Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shark Dreams

Over the past few months I have had several dreams with the same recurring theme. That I am in the ocean and there are sharks swimming around beside me, not biting me, but i feel the pressure to get out of the water quickly. I usually pull myself onto a boat, or get to the shore just in time before the shark tries to bite. It's like when you're watching JAWS and you see the kids scrambling to get onto the boat and you see the Shark swimming towards them and they pull there feel out of the water just as the shark jumps up to get him. By the end of those scenes I have my feet pulled up on the couch and I am holding my breathe.... The end of my dreams leave me feeling the same way.
Last night I had another one. I was in the middle of the Ocean and Daniel was incapacitated somehow, so I was pulling him to a boat. I was holding his neck like lifeguards do if someone has a head injury. As i was swimming to the boat there was a shark bumping into Daniel. I kicked it to try and get it away from Him. I pushed Daniel onto the back of the boat and the shark came around and pushed against my legs. Then I pulled myself up into the boat with that "Just in Time" feeling.
While Daniel and I were driving to work this morning I told him about my dream, and how it was the 4th or 5th one I have had. I asked his opinion on why he thought I was having them or what he thought they meant. After talking for a little while Daniel said it reminds him of the the story of Daniel and the Lions Den. In Daniel 5:6 it says, " Then Daniel Said to the king, 'O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.'" Here comes the conundrum... I know that I am not perfect, but i also know that through Jesus I am found blameless in the eyes of God. I know that His blood will cover me. After I chose to follow Him it was up to me to continue on the path of Righteousness where He walks with me.
Now here is my next question, am I already in the Den or is the Den still to come? Is God saying that He is protecting me through this hard time, while I sit in a Den of Lions, or in my case Sharks. Or is he showing me that there are hard times to come and I am going to be in the Lions Den, but not to fear because He is protecting me? So many questions, so little time...
It is exciting to know that God is so heavily moving in my life. He makes me feel wanted. Funny how I can be finding love and comfort in God through a situation that can be very terrifying. I don't care if hard times are to come, because I know that my God loves me. He is showing me that He will provide and take care of me. Who could be more blessed then me?

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jose Luis

This is Jose Luis. I met him a few years ago on a Missions Trip to La Mission Mexico. He changed my life.
I took this picture the first time I saw him. We were walking around the small Village and inviting people to a party we were having, and while walking through a back alley we heard laughter from under a blue tarp. We lifted up the tarp to find 4 young buys playing with a broken down Arcade Game that was kept under there. It looked like it was 20 or so years old, and there was no power running to it. When we lifted up the tarp and saw them, two of the boys bolted and the other two stayed. Jose Luis was one of the boys who stayed. He looked up at me with these beautiful brown eyes, and my heart melted. One of the translators was talking with him and asking what he was doing, he said that they were just playing games because they were bored. Eventually while we were talking everyone in my group surrounded him, at first he seemed to enjoy the attention. Then there was a moment when he looked around and realized he was encircled by people who he did not recognize and who didn't speak his language. He got very nervous and ran away.
A few days later I saw him again at the Party we were throwing. We gave away some soccer balls and he managed to get one. I walked towards him to see if he remembered me, and he did. I asked him if he was having fun, actually it was more like i mouthed it too him and made gestures. He understood and responded, but i could only understand every few words. I spent a few hours with him that day. He wanted to show me around. When he got candy after a pinata broke open, he brought it back to me as if he was trying to make me proud. I was very proud.
I couldn't understand how he could trust me without even knowing me, or without even being able to understand me. We bonded without words, only smiles and actions. It made me think of my relationship with Jesus. There usually isn't a lot of words, but I trust Him. He is there for us, waiting to see the candy we bring back to Him. The funny thing is that the candy isn't important to Him, It's seeing our joy in life that makes Him proud. It's watching us do something selfless that makes Him smile at us the biggest.
I went back to the Church we were staying at later that night and couldn't stop thinking about my day with Jose Luis. I wished so desperately that I could just take him home with me. I wondered if i would ever get to see him again. As all these questions ran through my head I felt a joy unlike any other. I think God was letting me feel just for a minute, a small portion of how He feels when we connect with Him. When we want to show God around and spend the day with Him. I appreciate Him letting me feel that.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Living In Love

This morning on our way to work Daniel and I drove by a car with a sticker on the back window that read,
"Live in Love". We both agreed that it was a cool sticker. But after the car was long gone, there was still something left lingering in my head... I wondered if the sticker was in reference to 1 John 4:16 "...God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in Him."
Daniel and I memorized a chunk of 1 John 4 when we were dating, and that verse was in there. I have forgotten most of what we memorized, except for that verse. It always felt so sweet to say. Almost like you were getting a taste of what it would be like if you did Live in Love.
I began thinking about that statement, Living in Love, and whether or not I am. I instantly went with a "NO" because I think I was trying to be Humble. Who I was trying to impress I don't know, maybe the narrator in my head. Then I truly thought about it, and I concluded on a "Sometimes". I am not quick to love people. People are frustrating for me. I am someone who truly enjoys being alone. Sitting in busy places is fun, then I can just watch people and the strange things they do. I like to go to the Movies alone, which is sad for Daniel. I realized that when it was convenient for me I was Loving. Sometimes I walk by a homeless person and think, "What's your story? What's your name? I have no money, but i have a granola bar and some time. Can i sit and talk with you?" Other times i think, " Lazy! You don't even look homeless, you must be scamming me. I don't feel bad for you, you can get a job."
I used to make the excuse of being emotional, and as my emotions changed, so did my response to things. But now i see that it was just a poor attempt to justify my lack of Love for people. Jesus probably had days where He was feeling emotional, but I highly doubt that made him walk by a Widow, Prostitute, or Paraplegic, and not Love them and help them.
The hardest part of this Jesus inspired revelation is the self reflection that comes along with it. Realizing the people I have not been loving, and the instances where I was not showing Love. It's easy for me to use my desire to be introverted as a scape goat for not showing Love. Feeling like I am entitled to be quite and not talkative because I like having silence. It's not about me though. It's not about what Samantha wants, it's about how Samantha can make someone feel Loved even if she doesn't want to. It's about trying to grasp the Jesus concept that other people come first, that we are less then others. Selflessness. I know it's something that I need to work on, and I am realizing this isn't going to be one of those realizations you have that you never put into action. Becuase if I am not living in Love, than I am not living in God, and I am terrified of that thought. I don't ever want to see or experience what life would be like not Living in God and His Grace.
Thanks for checking out my blog. The writings found on these pages are just sincere thoughts, questions, and feelings I have about life, God, and banana slugs.