Friday, May 2, 2014

Sarah's Light

There are so many people we encounter in this journey of life. “Little” Sarah was one who was in mine for too brief a time and yet, I learned so much from her. Though she no longer resides on this earth, her light continues to shine brightly in my life and those she touched so joyously. Lessons we all can learn.

Be original.
Sarah was very un-assuming. And by that, I simply mean that she was okay with who she was and whose she was. She easily stood out from the crowd by not pressing her way in. She sought the gifts God gave her and was happy in her uniqueness.
Romans 12:6 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”

Be fearless.
For a short time, we had a kitten. Most of the kids were not too keen (aka afraid) to play with him and didn’t quite understand why I would pick him up and pet him. One day, I found Sarah running in circles around the living room being pursued by the cat. In her hand was a string. She was just laughing and laughing. If the cat got too close to her, she’d drop the string and run away … but she came back and began the game all over again, leaving her fear behind.
1 John 4:17-18 (The Message) “God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.  .... There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”

Be joyful.
Whether she was doing her task by herself or having fun with her sisters, she was usually smiling. Sometimes, when I greeted her, she would look over, raise her eyebrows and pretend not to greet me back (her way of teasing me!), but inevitably, that smile would break out and she could not contain the joy bubbling over. She’d just laugh!
Psalm 4:7 “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.”

Live abandoned.
One of my favorite times in Uganda was worship time. Every evening at 6:30, the drums would begin, singing and dancing ensued and the whole house came together as one to worship. Many of those nights, I would simply watch as the kids raised their hands, bowed down, fell to their knees. It is truly a sight to behold. Sarah worships in abandon to her Lord. Eyes closed tight, one hand reaching toward Heaven, one hand covering her heart. She loves Him and He loves her.
Psalm 24:3-6 “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.”

Love God.
I know that many of my friends do not. Some don’t believe in God, or maybe believe in a “Higher Power”, but can’t understand why I serve God. A blog will not change your mind. But I pray that one day all will know how big and how great the love of God is and love Him in return. Sarah did. These are her words (taken from a letter she wrote before she died): “God loves you so much. God wants you to be his.”
Jeremiah 31:3 “… I [the Lord] have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

I know that she is free from any claim of this world, safe in the arms of Jesus, but my heart aches for her earthly loss. I will never again see her smiling face, hear her joyous laugh or have the pleasure of watching her grow into an amazing woman. These are the struggles we face. Those of us left on this earth. In our human sorrow, may we submit to the peace of God, who lovingly holds out His hand in comfort ... as Sarah dances and sings with the angels.

May her light shine bright as we remember her sweet spirit.

Photo Credit: Shannon Murphy.

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