“And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them,“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent me.” (Mark 9:36-37)
I was thinking about this passage in light of being a mother this week, and also with the other children God has placed in my life—my children’s friends, the kids I babysit, the kids we meet at church and community activities and the grocery store.
Would my interaction with any of these little ones change if I was really, truly taking this to heart? Would yours? Something to think about.
About the photos: I’m sorry if how I titled this post made you think you were getting pictures of fish eggs, and now you are disappointed. Perhaps that will happen eventually, but for now, let me introduce those of you who aren’t from southeast Alaska to what is locally known as “fish egg weather”. It is the time of early spring which coincides with the herring spawn, and is known for crazy weather switches all in one day. You know, those rain turns to snow turns to sunshine kind of days. We have morning rainbows, followed by the first flocks of spring robins arriving in mid-morning snowstorms, followed by a beautiful afternoon of sunshine. (That was a true story, by the way.) It’s very confusing, but also very hopeful because it is the Beginning of Spring.
P.S. If you’re new here and wondering what “Project 52” is all about, you can go here to read more!
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations formy name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:6-14)
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this passage in Matthew just “happened” to be a part of my Bible reading plan this week. As we hear real, live reports of war in our world, it is a great comfort to know that God is in control and no matter what happens, in the end He is the victor.
Meanwhile, I pray for our brother and sisters who must suffer and rise to challenges that I have never dreamed of, living in the sobering reality that this world will never know true, lasting peace until Jesus is King.
Winter is well suited for contemplation. Spring, I’m reminded lately, is not. Spring is, rather, for living in the moment, moving constantly from the enjoyment of one beautiful, wonderful thing to the next, trying not to dwell on the fact that you’re probably still missing something wonderful. Nothing sits still, lingers or waits for you. There is a great tension of panic and excitement that wells up inside of me at the recognition of this. I feel a little like my children, oh so impatient to be done with phonics and math, oh so eager to run outside and not miss a single glorious day of this fleeting season.
And to be honest, that’s kind of what I’ve been doing. I’ve been so busy in my spare time taking pictures of the world exploding to life lately, I’ve had little time to think of composing words to accompany them and little motivation to sit down and apply myself to the task. This is what happens to severely cabin-fevered Minnesotans after over half a year of winter, I suppose. Finally, I’ve realized that soon I’ll have more pictures in my files than can ever properly fit in one blog post and I’d better quit waiting around for writing inspiration and just send them out into the world before they’re completely out of date.
Besides, I suspect the words of this ancient Psalm sum it up far better than I ever could. Welcome to a little glimpse of the glory of spring that I’ve been reveling in.
“How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and lovely to praise Him!Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;His understanding has no limit.Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music on the harp to our God, who covers the sky with clouds,who prepares rain for the earth,
who makes grass to grow on the hills.He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs swiftly.He provides food for the animals,and for the young ravens when they call.Hallelujah!”
Anticipation. My yard is full of it in the form of these hopeful swelling buds. Each one is a neat and tidy little package, a ticking time bomb hiding the splendid explosion that’s about to happen. I await the event eagerly, sometimes checking twice a day on my favorites. And then I savor the miracles that come.
These are the fulfillments of my gardening hopes and dreams, the reward for all the dirt under my fingernails, for all the times my back ached from bending over to pull weeds and my neck got burned by the sun.Anticipation and its reward are very sweet.
“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)
In the golden light just before sunset, the baby leaves and buds are like haloed clouds resting across the branch tops. A little closer, and they are like green and gold lace and perfectly strung strings of peridot amidst the twigs and stalwart browns of the forest.Up close, there is a tiny world of intricate unfolding beauty to discover.
Meanwhile, I can hear nothing but spring peepers and the occasional haunting call of newly-returned loons on a nearby lake. After an intensely busy week, the wonder of it all quiets my soul, drawing me into worship, gently smoothing away the tensions and distractions.
The truth is, sometimes we just need a few minutes to be still and meditate on His wonderful works to fully restore our souls.
“On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.” (Psalm 145:5)