Monday, December 19, 2011

Heros Past & Present

My Christmas present this year is being introduced to two remarkable stories, those of Josh Elliot & Bethany Hamilton (who I was introduced to through experiencing the movie "Soul Surfer" the night before Josh and I prayed over 'marymakesart for hope+healing"!)...and remembering Paul on his journeys: In Acts, Paul's & his fellow travelers were guided about where to go by the Spirit of Jesus (aka: the Holy Spirit, part of the three in One), who led this troop by vision, circumstances, good sense or use of prophetic gifts. As I read about Paul's journey with Timothy, Silas & Luke I discovered a strong parallel to The Spirit letting me know when and where to bring the traveling exhibition and who would be most encouraged by receiving a piece of art. Sunday He led me to Josh Elliot. Josh is a marine who recently returned home after a whole lot of physical therapy (which is continuing) after losing his legs, a few fingers & his eardrums after an explosion while searching for an IED on April 18 in Aphghanistan. "Whose hands are you in", his fellow marines asked as they helped rescue him. "I'm in God's hands" was his response. I was inspired to create this piece of art when my friend Jim was imbedded in Aphghanistan to write an "extreme travel" report for Traveling Boy. As we prayed for his safety I thought about all of the believers who have prayed daily for soldiers abroad. They are represented in the left side of the piece, the strings represent their prayers going out to soldiers in war who travel amidst dark places on behalf of our safety (this is visually indicated by the dark, right half of the piece). Both Bethany and Josh's lives inspire me to send out a message: "Giving Blood Saves Lives"...this is true both in the literal sense (the transfusion of blood saved the lives of Bethany and greatly helped Josh) and in the sense that God is using their shed blood to be used as a powerful catalyst to tell people about the promises of Jesus Christ. Their lives are breathing examples of Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose". A friend asked how I can look back at Chloe's and my health issues/surgeries with a smile. The above was my responese. It just came to mind that my life and the lives of Bethany and Josh are eternal. Our time here is not all the time we have--it's momentary--and we want to use it to tell other people about the love of Jesus despite and through tough times...that the Christian life does not mean we are going to be pain means that God will come along side us and work amazing things to His glory, bringing freedom to others...and promising new bodies for eternity (this, I have to admit, is a bonus to look forward to!)! Praise the Lord! The good outweights the pain and giving blood saves lives!