Wednesday, July 19, 2017

When They Know Your Name

We recently had our friends, David and Lindsey, over for lunch. We mostly invite them over so we can enjoy the company of their 15 month old son, Cooper.

Cooper can walk now and he is building quite a vocabulary. When Lindsey asks him, "Where's Miss Dianna?", he points to me and says, "Nana."

The first time (and the second and third, etc.) he did this I was caught unaware. Without notice I felt my heart melt instantly. It was the sweetest thing to hear him say, "Nana." Oh my goodness.

A few days later I was working at the shelter. We have a family living there temporarily as guardians because it's not a good idea to leave a house vacant in Guatemala. They are staying there while we do the renovations in preparation for reopening El Refugio this fall. Wilson and Karla are the parents to a cute 2 year old boy, Dan (pronounced 'don').

I was working in a large room when Dan appeared at the door and said, "Ninana, blah blah blah." This was the first time that he had attempted to say my name that I could recognize it. And it happened again. My heart melted right there.

What is so sweet and adorable about a toddler learning to say your name? I have thought about this a lot over the last week and I really can't figure out why it is so sweet to me. But I have already realized that when we have grandchildren and when they begin calling me Nana or Gramma or Granny or whatever they are able to say, I will probably be reduced to tears in an instant. I have no doubt I will be a pushover to whatever is asked of me.

And as I mulled this discovery over in my mind, I began to wonder what it would feel like if God spoke my name out loud like these 2 sweet toddlers had.


I can barely type the words without tears pooling up.

He knows my name.

What an incredible thought. I'm not just a soul wandering aimlessly on this earth; I am a child of the King whose name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Close your eyes (well, after you read this next sentence, then you can close your eyes.) and imagine what it would sound like to hear God speak your name audibly.

Again, what an incredible thought.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Cabinet Doors

We are in the process of moving into a new rental house. The new house is very close to the shelter where we work and we will save a lot of time and money with less traveling.

We worked through a realtor to find this place and he speaks no English. Our Spanish is getting better but he speaks really fast and it is hard to pick up everything he says. In many of our conversations about what still needed to be done to the house to get it ready, we talked about doors for the kitchen cabinets. It was our understanding that wooden doors would be put on.

And then we moved in and met the owner of the house. She speaks slower and our conversations are much more comprehensive. When she told me that there would be no kitchen cabinets I did not even attempt to hide my sadness or shock. She said it was stylish and I told her I didn't want people seeing all the stuff in my cabinets. I think she felt sorry for me because she eventually agreed to have doors put on the cabinets.

In the meanwhile, as we wait for our contractor to measure all the cabinets and find doors, the whole world can see everything in my kitchen: dishes, spices, silverware (there are no drawers either), sandwich bags.

Trying to have a positive attitude as we wait, a few days ago as I walked past the pantry and saw all of our food on display like a grocery store (yes, I have all the items lined up straight, facing forward) this is the thought that ran through my mind:

"Well, it is nice that I can just stand in one spot and see all of my options for breakfast. I don't have to open one door and then another. I know I have yogurt in the fridge and bananas on the counter. But from right here I can see granola bars, oats, pop tarts (do not judge - it's the first time I've bought them in 4 years!), toast, peanut but-UGH!!!"

That was the moment it hit me. The previous week we'd had a mission team from Indiana here with us in Guatemala. We had built 2 homes in an extremely poor community, we'd spent several days painting and renovating the shelter where we work, and on the team's last day we served soup to a community of people living next to a dump.

None of the people we ministered to have choices for their meals. In fact, most of them don't have the assurance of a meal at all. If they are offered beans for breakfast, they eat it. There is no questioning what might taste good for that particular meal. They are just grateful to have something to eat.

Ugh again. You can imagine the shame I felt at worrying about cabinet doors or laundry room doors or electricity or paint that is evenly applied or window curtains.

I am ashamed at how quickly I forget the people I am here to serve and get wrapped up in my own ridiculous desires.

God used those stupid cabinet doors to remind me of the rich life He has given me and to give me even more compassion for the people He has sent us here to love.

What choices do you have the privilege to make every day? What hides behind your cabinet doors?