Where did I put my leg?

Where did I put my leg?

  PT  “I want my leg back.”

I didn’t exactly lose it.  I just loss some use of it due to an injury.

Eighteen.  That was the number of times I was allowed to have physical therapy.  Very quickly I learned that getting my leg back, or rather the use of it, depended on how well I listened to and followed the direction of the physical therapists at Betsy Johnson Hospital.  Now the physical therapy department there is very, very good, but they can’t perform miracles.  They can understand the problem, diagnose the best solution and direct my exercise.  From there, the rest is up to me and how well I follow their direction.  If I don’t ‘get my leg back’, I can’t blame anyone but myself.

I think everyone wants to live forever.  I know I do.  I have spent the last 41 years of my life studying the Scriptures for I find in them the same kind of direction to find a relationship with God and to grow in that relationship which I find in the physical therapists’ direction for ‘getting my leg back’.

Week after week men and women of God the world over seek to help those whom God sends them ‘get their life back’ or find their life, their true life.  That Life is full, rich and satisfying and is just what God wishes for us.  It is not illusive but easy to find.

In the four weeks after my injury before I began physical therapy I tried to discover the best way to help me ‘get my leg back’.  After beginning work with trained physical therapists I learned that some things I was doing were helping and some things were hurting my progress.  So now I have listened and I have changed.  Now I am getting better day by day.

Like the men and women of God the world over I wish people would listen to spiritual direction from those of us whom God has commissioned, trained and sent into the world to help that world.  I wish the world could understand that just as my failure to listen to and follow the directions of the therapists means that I likely would not heal,  failure to listen to and follow direction in how to find and maintain a healthy relationship with the living God will result in a far worse outcome than just ‘losing your leg’.

If you know you are far away from God’s grace and love you do not have to stay that way.  There are those sent by God to help you find Him and find Life in Him.  Seek them out.  If you will listen and follow Godly direction you will find Life.

Random Events?

So Random!

So Random! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Random Events?


I needed to get an early start to the day.  I woke up five minutes before the alarm.  Before departure there was my physical therapy routine for my injured knee, shower and shave, breakfast, conversation around the table.  I wanted to get away by 7:00.  The conference I was to attend started at 8:30.  I had never been to this location in the research triangle.  I needed to consider morning traffic, potential accidents and all the rest.
While traffic was lighter than I anticipated, some places I was a bit over the speed limit of 70 and other places I was going 35 mph in a 70 zone.  But now here I was pulling into my destination having been unsure of which building was the correct one.  There were several parking lots and I didn’t know which one to use.
I pulled into a parking lot with only one car at the far end.  I parked close to the machine which would issue the parking permit for the allotted time of the meeting I was to attend all day.
At the very moment, to the second, I finished paying parking and received my ticket, I saw the occupants of the other car walking up.  I recognized them as three of the leaders for the days’ workshop.
Reflecting on this later, I became lost in wonder.
For me the morning was full of all those ‘random’ events of the morning routine.
Yet in the moment I saw those leaders arrive at the precise second I was ready to leave the parking lot, I became aware of planning far beyond my petty human ability.  In the midst of my morning I became aware of a great Hand present, guiding my path in a magnificent way. Along my way, the events had seemed random.  But to the One who has promised, “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) nothing had been random.
How foolish we are not to trust our hopes, dreams, and our very life to this amazing, capable, powerful, caring, loving, thoughtful, planning God!

Artificial Light and Love

English: Chancel of St Leonard's church The ch...

English: Chancel of St Leonard’s church The chancel, viewed from the south gallery in artificial light. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Artificial Light and Love

It can be very difficult to discern the True Light of God from the artificial light of this world. The latter can be very seductive. When we come to believe that our prosperity or our successes are what bring happiness and joy to our lives we are living by artificial light. This light is one to which we are so accustomed that we often fail to notice the true lack of radiance.

Times of darkness and distress can be very instructive. During such times, when no light can been seen, nor any kind voice or word penetrate, we learn to recognize the sound of His voice and the light of His presence. Times of difficulty can help us to recognize the hand of God. They teach us how to distinguish real from artificial light. We, in essence, learn how to distinguish that which is true from that which is false.

Love likewise can be “real” or” artificial”. The Bible refers to real love, God like, all encompassing love as “Agape” love, and the infinitely inferior form of human love as “Phileo” love. Agape love is unconditional. Phileo love almost always comes with strings and demands attached. Something is expected in return. Manipulation is sometimes involved. All love therefore between human beings is fragile and easily destroyed. And perhaps, accordingly, should not be held too tightly but rather with an open hand……

Unfortunately, much of what passes for community, fellowship and love within churches is Phileo and not Agape love. It has as its source, the hearts and minds of men. This is how factions within a church develop. Social position and acceptance are offered in exchange for support for one group or another’s position on various issues. Alliances are made. People are bought off by artificial light and love. In such a setting anyone with a true heart for the will of God finds that his or her voice falls on deaf ears. And God, in response, shakes the dust off His feet and moves on leaving behind a community bereft of His light and presence. Such a church ceases to be a part of His body. And as such, a long, slow death spiral ensues. New programs are tried. New worship services are begun. Many hand wringing meetings are held. All to no avail. The real Light has left, and all that remains is the artificial light of the world.

There is no cure for such a situation other than a season of darkness. The artificial light source must be removed, and the voices and applause of men silenced. All temptation to speak and fill in the void with the sound of our own voices is destructive and must be avoided. It is only in absolute silence and darkness is there any hope that the hearts of men will change. It is only there that we can ever learn to hear and recognize His voice. It is a voice that will ask us to love those whom we feel no affection for. It is a voice which will ask us to reach out our hand to the enemy. It is a voice which will urge us to set aside the ego for the greater good. It is the true voice and the true light of God. If our ears can finally hear, and our hearts be finally opened, the weak human form of Phileo love will ultimately be replaced with self sacrificing Agape love. And it is this love- the love of the Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep, that will ultimately save The Church and heal the world. Amen

The Snowflake


Snowflakes! (Photo credit: nutmeg66)

The Snowflake

As cooler temperatures begin to give way to colder ones, I find myself thinking about winter and the arrival of snowflakes. Have you ever noticed the beauty of a snowflake? Each one is unique. It is said that no two were ever created alike. If you have ever caught one in your hand you know that you can only study if for the briefest of moments. For soon, because of the touch of our hand, the snowflake melts and is gone….

It strikes me that much of God’s handiwork suffers the same fate. Created in beauty, unique and original, but the moment it is touched by human hands; altered, irrevocably changed- ultimately destroyed.

So much of this is true of The Church. We have a mission. We are to communicate to a world in need the beauty and wonder of God’s Word and His divine sacrifice. This, like the snowflake- is perfect and beautiful beyond description. Our response? We organize. We hold endless meetings. We build structures. We design programs. We hold capitol campaigns and draw up budgets. At the touch of our hand- the snowflake of God’s mission is melted and destroyed. We are left with only a small puddle where once there was the perfect and sublime. Sadly, much of God work- praise, prayer, worship- is marred by our touch….

How to see and hold the snowflake without altering it? How to examine it and share it with another without callously disrupting its original intent and beauty so that it can be seen as intended by God? This is our challenge. So much of what passes as “religion” is just a drop of water left behind as we destroy God’s perfect and original snowflakes……Amen