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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dewdrops of Mercy...

In the Garden
by  Charles Austin Miles (1912)
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

     Dew.  A noun.  It is the moisture condensed from the atmosphere, especially at night, and deposited in the form of small drops upon any cool surface. 

     It is not a downpour of rain.  It is not a flood.  It is not a waterfall.  It is light moisture that graces the surfaces of the objects around it.  It can be felt on your feet on a cool morning.  It can be seen as that lone drop collected on the leaf of a plant.  You can smell it as the fresh air reaches your nose early in the day. 

     God is a merciful God.  His mercies are like the torrent of a river.  His son, Jesus, died to take our sins upon Himself. That's huge.  They can also be small.  Like a beautiful butterfly gracing the sky and catching your attention.  All are undeserved.  All point to a loving God who cares for His children in many different ways.

Lamentations 3:22-23
"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."

       My own father has always talked to me about "Dewdrops of Mercy".  They are the little things in life that show you God's love.  The little reminders in life that God is , not only in the big things, but also in the tiny things.  My life has been overwhelmed with dewdrops of mercy. 

     I have issues with anxiety.  I am a worrier.  It is part of how God made me.  This worry and concern can be used for His good, but as a human, it can be overwhelming at times.  I believe that God has placed little dewdrops of mercy in my life as a reminder in those times of worry, that He loves me very ardently.  To many people, these pictures I am going to share will look like coincidence.  Maybe silly.  But like I said, God is in the little things. And He can use this little things to brighten the days of the children He loves.

This was a campfire at a 3-day retreat that I take my students to each year.  This year we sat around the fire, giggling and singing songs.  I suddenly began to focus on the fire, to  really look at it.  This is what I saw.  Our love for God should be a burning passion because of the sacrifice of His one and only Son on the cross.  Mercy is love.
Hearts are the symbol of love.  The Bible mentions love A LOT!
"God is love" I John 4:8

"For God so loved the world..." John 3:16

"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:13

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." I Corinthians 13:13

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these" Mark 12:30-31

I could go on and on!  The Bible teaches us that God loves us and that we should also love one another.

Exhibit A- This was a dewdrop of mercy that happened at a coffee shop (the one I talk about a lot).  I ordered my usual vanilla latte, opened the lid, and there it was- a heart.  To me, it was not coincidence.  It was a reminder of God's love for me.  Work was difficult around that period of time, and it brought me to tears that God would love me so much as to put a little heart in my coffee. And, my dear pessimists, the people who make the coffee don't put those fancy decorations in the foam like you see on Pinterest.

Exhibit B-  My bagel.  I cut open my bagel, toasted it, spread the butter on it (Yes.  I realize I put a bit too much butter on it), and happened to look down.  There is was.  Again, a heart.  This was a few months after the "Loving Latte" as I have named it.

Exhibit C- "The Happy Hamburger".  Seriously, I am not making these up.  I was sprinkling some cheese on some of the hamburgers, and was carrying a handful, not successfully, over the other "cheese-less" hamburgers.  I looked down.  There it was.  A hamburger with a silly grin.  I did not touch the cheese.  This one made me laugh out loud.  Why is it impossible that God would want to make us laugh?  We are made in His image.  We have a sense of humor.  Connect the dots.  God can be funny.  A pastor of mine once said that God had to have a sense of humor because He created monkeys.  

Exhibit "To Infinity and Beyond"...

Condensation underneath my car.

ANOTHER bagel!

Opening a new container of ice cream!


      My dog's ears standing up when she really has floppy ears.  Okay, maybe it isn't like the dew drops of mercy mentioned above.  But, it is funny.  Laughter is good for your health.  Smiles use less facial muscles than frowns.  Why?  God's design.  My dog was designed to crack me up.

     It doesn't always have to be funny to be a dewdrop of mercy and remind us of God's love.  Like the campfire, sometimes it is in the symbolism in the design of something to remind us again of the ultimate sacrifice that demonstrates God's love.  Take the dogwood tree.  This past spring, our dogwood was loaded with white blooms- more than usual.  I was taking the dog out before I left for work, and the sun was shining behind the trees.  Their pure white blossoms were just illuminated by the sun.  They seemed to just glow.  That beauty is a reminder of God's love for His creation. "And God saw that it was good..."  When you inspect the dogwood blossoms more closely, you realize they are in the shape of the cross.  At the tip of each petal, there is a slight reddish-brown coloration.  It is interesting that it matches up to the blood that Christ poured for us from His head, His hands, and His feet.  Design and dewdrops in one.  I may have to classify that one as a downpour, rather than a dewdrop.

     Okay, so why this long dissertation on dewdrops, loving lattes, and happy hamburgers?  Because, we (...and I mean myself most of all) focus so much on being on the lookout for the big blessings, that we are too farsighted to notice the little daily ones in front of us.  The extra nice cashier.  All of the traffic lights being green on a day you particularly need it.  A special moment with your child.  For me, students' comments that touch my heart.  

     In human beings, we don't look for our family, friends, spouses to constantly give us huge gifts like vacations, jewelry, bouquets of roses, to prove their love for us.  We shouldn't need proof.  We should have faith that we are loved.  But, being the imperfect people that we are, we sometimes lose that faith and forget how much we are loved.  We are reminded of that  love in the fellowship, prayer, hugs, smiles, and small daily things that our loved ones do that add up to being greatly loved  

     God's huge act of love was sending His Son.  But, our daily reminder are the dewdrops of mercy.  Sometimes we are so focused on the obvious big picture that we forget to look at the daily "coincidences" that represent God's love as well. We don't think God would bother with the little things, that He is too busy to have a personal relationship in the small things as well.  We chalk up the small things as a "lucky break".

I love this part of the movie Signs by M. Night Shyamalan (I do really like this movie)
 "People break down into two groups when the experience something lucky. Group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching over them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just happy chance. And surely, the people in Group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in very suspicious way. For them, the situation is fifty-fifty. Could be bad, Could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they're on their own. And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there's a whole lot of people in the Group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they're looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever's going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. So what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you: are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences? "

If God could part the Red Sea, make a donkey talk, heal people, raise people from the dead, give the Israelites food and water in the most unusual ways, allow a young boy to defeat a giant, listen to all of our prayers simultaneously,  why can't He give me a "Loving Latte"?

Coffee Talk for Today:
  • What are some dewdrops of mercy in your life that stand out and you would like to share?

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