God Made Each of Us Special (#BestOf)

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Friday, October 20, 2017

I happened on this older blog post. I was so struck by several things in it that I couldn’t help reposting it as a #BestOf post. Yes, we are all incredibly special to God. Each one of us, no matter who, no matter what. No matter the ability, no matter how differently-abled each person is. Even if someone has a hurtful self-blaming internal monologue in their head, it does not matter to God. Each of us is, indeed, fearfully and wonderfully made.

 

God Made Each of Us Special (Feature Friday!)

Posted on September 20, 2014 by chaplaineliza

fearfully wonderfully made Psa 139

A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, September 19, 2014

God Made Each of Us Special (Feature Friday!)

Ever have a line from a song play over and over in your head, almost like it was on an endless loop? Yeah. That happened to me the other day. It usually bothers me a lot, but not necessarily this time. The particular line was from the gospel song “Something Special” written by Bill and Gloria Gaither. “God made you something special/You’re the only one of your kind.” It’s hard to get mad at a song if it has lyrics like that.

What triggered it was a blog post I saw earlier this week from a blogging friend of mine from New Zealand, Barry Pearman. In his blog Turning The Page on September 16th, he talked about how God had each one of us in mind when God created us. Formed us inside of our mothers, and crafted each part of us. Barry says, “Often I think about . . . the fact that God knows every one of us on a deeply intimate level. We are not a commodity product, a resource to managed, a number on a spreadsheet. You as an individual are of incredible value to God.”

Wow. I’ll say it again—wow! How many people today do not think they are valuable? Do not think they matter? And, do not think God cares about them? I would say that many people are in this sad, lonely situation. Barry mentioned the “internal bully” that tries to interfere and intimidate people into accepting their negative, internal self-monologue. Oh, do I connect with that!

Barry’s inspirational blog has the uplifting theme of assisting people with mental health. “Your own or others,” as the synopsis says. Plus, near the top of the blog—in the right side margin—Barry is featuring a post called “6 Keys to Helping Someone Who is Suicidal.” In this month of September, where mental health, suicide prevention and the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) are highlighted in so many places, I also wanted to lift up Barry, his wonderful work, and his positive, nurturing blog post featuring Jeremiah 1:5 and Luke 12:6-7.

I remember the prophet Jeremiah, and the good and gracious words God spoke to him in Chapter 1: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.” So, we come back to the idea that each of us—every one of us—is special. Valued. Yes, Jeremiah had problems in life, but he knew that God was walking right beside him.

It doesn’t matter whether you or I walk beside each other on the path each day, or journey alongside of someone who is hurting—mentally as well as physically or spiritually. We can still help each other to carry burdens. My verse for September is applicable, too: Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Yes, I want to come alongside of people. Yes, we can ease each other’s burdens. And yes, I want to communicate God’s love, encouragement and support.

– See more at Barry’s blog: http://turningthepage.info/mind/#sthash.rORNc5Dx.dpuf

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Suggestion: visit me at my blog: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers– where I am doing a meditation journey through Pentecost and beyond. #PursuePEACE. Pursuing Peace – Thanks!)

(also published at ayearofbeingkind.wordpress.com .   @chaplaineliza And read my sermons   from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)

Yesterday—Vacuum Cleaner, Today—Washing Machine

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, February 11, 2014

washing machine image

Yesterday—Vacuum Cleaner,  Today—Washing Machine

Yesterday, I did not pray for an act of service to come my way today. At least, I didn’t intentionally pray. I am not sure whether the prayers I’ve been praying periodically had an effect. (I’m half-joking, but half-not.) However, several acts of service came my way today.

Yesterday, I wrote about using a vacuum cleaner to help out a senior, and the complications that arose. Today, I used a washing machine to help out a senior. Sure enough, some complications came up today, too.

This string of events reminded me of helping out Mrs. W when I was in high school. She was an awesome older lady. And I mean, older. As in, elderly. She was the mother of Mrs. S, one of the middle-aged church ladies at my Lutheran church in Chicago. But back to Mrs. W. She was essentially housebound, and lived in a beautiful, well-kept, older brick house. She used a wheelchair and walker to ambulate around her house, but she was one of the most lively, interesting people I remember from my childhood.

Some complications came up when I was helping Mrs. W out, too. I did some deep cleaning in her kitchen, and got thoroughly slimed by the filthy broiler pan under her oven. That was okay, because I cleaned up using some cleanser and dishwashing liquid on me AND on the pan. But it took some time to clean up the pan, and clean me up, too.

Today, the washing machine wasn’t working properly. Except, I didn’t know that before I loaded it and started filling the machine with water. Fortunately, I was able to manually hit individual cycles (quick rinse, and extra spin). Gingerly, I finished the load of laundry and transferred it to the dryer.  (The repairman is coming tomorrow, I think.)

What a life lesson! Sometimes, no matter how hard I try or what I do, things just don’t turn out the way they are “supposed to.” Yesterday, the vacuum cleaner just wouldn’t pick up some of the tiny bits of paper, crumbs and other small odds and ends. Today’s problem was more serious, but not the end of the world. I was still able to get the laundry done.

God, do You want me to learn something from today and yesterday?1)  Some life lesson, or pertinent piece of wisdom? 2)  I know, Don’t worry! Umm, no, another guess—don’t be afraid! Mm, I’m not sure. Or is it 3) one more time, You are always with me, no matter what!

Yeah, that’s it. I know the first two lessons are also true, but the third feels especially true today. God, You are with me, even though I have greasy sludge on my hands from a stove.  God, You are with me, though I fiddle and growl at a strange vacuum cleaner. And God, You are right by my side, even though I am dealing with a recalcitrant washing machine, refusing to operate the way it should.  I am reminded of a verse from 1 Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxiety on God, because God cares for you.”

I think that ‘s what You wanted me to get from my adventures with household appliances. Thanks, God!

@chaplaineliza