Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Make Her Beautiful

We listen to a song often that was done by Hillary and Kate.

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

It's such a lovely song, with such a simple truth.
And I think of the scripture that tells husbands
to love their wives as Christ loved the church:
how He gave Himself for her,
sanctifies her, 
and washes her with the water of the Word.
The church does not come perfect to the Savior's arms.

Sometimes I read Christian marriage advice and it's so cardboard.
I get especially annoyed by the advice to wives
that tells them how to be perfect.
To get perfect hair and exercise more and wear lipstick.

I'm a tomboy at heart, and not a trophy.
And I have never wanted to be a glossy beauty.
I wanted to be loved.
I wanted to be wanted.
But not wanted because I looked like someone else's idol.

When I met my husband, I was going out of my way to not be glossy.
Imagine this beauty, (which was a regular ensemble):
overall shorts and a t-shirt,
a braid pulled through a baseball cap pulled down low,
and thick socks with work boots.
I had some assets I could play up,
but I wasn't exactly in the frame of mind to catch anyone.
In fact, I was tired of being noticed physically.
It felt more like an insult than a compliment to be thought pretty. 

The first time I met him, I wasn't quite so off-putting in my dress
as described above.
I was wearing a hippy skirt with the work boots.
I guess in a small way, the skirt said 'feminine'.
We were praying in a group for a mutual friend
who was suffering from LSD flashbacks.
He openly stared at me through the prayer.
He didn't look away when I looked at him.

One day, a couple of weeks later,
I got off duty in the kitchen
when everyone else had eaten their dinner already,
and he sat down with me while I ate my dinner.
He asked me what I was going to do that evening.
"I thought I'd go up to the cafe and read poetry," I said. "What are you doing?"
"I thought I'd go up to the cafe and read poetry," he answered.
It was just plain -- I'm going to hang around you and be with you.
No pretending to run into me.
No begging to join me.

My husband makes me feel beautiful.
I am 32 and a half weeks pregnant.
I'm big.
And I'm older and tired.
My skin is drying out, and my lips have faded.
My hands are getting kind of papery.
My hair is frizzier than it used to be.
But he treats me like I'm beautiful.
It's my sixth child I am pregnant with.
He doesn't say things like,
"Have you thought about maybe getting a gym membership 
and getting back what you once had?"
Or, "Maybe you could get laser treatment 
for some of those scars that are marking you up now."
I cannot imagine that he does not see these flaws.
They are glaring realities to me.
But he doesn't seem to see these flaws --
even though he packed the wounds that left them for me.

I think I'd even rather have the scars that mar me
just to see how he looks at me like I am beautiful anyway.
The reality is that I am not more beautiful than I was
in my young, strong, healthy, unmarred body.
But weirdly, I feel more beautiful to him now than I did then.
I'm more confident in his love than I was.
I don't feel like I have to hide from his eyes,
in order to maintain the illusion of perfection.
If, in his eyes I am perfect, I will accept his verdict.
And where perfection was lacking,
he helped bring it about with his own hands.
Not the perfection of an airbrushed photo,
but the perfection of healed flesh and whole skin.
Of function where there was brokenness.
When I first saw the damage, I cried.
I couldn't look until it was nearly done healing, and I still cried.
But he saw it in every stage, and he never recoiled.
He didn't cry, and he didn't criticize, and he didn't complain.
He changed bandages twice a day.
And he did the dishes while I laid there.

if you want to be married to a beautiful woman,
let your love make her beautiful.
Don't compare her to the unflawed women you see.
The ones who haven't borne your children in their bodies.
Don't shame her for the thing that she is.

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Mouse Is Responsible

I came across a news item that began thus:
"A mouse is responsible for triggering a stampede in a mosque 
in the Moroccan city of Casablanca 
which left more than 80 people injured, officials say."
It went on to say, "Worshippers were reported to have fainted 
after a mouse crossed over a woman's foot while she was praying, 
causing her to rush outside and creating panic among worshippers."

We had a mouse problem in a former house.
They had grown bold, and ran right across the living room while we were in it.
One night, my husband was sitting on the floor, and a mouse ran past him.
Without thought, his hand flew at it, and it was knocked out.
In fact, it might have died instantly.
He picked it up by the tail and flushed it down the toilet.
A mouse is a slappable fear.
A flushable fear -- until we let it stampede us.
Because our stampeding can crush real lives.
The stampede was what injured the crowd.
Have you ever been stampeded by a mouse?

I fight fear.
Crippling fear, at times.
Gut-wrenching, knee-shaking fear.
Stampeding fear.
One way I fight it is to let it knock me down,
and then I pray there.
I try swallowing it, sometimes, but it comes back up.
I feel my heart swell and pound,
and my resolve turn to Jello.
And my thoughts race to a bunker filled with organic canned goods
and solar-powered electronics
and books
and gold pieces
and plenty of yarn to knit.
But then what?
I don't want to live in the bunker.
So I drop down again on the weak knees, and let myself say it all there.
All the fears,
and the griefs for things that are someone else's reality that I can't fix.
The distress over world affairs that are so wrong.
They're so, so wrong.
They are sickeningly, damningly wrong.
And the good guys are only half as guilty...

Back to my knees.
Lord, You had mercy on the children in Nineveh.
You were willing to rescue Lot's daughters from Sodom. 
There is no hope in us... but YOU are merciful. 

Peter said things to women that jump out at me and run through my mind:
"...your pure behaviour in fear
whose adorning--let it not be that which is outward, 
of plaiting of hair, 
and of putting around of things of gold
or of putting on of garments, 
but--the hidden man of the heart
in the incorruptible thing of the meek and quiet spirit
which is, before God, of great price
for thus once also the holy women who did hope on God
were adorning themselves, being subject to their own husbands, 
as Sarah was obedient to Abraham, 
calling him `sir,' of whom ye did become daughters, doing good
and not fearing any terror."

He mentions faultless behavior in fear,
but then says not fearing any terror.
Not put to flight by fear.
Perhaps a faultless response to fear 
is not to surround ourselves with gold and garments,
but to stock up on meekness and a quiet spirit.
That's rich currency with God.
Holy women hope on Him.
They dress themselves in obedience.
They do good in the very face of the fear.
And they are not stampeded.

Friday, June 12, 2015

It Isn't All My Life

Sometimes you ask me how I am, and I demur.
Maybe someone just called my husband in crying distress and needing prayer,
and it's broken our hearts that the same people
who have borne up under so much pain are hurting again.
Why do some people
seem to get so much more than their fair share of grief and heartache?
Shouldn't there be a rule
that you only have to deal with one death every ten or twenty years or so?
They're on my heart, and you want to know how I am,
and I'm fine.
Really, I am.
And how is that fair?
And I can't talk about how they're hurting, because it's their private grief.
And although they shared it with us, it isn't ours to share.

And just a day or two later,
someone confides a soaring joy that makes us laugh out loud --
and tells us we can't breathe a word of it.
Even though it's a fulfilled promise of God.
And we nod, and try to tamp down the smiles a little,
so as not to let on that we know.
And it's such a privilege to be allowed into both --
the sorrow and the rejoicing.
But, man -- how to respond to your question?
How am I?
I'm elated!
I'm heartbroken.
I can't tell you about either.

And so I tell you something mundane from my life.
And maybe you think I'm withdrawn.
Or I'm hiding something.
Or that I don't want to be friends.
And I want to be friends.
I want to share my life --
but it isn't all my life.

And even sometimes when it's my own hurt I don't speak of,
it's because maybe someone has acted badly.
They've done something mean,
and I'm trying to respond the way I ought to.
I don't post their dirty laundry on my Facebook status,
and gather all my friends to my side to condemn them.
Because do you know my hope?
I hope they come to their senses.
I hope they recognize the error someday.
And how will they ever be able to do that
if everyone they know thinks they are the devil's own apprentice?

A friend told me a story about a pastor he knew
who had been really wronged by people who knew him.
He'd been slandered and they had drawn others away and separated themselves.
The pastor had been really upset privately in my friend's presence --
and rightly so, frankly.
He's a human being with natural emotions.
The pastor had said he'd be happy if he never saw ______ again.
A few years went by.
The person he'd said that about realized he'd been misled.
He'd misjudged the whole thing.
He came back repentant and asked to be forgiven.
A few more years went by.
A new area needed a church pastor.
The pastor laid hands on and sent out that same guy who had come back.
Our friend was a private witness to both.
And I smiled to hear about restored fellowship with more depth --
the depth of repentance and forgiveness.
A reality of Christian fellowship.
Sometimes when we're hurt,
we have to choose the end game.
Hope for reconciliation, because we are family, screw-ups and all.

In the same way that you will never have a healthy marriage
if you go tattling about every failure your spouse has to your family of origin;
how will you live love for the church
if you can't swallow a few hurts and hope for the best?
Sometimes our love points out an error,
and sometimes it shuts its mouth and prays,
and accepts a painful slight.
Paul rebuked Christians for going to court against each other.
"Why not rather be wronged?" he asked them,
"Why not rather be defrauded?"
Better to be a victim in this case, than a plaintiff.

And how are you doing?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

If You've Wondered

The toddler has been flipping out for days.
Arching her back.
Banging her head on the floor.
"What does your shirt say?" Talia asks her, in a pleasant voice,
in an attempt to distract her from yet another fit.
"IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!" she screams back at her.
She tries to hang on the open secretary desk.
"No, no," I say gently. "You can't hang on that. It will hurt you."
She melts down, slapping my leg and weeping,
and then attempts to climb me.

Her third tooth is in,
birthed through another sleepless night of thrashing and much Orajel.
She still has her charmingly sociable personality,
only it's been joined by an alter ego that is furious and mean.
She runs like a whirlwind through the house,
climbing things that scare me, and undoing all order.
She tries to climb the bookshelf.
She's taken down, and flings herself angrily at the ground.
When I try to read out loud, as our homeschooling lifestyle demands,
she yells through the whole experience.

She does not want her hair combed.
She does not want her diaper changed.
She does not want her nose wiped or her face washed.
She wants to eat, and rejects all offered food.
She spent several days in a war between her mouth,
which didn't want to put anything in it,
and her tummy, which cried for hunger.
She would only eat enough to take the edge off,
and then would be crying again shortly because it wasn't enough.

Nap times are respites.
Except we are reading through most of them lately,
since she interrupts so much of it earlier.
Why am I writing this?
Because maybe you wondered where I am.
Why I write so little lately.

I am tired.
We've had company,
and while I know they are people who love us, and aren't expecting the Hilton,
it seems reasonable to me that sheets be washed and basic cleaning be done.
And I can't keep up.
We are pressing on to finish school,
because that is one of our very top priorities in life.
And we are doing the dishes and feeding people.
And we are trying to keep from drowning in laundry.
And please don't even talk to me about my children's bedrooms.
Just shut the door.

As if drowning in dirty laundry wasn't bad enough,
WHY are the clean clothes being put back into the laundry again?
Please explain how the hampers in your bedrooms, 
the three hamper sorter in the hall outside your bedrooms, 
AND the large basket hamper in your bathroom just off the hall 

Life operates in seasons, and this is one of exhaustion.
When I have a few minutes, I mostly stare at a wall.
I miss writing more often.
I miss not stepping on toys and discarded food.
I miss time to think.
I miss reading books of my own choosing while not falling asleep.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Shameless Plug

So, I use Sonlight curriculum to homeschool my kids.
For the most part, we love it.
It's been a good fit for our family.
We've used it since 2007, I think.

I was kind of excited this year
to get an email from them
inviting me to register to win a year of free curriculum.
The thing is, I am only eligible to win
if friends also go and register through my link.
I do not mind sharing my love for Sonlight with my friends,
since I have a genuine appreciation for their products.
This one is exciting, because it's free curriculum!
Whoever wins, will win a year for the first mom and the referred friend.
If you are even slightly interested in that,
would you go sign up through this link?
I think after you do, they'll give you a link you can share, too.

Sonlight's Mom to Mom Curriculum Giveaway



Sunday, May 10, 2015

To Be Their Mom

I scroll down through my Facebook feed, and I see so many mothers.
Sporty mothers cheering on young athletes.
Baking mothers who make my mouth water.
The ones who stay home
long after other mothers have taken up the soccer and ballet rounds
because they have one with special needs.
Moms with the beginning of a clan,
and some with just one little chick.
I see moms
who traveled to China and Guatemala and Ethiopia
to gather up their babies.
I know two who had children they weren't looking for handed to them.
I see my friends with empty arms, whose babies are not with them.
They had to lay them down to rest long before they wanted to.

There are busy ones, who race from one activity to the next.
Bookworm moms, who inhabit the couches with their kids and a good book.
Tatooed and pierced,
in overalls,
or dressed like tea party ladies,
we all have this in common:
We've opened our lives to our children.

Becoming a mother is to become vulnerable.
We don't know what we will end up with.
Whether it's carrying a burden for many long years,
as we work to lift children who can't carry themselves;
or bearing the grief of a loss too strong for words.
Will it be joy?
Yes, it will. Some joy.
Will it be struggle?
Yes, it will. And with the same child who brought the joy.
There will be years of chaos,
even if it's only Cheerios scattered over the entire house.
There will be messy faces and messy bodies.
There will be tears, and not just from the children.
Their pain is going to hurt you.

The kids are going to fail.
And you are going to fail your kids.
And if you do it right, there will be apologies and forgivenesses.
And they'll learn that love means hope for future good.
That love covers a multitude of sin,
and grace allows us to begin again.

And you don't have to be a cookie-cutter mom to be their Mom.
Each one of us is uniquely made,
and uniquely challenged with this sanctified relationship.
Our children don't match.
Our lives don't match.
But we are one in Christ,
and the goal is to hear, "Well, done, you good and faithful servant."
I can't help but think about Jesus's conversation with Peter
where Peter asked about John, "What about him?"
And Jesus replied to him, "What is it to you...? You follow Me."

Never mind the other mamas.
Each of us has our own race to run.
But follow Him where He leads you.
It's your own Master you have to answer to.
And He is able to make you stand.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Suffer Little Children

Maybe you have heard that prayer:
'Lord, I give You my life.
You have my permission to interrupt it any way You please.'

And the interruption comes,
and it really throws a monkey wrench into your plans,
and other people's plans for you are messed up, too.
Because it's a crying interruption, with a runny nose,
and it needs a nap every day at consistent times to be happy and functional.
And it reminds you that God's priorities aren't the same as everyone else's.

And those interrupting children are God's children.
And sending them away so Jesus can do His important work in adults
is something He'd rebuke you for.
They are the kingdom.
Jesus the King of Little Children?
Squirmy children with sticky hands?
Hungry children with their hands out?
Tantrumy children who get underfoot?

"At the same time came the disciples to Jesus, saying, 
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 
And Jesus called a little child to Him, and set him in the midst of them, 
And said, Verily I say to you, 
Except ye be converted, and become as little children, 
ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 
Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, 
the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoever shall receive one such little child in My name, receiveth Me." 

~Matthew 18:1-5

The disciples obviously blew off His answer to their question,
because in the very next chapter it says,
"Then were brought to Him little children, 
that He should put his hands on them, and pray: 
and the disciples rebuked them. 
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, 
and forbid them not to come to Me
for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
And He laid His hands on them..."
Matthew 19:13-15

Who is the greatest?
He called a child.
And that kid came when He called him.
He didn't say, "I'll have to get back to you on that, Jesus,
after I've checked my schedule."
With no pride and no agenda,
he came over and stood there as an object lesson.
And the disciples looked on and dismissed his importance.
Jesus was doing His divine work in the proximity of children.
Close enough to call them over.
They were familiar enough with Him that they came if He called.

In Mark, when this story is told,
it says Jesus was very displeased
when He saw the disciples rebuking them.
He was grieved, and He ached.
He wanted them near Him.
Receiving a child in His name is receiving Him.
They are something to 'suffer' at times.
Demanding and exhausting.

We have limited resources of time and energy,
and they suck up more of it than we have.
We'd rather put the time into things that show.
Yesterday, I vacuumed the whole downstairs of my house.
By evening, the floor was scattered with Cheerios
that Lydia had dropped in every room,
some of them after chewing a little first.
I folded napkins that she threw on the floor,
and then 'helped' me pick up again.
It's a perpetual cycle of unending work.
Jesus said to suffer them.

And so, we prepare to welcome another.
Yes, Lord, You can interrupt our lives.
Change our world.
Slow our steps.

Languagespt>en YahooCEerror
Because it's a crying interruption, with a runny nose,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Even Our Confusion

I love to hear stories of God's faithfulness to help an asker.
My husband visited with an older couple recently
and brought me home some stories.
These people were home because of some adversity,
but what they wanted to talk about
was how God had answered their prayers.
Such a refreshing difference from negative reports and complaints.

Years before, the wife was in need of employment.
She saw a 'help wanted' ad in the paper,
and got the confused notion that the business
was right across the street from her house.
So she dressed up, put her resume together,
and walked over to apply for the job.
She gave her resume to the front desk person,
who told her they would keep it on file.
Of course they would, she thought -- they had advertised for help.
And she went home.

She and her husband got down on their knees
and asked the Lord to give her the job she had applied for.
And before they were finished praying, the phone rang.
"We've been looking for someone with your qualifications,"
the woman told her.
And so the Lord gave her a job that hadn't been advertised.

I love how the Lord can use even our confusion and misunderstanding
to direct us into His will.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

That Had Seen The First House

I read this morning from Ezra 3 with my children.

And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, 
they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, 
and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, 
to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.  
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks to the LORD; 
because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever towards Israel. 
And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, 
because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 

But many of the priests and Levites 
and chief of the fathers, old men, that had seen the first house, 
when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, 
wept with a loud voice; 
and many shouted aloud for joy: 
So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of the joy 
from the noise of the weeping of the people: 
for the people shouted with a loud shout, 
and the noise was heard afar off.
~Ezra 3:10-13

It's a curious thing, the human heart.
In Ezra 1:1, I learn that this endeavor was prophesied by Jeremiah,
stirred up by the Lord's work in a heathen king's heart,
entirely directed by and according to the will of God;
blessed and commissioned --
and yet grieved over by some of God's people.

It looked like nothing to them,
because they had hearts wedded to loss, captured by the past.
To many, God's work was a joyful affirmation of His help.
They looked forward with praise and thanksgiving.
But to some, this new thing was just a record of their losses.
They howled in misery.

It strikes me how differently the two groups respond
to the very same work of God.
It's easy to do, when you suffer a loss,
to treat every new gift like a curse.
To reject it all as worthless because it isn't what it was.
Or it isn't what you had wished.
But that doesn't mean it isn't God's will.
And it doesn't mean He won't bless it, or fellowship with You through it.

And it reminds me that if I want to grow,
if I want to be mature,
I'm going to have to forget the things that are behind,
and press on, reaching forward to the things that are ahead,
reaching for the goal of God's upward call in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Someone Else's Baby

The dream was disturbing.
There I was, in beautiful fellowship with my husband,
enjoying God's creation by the sea.
Something separated us.
Wolves came in, and tore my baby out of my arms,
biting into her, and flinging her off the pier I was on
to the rocks and water below.
The wolves chased me, trying to bite me, too.
I couldn't get to my baby.
They were stronger than me, faster than me,
and used the very beauty of the place I was in
to the destruction of my child.
My husband returned, the wolves fled, and he held the baby in his arms.
I woke up to the sound of her screaming.

Today I read, "Beware of dogs.
Beware of evil workers. Beware of the mutilation."
And I remember Paul's warning to the Ephesian elders
about the wolves who would come,
the false prophets who would come out of their own midst,
not sparing the flock, and drawing away disciples with perverse teachings.
Then he commended them to the word of His grace,
which is able to build them up
and give them an inheritance among the sanctified.

And I thought about Jesus' words in Matthew 7,
about the hypocrisy of trying to judge and cleanse a brother
while in a state of crippling blindness and under judgment.
And the application of the law has never removed a plank from my eye,
nor can it remove the speck from my brother's.

And all they did couldn't bring them into the kingdom.
Not prophecy.
Not exorcisms.
Not mighty works.
Jesus said you would know the tree by its fruit,
and all the fruit of human effort is rotten.
But the fruit that comes of connection with Him is holy.
"I never knew you," was the judgment.
The fruit was illegitimate.
Someone else's baby.
Because the law cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit.
And what is holy is not for the dogs.

The holy fruit, the precious treasure, is for the askers.
It isn't the work of the doers.
It isn't for the dogs, but for the sons.
Not for proximity to holiness, but relation to it.
A good gift from a good Father.
Sustenance offered to a child.
Not an attainment of the flesh.

There is a big wide gate that lots of people walk through,
and it leads to a road of human achievement.
And it is the way of destruction.
But Life is down the narrow road. 
Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
No man comes to the Father but by Me."
"I never knew you," was the judgment.
He called them workers of iniquity.

Paul traded his vast resume for one thing and one thing only:
the blood of Christ.
The connection.
The relation that bears fruit.
He traded his circumcision, his law-abiding status,
his zealous pursuit of Biblical theology,
his heritage, his family tree,
his prestigious education,
his religious superiority --
all of it --
for the knowledge of Him.
Because the one left him working iniquity.
All the works of righteousness achieved through the law
are a damning record of the unrighteousness of the doer.
They are hypocritical.
They are clean words from unclean lips.
They are coming to the marriage bed pregnant with someone else's child.

And the teaching of the works of the law as the means to grace
is the perversion of the gospel.
There's no inheritance there.
It's unclean. It is destructive, evil work. And it mutilates our souls.
It does not spare the flock of God.
It tears it up.
It is the result of separation from Christ.
It casts the fruit of union with Him on the rocks.
And it chases down the Bride to destroy her, too.

And it is the word of His grace that is able to build us up,
and give us an inheritance with the sanctified.
Are you worried about sanctification?
It is ours through His grace.
The inheritance of the holy is only born of His holiness.
And all our efforts are wood, hay and stubble apart from union with Him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stars and Sand and Every Hair

Grains of sand and all our hairs.
A friend posted a link to a photograph NASA released
that focused in on one quarter of the Andromeda Galaxy,
which is a very small section of the visible universe to us, here on earth.
It is 2.5 million light years away, and the sharpest photo NASA has.
100 million stars individually recognizable in it.
My son and I watched the video that spanned the photograph.
It took a video to look over the image, because it is a huge image.
Part of the galaxy was so densely starred
that it appeared more light than dark.
"It looks like sand!" my son exclaimed.

"That's an interesting comment," I said,
"because stars and sand
are what God promised Abraham's descendants would be like."

The stars.
Whenever I felt troubled as a teenager,
I would go out in the dark and look up.
So vast.
It reminded me of how vast God's knowledge and His power are.
How the choreography of the heavens is His handiwork.
How His mind comprehends all these things I cannot fathom.
The heavens declare the glory of God.
He sees the big picture.
Bigger than we have yet comprehended.

Ah, but the sand...
From the vastness of the heavens to the grains of the earth.
Details I'm too big and important to take notice of.
I walk on it.
But I don't get close enough to count it.
The sand touches me, but I don't know it.
Not like that.
I've seen so little of it.
Those things that are so out of my reach,
and the ones that are so easily touchable,
are both unknowable to me,
and intimately known to Him.

Surely if human beings can zoom in
on a galaxy 2.5 million light years away
and recognize individual stars clustered like sand,
He can see me.
I'm a lot bigger than a grain of sand, and He has counted them.

"You comprehend my path and my lying down, 
and are acquainted with all my ways."
I am not even acquainted with all my ways.
I have talked in my sleep and not known it, but according to Psalm 139,
"There is not a word on my tongue, 
but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether."
The sum of His thoughts toward me is more in number than the sand.

"The hairs of your head are all numbered," Jesus said.
"Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul."
Do you need that reminder?
I often do.
Why not fear death?
Because He is Life.
Because He was raised from the dead.
Because connection with Him will raise us, too.
And those who serve and worship darkness and death
cannot snuff out Light and Life,
no matter how many they put to sleep for a little while.