Saturday, June 18, 2011

Something Beautiful

Yesterday I saw something beautiful. Perhaps the emphasis in the
sentence should be on the words 'I saw,' for surely the beauty is as
present and ubiquitous as sunshine. Down a dusty road on the edge of a
cornfield in the middle of nowhere Mississippi, my friend Larry and I
were installing a pool for a retired nurese and her four children—four adopted
children. There were three black boys and one little white girl, and
they were more excited on this blistering June day than on Christmas
morning itself. All four children came from drug-destroyed homes. Born
into unspeakable abuse and trauma and pain; they were being saved by a
woman who simply said, 'it just breaks my heart.'

The kids grinned from ear to ear all day long as they played and
watched. They were remarkably well behaved. One of the boys had the
most beautiful smile I think I have ever seen. He wanted me to pull his
front tooth. The little girl thought the pool was coming from the sky.

'It just breaks my heart.' Who cannot see the origin of such a
life-giving burden? The retired nurse probably has no idea whose burden
she bears and loves, but I will take here over a hundred church
committees trying to create another kingdom for an absent god. The
other-centered, self-sacrificing, redeeming, hope-creating and saving
love of the blessed Trinity is not absent, but present everywhere, here
and now in the midst of the great darkness and its tragedies. Like a
vast, burning bush this world is alive with the glory of the blessed

Bless you retired nurse for giving your heart and life to participate.
You and your children are beautiful. May the kingdom of the blessed
Trinity and all its life flourish by your cornfield.

Next week I get to hear a disucssion on church growth.

"If you think of ten thousand things that are good and worth having,
what is it that makes them good or worth having, but the God in
them?" —George MacDonald