wHere Life is Real

JennyWhite

Something Out of Nothing

In the beginning there was nothing.

Nothing to hear. Nothing to feel. Nothing to see.

Only emptiness. And darkness. And…nothing but nothing.

But God was there. And God had a wonderful Plan.

“I’ll take this emptiness,” God said, ” and I’ll fill it up! Out of the darkness, I’m going to make light! And out of nothing, I’m going to make EVERYTHING!”

So begins The Storybook Bible. And last night as I read this to my two daughters, I realized this picture reveals so much about the character of God, about Jesus.

There was nothing. Nothing to hear, or feel, or see. Only emptiness. Only darkness. But God had a plan–to fill up the emptiness, brighten the darkness. And as I sat there with two little girls clambering to sit in my lap, eager to hear me read from their new books, I thought about my own life and the life of some of my friends. And I thought about Jesus.

Here, in the creation story, where we meet the Creator God and where we learn His first attribute, he revealed to me another aspect of his character. He is not only the Creator; he is also the filler of all things empty, the brightener of all things dark, and the voice in all solitude.

Isn’t this what Jesus does?

He takes our emptiness and fills it. Later in the story, we learn that what God creates to fill up the emptiness is good. And that’s also what Jesus does. He fills our emptiness with what is good. That is all he can give–good. He says in John 14:27  that he doesn’t give like the world gives. Meaning that what he gives won’t decay, won’t wither away, won’t diminish. It will remain.

And doesn’t Jesus brighten the darkness, too? He is called The Bright and Morning Star, the Day Star–a star seen before sunrise, an indication of the coming light. All of that darkness slowly turns to gray and eventually reveals the colors of day and life and hope–all with a little light. Hopeless places in our lives can turn hopeful when The Bright and Morning Star climbs through the darkness. A star–the evidence that even in darkness and during the times when we feel most alone in the world there is a presence; there is a light.

When we look around and see nothing but Nothing, remember: He makes something out of the nothing, and He calls it good.

Capture

Eavesdropping

 

There’s a little boy speaking Hindi outside my apartment tonight, and I can catch the sounds of a violin playing a few floors up. Across the way, small dogs bark and bark for their missing owners, and the construction site to the south sends up sprays of sounds.

 

A Mother’s Love

(based on 1 Corinthians 13)

If I speak with love and kindness to strangers and friends, but do not speak those same sweet words to my own children, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I mentor and disciple every friend who questions, and if I unveil the loveliness of Jesus to co-workers and walk in great faith among my church peers, but do not take time to discover Jesus with my children and stand in faith with them, I am nothing.

If I serve the needy and sacrifice everything for ministry and acts of kindness, but I do not serve my own children and display how Jesus came to serve, then I gain nothing.

A Mother’s love is patient.

A Mother’s love is kind.

Her love does not envy the lives of those around her,
Her love does not boast in her accomplishments, and it  is not conceited.

A Mother’s love does not act improperly.
A Mother’s love is not selfish.

Her love is not provoked by her children’s misbehavior,
and it does not keep a record of their wrongs.

A Mother’s love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.

A Mother’s love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

 

—-

I searched a bit and found another mom moved by this chapter:

A Mother’s Version of 1 Corinthians 13

Night

Night. Our quiet house fills

with the slow and heavy air of their breathing.

Their bodies finally rest.

Every hair looks perfectly placed.

Their skin glows with a newness

reminiscent of when I once cradled them in my arms.

I am startled by their beauty.

Silence

We did an activity called “Word Play” today in my Advanced Placement Literature class. Choosing 8 out of 40 listed words, the students then composed a poem using one of their chosen words in one line of poetry. The end result was an 8 line poem with some interesting twists and turns. I chose the words Exit, Wake, Peach, Restore, Lap, Wait, Brush, and Silence. This was my contribution to the activity:

 

SILENCE

There is no exit for those who are left behind
and wake at morning to empty rooms and faded pages.
Where counter-top peaches darken and their sweetness turn bitter.
How do you restore a thing browned and rotted?

In what lap can innocence find rest,
when waiting takes all your energy
and future hopes aren’t easily brushed away,
and silence is the only answer?

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