There’s still hope

Up until recent building, our home was near an open field. Critters, including mice, would make their way into our garage. One day, when cleaning out junk, we discovered a nest of six disgusting newborn mice.

They needed to be killed. A fact I understood but, for some reason I stared at them and began to ugly cry. You know the kind when your face scrunches and the others around can’t help but laugh? That is exactly what happened. My husband and soon to be sister- in- law lost it. Their laughing made me laugh but the tears just kept coming.

Something about those helpless and hopeless mice got to me. I think it was knowing that they were born for nothing. So, as morbid and dramatic as it sounds, I used a cardboard to place them on the other side of the fence. I knew my heroic efforts wouldn’t make a difference it but maybe they could have just a little hope at life? Or at the very least, become food to help an owl.

I read a passage today in Ecclesiastes that says, “For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope.”

As long as you are alive my friend, you have hope. Life may feel hopeless and you might feel worthless, but as long as you have life, you have a chance. Learn to laugh at your silly mistakes and learn to change from the big ones. Start over when you fail and try something else if “it” doesn’t work. If someone hasn’t told you today, I believe in you, and you are loved more than you will ever know.

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Mistaken Identity

And there they were in all their splendor, with golden hair and sharp teeth. I came far too close to four lions. It didn’t matter that there was a fence separating us because just yards away were magnificent creatures with the power to rip me to smithereens.

I was reminded of a story found in first Samuel. A story right before one of the greatest stories in the Bible of David and Goliath. During his moment of bravery, David reminisces about a time when he killed a bear and separately, a lion. He was a shepherd and it was his duty to protect his sheep.

When one was stolen by the beast, he did what no one in their right mind would. He pulled the lion by its beard, took back the sheep, then struck and killed it.

I find it hard to imagine someone this courageous. Someone willing to risk their life for an animal. But what if it was about more than saving a fluffy sheep? Maybe he was fighting for his identity, which just so happened to be a lowly shepherd at the time. He took pride in his duty and would do whatever it took to protect it.

At the end of the day, our identity is all we have. It is who we are when there isn’t an audience. As I stared at the lions and remembered David, I also remembered who I once was; A girl who believed she could change the world but my identity was no longer one I recognized. The fearless girl who once was so full of life and reckless joy had somehow grown consumed with an image of who I thought I needed to be for everyone else.

My reflection resembled a timid mouse walking on eggshells. Paranoid that if I did or said one wrong thing, I would misrepresent Jesus. But isn’t that just twisted? Jesus offers freedom and we put ourselves chains of religion? What kind of love is that? It isn’t. That my friends represents the image of fear and fear doesn’t come from the Jesus I know.

At the root of who David was lies something, we see throughout scripture. Passion. He fought in epic battles, killed lions and wrote poetry. True identity is the fact of being who you are without apologies. You can be both strong and vulnerable. It is necessary to feel empathy without pity. You can make improvements without degradation. Sure, you may have to face a few lions along the way, too, but isn’t that the point?

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When I was a little girl, my family packed up an RV and went up a mountain to watch a meteor shower. Never had I seen such a thing.  I still remember the smell of the crisp air and the way it felt thin in my lungs. The silence of the night and an eerie feeling that I was so small in comparison to such a giant sky left me full of wonder. 

 I was about 12 at the time of this memory. It was before I had a digital camera or Facebook and I didn’t think about sharing it with anyone. If this moment happened within the past five years, I may have missed out.

 Instead, much of my time would have been taking photos, trying to share what I saw; but a picture can never do it justice. The lens on my phone isn’t meant to capture wonder, smells and feelings. By trying to capture the moment I would end up missing millions of falling stars just outside the view of my little camera.

 Try not to get so caught up in posting the moment that you actually end up missing it all together. When looking at a star filled sky, a camera only captures a glimpse of its reality. So sure, take a couple pictures as a reminder and give yourself the rest of the time to actually have a memory. 

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