“Born Blind and Deaf” by Carley Evans


Imagine

(Photo credit: Javier Q.)

Imagine if you will being born blind, unable to see. You live in a world of darkness. And what if you are also born deaf, unable to hear. You move in darkness and silence, unaware of light, unaware of sound. Your world is emptiness.

Imagine a Man comes to you. He touches your eyes, then your ears. You suddenly see and hear. You see His face; you hear His voice. He is Love, and you are fully aware that your world has changed forever in a moment because He touched you.

Now what if this same Man walks by you, and leaves you in your darkened, quiet state. Suppose He has a perfect reason for doing this, one you don’t know and couldn’t understand even if you did know.

Now imagine other people try to tell you about this Man, how He has given them everything. How would they tell you? You are blind; you are deaf. Still they try because He is everything to them. But you can’t see or hear that He is Love. You are blind; you are deaf. You are lost.

Remember how He touches you? When the Man touches you, you are able to see and hear and believe. Only a fool would not believe once the Man gives sight and hearing.

Imagine.

God’s Example of Love ( by Carley Evans )


The Prophet Hosea, by Duccio di Buoninsegna, i...

God asks Hosea to love his wife again, even though she is an adulteress and has betrayed his trust. God says, “Love her as I love the children of Israel even though they betray Me with other gods and with addiction to alcohol.”

“Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.” (Hosea 3:1, KJV)

God says to Hosea, “You think you’ve been hurt! I created Israel to be My own, and this people turn against Me! Yes, you are hurt as I Am hurt. Like Me, take your adulteress wife back into your defiled marriage bed and make her your own again, despite her betrayal. Do this according to the example of love I set for you. Love the unlovable.”

Val’s Day ( by Carley Evans )


Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Valentine’s Day approaches. In Japan, per my daughter who lived there for a total of four years, Valentine’s Day is for the woman to give gifts to her man. Later in the year — as I recall, it’s a day in March — the man returns the favor on White Day, a day for the man to give gifts to his woman.

Romance twice in the same year? What an idea!

Odd to me how men and women court one another so well during the initial months of a relationship — little notes, cards, flowers, candlelight dinners, wine, chocolates — then fail to maintain this air of romance through the subsequent years.

Do yourself a favor! Give your spouse or your intended something special on Valentine’s Day. Take his or her hands, look deep in the eyes, and say softly “I love you.” Your tone of voice, the softness of your touch, and your eyes will tell the truth.

Blessings!

The Most Excellent Way ( by Carley Evans )


I’m always disturbed by Christians who denounce that God is primarily love — Christians who proclaim that God is primarily a being of wrath, retribution, punishment. God demands holiness, for sure. Our holiness, however, is due only to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, who is, of course, God Himself. Without God within, we are not — in the least — holy.

Paul writes of “the most excellent way” in his letter to the church at Corinth. He says ultimately speaking in tongues, prophecy, generosity, even great faith and hope — if these exist in a vacuum devoid of love — then they are nothing; they gain nothing for us or for God.

The most excellent way is the way of love. Paul writes, “Follow the way of love.” (1 Corinthians 14:1, NIV)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NIV)

Not Going to Lie ( by Carley Evans )


Paul says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” I agree. I am not ashamed of the good news of Jesus Christ crucified for sinners.

And, I am not going to lie — I know a lot of sinners. First and foremost, I know myself. I also know heterosexuals who engage in sexual activity outside the boundaries of marriage; I know homosexuals who do the same. I know people who drink alcohol to excess; I know people who drink in moderation; I know people who refrain from drink completely — they are all sinners. I know people who love violent movies, filled with action. I know people who never go to the movies — actually I haven’t met many people who never go to the movies. I know people who read all sorts of books and magazines; I know people who burn all sorts of books and magazines; I know people who don’t read at all  — they are all sinners.

Guess what? I love them all. Know why? Because Jesus died for me, the worst of the sinners I know. If He loves me, then I love those whom He loves.

Understand Already?


I have a person in my immediate family with whom I find it difficult to communicate at times. Occasionally, this person appears to be downright contrary, saying the opposite of what he might usually say. And then, this contrariness — if that’s what it is — appears very deliberate. At those times — well, most of those times — I accept that my perception is incorrect; and I remain open to the difficulty we have in communication. I see it as the barrier it is, and hold no blame on him or on myself.

Other times — not many times now that I am older and he is older — I lose objectivity; and find myself angry at him and even angrier at myself for not being able to communicate a simple message — well, a message which seems simple to me!

And, I see myself — slightly from the outside looking in — as a crazy person yelling at this wonderful person in my life, trying to get him to understand me. All I accomplish is hurting his feelings, and damaging my relationship with him and my relationship with God.

Jesus tells me that the way I treat this wonderful person I can see and love face to face reflects the way I love Him, the God I cannot see.

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for my lack of patience, my impulsive anger, and my loss of objectivity. Help me to communicate always in kindness with those I love, those I am especially capable of hurting because they love me too. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

A Spectacle of Fear; An Easy Calm


“What preserves the order of things?” asks Bill the Butcher in the film, GANGS OF NEW YORK. “The spectacle of fear. If someone steals from me, I cut off his hands. If someone insults me, I cut out his tongue.” Our adversary, like Bill the Butcher, hopes for us to live in fear, in misgiving and anxiety, in utter terror if he can manage to bring us to that condition. For Satan, putting us into a state of fear and keeping us there “preserves the order of things” for him.

God, instead, desires and plans to rescue us from fear. His perfect love drives out fear, for fear has to do with punishment. If we fear punishment, we are yet to be made perfect in and through His love. His love, as is demonstrated on the cross of Calvary when He gives up His only Son as a ransom for us, rescues us from anxiety, fear, and the utter terror Satan tries to bring upon us.

God achieves this casting out of fear through Christ living “in [our] hearts through faith — that [we], being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19,ESV)

In being “filled with all the fullness of God” there is no room for fear, misgiving, anxiety or terror. For where there is love, there is an easy calm.

Father God, we praise You for rescuing us from sin, for bringing us Your love and gaining for us freedom from fear. Your love saves us from Satan’s “order of things,” from his “spectacle of fear.” In Jesus’ Name, amen.