Blue Oceans of Unity

“I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.”

Yesterday, I was convicted.  I went to a birthday party for a six year old girl, and God kicked me in the gut.  He put my heart and my mouth in check.  I realized that I was so wrong in my fairness of communication.

When I heard the prompt word for the week as “blue,” I thought…”oh I’ll write something about the blue oceans…the sweet trips our family has taken to the coasts of Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean!”  Then, when I read Biblegateway.com for inspiration and a Bible verse to go with the word “oceans” I found the passage from Amos above.

It is a poignant one.  It is a hard one.  It is one that made me re-read and ponder.  It awoke me again to what I did yesterday.

When we attended a birthday party at a local park/lake beach yesterday our sons played on an inflatable water slide, did some swinging, some sno cone eating, and they giggled with their friends.  We moms chatted.  I talked to the ones I know for about 50 of the 60 minutes I was there.  Then, I went to give our boys the 10 minute warning being that I needed to leave to get a hair cut.

Hair cuts are precious to a mom folks.  There is no stopping that appointment.  I wait seven weeks between them, and I had arranged my mom to come watch the boys since my husband had a dinner event.  Little did I know that the 10 minutes next conversation would change my perspective on the world.  The oceans that separate us also unite us.
Tangents…I know.  Bear with me.  I spoke with a beautiful woman…a woman that looked different than the rest of us.  She spoke with an accent.  I knew her son from school, but I had never met her, seen her, or talked with her.  I introduced myself, and as we chatted about school and our sons…I asked “Are you Russian?  I notice an accent.”  She laughed…

“I’m not Russian.  I’m from Israel.”

“Israel!  Wow.  I have never met someone from Israel.”

We proceeded to talk about the oceans of life, the history of our heritage, and the oceans of this wide world.  There is a bigger place in my heart today.  I wanted to put a shoe in my mouth after saying she was Russian?!  Whoops.  God woke me up to a woman that is proud of her Israeli family, and who was brave enough to take her children there last summer.  Thirteen years since she had been “home.”  I can only imagine.  There are oceans that separate us, but there is a God who unites us.

Dear God,
You created the Earth and all of us people.
Forgive me when I quickly judge others.  Give me careful words and open ears. 
Extend my prayers beyond myself and my country.
Thank you for the opportunity to travel…even if it is across a birthday party to talk with a mom who looks and speaks differently than myself.
I love you Lord, and I thank you for your Word, your grace, and your gifts.
Amen.
Justice2
Written and painted on Arches cold press watercolor paper with watercolor paint.
The text written in English capital letters, between the lines of Hebrew says:
LET JUSTICE
WELL UP AS WATER
AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
AS A MIGHTY STREAM
AMOS 5:24
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7 thoughts on “Blue Oceans of Unity

  1. Isn’t it interesting how God broadens our views and relationships with a simple conversation. Lovely post. Although I am not Jewish, I love the land of Israel. I have visited twice and fell in love with the land. It is a trip that every Christian should make. Your neighbor at #FMFparty.

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  2. God brought me Amos 5:24 as I wrote about trust earlier this week – it was a verse I had never read before and that MSG version really spoke to my heart. You made a special connection and I bet you’ll never forget that moment – amazing how God can unite us in the most unexpected ways. #fmf

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  3. Such a beautiful and honest post! I think we’re all too quick to judge sometimes, but oh the opportunities we pass up by doing so! (Well, at least that’s true for me.) I pray that my eyes will be open to see the beauty in the differences that people possess and that I’ll be drawn to discover who they are. Because each one is precious to my God, and they deserve my attention.

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