Archive for August, 2010

A God Who Never Sleeps

There was once a time in my life when both my mind and body were strong and willing. More recently, the mind is still strong but the body no longer responds the same way. Nearly every morning as I head to the gym, my mind makes promises my body can’t keep. I used to be able to stay up late and get up early for days on end. In fact, without that ability, I would never had made it through college, grad school and cemetery (I mean seminary)! Now I can barely stay awake past 11.

I was reminded in my quiet time this morning that God does not face the same issue. Psalm 121 says it plainly: “…he who keeps you will not slumber.” Think about that for a moment. The God who helps us never sleeps. He stays up all night, every night. Why would I look anywhere else for help?

Advertisements

Lessons from Lie To Me

My wife and I have a standing date Monday nights to watch Fox’s hit show LIE TO ME.┬áThis drama series, inspired by the scientific discoveries of a real-life psychologist who can read clues embedded in the human face, body and voice to expose the truth and lies in criminal investigations, features Tim Roth as Dr. Cal Lightman, the world’s leading deception expert. If you lie to him, he’ll see it in your posture, hear it in your voice and most especially, he’ll see it in your eyes.

“It’s in the eyes. The eyes say it all.”

Coincidentally, my morning devotion today called my attention to Luke 15 where the Scribes and Tax collectors grumbled as they listened to Jesus saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” I suspect that they didn’t have to grumble out loud to make their opinions known. The daily game I play with young Cole – the 3 year-old we babysit each day – proves it possible. Every morning Cole’s mom packs an extra mini-chocolate donut for Cole to share with Mr. David. Every morning I ask Cole if he will surrender that donut to me. His answer? A squinty-eyed, puckered up glare that screams no! We go back and forth for a while and then he generally shares at least a part of a donut with me.

It’s in the eyes. The eyes say it all!

The truth is that our eyes build someone up, or tear someone down. They express either blessing or curses. Eyes can welcome or they exclude. They smile or they growl. They affirm or they condemn. No matter how you slice it, looks can give life or they can kill.

Have you ever stopped to consider what your eyes say on a daily basis? What do they say to the young person who took the tattoo and piercing route through early adulthood? What do they say to the single mom whose three kids are less than well disciplined? What do they say to the weathered day-laborer in line in front of you with a six pack and a bottle of liquor?

Bishop Robert Schnase suggests that we may need to change our prayers. We have prayers that ask God to change our hearts. We ask God for the courage to follow him into circumstances that change our minds. We have prayers to change our spirits. Maybe we also need a prayer that says, “Lord, change the way I look at people.” What do you think? When has someone looked at you and pushed you away? When has someone’s eyes welcomed you and built you up?