As I stood on the back lawn with the dog this morning, I inhaled a big, fresh breath of the wonderfully crisp and clean air, looked up into the deep blue sky and was both invigorated and inspired! After many continuous days of cloudy grey skies, rain and ice, the brightness of the morning was a very welcome relief! In the midst of my moment of ecstasy I suddenly realized why I am so sensitive to the importance of keeping the Word foremost in one’s life. It is like the contrast between the dark, damp skies of the past week and the bright, warm and clear atmosphere that prevails here today!
It is something that I have had to face every day over the past four or five years. It is the light of the expectation of God’s Word or the fear of hopelessness that I see in people’s eyes as my wife and I encounter them on a daily basis. Without a doubt it is the hardest emotional effect that I have had to deal with when it comes to the attack on my wife’s health. As I have mentioned many times before, my wife has always had the personality and sparkle in her eyes that would light up a room when she walked in. She always seemed to have the right word of encouragement, the right funny antidote or humorous action that would rapidly turn a frown into a smile.
I’ve always admired her uncanny ability to instantaneously take the Word and insert it into a conversation in such a way that it was received as a very practical answer to the need being discussed. I’m a thinker and most times have to take more than just a few moments to consider things before I am able to make a valid point. Piper’s eloquent replies to others came across as if she had thoroughly thought out her answer previous to the conversation… and like I said, most times her words were exactly what the other individual needed to hear!
Now as we walk outside of our home I find myself being torn up on the inside as I see the dark and dreary grey shade of fear in the eyes of many that we encounter as they look upon Piper in her chair. It really has been difficult when the onlooker with that reaction has been a member of our family or within our circle of friends. I can’t hardly explain the pain I’ve felt when some members of our old church with whom Piper had ministered to in the past responded to her in this manner. While Piper had always made a point to go out of her way to acknowledge them in the past, they tended now to turn their gaze so not as to make eye contact, or simply ignore her.
On the other hand, I am always blessed beyond measure when I see the bright light of love and Godly expectation in the eyes of others who are obviously filled with the Word, or are friendly toward it and who take the time to stop and talk to Piper in the neighborhood, at the store and at our new church.
It is easy to tell those who have the Word foremost in the hearts or those who are open to Its promises. You can literally see it in their eyes! Like our recent weather, they are either overcast in darkness or shining brightly like the sun. Colossians 3:16 tells us to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly with all wisdom…” (KJV) Thayer’s Greek Definitions explains that the word dwell means “to dwell in one and influence him for good.” It is a verb that is in the present active imperative form that describes a continuous action or lifestyle to be followed or incorporated into the life of the reader.
The Message Bible tells us in modern vernacular to “Let the word of Christ – the Message – have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives.” I like that thought of giving the Word lots of room and the run of our lives. I’ve noticed that many of those who have shown fear towards my wife’s situation tend to take the intellectual approach to their “suggestions” for us, many times implying that our dependence on the Word is short sided, not really thought out… or in some cases… just plain dumb!
As I thought about that last statement today I was reminded that both my wife’s and my Dad were very big on education as the answer to most things in life... which would make sense since they were both career educators. What is a bit humorous to me is that when you look at degrees, certificates and college level classes taken in both the secular and sacred arenas over the years, I probably have more natural education than anyone else in either of our families! But yet, our calculated choice to follow after the Word instead of the hopelessness of the natural way was met with disbelief and criticism by some.
What would you rather see in your own eyes as well as in the eyes of those you encounter each day? The grey tint of fear, or the brightness of the Zoë life that is inherent within the believer who gives the Word “the run of the house” of your lives? Believe me, the light is a lot better than the cold, damp, dark grey of fear for everyone involved! So open up the windows of your life to the light of God’s Word, give Him plenty of room and shine out brightly to others who are hurting! Have a great weekend. Stay closely in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What color am I expecting the tint of my eyes and the light of my life to be?”