Near and Far

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What amazed me most was the realization that I could see individual leaves on the trees. That was the day I first got glasses, as a kid in elementary school. Before that day, the leaves were simply blurs. It was as if I was seeing everything for the first time, noticing exquisite details that I never realized existed!

As I got older, I wore contact lenses. Then, as I got even older, I switched to wearing just one contact. Most people need reading glasses at some point in their life. My eye doctor explained to me that I could switch to wearing one contact to continue to see far away, and my other eye would take on the job of seeing up close, as in reading. She was right. It only took a few days for my brain to adjust, and wearing one contact has enabled me to see both near and far.

Why am I sharing the story of my eyes with you? I think we easily get caught up in seeing only what is near or only what is far off, and we need to see both. It is so important to be fully present and focused on wherever you are, what you are doing, and who you are with at the moment. However, we also need to see far off. Life here is very short and death awaits us all.

That doesn’t sound like a merry message, but please read on. Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, and one reason He was born was to defeat death. John 3:16 is still true today –

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

May I suggest being fully present now and conscious of eternity at the same time?

Jesus came for us both for right now and forever. He can “free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death” (Hebrews 2:15)

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

Be both fully present here and conscious of eternity.

May you know the joy of Christmas, and have some fun this season, too!
We remember that Jesus came, and He will come again!

Lost and Found

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He went walking by very quickly as I entered the store with my grocery cart. He looked only about four years old. I didn’t see any adults nearby, so I watched to make sure he was with a grown up. He wasn’t. His fast walk quickly turned into a run, and the tear rolling down his cheek made it apparent that he was lost. I left my cart and caught up with him just as he was getting ready to run out the door. A store employee joined me, and we assured him that we would find whomever he was looking for.

By this time the poor boy was so upset and scared that he could barely talk. After again reassuring him, he told us his name. An announcement was made over the loudspeaker, and we waited with anticipation for someone to come forward and be reunited with this little one. A few minutes later a young woman came rushing up. Much to my surprise, she began yelling and calling him a bad boy. I explained that he was looking for her, and he got scared. She seemed to settle down a bit then.

I couldn’t help a tear rolling down my cheek now. I had been expecting a happy reunion filled with relief and reassurance for that young boy. Perhaps the young mother was simply distraught and that is why she lashed out at her son. It was heartbreaking to see this little boy practically shaking with fright get yelled at. Children are a treasure.

In contrast to this scene, Jesus told a story about a shepherd looking for a lost sheep. This shepherd had 100 sheep, but one got lost. You might think that he wouldn’t bother looking, because he still had 99 sheep. This wasn’t the case, though. The shepherd left the other 99 and went searching for that one lost sheep. When he found it, he scooped it up into his arms, carried it home, and called everyone together for a celebration. What a beautiful picture of being found! Jesus loves each of us that much.

Hopefully that young mother later reassured her son of her love. Hopefully she realizes how loved she is. Hopefully you realize how loved you are!

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” I John 4:16

Please treasure your children.

Some treasures of my life are below: