by Jenny Harrison
O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
Psalm 139:1-7 (NLT)
It was an extended holiday weekend and my husband and I (newly married at the time) went home to see my mom. One evening during our visit, we decided to take mom out to eat at a local cafeteria- style restaurant that she frequented. After making our food selections and being seated, I noticed mom glancing toward the front entrance of the restaurant. She reached for my hand and with excitement in her voice asked, “Jenny do you know who that elderly lady is in the line?” She pointed to a feeble, gray-haired woman with a walker who was barely shuffling along. After studying the woman carefully but not getting a clear view of her face, I assured mom that I did not recognize her. Mom smiled and said “Dear, that is your second grade school teacher, Mrs. Hodges.” Mom was quick to suggest that I approach her and say hello, however, I questioned if that was really her. I hoped that my mom was not mistaken about the identity of my former teacher, but she assured me it was Mrs. Hodges. “She comes here often, and I have spoken to her on several occasions.”
Due to my mom’s voice of certainty and assurance, I reluctantly decided to approach her. I moved closer to her and not wanting to startle her, I gently called her name. She turned toward me and responded with a warm smile and soft, loving voice. As I gazed into her sparkling eyes, it was obvious; this was my dear second grade teacher. Mrs. Hodges studied my face, and when I began to introduce myself she finished my sentence calling me by name. I was stunned!
“Mrs.Hodges, how did you recognize me after all these years?” She replied, “You dear sweet child, how could I forget you? Look at how you have grown. You still have the same beautiful brown eyes. You were the sweetest little girl. I always adored you.” My heart melted on the spot. I shall never forget that encounter, how it felt to be recognized, or the look in Mrs. Hodges’ eyes as she continued to talk about how she adored me.
If memory serves me correctly, I was a little stinker back in those days. I was often called out for talking too much, (those who know me personally can stop laughing now!) became easily distracted, or stared out the window and daydreamed. Mrs. Hodges spent much time redirecting me. Beautiful brown eyes! Adored me! REALLY? I knew that I loved her with all my heart, but I could not imagine her “adoring” me. Understand, it was not because she was incapable of adoring someone, but that I was not fully capable of accepting such a notion.
How hard is it for you to accept acts of kindness and adoration from others? I must admit that at times these gestures can be uncomfortable for me. I am usually surprised when they come about. Many times I will minimize their validity. Sadly, I tend to do the same when my heavenly Father reaches out to me. I can stack the evidence that would prove that he could not possibly adore me. (All those bad choices and less-than-flattering attitudes.) Yet with all my so-called solid evidence, the truth is he looks deep into my eyes, arms stretched outward and calls me by name. He recognizes me as his child. I am adored. No conditions, no exceptions, always and forever.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.
1 John 3:1 (NASB)
Copyright © 2012, Jenny Harrison, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from NLT and NASB.