Tag Archives: children

Watching the World through Glass Panes

WindowWorld

I’ve grown dissatisfied with this view of the world.

I have a huge window in my dining room which gives me a big view of the street upon which I live. I like to stand at that window and peer at the world early in the morning. A jogger passes by, a car speeds past, a stray dog sniffs something in the yard and moves along – all without any sound, all without any interaction with the people behind the glass.

It’s the very window where I watched my children grow up, remembering my daughter playing safari in the tall grasses of the field across from us—now inhabited with a house—where, donned in a bathing suit, a bicycle helmet and fuzzy winter boots, she single-handedly played the part of six safari animals. To this day her imagination never ceases to amaze and amuse me. It’s the window where I saw a man I did not know carry my son’s limp body across my front lawn, a moment I’ll never forget where time stood still and I briefly thought, “can I endure this?” The next moment revealed the unspeakable gratitude of my heart when I looked into my son’s beautiful blue eyes, full of life, but slightly traumatized by the daring bicycle stunt gone awry. He was out playing again an hour later and all his buddies thought he was the coolest. I think he still is.

But I’ve grown dissatisfied with this view of the world. Through it are now a new generation of children, not my own, and it only serves to remind me of a happy chapter in my life which is slowly fading away. And while the children are lovely, the world never changes and my heart grows increasingly dissatisfied with this view.

Twelve years later, I find myself standing at the window in the dark of night, waiting for one of my kids to arrive safely home from their evening with friends so that I can go to bed and sleep peacefully, knowing they are once again safe. Yet as I lay my head on the pillow I am reminded that these windows are only our views on the world, not a fortress against danger, and I contemplate that against a heart which leans toward danger.

The confines of my home provide me no satisfaction, no security of what lies out there in the world. Yet my nomadic heart grows restless as the years drone on and I find myself with the insatiable desire to traverse these lands outside my window; meet people I’ve never met; learn a language; feed and water a human soul; open another’s heart to truths and promises he never knew existed; and unashamedly give God glory for the light of wisdom.

My window has moved to the pane of my computer where I travel distant lands using the wide world of the Internet (thanks, Al). I see smiling faces, battered women, children in refugee camps. I see people helping people and planes falling out of the sky. I watch in horror as men overcome men in shallow conquest, their victorious smiles last but a moment as they lie awake at night knowing it could have been them.

I read stories of churches and temples being torn down in the name of a false governmental idea; women beaten and jailed for talking to a man who isn’t her spouse, young boys and girls taken captive to a most vile and sinister ring of human trafficking known to mankind. I listen to mp3 links as women passionately bear their shame for abortions they now regret, their gripping stories compelling young women everywhere to keep the child. I watch videos with unclear and unfounded statistics about the intervention of anti-Christian religion in the United States, a religion where we might well see the second wave of Christianity. And then a new window becomes my focus. It stands wide and narrow but it also stands firm against Truth. It wants no part of my culture. And I hardly blame it.

Our world is changing; no one can doubt that. Our view of the world has become smaller; no one will argue that. And these views open us to something very frightening, disturbing and sobering. My hand reaches for the blinds. My first instinct is to pull the curtain, lock the window and retreat to my vain and selfish desires. How easy it is to passionately strive for worldly things and at the same time block out the world while doing it. We rush toward Wall Street while the child starves. We have pulled the curtain on love. We forget from Whom we come; for Whom we exist.

But I stand and watch because it is all I can do right now. Yet each day I find a new Truth which gives me solid ground upon which to stand, a mission behind the mission of educating the uneducated into the precarious world of the 10/40 window—a world without a savior—a world of bloodshed, oppression, marginalization and torment masked by a false sense of peace and tight-fisted governmental systems.

These are the places that draw my heart the most. And when the marginalized and oppressed smile at me through these panes of glass, I smile in return because I know their smiles are genuine, brotherly and loving. I want to be a part of that. I want to see the sunrise of their smile brought forth by authentic joy and utter Truth. I want to see their light of understanding as they read the Word and know Him for the first time. I want to call them my brother in the language they understand and stand hand-in-hand with them in grateful prayer to our Lord and King.

These windows on the world show us harvests ready for the harvesting. We cannot deny, we cannot grow complacent, and we cannot turn and judge our neighbor. We are to become so entrenched in the harvest that our response is not apathy and indifference but fervent and passionate prayer for the workers—the brethren called forth by none other than Christ Himself to come and harvest the fields.

Lift your blinds, O man! Open your curtains and unlock the window of your soul to the sacrificial love of Christ and stoop down to feed the hungry child. Go visit your field, ready for the harvest, and bend your knee to the lowly. For as you do He will lift you up and make your work a spectacular glory so all man can see and no one can doubt Whom you serve and from Whom your light shines. It’s time to open the window and see the world through the eyes of Christ.

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Interceding for the Home Educator

Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbour on our knees. -Charles Bent

Kids on LogI like to look at home education as a people movement. It started out with just a few people, and no one seemed threatened. It didn’t take long, however, before this little grass roots movement became an enormous group of people connected to each other for the same cause through a web of curriculum, lifestyle changes, new or revised laws, and No. 2 pencils. People took notice, and some were threatened. So support groups and conventions began springing up around the country linking people together in their goals, values and aspirations. Support included topical discussions on every subject from home educating multiple children to courtship to whether or not it’s okay to nurse a baby in public (it is—with propriety).

Unfortunately, however, I didn’t see much on prayer. More unfortunate is that I didn’t realize how much prayer was missing from these support networks, and from our own home environment. And I’m sure I haven’t noticed anything new nor am I proposing anything new; my goal here is simply awareness and a call to spur one another along in these good things.

Interceding for others isn’t a new concept. It traces back to Abraham who interceded for Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses who interceded for the captives in Egypt and all of the prophets who interceded for their people and cultures. As a matter of fact, part of the role of the prophets was to speak with God for the people of Israel. Most notable is when Isaiah prayed with King Hezekiah to save the nation from Assyria and the armies were suddenly turned back (Isaiah 36-39). No one can argue that God heard their prayers, their cries for help, and moved His hand for His own glory.

We also have examples from the New Testament beginning with Jesus who prayed protection for his followers and sought forgiveness for his captors. Jesus’ entire life was an example of One who intercedes for us for blessings, protection and forgiveness. Indeed, His whole life was an intercession, spanning the deep chasm caused by our rebellion. Paul prayed for the churches in Ephesus and Colossae and their people. He asked others to pray for them, and his devotion to prayer and intercession are timeless examples we still use today.

Intercession includes many things. We pray for safe travel, that others might come to know Christ, healing and health, childbirth or conception, wisdom, spiritual growth, marriages, blessings for others, etc. We pray for God’s mercy and grace, His discernment and for forgiveness. We intercede because we know that God is intimately involved with what is going on in our lives and we are called by Him to share in that involvement.

As a support group I feel we are called to a higher level of intercession. While it is important to pray individually, list in hand, during our private devotional time, it is equally important to pray as a group.

A friend recently pointed out the power of group prayer in The Acts of the Apostles. Chapter two depicts a compelling event we call, “Pentecost.” This event describes a culmination of all Jesus had done and said to be translated into action in the lives of the people. During this gathering, the Holy Spirit supernaturally entered into each person breaking them free from their bondage of religion and giving them a new, fresh calling. It was an incredible paradigm shift from a false trust in structures and laws to the Truth; the Holy Spirit now living in them. Similarly, when we gather together in prayer the Holy Spirit powerfully works in each of us both individually and as a group. He imparts a new, fresh calling; an insight into His work and vision to see things through the Word. We, together and individually, have become the temple of the living God (1 Cor. 3:16), to be used by Him for His own glory.

Interceding for our brothers and sisters in Christ through group prayer is utterly powerful. We lay a fortress that the devil cannot rupture or divide. We set up an invitation for a strong army of heavenly beings, a rising of the Holy Spirit and a manifestation of God’s promises and miracles. And when we engage in regular meetings of group-oriented prayer, we are accountable, encouraging and hopeful. We get to know one another deeply and intimately through prayer. We love deeper and cast aside our petty judgments. And we spur one another along in these callings, these hard places and these uncertain paths. What proceeds from these prayer groups is hardly imaginable, but always and unequivocally Kingdom work. Hence, it should be what tops our list of home education support. Because without prayer there is no real support. It simply vanishes when we least expect it and cannot be found when we need it most.

All across the country home educators are beginning a new season. If you are a part of this people movement, I challenge you to partner with others who can be a support system for you in prayer, encouragement and accountability. I also challenge you to remain tenacious and diligent not allowing the adversary to gain a foothold on this good work you are doing. Practice intercession for the sake and longevity of home education. It will not return void.

Tomorrow I will post a creative plan for organizing an intercessory prayer group; a model which can be replicated anywhere.