15 November 2010
how he loves
saturday, november 13. the lamb center.
I think I will be processing this one for a long time. but here is the first attempt to understand how God continues to blow my expectations out of the water and show me his love and grace in the most unlikely of situations.
just as bible study was about to begin, her mother tapped me on the shoulder. "would you mind sliding over a little bit more? we like to sit on the end." as I stood up to make room at the table, I saw mia. a little girl so deformed it made me gasp for breath. her skull was folded in on itself, almost looking like an egg on its side. her hands and feet were curled into balls. her body was shrunken to half its size. she had her name written in sharpie on each of her socks. her mother, a petite woman not older than 40, slowly lifted mia out of her wheelchair and placed her in her lap. "well good morning, miss mia." the table echoed with greetings from old friends. a most unlikely community surrounding this little girl and her mother. "you are looking so beautiful this morning!"
bible study moved forward. we spoke of the gospel of luke and the grace of our Creator who enters into the mess of life with us. who walks alongside us and somehow works all things for good. and these people believe this with all their heart. in their homelessness and in their struggles beyond anything I can ever imagine. they believe that God works all things for good. and mia's mother believes this. she sleeps in her car and she has a daughter who needs constant and meticulous care. and she loves her so beautifully. as I listened to the people around me talk of God's grace and his love for us as we are broken and beyond repair, I watched mia's mother stroke her hair and kiss her protruding forehead. her love for her daughter was beyond any words I can think of except to say that it was the most perfect picture of unconditional love that I have ever seen. or will ever see. and in her love for mia I saw God and how he loves us. how he picks up our broken bodies and places us in his lap. how he kisses our deformities and our scars and covers us with his perfect and unfailing love. and although mia could not smile or even move on her own I knew that she feels that love. she knows it is there. she has a peace and a joy that shines through her brokenness.
and here's the thing. my life is easy compared to 99% of the people in the room that day. even though my house is a little bit old, I don't sleep in my car. even though my job is a little bit frustrating, I have found work that not only provides for my life, but is actually satisfying. even though my budget is a little bit tight, I can still spend money on polaroid film and vintage children's books in georgetown. but so much of the time, I live in a way that takes for granted the life God has given me. in one of my most favorite books, donald miller writes "life is staggering and we're just used to it. we are like spoiled children no longer impressed with the gifts we're given." and I think that's true. I take the beauty of life for granted. I take God's unconditional love for granted. but mia doesn't. and her mom doesn't. and the people I talked to on saturday don't. they could be real angry at God. they could choose to hate him. or not belive in him. instead, they live in the truth that their life is a gift. and they live in the truth that God is good. all the time. no matter what.