Salute to a Mother's Love

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Living in China the devastation of the May 12 earthquake hits much closer to the heart. Coverage of the rescue and recovery are on the TV non-stop, so we are constantly hearing stories that the rest of the world may not. I thought I would share this touching story of a Mother's Love. The story speaks for itself, so I'm not going to add anything else for today. I hope you are inspired, touched, and moved.

A Mother's Love

When rescuers found her, she was already dead, crushed by the collapsed house. Through gaps in the rubble, they could see her posture. Kneeling on both knees, her entire body was bent forward, held up by her two hands pressed against the ground, as if performing a ceremonial bow in an ancient ritual. Except her body had been compressed out of shape and looked somewhat eerie. A rescuer extended his hand through a gap and confirmed her death. He called out to her and tapped on the bricks with his shaft, but received no response. As the team walked toward the next building, the squad leader suddenly turned back, yelling as he ran, "Come quick!" He came to her remains and labored to maneuver his hand under her body, searching. He called out following some rummaging, "There's someone, a child, still alive." With some effort, rescuers carefully removed the debris burying her and found her child lying beneath her, bundled in a little red blanket decorated with yellow flower prints. He was about 3 to 4 months old. Shielded by his mother's body, he was totally unharmed, sleeping peacefully as he was brought out. His soundly asleep face warmed the hearts of all rescuers on the scene. As the rescue team's doctor unbundled the blanket to examine the baby, he discovered a mobile phone tucked into the blanket. He subconsciously looked at the display and found there was a SMS message. It read: "My dear baby, if you were to stay alive, you must remember that I love you." No stranger to the pain and sorrow brought by death, the doctor nonetheless wept at this moment. The cell phone was passed around and every person who read the message wept.

Not always what it seems

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Too often I will look at something and make a rash judgment about it. Sometimes I am correct in my assessment and sometimes I am wrong. Whether I'm right or wrong doesn't really matter. What I think God wants me to understand is that things are not always what they seem and if I would take the time to observe things rather than judge or make quick assumptions, then I might learn a thing or two. That was the case as I drove to the airport Sunday morning.

Before checking out of the hotel we asked the concierge to get a taxi to take us to the airport. While we checked out, he hailed the taxi and began loading our luggage into the trunk. When I came out of the hotel, I noticed a man helping the concierge with the bags and took him to be the taxi driver. I also observed that the driver was wearing a neck brace. Instantly my mind began to wonder if it would be safe to drive with the man if his driving resulted in a wreck and a neck injury. If it wouldn't have been rude, I would have asked for another taxi. Since it would have been, I quickly prayed for our safety and got into the car.

I sat in the backseat of the taxi at an angle from the driver and as we drove I noticed something very interesting about him. Every few seconds the left side of his face would twitch and his entire head would lean in that direction. After several minutes I realized that if he didn't have a neck brace to support his head, the twitching would limit his ability to keep his head upright and to function normally. What I had assumed was the result of careless driving, was actually serving a purpose. I felt so bad that I had wrongly judged this man, but more than that I began to have compassion on him. I'm sure he didn't enjoy wearing the brace or having the twitching problem. But he had to survive and live with it and the brace helped him do just that.

When we finally arrived at the airport, I explained to Clint what I had observed and the purpose the neck brace truly served. He instantly said, "Wow! I thought he was a bad taxi driver like all the others we know and just had an accident." I reminded him that nothing is always what it seems.

Perhaps you are looking at something today and making quick assumptions or judgments. Just remember that it may not be what it seems and let God show you how it really is.

"Lord, remove our eyes of flesh so that we don't make rash judgments or assumptions towards the people or the situations we are facing. Give us eyes that take the time to discern and observe what is really there. Teach us Lord to see as You do and act like You as well."

Come and see, come and listen...

Monday, May 05, 2008

"Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf...Come and listen all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me..." - Psalm 66:5,15

Returning back from holiday (thus, the lack of posts), I couldn't wait to share the amazing thing God did for us with you. I hope it will encourage you with whatever you may be going through as well...

It's no secret that I love beach holidays. I manage to find locations that will somehow find me on a beach somewhere in the world. However, the past 4 holidays have not provided me with the weather I have needed to enjoy my time at the beach. Two of the times, cyclones invaded the areas and caused the normally peaceful waters to become too turbulent to enjoy. The other times were end of rainy seasons and the peaceful waters had yet to return. I was bound and determined to find a time and a place where I could rest and relax in front of still waters! After much research I thought I had found the perfect place in Thailand. I was thrilled! I booked the reservations and spent weeks dreaming of my idyllic getaway.

As the time for departure grew closer, I decided to start checking the weather forecasts for our intended destinations. Much to my dismay, rain was predicated for the ENTIRE time we were to be on holiday. And not just sprinkles. Showers and high percentages of rain were the forecast. I couldn't believe it! My ideal beach trip was doomed. I decided right then and there that I would not let this bleak outlook ruin my trip. Rather, I decided to start praying.

I knew the One who created the world and controlled everything in it, so I asked Him to clear the weather for our trip. This may seem a little selfish and rather unimportant considering other things people are dealing with and the state of the world we live in, but it was truly important to me so I knew bringing it before God was not a silly thing to do. For 10 days I prayed God would make clear paths in the weather for us, knowing He could. I also knew that I couldn't be double minded and mope around the house dreading our vacation either, nor could I keep watching the weather channel every hour to see what was happening. I had to trust God and wait.

When we finally arrived at our first stop, the weather was great! But that was not the day I was concerned about. The next day we would be visiting architectural ruins and spending the entire day outside. We woke up to heat and sun and it was wonderful. I refused to complain about the sweat dripping down my back. There was no rain and I was grateful. But what was really amazing was that the minute our tour was over for the day and we got in the van to drive back to our hotel, a downpour of rain started! No kidding! I could only look at Clint and smile, both of us knowing the goodness of God.

Our second stop on our trip was the beach. We landed in beautiful weather and were so excited. The true question though was the water situation...would it be calm, peaceful waters or rough ones? After dropping our bags in our room we headed to the beach. I almost started crying when I saw it. Beautiful crystal clear waters gently lapping against the sand. It was everything I had hoped for and dreamed of and I knew Who was giving that gift to me. I was so overwhelmed with excitement of the days ahead that I wasn't sure I would even be able to sleep.

When we woke up the next morning, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. We headed for breakfast and couldn't wait to start our day. As we ate I noticed the staff beginning to close things up around the restaurant. I stopped eating and went to look at the beach. Dark clouds were on the horizon. Before I could get the words out of my mouth, the rain started. I looked at Clint confused and dumbfounded. Why would God bring us so far and give us such great weather only to have it ruined now? Would I never get a beach vacation without rain? We continued with our breakfast and waited.

Praise God we didn't have to wait long! As soon as we finished eating breakfast, the rain stopped and the sun reclaimed it's place in the sky! We were going to have a great beach holiday after all! It was fabulous! And it only rained on us one other time during our stay there....when we went into a restaurant to eat lunch a few days later the rain began and it stopped by the time we finished eating! Isn't God amazing??!!

I know that God heard and answered my prayers for great weather and I am so grateful for His wonderful gift. I hope that whatever rainstorm you are facing today, big or small, that you will be encouraged. God can move the storms out of your way and when He does, you will be able to share with others as well, "Come and see, come and listen...."