Why I Love The One Who First Loved Me….
I’ve heard from several people about how touched they were when reading about why I love my wife. I don’t know why that struck a chord with so many, because it’s just me spilling out some truth into words. It’s nothing planned or orchestrated, just a release of expression that has always come naturally, that may or may not sting from time to time. 🙂 In the same way, it got me thinking… If some of you don’t know, I’m a Christian. Not a very good one, mind you, but honestly, I don’t know if there’s truly any other kind. Maybe some profess to have life figured out, maybe some think they have all the answers and they spend alot of time tooting their own horns, and some have Americanized the idea that they’ve reached their own special level of righteousness. Me, I’m just as big of a sinner as any one of you reading these words. The conviction some of you might be feeling at this point, or the lack thereof, isn’t from me, by the way. That’s your own spirit. Deal with it. The only difference between me and the guy down the road that doesn’t know Jesus….well…it’s that I know Jesus. We’re both dog-paddling in the middle of this ocean of life, the boat is already sunk and I just happen to have a life jacket on. Want one? I’ve had people ask me about Christ and why I believe, and truth, telling it like it is, that’s something I can do almost painfully at times. I can point you to His word, to the truth and the amazing love and grace that He speaks to us through that love letter. I can shoot you an email with an address for a church, where people go to hear and read that letter. I can give you your own copy of that love letter if you’d like to stop in to the studio someday… that’s all fine. But what I’m thinking this morning is that the best way I can show you Jesus is just to point out those aHa-moments, those instances in my recent past that I’ve seen Him show up and intercede in my life, and specifically, the ones I’ve blogged about over the years. We’ve got only 250 posts on this blog since I started this in November of ’05. Of those 250 posts, take a moment with me to dig in to just a few? I promise that if you take the time today, and it will take you some time…but I can show you Jesus. For real. You Ready? In each paragraph below, you can find a link to the specific blog, so scroll your mouse over them and click, and you can read more about each moment.
I saw Jesus work on my dad’s heart, and was even afforded the blessing of seeing him recommit his life to Christ. It was through no work of my own. He just fell back into his Father’s arms.
The year before, at the same place and with me completely unaware, my mom felt the Holy Spirit move in her life. That blog shows my absolute lack of understanding, in fact it’s in my mom’s comments at the bottom that you can see Jesus’ handywork. In the mud and the digging out, the flat tires, my mom rediscovered Jesus.
I met a young lady through our photography by the name of Rita who, preparing to leave this world and her husband and children, showed me the kind of peace and strength that I’ve only known to come from Jesus.
I saw him everywhere after the hurricane destroyed New Orleans. He was in the fortitude of the people there who were rebuilding their lives. He was in the fellowship and the community of mankind, reaching out to lend a hand to another who was down.
I’m reminded of the price He paid every Easter. The setting sun of Good Friday, and the rolled away stone come Sunday.
Every Spring in the garden, I find Jesus. I think He put a love for gardening into my heart just so I’d rediscover Him every year when the ground and my heart thaws. My son can’t count the number of times he and I have weeded the gardens over the years, and the number of sermons it always turns into.
I saw Him in my wife’s eyes, and in my son’s eyes, the day I baptized them. I watched the water cover their faces, and I saw a joy that I’ve never seen anywhere else in the world.
He saved my daughter’s behind last year. In a pitch black midnight up at the top of the Bighorn mountains she made her way across camp to our tent, telling us that she just followed the light.
He’s in the cement! He’s in the handprints of my family, on the back porch of our studio, a place where I can see them and be reminded every morning.
I saw a reflection of Christ’s workmanship the day I watched a bricklayer named Willy, and I understood just how much raw material and how many rough edges Jesus has to work with when it comes to me.
We have a blessings jar on our kitchen table, and every January whatever cold and icy snow is spitting outside, our hearts are warmed while remembering what He did for us in the last year.
He was there with me the day I came upon a family in a tragic car accident, when I saw a little boy leave this world and go to be with Jesus. I didn’t know at that moment why He had me stop at the scene of that accident. But when it dawned on us that we had to stop the morning rush of traffic that was barreling down on us at 80 mph, I knew the answer. We ran down the interstate waving our arms. While one precious life was lost, many other lives were saved.
Finally, I saw Him in my little boy’s smile the day he made the decision on his own to follow Christ. As his dad, it is one of the best gifts that anyone could ever give me. It’s all I want for my family, it’s a decision only they can make, it’s the only thing I hold sacred in this world…and Jesus knows the whispers of my heart when it comes to answering that prayer.
So you tell me…. did you see Him?
Because I promise, He’s there. If you don’t see Him, are you looking for Him? He’s in every sunrise, every sunset, every fresh breath of air, every blade of grass, every bird riding the draft… promise. I can spin my wheels all day long proving Jesus to you through His word, through the evidence, but the best way I know to show you who He is to me is to point you to all of the ripples he’s made in my little pond. We’re in His hands, through the storms, through the peace, through the joy, through the heartache. He holds us close because He loves us. You make a decision to come to Christ and you haven’t found utopia and a bed of roses, but you will find His open arms.