Wonder Woman

5-minute-friday-1 I am well-known for my Wonder Woman “purse.” It’s a black bag like this one below.
except that mine is now about to have its third surgery. Yes, instead of buying a new purse, like most people perhaps, I have continued to sew this one back together.

Why?

Is the bag just so comfortable and easy to use? Well, yes it is, but there are others equally so.

It’s because I love Wonder Woman.

Okay, maybe “love” is a strong word. I really like her.

wwpurse
My bag

But why????

Well, perhaps I should first start with the things I don’t like… and often worry that, if people knew all of her history, might think I ascribe to.

I don’t.

I do not believe in gods and goddesses or faraway lands with amazon princesses with super powers.

I do not promote scantily clad women fighting the evils of the world. Fully dressed ones, yes. Nearly naked ones… not so much.

I love her lasso of truth.

When she captures you with her lasso, it forces you to tell the truth. I’m a truth-teller, truth-seeker, and have very low tolerance for dishonesty. I have a pretty good sense of when someone is telling me a truth or a lie… but I would take a truth-lasso any day, hands down.

And she’s got one. That means one of her purposes is to seek out truth. And I like that too.

I like that she is a woman and a heroine… a sister in humanity fighting the causes of the underprivileged, the voiceless, and those needing a savior.

But she is not the savior… just another person’s imagination on paper, through art, of having someone more powerful than we, who can come and save us.

Wonder Woman was created during World War II… her first images were of fighting Axis military forces during a time when the world, indeed, needed a hero.

Which makes me pause and wonder some more… about why we create saviors and heroes when we already have one.

Unless we don’t know we have one.

Then our inner soul, the emptiness that longs for more, longs for a supernatural being to enter our world and save us from ourselves, from the depravity of others, from pure evil… takes pen to page and creates one.

A fictitious one.

One that will only show up in the nick of time in comics, cartoons, and the Big Screen.

But then there is real life. Where Dictators kill millions of people because of their own self-determined opinions and rules. Where cars crash, diseases strike, fires steal homes and land, oceans roar and rage… and we are left.

Small. Powerless. Longing.

For a savior.

Something about Wonder Woman touches that longing… not just to know a savior, but to be one. To become “Wonder Mom” to my family, “Wonder Friend” to my friends, “Wonder Counselor” to those whom I serve… “Wonder Christian” to my God.

All desires and longings that lead to such fictitious design as a cartoon sketch of an amazonian princess stopping a train from wrecking.

Because I do not have super natural powers of my own awesome accord.

Only those afforded to me in the name of Jesus, according to the will of Him who saves me.

I am nothing apart from Him.

So my two greatest longings… to be saved, and be a savior, are met in Him.

Jesus is my Savior.

And any supernatural, eternal part of my being is His gift to me. And to the world. Not for my glory, but for His. My supernatural powers comes in my weakness… my choosing humility and the higher road… broadcasting my inadequacies so that when anything good comes from me… there is no question whether it was me or Him.

He is the way, the TRUTH, and the life.

He’s better than a lasso.

Thank You

Thanksgiving is over but the gratitude doesn’t end.

Yet, where does one start? I could list all 1000 gifts right here and now… but not in five minutes.

There’s the usual (but not less important in the “normalness” of the thanks for which I feel for them)

Corban Tobias… “A Gift Devoted to God” “Pleasing to God” … and truly, he is a gift. Firstborn, we tackle all the challenges of life for the first time together. Every stage is new and he graciously walks me through. He is my comrade in the trenches… we’ve survived a lot together.

Hannah Moriah… “Favored” and “God is my teacher”… a delight of my life. My baby… she is a lover of all, knowing no boundaries on kindness or distinction among people. She laughs and loves easily. She is a ray of sunshine on any rainy day.

Elisabetta Marcela… “Pledged to God” and “Warlike”… these names came to her later in life… after her adoption. This part of our story and hers is one that continues to shape us today, as she comes to realize the reality of who her Savior is. Her intellect and insight make her a great challenge for any strategy game and a wonderful conversationalist. She brought balance to our family.

Matthew Angel… “Gift of God” and “Messenger of God”… also names given later through his adoption into our family… our oldest son. He has taught us much about our need for Jesus! Both in his unconditional generosity and forgiveness. He is easily the most resilient person I know. He stretches me to give more, love more, forgive quickly.

Then there’s my husband, Jeremy… “Appointed by God” and indeed, he is. He has moved his family across the world, and not without great prayer, deliberation, and wise instruction. He has stepped into the scary unknown, showing us his family what a man of faith looks like… he’s more than a fan of his Savior… he’s a follower.

I’m grateful for tears shed… which have become sources of comfort for those who tears now fall.

For inconveniences turned blessings in disguise.

For times of waiting that grew me up, trained me, stabilized me, prepared me for when the waiting ended.

Times of joy… of celebration and remembrance of all things beautiful and worthy of our memory and honor.

For friends who love desperately and radically… who love enough to send us away, to see God’s work fulfilled in us, in themselves.

For transparency and integrity.

For so much more than I can ever list here… for every experience, every grace, every mercy… every divine intervention.

For words and the ability to communicate them. For Lisa-Jo and her heart for supporting and loving other writers, other mommies, other women.

Blessed.

 

Called to Stay

Today, again, I pause and reflect on the way “stayers” inspire me.

They way they say to me, “We are not called to go… but to stay and send.”

And then they give.

They give of their hard-earned money. Their assets that the world would scream at them to save, hoard, and spend on their every whim and passions.

Over the clamor of voices that command them to spend their money in any other way… they listen.

They hear His voice… He offers blessing upon blessing to those who live for Him… even in the way they spend their paychecks.

And in the way they stay.

Because not everyone can go.

But no one could go without them.

And this is my gratitude… that those of us whom God has called to go… to give up paychecks, fancy houses, new cars, the comforts and securities of familiar foods, languages and grocery stores… that we are able to go because they stay.

BECAUSE they stay.

And they stay well.

Knowing that staying does not mean less.

Or being helpless.

Or meaningless.

But rather, their staying is the blessing of the goer.

Likewise, the goer is the blessing of the stayer… a way for the sender to see… that even in staying, they can be effectual.

World-changers.

Our hearts are blessed by the hundred-plus stayers who want to see the world changed… by staying right where they are.

And sending the ones needing to go.

A circle of life.

The global mission of Jesus would be stunted if no one stayed. If no one continued to work and send.

It would be stunted also if everyone stayed.

What beauty to see the Body of Him working together to see His purposes accomplished! Water brought to people with none, orphanages built to house, nurture, and raise abandoned orphans! Outreach in disaster… to be a loving hand of His. Christ-centered counseling for marriages and families that are falling a part… Teachers spreading truth through English and caring for whole families.

All impossibilities if some didn’t stay.

And stay well.

Mindful of the ways they can participate in Kingdom purposes from the doors of their very own home, in their very own culture, while they minister to their very own neighbors.

Because lots of people stay.

But not all of them stay well.

With purpose. Intentionality. Dignity.

And it is with these in mind that I daily wake up and praise God for their faithfulness in staying.

Thank you, to everyone, who has seen our call to “stay” transform into a call to “go” – and participated in your own calling to stay well. THANK YOU!!!!!

*For more information on our “GO” call… you can visit www.theverticalview.wordpress.com