|Katie Lloyd Photography*|
The church building's doors were wide opened, and as we got in, people came to us and gave us a warm welcome. Some faces we only get to see once a year, so we hugged hard; some other faces were new, and touched our lives profoundly.
My little one held my hand hard and her eyes were all filled with tears as she saw in the row in front of us a beautiful family, a family that taught me more than all the words that were spoken from the pulpit. Six biological children and one little adopted girl (from about 2 years old to 10); only one of the children had both arms; most had none.
Seeing them broke my heart to pieces. You know how I have been reading about suffering, affliction, trials; how I have been memorizing the Word and mediating on James' and Paul's words to the church (in the epistle to the Philippians) concerning affliction. But suddenly, I had a living epistle in front of me. A father kneeling low to hug his son and whisper with him the Catechism; a little boy holding the hymn book with his only minuscule arm for his sister who had no arms. Mom was holding her precious Chinese girl (of about 2 years old) as she praised God, and kissed her lips. Smiles were exchanged between all the family members at all times. It was clear that even though they could not hug each other, they had learned to love with their eyes, in a deep and beautiful way. After the Lord's Supper, mom and dad sat together, he whispered something to his wife's ear and they smiled with their eyes closed and tenderly he embraced her.
As the church service was dismissed, they turned to us and gave us a warm welcome. What a beautiful smile this young mom had, and it surprised me that after crossing a few words she said she was sorry that they had to leave to some other state in the middle of the week, because they would have loved to host us for dinner!
We all are clay vases, all different, all made with different purposes. Some are strong, some are weak, some are fragile, and some others, some that may seem to be broken and the world might despise are full of fresh water. These vases are chosen by God to teach us a lesson. I pray I will not miss learning it.
Today I am grateful for the Maker of vases that can hold His grace.
*Thanks to Katie Lloyd for granting me permission to use her image.
You can always buy her prints here.