Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Color of God

Malachi spoke brightly from the backseat of the car, "Mommy, do you wonder about the color of God?"
I answered simply, to get myself out of the way, "No, do you?"
"I think God is black," he stated, "He is every color of everyone, all the way to the deepest shade."
I waited and there was quiet, then he began again,
"No, actually, I believe God is medium brown, because when God looks around Him, He sees all the colors, of all His children, and He is in the very center of them."

Perhaps, this is why we are to be like children.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


As I tiptoed into our bedroom last night at the end of the evening's tasks, I came upon a precious sight; Dennis, Malachi and Salome' sound asleep after only a few pages of reading, "My Father's Dragon". With Gabriel in Norway, his room has become a haven for us when little ones overtake our bed. The expansive picture window, where Zion first met the moon, is an inviting space for some thoughtful moments before sleep's insistence will no longer be denied. So I slipped into the vacant room, crawled between the sheets and breathed in deeply the delicious breeze pressing through the open window. Yet, to my my dismay, just beyond the house which separates us from the street, the bright lights of an ambulance and fire engine caught my attention. Silently the vehicles arrived and several rescuers alighted from them. The surrounding darkness shrouded any other details from my view. The shadowy figures disappeared from sight, then departed within 30 minutes. Sadly, I knew neither the savers nor those in need of saving. I can meet our homeless friends on the corner, or chat with the cute gal who sells me shoes, but who are those neighbors just a few houses away, whose evening erupted into possible tragedy as I watched through my open window, a curious eavesdropper.

To be known is a choice of transparency and trust, but to know another is a privilege which requires an invitation. The doors of the neighbors I do not know appear large and foreboding, I have not been brave enough to knock on many of them. To pursue a relationship seems daunting to me, but if I had cared enough to try, I might have known the need, and today I could have given compassion.

A decade ago, our sweet Elias, seven years old at the time, was given an opportunity. We were visiting my special needs girlfriend who lived in a care home. Between us and the door, an elderly woman sat. Her hair was matted in long tendrils around her face and her spindly fingers were marked by dirty, long nails. Her sunken eyes looked hungry for attention, but the stench of urine from her wheelchair seemed to create a barrier to compassion. I smiled at the woman and gave my three children the chance to scoot behind me and out of her reach. Elias, did not walk away, but instead he stood close to her wheelchair and bent his smiling face within inches of her sunken cheeks. Her eyes shone as he reached his arms around her bent shoulders and hugged her. Time stood still for me as I watched in wonder at the love our boy lavished on this precious, needy child of God. Our little boy seemed so brave to me that day, but I think a better, truer statement would be: available to love. The elderly woman needed someone and his tender heart said, "Here I am!"

Life is hard, but less hard when we are available to each other.

And just as I speak this to you, my tired spirit rests in the truth that God, who loves us deeper than we can even begin to imagine, is our ever present source of love, compassion and wholeness.

Good night, Sweet Friend, I will tiptoe somewhere now for sleep, and between the two of us, perhaps these words will encourage our simple ability to be available to someone who needs love tomorrow (or today).