Thursday, August 20, 2009
In the middle of 250+ children, countless moms, the deacons and elders, pastors, project workers, and the team I was traveling with in Ghana Africa, at the Galilea Gods Will Compassionate International Student Center… I, a simple 43 year old mom and wife, learned what it was like to wear Jesus.
Outside of Accra Ghana, as our team gathered to interact with the children who had been planning and anticipating our arrival for weeks, the energy was palpable.
After an amazing worship service together their eyes and smiles were so big as they watched us begin to set out our bags of toys and playthings down to arrange them. I remember wondering if their little faces might actually be getting sore from so much smiling - their little cheeks almost bursting!
The laughter, singing, squealing, and hand clapping was deafening as we pulled out the bubbles, coloring sheets, stickers, balls, jump ropes, and more! The children rushed up against me, against us all, making large circles surrounding us at least 7-8 bodies deep.
They were so excited! So were we!
The air was so thick, hot, and humid with all our bodies pressed together. The music started again and some groups began dancing . They LOVE to dance!
As I moved from one spot on the floor to another just to try and make sure I interacted with as many different children as possible they followed me as if their cloths were sewn to mine.
Suddenly what could have been have been overwhelming suddenly wasn't at all. Everything seemed to almost begin to move in slow motion and I felt calmness and a sense of peace in that chaos that was so surreal.
That’s how it began...
As things slowed I could almost hear the rustling of cloth against cloth as I moved through the crowd of kids, then the scrape of my shoes along the concrete floor as I moved back and forth. I looked down as I felt the small arms of a young wisp of a girl wrap around my waist and her small feet stepped up to stand on mine - just to be as close to me as possible.
I heard a whisper in my heart say "see, this is what it was like for me, to be surrounded by those who love you because you are you, and simply want you to love them the same way in return".
“What?” my heart lurched.
"See the child at your side, she has been waiting to just be able to touch you, for you to just be with her and show her you care.” I did see how she simply looked at me with excitement and expectation and I wrapped my arms around her and we swayed together to the drums. I told her she was beautiful and she beamed!
After we danced a while, I worked my way over to where the bottles of bubbles were and begin holding the wand up to all their lips. Laughter erupted from all of us each time the bubbles floated up!
The voice whispered again, “See there, there is a young boy waiting for you to really see him" I seemed to feel gentle fingers gently turn my head to where a group of children still sat in their chairs, not up and running around like the others. I saw a young boy with what I could only assume was cerebral palsy being held in his sisters lap – they were watching me intently.
As the sounds all rushed back as my eyes rested on that young boy. I walked over to him holding the bubble wand out. His big brown eyes crinkled up in the corners as he tried to smile at me. I held the wand close to his lips and he breathed out toward it as best he could, trembling with excitement… his sister smiled so sweetly at him then at me. I joined him in blowing into the wand and bubbles flew up! He jerked with joy! And when he felt the tiny bubble burst on his cheek that we created together his breathing turned to bursts of his own unique sound of laughter!
I laughed out loud too and Jesus whispered again. “See how beautiful? How precious each breath is? How much I love Him and how much I love you? So much that I orchestrated and wove threads of your lives together over 10,000 miles of ocean apart just to bring you to this place, at this moment, all so this young child could blow bubbles with me!”
Tiny hands reached for my attention again and I turned. As I reached out to pull all the children close to tell them of how much my Jesus loved them, what He did for them long ago, what He wants for their lives, it was as if I could feel His hands lovingly on top of mine, His arms draped along my shoulders as I hugged them… As I asked them if this news of my Jesus made them happy they began to dance with joy and pulled me along with them.
That voice sweetly said “See? Through you I love them, I touch them, I play with them and I dance with them, and through them I love you, touch you, and dance with you my daughter”
Oh my word, I was wearing Jesus!
See the thing is, we can make a choice every day at any given moment whether or not to put on Jesus. Like the softest of sweaters we can see with His eyes, touch with His hands, serve with His heart, dance with Him... He’s already there, waiting.
Oh how I want to wear Jesus!