I remarked to Stephen, "Son, someday you're going to be driving through Lubbock, Texas or Toledo, Ohio and you're going to remember this beautiful place where you once lived."(No offense to anyone from Lubbock or Toledo).
He looked at me like I was absolutely out of my mind and said, "Mom, HOW can you think Maputo is beautiful? It's ugly and dirty and gross. South Africa is beautiful, not Maputo!
South Africa was very fresh in his mind. We had just spent a restful weekend there in lush, green, rolling hills with palm trees and hibiscus and bouganvillea all around."I guess 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder',", I told him.
In fact, we all choose to see beauty or ashes all the time in our lives.
We see pain as God is molding and shaping us and HE sees the beautiful end product He has had in mind since before the creation of the world.
We "get caught" in our sin and, while we are enduring the consequences, we forget to see that it was God's gracious and loving hand that stopped us from going any further.
We get hurt by the words or actions of another person and run away to "lick our wounds" or worse yet, retaliate, failing to recognize that this is our perfect opportunity to love as Jesus did; unconditionally, sacrificially, not returning evil for evil.
This week, I'm asking God to help me see the absolute beauty in living like Jesus did. Laying it all on the line. Loving without being afraid of losing. No self interest, no self protection, dying to self. Mirroring Him. Living the way we were created to live.
More ministry updates when I am able to get pictures on!