Monday, July 27, 2009
Jars of Clay
Sam’s special pottery bowl broke yesterday. It was a horrible accident and RiSa didn’t realize what she was doing… but, it is broken and will never be able to be used for snacking again.
Yesterday afternoon, the kids were all playing on their bikes, trikes and rip-sticks. We had been having a very lovely weekend, really! I ran on Saturday morning with a new group of people from a chuch we are currently visiting, went to a baby shower Saturday afternoon and got so to see some old friends I hadn't been able to touch base with in a while, we went to church for the first time on Sunday morning since we have been home... oh! and I am VERY PLEASED to report that BOTH children were very shy when people oogled over them and either burrowed their faces into our shoulders or inched closer to our legs and grabbed on tight. They also sat amazingly well for the over 1 1/2 hour service-- I sorta thought they might do okay, after having them at our 2+ hour marathon lunches they had to endure while in Ethiopia. Not that I think we are close to "bonded"-- whenever that happens, who knows!-- but...
Anyway; kids were playing and RiSa had apparently taken her trail mix outside—eating and playing, eating and playing. Of course, her snack was in Sam’s pottery dish that he made while Tony was deployed and we were on our way to IL with a pit stop in Gatlinburg, TN over Christmas. Yeah. I didn’t know that she had it outside—of course I would have never let that happen. But… I guess I did, just by not knowing. Anyway, she put the bowl on Sam’s back while he was bent down, and then he STOOD UP! CRASH!!!! Wailing, mourning and much other gutteral crying ensued. Wyatt and Isaac were HORRIFIED for Sam and at RiSa. I got the call, “MOM!!!!!” which I could of course hear from inside the house. I come running out, thinking a leg or arm or eye was missing. No. It is the bowl. I felt horrible, too. But, not only did I have to tend to a grieving Sam, but I had to deal with two outraged brothers who were ready to crucify little sister. As I was bent over Sam and the bowl—in the middle of the street, mind you—I kept hearing these words, “She’s not even sorry! Aren’t you going to spank her??! Can I throw Bitty Baby to the ground and run it over with my bike? I mean, she deserves SOMETHING!!!” All the while, little RiSa stood there with the most sober face. In fact, if I remember right, she was half way to the house to come get me and when I came out toward them all, she kept saying, “Sam, Sam, Sam,” with this very troubled look on her face. Obviously the angry brothers didn’t pick up on these signs-- nor the simple fact that little sister is 2 ☺. I looked at her and tried to explain as best I could that Sam was sad because his special bowl was broken. “Ish, ish” she said (alright or okay). I told her to apologize (obviously telling her what to say) and was more than happy to oblige. We all walked in the house, heads hanging low and still her face was sad and dreary looking. Once inside—Sam still wailing—she looked at me and kept saying, “Sammie. Sammie.” I pointed to Sam and said, “You can give him a hug.” And she immediately walked over to him, and tried to console him with her hugs and pats. I was—and still am—completely overwhelmed by this small child’s depth of remorse, insight, tenderness and desire to comfort a mournful sibling.
The boys are still a bit peeved about the bowl. Every time Sam opens the drawer where the bowls and cups are stored he lets out a little sob and says how sad he is that his bowl is gone. I ought to move the bowls. Drama. But, as I have reflected on the bowl incident and our family and this life… I can’t help but see so many God- applications. We are such broken people. We demand justice and retribution from others without looking at our own filthy lives. We mourn over our messes when a lot of times—no, 99% of the time—we are active participants in the stink. And yet, despite all our frailties and brokenness, God chooses to use us as His precious vessels—generously giving us the treasure of Christ. Adoption into His Kingdom… into His Family. Undeserved. Not so that WE look good… but to show that the surpassing power of God’s mercy may be known as coming from HIM… not us. And those who see it, may recognize His power, mercy and love—and be forever changed. Just has He has done for us—individually and as a family.
“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassing power is from God and not from ourselves… for we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body.” -- 2 Cor. 4:7-12
2 Corinthian 4. God’s sweet rhema (spirit-filled word) to me. Especially the end…”So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (v.18) These are the days to live broken. “Ish”—it’s alright. It’s not about us. It’s about God, His Glory and His Kingdom come—Here on earth as it is in Heaven.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
Grace and Peace,