s blog let’s you look at some photos so you can tell the story. And no, the answer is not Jesus. (Though Jesus might be found at some level in our stories.)

Please take a few minutes with each photo, or take time with one today then another later…. I chose animal pictures to give a little “personality.” There is a bird feeder behind my home that backs up to woods. I see a lot of wild life every day. It is therapeutic and I have plenty of  “wild kingdom” stories to tell. (I’m showing my age, unless you remember Wild Kingdom too.) I think we can agree that nature has a lot of lessons to teach us, at the very least because it is part of creation.

What do you see beyond the obvious? Where does your mind go? How does it make you feel? What does that tell you about yourself? What might the photo tell you about Creation, and the Creator?

For the more easily creative and artistic people it might be easy to use the image to create a story. Others might be reminded of something from their own experience, a dream or a wish.

What are your eyes drawn to in any of the images? Take a moment to wonder why you are drawn to that part. Pray. Ask first for a sanctified imagination, then talk with our Creator and ask whatever comes to mind. Then be still for a bit to listen for that still small voice.

Is there one of these you prefer over another? Why? Of course there is no right or wrong answer, but maybe you can learn a little more about yourself and the one who made us in the process of enjoying the beauty and diversity.

I hope this exercise of letting you tell the story this time is a blessing even if it is possibly a little more work than I usually give. My prayer is that something in one of these images unlocks some hidden treasure for you. I hope you will respond to let me know how my prayer is answered!

“You Are The God Who Sees Me” – Hagar

Genesis 16:13

I suspect most people go through life not truly understanding that the God of all creation sees them. I know I did not grasp the truth that God sees me for a long time. Maybe I did a little, but the concept has grown with time and experience. There are still moments when I have an experience of the love of God, the God who sees me, and the truth sinks in a little deeper.

Hagar, in Genesis 16, ran away from a difficult situation. She couldn’t stand being mistreated by Sarah who she served. Sarah gave Hagar to her husband Abraham to fulfill a promise from God to have a son. Problem was, they were impatient and did not see the full plan, so they tried to do it their own way. Hagar became pregnant, and Sarah became jealous. In her fear and anger Sarah began to treat Hagar badly.

God appeared to Hagar in the desert to guide and bless her. That is when she understood “You are the God who sees me.” That phrase also became the name of the water well where they met.

When I say, “sees me,” I mean Abba knows me, just like He knew Hagar. I am a friend, not because of anything I have done, but because I am His created and chosen one, just like you are. I am one Christ came to reconcile to himself. So are you. Jesus said: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16

Wow! God knows me and you, chose me and you, hears and answers my prayers and yours, and sees me and you!O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.”Psalm 139:1-4

Abba, help us to slow down so we can see you at work in and around us. Thank you for seeing Hagar. Thank you for seeing and knowing each one of us intimately. Help us to know that when you see us, you see Christ righteousness. You see the ones you chose to bear your fruit. May we walk in ever-increasing faith and intimacy with you! Amen