Sunday, April 11, 2010

Unfading Beauty

I have a friend who lived in a assisted living facility. She has a chronic physical problem that makes it necessary. The apartment is beautiful, comfortable, and convenient. It's a delight to the eye to walk in there with all her possession tastefully displayed. That's not the reason I go to see her, just one of benefits. She is sweet and kind and ever ready to share what God is doing in her life and to hear what He is doing in mine.

Many months ago her health took a turn for the worse and her doctor insisted that she had to have long term around the clock care. Now I visit her in a nursing home. She has a bed in a corner of a room. It is however, next to a window so that she can see the grass and the sky. She has a basket on her bed with her Bible and other things she needs. She has a little plastic three drawer file to hold what won't fit in the basket and that's pretty much it. Someone did put some Easter type decals on the windows to brighten the atmosphere. It's rather austere and depressing, but that's not the reason I go there. She is sweet and kind and ever ready to share what God is doing in her life and to hear what He is doing in mine.

All her earthly possessions are stored away in her sister's house. Yet her most glorious possession is still shining through, "the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." 1 Peter 3:4 She has never uttered a word of complaint in my hearing. She is polite and grateful to the staff. I marvel at the grace received and displayed.

I found something written by Max Lucado that I put in her Easter card. I don't think she realizes why I chose it, but I am going to tell her it reminAlign Centerded me of her.

By Max Lucado
“Surely this was a righteous man.” Luke 23:47, NIV

All the Roman centurion did was see Jesus suffer. He never heard him preach or saw him heal or followed him through the crowds. He never witnessed him still the wind; he only witnessed the way he died. But that was all it took to cause this weather-worn soldier to take a giant step in faith. “Surely this was a righteous man . . .”

Anybody can preach a sermon on a mount surrounded by daisies. But only one with a gut full of faith can live a sermon on a mountain of pain.

My friend is reflecting beautifully the One who went before her and left her an example to follow. We are told by Paul in Philippians 2:14-15 to do all things without grumbling and disputing and in conducting ourselves in that way we will appear as lights in the darkness. She is shining and it convicts and encourages me to remember that I have a treasure inside of me. All else can be stripped away except the unfading beauty of His Spirit within.

MY PRAYER: Lord, thank you for leaving us an example. Thank you that your grace is sufficient and that your presence is more than enough. Thank you for putting people in our path that encourage us by their examples as they follow you. In Jesus wonderful name, amen.

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