The wind is coolish, pleasant on the deck this early morning. A couple of birds are cawing, chortling -- but they're not crows. I wish I knew the names of birds like I do plants. But, unfortunately, I am an ignoramus to who they are! I thank them, though, for making my backyard more alive, along with the leaves rustling, chasing away the bowl of record heat which has been here in the Midwest for about a month.
I wonder what my Compassion International kids are hearing around them in nature, in school. One of my kids, a 15 year old from Hondorus, just became my Facebook friend, which is probably against policy. She seems like a fairly typical teen, instead of one of those starving children on the World Vision commercials. But, showcasing can be truth and manipulation -- it is that bad in select places. But in others, a typical teen struggles with poverty and opening her heart to Jesus first, despite the boys, despite the home life, despite, despite, so I pray for her on that. And, I hope she prays for me. One of our children, a boy from Rwanda, wrote and told me he has my picture taped on his bed so that he can remember to pray for me. I'm grateful! It goes both ways, from Africa to the United States and vice versa, in all of our poverties.
The bird sings on.
Yesterday, I had coffee with a mother who has two children with chronic life conditions. Her 14 year old son has brain bleeding and, thus, strokes -- he's wheelchair confined at the moment, recovering, recovering from another bout which has been a life plague. Her eight year old is a nonverbal autistic child. We talked, laughed, commisserated for a couple of hours even though we were strangers at first. We're both trying to figure out and accept the spiritual layer of suffering; she has been hurt at the hands of Christians; she's often at limbo in trust. It was good to share the complexities of the eternal questions of "Why?" "Where?" and the realities of the shake-fisting, apologies, repenting, releasing, tiring, rejuvenating cycle of the spiritual life. We can't shake Jesus because he won't shake us (sang a knowledgeable songwriter I heard recently). I saw the true warrior in her. I pray she keeps marching, stumbling, leaping toward eternal hope and glory.
Regarding good works mentioned in yesterday's writing, here's an excellent quote which puts the topic in better perspective, taking it from self to the transcendent:
Self-realization only leads to the glorification of good works, whereas a saint of God glorifies Jesus Christ through his good works. Whatever we may be doing— even eating, drinking, or washing disciples’ feet— we have to take the initiative of realizing and recognizing Jesus Christ in it. Oswald Chambers
Perhaps in doing so, we can name the Singer of the chorus that takes us outside of ourselves as the all-source for companionship and love which we can sing for the benefit of others. The unnamed is named and identified. The good bird sings on, and we know His tune. Amen.