Sunday, March 27, 2016

Perspective

Happy Easter everyone!

This has been the best Easter because my parents have come to Honduras for the first time to visit me! I took them on lots of adventures this week, but our favorite was probably Good Friday in Comayagua.

Comayagua is a larger city about 45 minutes from Siguatepeque where I live. Every year on Good Friday they have a large celebration of sawdust carpets, which are exactly that. Families or groups come together, plan a design, carve out wood stencils, and then create a huge "carpet" out of color dyed sawdust on the streets of downtown Comayagua, and people come from all over to see these creations. This was my first time as well ,and it was truly incredible. We walked around looking at all of these huge sawdust carpets, marveling at how long they must have been planning and working to achieve that amount of detail and perfection.

Some of the carpets had large ladders set up so that you could climb up to see the full picture of the carpet and take a photo. Below is mom on one of the ladders getting a picture of one of the carpets. 


Something funny happened as we were looking at one of the carpets. Dad and I walked up to one of these huge carpets, and almost immediately we saw the figures of Jesus and a crying Mary. It was beautiful. Mom walked up a few seconds later and looked at that same carpet, not saying anything. She took out her camera to take a picture of the carpet, and after looking at the photo exclaimed, "Oh, look! It's Jesus! And Mary!" (Dad and I may or may not have said out loud, "Well duh.")


But this got me thinking about perspective (hence the title of this post). Dad and I were standing at the right angle to where we had the right perspective on this carpet and could see the full picture. Mom was apparently standing at an angle where she didn't have the right perspective and couldn't see the whole image until she looked at the picture she had taken. We encountered many more carpets like this, where in the moment we saw pieces and parts, but missed a key component of the image.

Like this carpet, which says 
"Because of God's mercy, we have water." 
In the picture taken from one of the ladders, 
you can clearly see the shape of a water droplet under Jesus, 
but when I was standing next to the carpet looking at it, 
I missed that detail.

And in this carpet, you can see the image 
of the Father behind Jesus on the cross, 
almost as if God is supporting Jesus and holding Him up. 
Again, I missed this beautiful detail 
when looking at the carpet from my perspective, 
and only realized it later when looking at this photo.

So all of this got me thinking about perspective in a larger sense. How often do we look at things happening in our lives or in our world and don't understand, or even dare to ask God, "Why?" But the Father, looking down from His heavenly perspective in which He sees and knows all things, says, "Don't worry, child. I know what I'm doing. You can't see all the details of this beautiful picture from where you are, with your limited perspective, but from up here I see the whole thing, and what I am creating is beautiful. Trust me."

God is not only on the ladder. He sees the complete carpet because He also DESIGNED that carpet. He designed every carpet, and while we, who are just standing on the same level looking on, think we see the whole picture and know how it's going to turn out, only God really knows. And He is the master designer. 

From our earthly perspective, things may look a mess. We may be unsure of the design or how the carpet will turn out, but God has been planning things longer than these people have been planning these intricate carpets. And His perspective is perfect. 

So now I'm praying for new eyes, to look at things from His perspective. And maybe instead of asking, "Why?" I can instead say, "God, help me to see this situation from your perfect perspective instead of my flawed one." That will make this picture we call life so much more beautiful.

Alexa
al02846@georgiasouthern.edu

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Missions Day Year 2 and the Call to Missions

Last Friday was Missions Day at the school, which I explained around this time last year in a blog here:

http://becauseofmynamematthew1929.blogspot.com/2015/04/dia-de-misiones-missions-day_11.html

This year, my group was representing Syria, a country that has been heavy on my heart recently with everything going on there. We shared with the students about the Civil War they have been in for five years, and the evil acts that ISIS is committing, even sharing with some of the older grades about the beheading and crucifixion of a group of missionaries there last October. And we prayed hard for this country.

Each of our rotations started with another teacher in my group sharing with the students about the life of a missionary, and she asked some of the older classes how many of them had thought about becoming a missionary. Let me just say that not very many of those 5th and 6th grade hands went up, and I can't really say I blame them. It's a scary thing to think about when you don't understand how rewarding it can be. And so I had the opportunity to share part of my testimony with these students, about how I received my call to the mission field.

Most of the testimonies I have heard of people who have been called into any type of ministry go one of two ways. Either they have always felt God's call on their life into ministry or missions and desired that for themselves as well, or they refused and ran from the call, saying, "God, I will do anything except that."

My story was different. I was never running from missions, nor was I actively pursuing it for most of my life. Before God called me to the mission field, the possibility of being a missionary never even crossed my mind. When I went on my first mission trip to Jamaica as a junior in high school, I fell in love with the experience and the work that we did, but even then the idea never came to me of actually being a missionary.

After Honduras, everything changed. God dropped this ministry right in front of my face. He called me. And who am I to refuse God's call? (I could also say, who am I to answer? But that's another post on my failings and shortcoming that God still mercifully uses for His glory.)

I shared this with the students, one of the times I can say that I have been completely obedient to God in my life. And I told them that they may not feel the call now, or may not even want to be called now, but God has a great plan, and I hoped that when/if God called them, they would be obedient and say yes to Him, no matter what that meant for the life they had pictured for themselves. Because trust me, my life is nothing like I imagined it would be at 24, but it's so much better because I know I am exactly where God wants me to be.





Alexa
al02846@georgiasouthern.edu