I took 5 days at the beginning of the month and stayed at a beautiful little inn on the outskirts of town to seek the Lord for the coming year. The main thing God put on my heart was that 2011 is about taking ground for the kingdom. But not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit (Zech. 4:6). I came away from the retreat super motivated and excited to get moving on the things He was showing me- the main one being starting to look for property.
I'd had a slight sore throat for a few days, and woke up the very next day with no voice. I don't think that's ever happened to me actually. I couldn't talk at all for a day and a half- just nothing came out when I tried. I took it as a gentle little reminder from God of how weak and frail I really am. At a time when I was all motivated to start running ahead with plans and things, God slowed me down to remind me again that I'm completely dependent on Him for everything. Don't run ahead in this. I appreciated that- He knows me so well. So I settled in for a couple days to just watch and listen.
And He did something really beautiful. It seemed that since I didn't have a voice to talk, He instead gave me eyes to see. Not like I normally see, but at a deeper level, at a more spiritual level. It was just 3 brief little glimpses, but it deeply touched me.
Before it was even fully light outside, precious old Elange (who I wrote previously about here) was out doing his usual sweeping and picking up the leaves that had fallen on the property during the night. I smiled at him, and he did a little impromptu dance, always so full of joy, even in picking up trash. Then he went back to cleaning. As I watched him again, something moved in me. He is such a beautiful old soul, so simple on this earth, but with great treasure in heaven I believe. I feel like he could almost be an angel. There's this almost spiritual significance to watching what he does day after day and the attitude he does it with. Such faithfulness, humility, and love.
I went back upstairs to make some oatmeal. Maculee, one of the older girls at the orphanage who spends a lot of time serving in the kitchen, noticed my voice was gone and got a spoon and scooped out some frozen lemonade and gave it to me to soothe my throat. When I was pouring the water over my oatmeal, she instinctively grabbed the bowl to hold it still for me as I was stirring. And in that moment it was like I saw her and her servant's heart- always anticipating and meeting needs so silently. I think Jesus must love her very much.
Later that morning, I decided to learn how to wash laundry by hand. It's quite a science and a time consuming process. But it has bothered me for some time now that the girls wash my laundry for me, "for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve..." (Mark 10:45), so I've been wanting to learn. As I was hunkered down scrubbing away, wishing I had a voice to talk to the girl I was washing with, Shasha, one of the little boys here who is maybe 7 years old or so, comes and sits down next to us with his little bowl of laundry and starts washing. As I watched him sitting there- in his shirt with a huge rip in the front, washing his other 2 filthy little shirts, just working away so sweetly and quietly- again, something in watching him in that moment touched me. It was like I saw him like Jesus sees Him, so precious to Him, the Father to the fatherless.
Reflecting on these 3 little moments that night, I ended up crying at the sweetness of it. It was like God, for just a moment, a glimpse, pulled back the veil of my human vision, and let me see these 3 people not as a person in front of me, but as a soul. I felt like I saw their soul. It will change the way I always see them now. Each of them were so precious in that moment, so unique, so loved by God. "The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works" (Psalm 33: 13-15). God loves His children so much. I'm going to keep praying for eyes to see them like He does. It's so much better that way.
"One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see." ~John 9:25