Wednesday, November 9, 2011

She Colors Me Home

There are several children in our church that do things...differently. My children are in fact deaf...completely deaf...the hear absolutely nothing without their devices on kinda deaf...which means we do things differently. At home, when devices are off, we flick lights, stomp floors, knock on walls, etc. to get their attention...whatever is the most convenient method through sight or vibrations.
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I got a call to teach a second grade class, which happens to hold one of my most favorite eight year olds who usually sits next to us at church. When we finished our tests, finished our reading, finished all the "real work", we had time to color a turkey. This child took out every single color she had and began to color. I walked around and all the children had really nice looking turkeys. They all looked like average turkeys with brightly colored feathers, brown bodies, green grass around , just what you would expect from a second grader.

I made my way over to my little friend. I was astonished at what I saw. She was crouched down really low so she could see the lines of the turkey, the grass, and remarkably she stayed in the lines. You see, she does things differently too. She felt of each crayon she had maticulously placed all in a row and she used every single one. She carefully poured as much color into every blade of grass, every feather, every single thing on that paper was full of oranges, reds, greens and golds. I was so glad she did her's differently, it was anything but average.

It made me realize that I have been forgetting to do things differently too. I learned when my children were very young, before they received these powerful hearing devices, how to see, how to feel, how to soak in what God has given us, in ways I never imaged before having my kids. I pray lots of times, for the vision...I pray that my eyes won't be clouded and I'll see everything HE needs me to see. I was thankful, He'd shown me her, and her colors.

My world got brighter after that day. I noticed more colors than I've ever seen in the Fall trees. I look at these trees every year and this year, some are so bright they're almost blinding.
I usually get closer to God when I do things differently. Yesterday, I remembered my prayer...no blinders, no clouds, I wanted to soak in any and everything He'd allow me to.

As soon as I dropped the kids off for school, I went home and walked around the yard. I first came to a tree house my kids have climbed a hundred times. I'm horrified of heights but on this day, I wasn't scared at all. For the first time, I climbed. My hands touched the rough bark where lichen had gently nestled in between the grooves. I can't remember the last time I touched the truck of a tree. I pulled myself up to the very top and I sat about 15 feet off the ground. The wind blew and I breathed in deep. The orange 8 a.m. sun reflected from the rooftop of the barn. Birds were singing so close to me I could feel their song move through my ears. It was all because the little girl took time to fill everything with color...and I knew I should do something differently...

I climbed down and continued walking but the sun was so bright I could barely see, and my sunglasses were way back at the house. Instead of walking with my head down, I turned around backwards...and kept walking. I saw a tree, I've never noticed before. It's in plain view but had always been overshadowed by a much prettier tree. I began to walk towards the half-naked tree. I was curious what it had to offer, as it stood almost bare. I had anticipated seeing a blanket of color on the ground below, since it had already donated most of itself to the earth beneath it, but I saw nothing. They had likely already blown away, and I was too late. I stood there and wondered if there was something else He wanted to show me. The breeze picked up gently and I heard the symphony of leaves dancing in the warm morning sun. I looked up and the leaves looked like pure silver, and they were giving me everything they had left to give. The only reason I saw this beauty in an unnoticed tree, was because she reminded me that it's okay to do things differently...even if it means walking backwards.

Sometimes, I sit in church and I close my eyes. I pretend I can't see so I can FEEL. Sometimes, I pretend I can't hear too and I look down, tune out the hymns that rolls over the pews so I can really FEEL. Voices are so strong, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, chills fill my arms. The man in front of me starts tapping on the back of the pew and I feel the floor vibrate as the piano pounds and the feet tap. I'm most happy when I do things differently. I have visions I've never before seen with my common eyes. I hear things my average ears have yet to hear and I feel HIM...and that's how she colors me Home.

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