Archive for September, 2011

Baby Adam

Born an American. I want my life to be comfortable. I’ve been largely unconscious of this desire, but the older I get, the more I realize just how much the culture has “squeezed me into its mold.”

Take Baby Adam for instance. He was born a few days ago in India. He has no eyelids, his feet are webbed together, he has a cleft lip and palate, and no one is sure he is a boy. These are just a few of Adam’s disabilities.

Yet he has won the hearts of a young couple. Jessica and Raja have been married seven months. They met at a hospital where Jessica served as a nurse, and Raja as a doctor.

They do not desire the American dream. They live for God’s glory. Their lives are dedicated to Him and His kingdom.

I met Jessica as she was leaving for India three years ago. My daughter inherited her furniture since she did not know when she would return.

So, they’ve kept in touch. Recently, I visited my daughter’s church who support them. I listened to them share their hearts and their love for the people of India.

Now, they love Adam. Adam may not live for long, yet they want to make him their son. Here is an excerpt from their email:

So little Adam is living in the delivery room in a special bed with a mosquito net. He has cleft lip and palate, no eyelids so his eyes cant shut and are at risk for ulcerating, his feet are fused together, and he has no fingers or toes (little prominences that indicate they tried to grow but didnt quite complete), and it appears he may also have Downs. But he feels pain, touch, and is sensitive to light, etc. He is getting feeding through an NG tube and we are going to try and find a special bottle to feed him (since he cant grasp a nipple like a normal baby may be able to). Raja and I are doing all that we can to take care of him. We are trying to encourage the staff to celebrate his life…most of hte nursing students are quite paralyzed with fear and confusion in caring for him and they need some guidance (this is the first baby like this most of them have seen). He is absolutely precious and my favorite thing in the world right now is to hold him and wipe the little secretions from his eyes. Raja found some paper last night and a peacock feather and we created a little card for him. We got some clothes for him today and Rajas piano music is the new therapeutic plan to calm the little guy.

For David tells us in psalm 139 that we are known in our mothers womb, that our frame is not hidden from Him, and that His eyes see our UNFORMED bodies. We are praying that over this little guy. We want to ask you to join us in prayer for him, his broken family, our hospital staff, nursing students (specifically that their hearts would be softened and long to love this little one), and Raja and I specifically as we seek how to best care for this little one. We have a few ideas and are doing all we can right now to manage him. But we think much more is needed. But we lack resources nearby, finances, understanding, etc. But God is a Father to the fatherless and He says He will instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. And He calls us to care for the orphan and widow but says He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. And He gives and He takes away. It is not in the hands or wills of man to take or give life. So we come before His throne above with this little one tonight. He makes me think of a little boy, Peniel, I used to read about in books my mom would give me and read to me set in ancient Jerusalem. And oh how our Lord used that little fictional boy who had no value in the worlds eyes.

beauty from ashes,
jess and raja

There is nothing else I can say.

Trying to get out of my comfort zone,



“Miriam, you know what my favorite time of day is?”

“No idea, Pauline. Dinner?”

“Let me show you.” I led her into my son’s bedroom and opened the shades. “Look at the light filter through the blinds and onto the bed? I love that. In the morning, in my bedroom, light peeks through, sometimes an orange color…”

“Yea. I love that, too. A fall sun.”

“Me, too. Then the light brightens and moves across my bed. I think of how amazing God is when that happens.”

That was yesterday. Today, I got up and made my bed and thought of a Christian sister in Pakistan. She’s been living in a 6 x 8′ cell for over two years. She has two daughters about 9 and 11. She’s there for sharing Jesus at work in the fruit fields.

Two politicians have tried to have her released from the false charges. One was killed by his bodyguard, another gunned down in front of his home.

I wondered if she ever saw light anymore. The thought made me stand still.

I took action. First, I thanked the Lord for the ability to see, and the freedom I take for granted to see light filter through my bedroom each morning.

Second, I prayed for her. Romans 12: 4,5 states, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”

I am part of her eternal family. When she is separated from her husband and daughters, I suffer with her.

Then, I prayed that she could see some sunlight.

I realized that she may indeed be seeing light. The light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture is chocked full of those passages.

“The LORD is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?” Ps. 27: 1

John 1: 9 says, “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.”

A few chapters later, Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8: 12.

She has Jesus. And He promises to be near.

Still, we have the privilege of praying for this dear sister. And appreciating the Light.


I had one of those nights last night. I woke up, began to worry and then couldn’t get back to sleep.

I hate those nights.

There are no boogey men (if that’s how you spell it), but the worry monster lurked at the edge of my closet with the anger ghost right beside him.

Everyone and everything is grotesquely magnified like the mirrors in the circus fun house. My thoughts stir together like a wicked brew. And they stink. Some nights I know what to do. I get on my knees. Other nights, I lie in bed and let my anxious, angry, thoughts build.

It’s not good. It’s not healthy. It’s not godly.

I’ve just begun a study of Acts. The book covers the history of the New Testament church, but it also describes how the Holy Spirit led and filled the saints for His work.

I need that filling. I need His refreshment. I need to ‘renew my mind.’

Maybe tonight, I’ll get on my knees and renew my mind, even if it is 2AM.

The Cows Came Home

We knew we were in trouble when the town didn’t come up on the iPad. It didn’t deter us. I made a friend. Just not in the usual way.

We met at our home church in Florida several months earlier. They were visitors from North Carolina. We found that the woman and her son lived less than an hour from the farmland Tom inherited. We were amazed at God’s providence and promised to visit them next time we traveled there.

We pulled our truck into a long driveway. A white-haired man opened the gate as we drove onto their beautiful property that over looked both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Shenandoah mountains. The man greeted us along with three happy farm-dogs. He ushered us into a beautiful farmhouse with a gigantic kitchen.

“This is my husband,Michael. I can’t believe we’re finally getting together!” Kelly Josey exclaimed.

“I asked her, Kelly, where did you meet these people again?” Michael stated.

“I told him you were my new friends from Florida.”

We settled into their kitchen table.

She then proceeded to slice peaches and make homemade crusts for a cobbler. Tom and I talked to Michael. Turns out he’d served in the Vietnam War, and had physical problems that stemmed from that. He used to drive a truck, but now raised cattle, and maintained their 200-plus-acre property.

Tom and Michael talked tractors, land, and livestock. I joined Kelly in the kitchen. She peeled potatoes, shucked corn, prepped a chicken with special sauce, and cut up crisp vegetables for a salad. Earlier, she rolled out dough and let it rise. Soon after, she separated the dough into five pieces, rolled it out and stuck it in her oven.

We drove through part of their property and got out at the Dan River. Michael identified trees and gave us advice on cattle and fencing. Kelly and I compared notes about our grown children. We arrived back at the farmhouse and talked some more while the smell of fresh baked bread permeated the air.

We didn’t get phone service and they had no TV. All we could do was talk. And we did. And when we left, eight hours later, I felt as if we were back in the 1800’s. Where people traveled a long distance to visit and stayed the whole day. Where entertainment consisted of soulful conversation, smattered with work and prayer.

It was time to go home. Kelly sent home a loaf of heavenly bread and leftover peach cobbler. We went outside to say goodbye.

Michael moved to the fence that held acres of cleared land. After a while, we heard mooing. And then the cows came home.

And then we went home. Full. Happy. Grateful.

Intimacy and Slavery

I’ve been thinking a lot about intimacy with God. It is my desire. Sometimes, I feel it. When it is gone, I miss it. I’m praying for it.

Intimacy with God stems from obedience. When I am abiding in Christ, spending time in His Word, fellowshipping with His people, listening to His voice and then obeying—I am content.

That’s probably why I’ve been reading, “Slave,” by John MacArthur. I think it is the key to the intimacy I desire. Being a slave of Christ.

Romans 6: 16-18 states. “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

After 52 years, I’m beginning to understand that when Christ bought me back from slavery to sin, he freed me to be a slave to righteousness. What do I mean?

Scripture teaches that before the Lord saved me, I had no choice in sin. It ruled me. When he redeemed, (bought back) my life with His atoning work on the cross, I no longer have to sin. When I sin, it is a choice.

Yet, I still choose to sin. I think it is freedom. At first I like it, and then it masters me. Yet, when I choose to obey the Lord and live for Him, I experience the freedom of slavery to righteousness.

John 8: 31, 32 says, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

The great news is that I can ask my Heavenly Father to help me. I have the Holy Spirit to teach me. The Lord loves to give good gifts to His children.

And teaching me about Himself is the best gift.

It brings intimacy with God and true freedom.