Monthly Archives: May 2015

An Alabastar Box of Radiance

 

she-anointed-his-head-matt-26-7     A Memorial Tribute of the Christ She Served

There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat…Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. Matthew 26:7 & 13 (KJV)

Vibrant, beautiful Sheila attracted friends to her with a winsome smile and glowing vitality of blessing others.  In church she was the first there on Sunday mornings praying at the altar before people arrived; the first one standing for praise and worship, singing with hands uplifted in love and reverence.  At Lahainaluna High School, I observed the bounce in her step where she was employed as a special education aide and with interactions between teachers, students and staff.

And slowly, life presented unbearable, hurting hurdles…her son, a heavy drug addict, succumbed to major mental  inadequacies; her daughter became unstable in relationships, and then her husband committed suicide. Through all the shaking and tears, a smile remained on Sheila’s face.  While carrying a broken, grieving heart, she still radiated the love of God!

The last time I saw Sheila was at the health clinic.  I was there for a routine doctor’s appointment, but she was there with a life-threatening illness.  Her verdict was swift and tragic–she had two weeks to live.  At her funeral she was dressed all in white, laid in a white-inlaid casket and encased in a white box.  My thought on seeing her…she looks truly like the bride of Christ!  Half way around the world in our next pastorate, I remembered the life dynamics of my precious friend, Sheila. Through her impact, a large group of ladies would begin a new women’s ministry called Radiance.

The Bible woman with the alabaster box of perfumed ointment knew the secret of displaying her love and beautiful devotion to the Master.  She was unafraid of taking her most costly possession to best visually demonstrate her loyalty to Jesus.  Although jeered by the men who saw her, Jesus looked into the very essence of her being to see a heart overflowing with warmth and intensity.  Her beautiful gift became a halo that she placed over Jesus head, that then oozed a fragrant oil that flowed and anointed him for a burial that would happen within the week…but the next week she witnessed her Risen Lord!

Radiance glows best in the lives of those who let you shine through them in multifaceted ways.  “What we keep for ourselves lives but for a moment. What we freely give from our hearts will last for eternity.” May I, too, reflect sacrifice of myself with an intense devotion and appreciation of the Divine. Isn’t that the very best way for You to radiate outward?

 

God’s Breath of Life

BreathofLifeLogo    ‘HA’ IN HAWAIIAN

And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7 (KJV)

“I am just so frustrated!” Jeff lamented in a couple of months after starting Maui High School. “Former courses required now I didn’t take in Pennsylvania and courses taken there have no follow-up here.  P-l-e-a-s-e  allow me to go back to finish my education!”  God was expecting our family to be divided after moving half way around the world together? Where was God now? I wailed, but God reminded me that Jeff was his son first and ours second.

A beautiful family from our former pastorate- Mary Kay, Doug and their children-Jason, Heather and Holly-graciously opened the door of their home and their hearts to our son to become part of their family. We were very happy for Jeff, but devastated to see him leave our own family unit!

A couple of days later still in shock and sorrow, I discussed this with Ulu, my teacher’s aide.  We hardly knew each other but that day she breathed comfort and astounding wisdom into me.  She replied, “We call that hanai in Hawaii and have practiced this from ancient times.  If families were large or children were orphaned or needing fostered, other families would take a child and raise them as their own.  I did that myself of having others help me raise my children.  Jeff, too, is a hanai child and being cared for by another family.”

That first Christmas, Jeff’s hanai family and we celebrated together. Exquisite was Mary Kay’s gift to us–a journal she’d written of “our son together,” glimpsing his life each day in her family’s care.

‘Ha’, in many Hawaiian words, means breath of life. God breathed life into Adam and essentially, then, into all of us. Families, too, have life breathed into them either biologically or by design. Little did we know the beauty our sons would find in their own families, designed by God, with some biological, adopted and fostered today.

You invite and adopt us into your own family, God, to live forever with you. I trust you to implant your own spiritual breath into remaining family members who need to know you as Abba, Father!