“Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:16-18
The next step of forming the heart was one of the hardest parts. After I formed the top of the heart, the next step was to pick it up, turn it around, and make it so that the top of the heart was close to me and the bottom part was away from me. Then I had to keep pushing the sides in a little bit harder and harder. This was the step that kept making me think, “Oh yay! I’m getting what definitely looks like a heart.” I looked closer and realized I was forming all kinds of shapes; but not a heart. I formed so many shapes that I don’t even remember how many times it took before I formed the heart; even as I was trying to mirror Jessica who was right beside me. All I know is that after much practice, I finally did it! In the meantime, Jessica kept saying “breathe.” At one point, Jessica began making her own shapes with play-doh, just to see how much I could do on my own without her instructing me. It was difficult, but finally, my hands and brain communicated the right messages to each other and I did it! Usually, learning to do something like this takes a couple of weeks. Somehow, after many times, I did it that day. It was amazing because that day it was only my second time doing it along with making the other pieces. Here it is:
It reminded me of how easy it is for people, especially in today’s society, to “mirror” Christianity and talk the lingo but not mean it. One time, a pastor by the name of Gordon Kirk (he was filling in for a while after our old pastor retired and our church was in the process of finding a new pastor) referred to it as, “Bumper Sticker Theology.” If you’re one of those people who has a Christian bumper sticker on your car, does your life reflect what it says on that bumper sticker?
It also reminded me of how, when we have a problem, we might ask God, “God what are you doing?” In the case where I was trying to learn to make the heart with play-doh, I could easily cry out the words in Romans chapter 9 and say, “Lord why did you make me like this?” (I can’t tell you how many times I let out a big sigh as I was learning to make a heart with my limited hand dexterity.) The Lord says to me, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5). Over time, as I’ve grown in the Lord, I’ve begun to understand what that means and how God’s plan is perfect, even during the times that I really don’t like my physical challenges. NOTHING in my life is a mistake! Often, God sees our problems from a different angle. In my case, I often say if I didn’t have my cerebral palsy and the challenges that go with it, would I care about spiritual things as much? Could I write these stories and share these messages? I don’t think so. Would I have a deep understanding of Jeremiah 1:5, and be able to talk to my Awana girls about inner beauty the same way I did in 2017? I don’t think so. Without my challenges that God allowed to stay, where would I be spiritually? Only God knows that. By the way, here’s a photo of the Christmas present my Awana girls gave me after I did my lesson titled, “How becoming a Christian is like becoming a vase.” If you’re interested in seeing the devotionals I wrote while I was learning to make a vase in preparation for my Awana lesson, click on the link labeled “Play-Doh,” and scroll through it. It’s the first one on the left under “Rachael Benson Blog.” You can’t miss it. Why am I able to talk to kids and other people about that stuff? Because I need help with things most people take for granted; like getting dressed, combing my hair, and taking a shower. I could go on and this would be a long post, but I won’t.
Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing bad about Christian phrases on bumper stickers, but it shouldn’t be the only way we know Jesus. It should serve as a trigger to make us think about Him and want to get to know Him. I pray that many of us are using this unusual time to get to know the Lord more. If this virus was going to happen, thank goodness for today’s technology! There are so many ways to stay connected through the Internet. Even if you can’t physically go to church right now, many churches are having their services online. Set up a zoom meeting and do a Bible study that way. Where there’s a will there’s a way. It’s all a question of how badly do we really want to see a change in our lives? How badly do we want to have true peace? God gave us free will. While He desires for us to obey Him, He’s not going to force anything on us. God doesn’t want us to be robots, but instead, He wants our love for Him to be genuine and sincere.
If there is anyone out there reading this who doesn’t know the Lord as their Savior or has questions about anything I wrote, please feel free to post them on my blog. Just make sure you click on “I am not a robot,” or your comment won’t go through. I moderate comments to make sure everything said on my blog is clean. It’s just one more way to make sure I honor God with my writing. I love hearing from my readers!
Help me to have a desire to get to know you more so that I can mirror a reflection of your son Jesus, and make people want what I have. Help me to use this time in our nation to be transformed by you day by day, until you bring me home to heaven.
Author’s Note: Here’s a link to my church’s website. They have a kids’ church service at 9:30 am on Sundays, and the main service is at 10 am. The kids’ service has a funny puppet named Stew, and the songs are energetic and lively. They’re perfect for the whole family to dance to. It reminds me of Vacation Bible School. Click on the link below:
Also, if you want to go beyond watching the church service, different pastors of the church are putting together devotionals on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It’s neat to hear everyone’s perspective during this time. I especially enjoyed the devotional done on Friday, April 24, by Pastor Peter. I felt like he wasn’t really preaching a sermon, but instead, he was telling a story. It was perfect for a writer. Scroll through the Together page to listen here.
Here’s the other church my mom and I have tuned in to lately. This is my brother-in-law’s church in Atlanta Georgia. Their pastor is big on reaching out to the community. He shares many stories from his own life experiences to illustrate the points he makes in his sermons. He’s quite easy to listen to.