Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Amy Carmichael's Vision

By Amy Carmichael:

The tom-toms thumped straight on all night and the darkness shuddered round me like a living, feeling thing. I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw, as it seemed, this:

That I stood on a grassy sward, and at my feet a precipice broke sheer down into infinite space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.

Then I saw forms of people moving single file along the grass. They were making for the edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another little child holding on to her dress. She was on the very verge. Then I saw that she was blind. She lifted her foot for the next step . . . it trod air. She was over, and the children over with her. Oh, the cry as they went over!

Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; all made straight for the precipice edge. There were shrieks, as they suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air. But some went over quietly, and fell without a sound.

Then I wondered, with a wonder that was simply agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I could not. I was glued to the ground, and I could only call; though I strained and tried, only whisper would come.

Then I saw that along the edge there were sentries set at intervals. But the intervals were too great; there were wide, unguarded gaps between. And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood-red to me, and the gulf yawned like the mouth of hell.

Then I saw, like a little picture of peace, a group of people under some trees with their backs turned toward the gulf. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them and they thought it a rather vulgar noise. And if one of their number started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down. “Why should you get so excited about it? You must wait for a definite call to go! You haven’t finished your daisy chain yet. It would be really selfish,” they said, “to leave us to finish the work alone.”

There was another group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get more sentries out; but they found that very few wanted to go, and sometimes there were no sentries set for miles and miles of the edge.

Once a girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back; but her mother and other relations called and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the rules. And being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest for awhile; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls.

Once a child caught at a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; it clung convulsively, and it called-but nobody seemed to hear. Then the roots of the grass gave way, and with a cry the child went over, its two little hands still holding tight to the torn-off bunch of grass. And the girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which they reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere; the gap would be well taken care of, they knew. And then they sang a hymn.

Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, one sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon me, for I knew what it was-the Cry of the Blood.

Then thundered a voice, the voice of the Lord. “And He said, ‘What hast thou done, The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.’”

The tom-toms still beat heavily, the darkness still shuddered and shivered about me; I heard the yells of the devil-dancers and weird, wild shriek of the devil-possessed just outside the gate.

What does it matter, after all? It has gone on for years; it will go on for years. Why make such a fuss about it?

God forgive us! God arouse us! Shame us out of our callousness! Shame us out of our sin! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

captains log. 6.24.15

The past few months have been nuts. 

In classic Bender fashion, we're cramming as much new and awkward stuff into our lives all at the same time, because… well I don't know. There's probably some personality test thing for couples that Ricky and I could take on Facebook that would tell us why we move as much, have kids as often and let us know why we enjoy making our lives crazy, but it's more fun to find out what lady of comedy you are (Ricky and I are both Leslie Knope.) (Duh.) Like who starts a small business two weeks before they move? This girl. 

In any case, it's late so I'm probably a little (hahahahahaha) punchy, so I'll just stick to the facts. (I'm laughing so much in my head right now.) 

First, can I just tell you how glad I am that we have people praying for us? Because oh. my. gosh. On our move out here, Ricky and Caleb were in the big ol' moving truck, pulling a trailer with one of our cars on it and I drove the Jeep with the three girls and Caesar. It was a long day. If you've ever moved with kids and animals, you know. And you probably stayed put because you had the sense to stop dragging your kids and all your crap across the country.

We're either gluttons for punishment or just dumb. 

So we finally, after 14 hours got almost to our destination. We were twenty minutes away. And one of the tires on the trailer that our car was on just popped off. Like the screws holding the tire onto the trailer broke and it straight up popped off and rolled out into an intersection. Praise God it didn't happen on the freeway, but at 11pm right in front of a gas station. So friends, if you were praying for us while we moved, we owe you one.  

Ricky got a job driving for HEB (we are so Texas), which it turns out was also super miraculous and we started the process of having a home built super close to where he works. In the meantime, we have front row seats to God working supernatural grace and patience in the lives of my mom and dad because we've become the house guests who just don't ever leave, and our crew's not small. Or quiet. Or predictable. One of us smells like a big, sweaty dog. But they haven't kicked us out.

They're nice

We're itchy, so itchy to get moving forward in the process to be foster parents (and from mesquito bites). There's a lot about life right now that just sorta feels like we're in a holding pen, or trying to run on a treadmill with weights in our shoes. Close to everything we own is shut up in two storage units. Most of life is uncomfortable and weird right now for all of us, but I'm praying and hoping that in the midst, God works empathy and compassion in us for kids who have felt like their lives are permanently uncomfortable and in transition. 

And God is good. And so very, very faithful. 

We've had the most unexpected blessings come from the most unexpected places. 
Like friends we've prayed for for years (years) coming to Jesus. 
New friends out of nowhere, on days that we just really needed friends to come out of nowhere.
We've met more people out here who were foster kids at some point in their lives than not. 

Jesus is always working, amen?

"You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water 
to provide people with grain,
for so you have ordained it. 
You drench its furrows
and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers
and bless its crops. 
You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the desert overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing."

psalm 65

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

glamour shots by ker.

well, we did it. 

1. move to texas. 
2. take the family on vacation.

sigh of relief. 

There's a whole lot I didn't catch with the camera, but here's the little that I did. 
As crazy as it is to take our four kids to Disneyland and to sit in the car for over twenty hours both ways (without any dvd players because I'm that mom), it was a sweet time to learn new things about each other, hold hands, shed some tears, fall asleep on public transportation and just be with each other. 

many, many thank you's to everyone who made our little trip possible- the Nammy and Pop Pop who hung out with our mopey and confused dog, the most amazing Sponsellers and their out of this world hospitality, everyone who shared pizza, s'mores, bananagrams, in-n-out, crying babies, kind words and good, long laughs with us. much love!