Lately, I feel and often hear, “I am a different person after 2020.” Sharing about the many changes people have moved through; indescribable losses which came on suddenly; you too may feel “life is not normal anymore.” It’s a long list for 2020, full of great sufferings witnessed and personally experienced. What did the suffering change? Do we appear different after 2020?
At Christmastime, dear friends sent me a lovely box of pears from the Harry & David orchards. The company added a small insert in the box to describe a difference about their pears:
Noticing unique markings on your Royal Riviera® Pears? These blemishes are called wind scars and are the result of high winds whipping tree branches and causing abrasions to the skin of our delicate pears. Sadly, these same winds contributed to the spread of devastating fires in our Southern Oregon community – destroying homes and displacing countless people.
We often pride ourselves in the beauty of our Royal Riviera® Pears, and this harvest is no exception, if only in a different way. These scars are a reminder of what our community has been through and how we’ve rallied to support one another. The untouched, juicy, delicious interior of the pear demonstrates – it’s what’s inside that counts.”
This brilliant metaphor speaks to how we too, are different after 2020. How do we look to others?
“Wind-scarred,” yes? We are all recovering from the fierce, sweeping winds of change. Change often including suffering. Thankfully, we have One who suffered for us. A Savior whose very scars heal us. The changes, the suffering, the scars – all may be occasions for us to draw deeply within Our Lord’s sheltering arms. We are transformed, in the storm, in His Heart, and precious scars.
Have I ever prayed that His scars would be life-giving to me, to my loved ones, to His precious creation of people all over the world? Am I angry about the fierce winds, “scarred for life?” Yes! Together may we pray our anger is transformed into joy as we cherish our likeness to our Savior. May we view one another’s scars as beautiful – remembering they nod to our desperate need.
O Holy Spirit, Your presence is closer to us than the very breath we breathe. Allow the winds of circumstances and suffering to transform us deep within. May we appear different because of 2020. May we shine Your peace, Your compassion, Your forgiveness, Your unchangeable Faithfulness. Keep us humble, please. Rally us! We will share Your healing scars as balm for our neighbor. O how we love You, Sweet Lamb of God.
Halleluiah and Amen.
The owner of The Stanley Hotel opened his “house” to feed and provide rest for the Firefighters of the 2020 Colorado fires.
5 So I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.’….[Hiram was in agreement to bring cedar from Lebanon and have his workers work with Solomon’s workers and so he responded to Solomon saying:] And you shall meet my needs by providing food for my household.”  [בַּיִת bayith household(125)]
Resplendent are God’s gifts when used “for the name of the Lord my God.”
Brilliant are needs met by “providing food for my household.”
Solomon’s wisdom, a gift from God, continues to teach us today! Given the opportunity to build anything, small or large, whatever we are building is it
“for the name of the Lord my God?”
As others join us in the process of how and what we are building; as we gain even the smallest measure of blessing, do we adjust our thinking to say
“you shall meet my needs by providing food for my household?”
During 2020, who is building? During 2020, who is feeding? But aren’t households closed in the midst of a pandemic that rises and falls and rises again?
Created in God’s image, we are always able to create and share!
As His magnificent Spirit hovered over the darkness, light burst through…
You and I are able to create moments that exclaim the name of the Lord Our God!
You and I may draw hearts to God’s Heart, praying and working together!
You and I may provide food for households – which will meet our needs!
Make our every moment one of creation for
Your Name, Sweet Jesus.
Feed others with our smallest and greatest resources,
all given by You.
Each day, invite others to feast with us
at Your table of Mercy and Love.
My heart ~ God’s Household ~ Your heart
‘Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on ’til victory is won
Bitter the chastening rod
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died
Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered
Out from the gloomy past
‘Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee
Shadowed beneath Thy hand
May we forever stand
True to our God
True to our native land