I love everything about this photo. The boyish charm of catching frogs and bringing them in the house, the close examination of frog skin, the fact that my girl took the photo of her brother, the way he's lounging across the table always relaxed, and the hands. So much about hands tells a story. Like an old grandmothers' hands that have rocked countless babies, and the chubby hands of toddlers grabbing Cheerios, the working hands of men providing for their families. And these boy hands getting so strong and agile, less like a boy, more like a young man.
And what frog doesn't need a little CPR to brighten its day?
The biggest picture of hands I have etched in my mind are my Dad's, once strong and able, then turned motionless, unable to provide, work, feed, scratch, love, teach, garden! Loss of ability, a part of who you are. They became soft and unknown. Yet he could still make a joke and request hands for Christmas... for which my brother bought a plastic pair, the kind the you set up on your TV to hold a remote control. And we could all laugh, a bit.
One of my favorite people is going through something similar, where her Mom isn't the same as she was, just weeks ago. The awful word.. cancer has wedged its way into her brain. And so we pray for a miracle. We have faith, we hope. And God talked to me in my study of Daniel's friends in the furnace yesterday - about facing fiery trials. We are either delivered FROM the fire, delivered THROUGH the fire, or delivered BY the fire. We all want to be delivered FROM it, but it's not our choice, we have to trust Him to decide. We can pray and believe that He will choose deliverance from it, He can do that. But through each one, our faith is refined, built up, perfected. I don't want to hear it, I don't want fire for them, I want for her to be well. It seems the choice between sickness and stronger faith isn't really a choice I want to make. They are as close as any mother and daughter can be and it doesn't seem fair, not now. And they cling to Jesus.
When I read through that Living Word, 1 Peter 1:6-7
"in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
there is some biting comfort in the words, but I noticed verse 5 that jumps out like a beacon:
"who through faith are SHIELDED by God's power".
I pray a shield of power over you!
A shield in the dark night, in the lonely morning, and the long day!