Mindful of me
Sometimes people ask me how I know God cares. Naturally the
answers are too many to mention here but we could start with the basics. If He'd
wanted efficient machines to do His bidding, He could have created us without
the six senses that we have been blessed with.
Picture a world where humans have no taste buds to enjoy food
with and the food comes in the shape of pills off a tree with no taste or
aesthetic appeal, skin like an armadillo so that we are impervious to pain and
pleasure, utilitarian eyes that see just the fact but not the beauty of a sunset
and a brain that would likewise bypass God's evening visual portraits of beauty
as unnecessary for the record. If there were birds that sang, there would be no
receptors to register it as a sound of beauty and probably no ability for us to
sing either - there would be no purpose for it. Love would be non-existent and
reproduction a sterile, unenjoyable process. No scent in flowers or delicious
odours from the kitchen, and no ability to detect them if they were there, would
render our noses useless except for the purpose of breathing. Without a
spiritual sixth sense to make contact with God, we would literally be an
efficient, obedient, unimaginative, being that God would not enjoy having around
(and certainly would not boast of us being made in His image.)
Why then, if He doesn't care, would He create the artist, the
sculptor, the musician, the scholar....what about the beautiful flowers that
release their fragrances at certain parts of the day, the rippling of a stream,
the awesome majesty of a snow-capped mountain, the inexorable flow of the
sea-tides - I could sit here forever and still not provide a definitive list
that would prove God's love for us.
King David himself asks the question in Psalm 8:3 -
"When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the
stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou are mindful of him? And
the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" Even thousands of years ago, King
David knew that God cared very much and was amazed by it.
God blessed us with many wonderful attributes and personally,
one of my favourites is the ability to laugh and enjoy humour. Proverbs 17:22
says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine", and the NIV goes on
to say, "but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" (Interesting when
you consider another aspect of this - the medical connection between bitterness
and the physical ailment of arthritis.)
The ship we are on has just been through an intensive dry
dock and refurbishing period. Many things went wrong during this time i.e. they
were not put into dry dock by the ship yard until ten days past the date they
were booked for and out of 94 projects only 15 were completed after four weeks.
The people were working with no air conditioning and little water or sewage
facilities. Altogether, it was a very stressful time and we were proud to see
that although morale and attitudes were severely tried, they stayed very
positive using laughter and singing as their tools.
An example of this is that shortly after dry dock was
completed, we had a prayer night where the landteams - the single girls who had
gone out on missions teams - gave accounts of their time away. The one that
brought the house down was of two girls who were needing a bathroom very badly.
One only had to do a 'small job' as she put it, when telling the story, but the
other one needed to do more. When they realised that there was no paper there,
she begged the first girl to go and find something useable. The first girl was
from Austria and knew that when she was hiking in the mountains, she would use
leaves from the forest so accordingly she set out to find a good-sized leaf that
would do the trick. When she found one she ripped it up and passed it to her
friend who applied it to the appropriate area of her anatomy and then they
carried on down the road. Half an hour later, the friend realised that she was
starting to feel quite uncomfortable and finally, when she was unable to sit
down for 3-4 days, they were told that she'd used a poisonous leaf!
I don't think I've seen the entire ship's company in tears of
laughter before but I did that night and great was the feeling of companionship
and joy that this particular laugh brought to everyone.
Psalm 126:1-3 says, "When the Lord turned again the
captivity of Zion....Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue
with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things
Today, while I was working at the Information desk, a lady
dropped a bag of Mars Bars in for one of the gangway watchmen who was a girl. I
rang the girl and said that she had a parcel and would she come and pick it up
please. When she arrived and saw that it was chocolate she was very excited and
started laughing, exclaiming that it was a miracle. She's a bit of a
'chocoholic' and had run out it and had no money to buy more. She was so
desperate she had asked the Lord for help, and there it was!
Does the Lord care about little things like providing
chocolate for someone who needs it? Oh yes!
Does the Lord care about providing a little friend for my 7
year old son who is in a class of 6 girls and desperately wants a little male
friend? Yes, He does. The little boy arrives in a couple of months.
Does the Lord care about a heart-broken young lady who needs
help with her failing relationship? Yes, and He fixed it.
Does the Lord care about standards? My children were taken
out to a movie and they asked what they should do if it was one that we knew had
bad language in it. Not wanting to cause offence to the hostess, I suggested
that we pray and commit it to the Lord. In the end, we couldn't find our hostess
and when we finally did, she said that it was too late for the movie (with the
bad language) and would we like to go to the other one instead!
Yes, God cares. He really does!
Many times I wonder, along with King David, why God is
'mindful' of us and loves us so much and the only answer I've got is, He just