Before my daughter Jessica was born I had problems with my pregnancy. Three times I almost lost her but during one of those bed rest periods God told me not to fear. He explained that she would go to full term and that her birth would be like dropping a pebble into the pond and that I would be able to watch the ripples go for ever. At the time this made no sense. Jessica was born very bruised. This ended up being a marking to tell the doctors that she was special and would need extra care from that very first day. How could the birth of this little frail being bring about ripples that would continue on and on. That made no sense to me then. Twelve years later I understand. Let me share the latest ripple.
My good friend Dona Boots is an artist. For 50 years she has been creating scenes and faces that God has placed within her head and heart. I was one of only two people to go to her in all these years and tell her she "had" to paint something. Strangely enough, the only other person was my Grandpa, a Church of God pastor. I explained to Dona the vision I had been given for her to paint of my daughter Jess being pulled from her wheelchair by an angel who was pointing toward heaven and as Jess is going, she is ripping her nasal canula from her nose. Dona had this painting we call Free At Last, finished just in time to be shown front and center at Jessica's funeral. It was an amazing gift for all attending that day because when the words and reality of why we were all there in the church hit we could look to the painting and know that there is a hope and a better reality just waiting.
That was almost 12 years ago.
Two weeks ago Dona had a showing of many of her paintings of the last 50 years. She asked to borrow paintings that I own including Free At Last. The same day that Dona was having her show, her daughter Carrie was having a different program showing decorated trees and funding Christmases for children in need or something along those lines. A lady, who has a teenager with a degenerative disease, went to the tree program and was talking to the director of it, who just happened to be Dona's daughter, and was telling Carrie about a special box she has. She calls it her Strong Box. Within her Strong Box she keeps special things to remind her that life is hard but she can survive. Within that box she has a photocopy of Jessica's painting. Someone had shared the painting and the words I wrote for Jessie's funeral. Dona's daughter explained that she knew the painting very well as her mother was the artist who painted it.
As it turns out, Dona had been this woman's son's bus driver for four years and Dona had invited her to come to the art show. She rushed right over and got to see the painting that had been giving her strength for 10 years. Dona has shared with this woman that she keeps in contact with me and that I would love to share my Jessica story with her. Ripples, they continue on just as God had proclaimed they would.
Two thousand years ago there was a child born. He was marked with a star and a stable. God proclaimed that he would make a huge impact on this world. Isaiah 9:6 reminds us "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Not quite the same as saying watch for the ripples but then this child did make ripples and even today we are celebrating him. In fact, this child, Jesus, would grow to have ripples so big that groups of people are afraid of him and his power even today. Amazing since he has been dead 2,000 years. That is a tsunami, not just a ripple.
As you celebrate this Christmas season watch for His ripples. They continue to go on. Perhaps you will be in the wake of one yourself, or help to keep them going. Be blessed and Merry Christmas.