Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SKIN

9:32 AM 1
   
   
 What do you see when you look at this picture?  If you would have asked me this question a few years ago I would have answered it completely different.  I would have immediately noticed the flaw, the imperfection, the less than desirable complexion, and most assuredly I would have spent lots of time and energy attempting to cover it up.  As it stands with most of our flaws, whether seen or unseen, we almost instinctively tend to seek cover.  This is where the battle of the mind and soul begins, it is in the covering that Satan does his best work.  However, the cover that we so often seek is counterfeit, it is cheap, flimsy, and unable to protect.  
     
     When I first developed vitiligo I was devastated, I researched and researched hoping there was some miracle cure out there that I had yet to discover.  When all that I could find was camouflage make-up I resorted to attempting to cover each and every spot morning after morning just hoping that it was not too obvious, but knowing deep down that it was.  I loathed the summers because it meant hiding under an umbrella when all of my friends were sunbathing and becoming bronzed beauties. I had to layer on the sunscreen day after day and simple things that brought me joy like mowing the lawn in my tank top feeling the warmth of the sun on my back had now become a dreaded sweat fest as I would now need long sleeves and hats.  I hated it.  Not to mention the stares, the questions, or the insecurity that I developed.  It greatly altered the way that I viewed myself.  I wanted cover.  
    
      Humans have been seeking cover since the beginning of time, but quite often we find ourselves looking in the wrong places.  Every time I read Genesis chapter 3 I find it almost humorous that Adam and Eve's choice of "covering" were fig leaves.  I mean exactly how far were they going to get on fig leaves?  I itch just thinking about it, serioulsy imagine one wrong turn into a thorn bush, ouch! Desperate times call for desperate measures I suppose.  Just like that horrid orange "camouflage" make-up that was suppose to look natural, but instead just made me look like I had leprosy.  
    
      Adam and Eve's story did not end with the fig leaves and mine did not end with crappy make-up, excuse my language, but some things just are what they are.  I had become so familiar with the story of Adam and Eve that for years I missed the most amazing part. We can easily recall the fall of man, the curse, and their removal from the garden, but read with me, Chapter 3:21, "And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them."  WOW!!! This blows me away, completely away, totally and utterly amazing.  Which would you prefer as cover; fig leaves or SKIN?  It was no accident that God chose to cover them with skin.  SKIN is durable, SKIN is thick, SKIN is strong, SKIN covering requires blood to be shed.  Jesus Christ' flesh and blood would one day become our own covering.  The only covering that will ever suffice our brokenness, our sins, or our flaws.  There is no sin, no insecurity, no situation, no amount of pain that cannot be covered by Jesus.  He is our covering today and forever.  He is the only covering!
    
 So you ask, what do I see when I look at that picture?  

I see a heart.  I see the evidence of my "COVERER" even in the midst of my insecurity.  I see an opportunity to sit on a swing with a girl who has her own insecurities and share my journey with her.  I see an opportunity to share one of my own flaws in hopes that someone else might recognize the flaw in their own life and not run to the fig leaf, but instead to the SKIN covering, JESUS.  I am still insecure about it at times, and that is ok.  Insecurities will always be among us in some form or fashion, we are not weak because we have them, we are only weak when we attempt to cover them up with cheap make-up.  If you see me out and about you will most likely see my imperfect skin, because I no longer hide it.  It is crazy because I actually get excited when someone asks me about it, because it is an open door to talk about my great coverer, JESUS.  Whatever or wherever your struggle is today, whatever the insecurity, whatever the pain do not run to the fig leaves, they will never last and will continue to need replacing.  RUN TO JESUS and allow HIM to be your cover.           
      
            
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Saturday, July 9, 2016

#YOUDONTMATTER

8:01 AM 0

YOU don't matter.  It is completely irrelevant whether or not you are white, black, hispanic, etc, none of it matters.  In fact not only do you not matter, but the very fact that we are killing each other over the color of our skin is shear meaninglessness and a simple passing of the time until we are dead.  Complete and utter indifference.  Die today, die tomorrow, what difference does it really make?      

Except you do.  You do matter.  You know that you matter or at least you look at your child and you know that she or he matters.  Your mom and dad, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, friends, anyone close to you in any form or fashion they matter to you a great deal.  And if it is possible for you to recognize that at least one person in your life matters, then there is hope for our country after all and there is hope for you.  

But why?  Why do you matter?  Think of something that holds great value.  I am a lover of art so Van Gogh's painting entitled "starry night" would be my choice.  I actually attempted to paint it as a young girl, but unfortunately although I enjoy beautiful art, I am no artist, at least not with a paintbrush.  But let us say for the sake of my point that I was able to replicate that painting with exact precision would I then have created something of extraordinary value?  Of course not.  No one even knows my name, much less I copied another man's painting for pete's sake I would at least need to come up with something original.  Van Gogh's painting was valuable, yes indeed, but its value was solely contingent on the man who painted it.  Rare, original, one of a kind, unique, these are all terms we use to define something of great value.  It is quite remarkable to me that every human being is all of these things and so much more yet somehow along the way we have devalued life to the point that we can no longer appreciate the masterpiece or the maker. 

So only one of these two things can be true, it is logically impossible otherwise.  The first option is that none of us matter, NONE OF US, life is utterly meaningless and we are simply organisms doing what organisms do.  In that case, kill, steal, rape, consume all you can whenever you can, live for the moment, start a charity, build an amusement park, heck do whatever you want.  EVERYTHING IS MEANINGLESS.  Do good or do bad, it is totally irrelevant, because even the words "good" and "bad" have no meaning.  Personally, if I subscribed to this chain of thought I would probably lay in bed all day every day and order Johnny's pizza and watch re-runs of the Golden Girls, but that's just me.  However, there is an option 2.

Option two is that you realize that you do matter, or at least you recognize that someone in your life matters to you a great deal.  And if it is possible that there is a human being on the face of this earth that holds value, then there must have been someone or something that made them that way.  Yes at this point you might possibly be able to come up with some random scenario of how we just popped into existence and we are valuable just because well, because, because it's easier to live believing that I am, but I'm really not, but I would like to pretend that I am.  Or you can go back to the beginning, the very beginning.  "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He create him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it;..."  AKA as my husbands uncle Phil would say "your calendar is counting time by him, reckon we outta see what he has to say."

You love your children because you're made like God, He loves His children.  You love companionship and close relationships, because your're made like God.  He is the fullness of relationship within His very being; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  HE is the "US" He was referring to in the above scripture. God is relational that is why He chose to give you free will.  He could have made robots, but robots have no ability to give and receive love.  God is love.  His love matters.  His love came in the form of a savior, the one that we are counting time by, Jesus.  In the year 2016 AD we can change.  Because if we truly believe that we matter, then life and light can always outshine the dark.  If we believe that we have a creator then we must also believe in the greatest commandment He spoke among His people, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself"(matt 22:37-39).  How might our streets look different if we all subscribed to this Truth, this Love.  This kind of love leads to only one conclusion, ALL LIVES MATTER.  Share this message of love with me!  #becauseofJESUS #allLIVESmatter 

LOVE LOVE YALL,
Jill XOXO


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