Archive for November 16, 2009

Did You Hear That?

I’m not totally sure where this post is going… so be patient with me. We’ll go somewhere and I think I have a point, just not sure if I’ll find the point along the way.

You know the game Telephone? Where there is a line of people and the first person comes up with a message and whispers it to the person next to them. They whisper it to the person next to them. And so on, until you get to the end and the last person announces the message. Somehow the sentence “Look at those beautiful blue skies by the sea” turns into “The cat throws beautiful poop pies on Chelsea.” If you are like me and grew up going to church camps, you probably played that game and then got a message about how gossip is similar. You may tell someone something but then they could pass it on and somehow it ends up being something totally different that could hurt someone. (Let’s not have the discussion about the true reason gossip is wrong- it really has nothing to do with the fact that your message might be misheard and told improperly. But that’s not my point today.)

I think telephone is a funny game. It’s always entertaining to hear how it’ll turn out. But what’s even more fascinating is when multiple people can listen to the exact same thing, but hear something completely different.

I was at a meeting last week at church. Someone asked me how Stephen was doing so I started giving my update. One of the men in the room hadn’t heard the story so I gave a quick recap. “Well Stephen was in an ATV accident and beat up his face pretty good.” Another man in the room said, “OHHHHHH!! An ATV accident!” I looked at him and said, “Yeah, an ATV accident.” And he laughed a bit and said, “I thought he was in an HEB accident!! I wasn’t sure what happened and I was scared to ask. An unruly cart or something like that? I just couldn’t figure it out.” (For those of you who don’t live in Texas, HEB is a grocery store.) Hilarious.

This weekend I went to the Women of Faith conference at the Toyota Center. I have been to my fair share of conferences throughout my life but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one. I was excited nevertheless. I was going with a big group of women from my church. A friend of my mom’s came in town for the weekend so I was going to get to spend time with her. Another bonus – Lauren and her mom met us there. So after work on Friday, I headed downtown to find the hotel. I wasn’t nervous about my drive into “the city” but soon realized that I was arriving a few minutes after 5:00. Not fun. Not fun at all. I only had to do one U-Turn and cut off one person to get to my location though. I think that’s a win.

We walked to a nearby restaurant to grab a quick dinner before the 7:00 session started. It seemed to be a neat place except for the man at the table next to us that didn’t understand that he wasn’t actually part of our conversation. I almost turned into a 3rd grader and said, “This conversation is between A and B, so C your way out of it.” Yes, I know. We should have been Christ to him and loved him. We tried. But when he kept staring at me (like super creepy stare) and smiled and said, “Cat got your tongue?” all of my friendliness vanished.

We headed to the Toyota Center and this is actually the point of my post. I know the quickest route from Point A to Point B is a straight line, but I like to take you on the scenic route. I make no apologies.

Like the ATV/HEB confusion, I think every woman heard something different this weekend. We were all sitting in the same arena listening to the same speakers but we all heard different things. If we are going to be completely honest, this conference wasn’t my cup of tea. I came with my Bible and a journal for note-taking. I didn’t use either. My cup of tea includes the Bible and large quantities of notes. These speakers were funny and had great stories to tell about some rough lessons they’ve learned. I know they reached many women and I definitely see their passion for the Lord in what they are doing. There just weren’t many things that were said that really left a mark on my heart. But there was one thing.

On Friday night, Steven Curtis Chapman took the stage. I love him. LOVE him. His music is beautiful and his heart for God is just amazing. He told a story about when he and his wife were about to go meet their first adopted child, Shaohannah. His wife Mary Beth struggled with a few fears before they met her. What if she didn’t love her the same as she loved her biological children? What if she just couldn’t love this child enough?? But when she took Shaohannah in her arms, she was overcome with love. She instantly loved this child more than she could ever imagine.

They grew to have a new understanding of Christ’s love. He says He’s our Father. What does that mean? How could love us all the time, no matter what? Could he really love me more than my own dad? More than my own mom? There are so many of us, how does he even have enough love to love us all?? I can understand that He loved Jesus, Jesus was His own son. But me? I am half Kurt, half Alice. How could he love me as I’m His own?

Because I am His own. Just as Shaohannah belongs to the Chapmans. Just as my friend Lyndsey belongs to her parents. Wholly and completely. Without condition or exception or an asterisk. Adoption is a beautiful portrait of unconditional parental love.

As a childless married woman, this hit me. I don’t know if that’s God’s plan for my life. I would love to have a half Stephen, half Chelsea child. But it’s possible that God has other plans. And, my gosh, God’s plans are fabulous. So if He chooses adoption for us, we will gladly accept that calling on our life. Maybe He’ll want me to learn a lesson about what love is really all about. I don’t know. I’m sure there are many women who didn’t hear that message. They heard something else, something that God wanted them to hear. All I know is that SCC’s message was something I was supposed to hear.

On Sunday morning, we watched a NOOMA video called Lump. Can you guess what it was about? Love. Specifically a parent’s love for their child. Hi God, I hear you. So I’m going to chew on these things for a while and see what I’m supposed to learn. If you have any morsels of truth, share away.

For now I’m going to focus on the sentence Rob Bell spoke to his son: “There is nothing you could do to make me love you less.”

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November 16, 2009 at 9:45 am 18 comments


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