Monday, March 7, 2011 ways they have not known

it's late and i realize i haven't blogged in a looong time, but i still wanted to write something that's been on my heart the past few days. SIDE NOTE: pics of Hawaii forthcoming! just got back on Saturday from being in Oahu for 11 days! it was paradise! okay, back to what i was wanting to share...

bleary eyes. lead head. that's pretty much how i felt after the red eye flight from Honolulu to Phoenix this past weekend. "two down, two to go" was spinning around in my brain, fogged by fatigue, hunger, and general travel 'ickiness'. two, what? - you ask. two BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) lessons on Isaiah that i had yet to finish for Monday night's meeting. i hate to admit it, but they got sorely neglected during vacation and yet i didn't want to show up to discussion time empty-handed. hence, my only solution was to chip away at them during my layover. so, i grabbed a Chai Latte, settled into my black leather seat awaiting flight #596 to Tampa International, popped my glasses on, grabbed a pen, and commenced my study. i was about done with the first lesson when my eyes wandered (yes, i'm ADD at times!) and fell upon a gentleman of Middle Eastern descent and of middle age, as well. He was wearing a gray woolen sweater, black leather jacket, black slacks, black shoes, and carried a black briefcase. He also had black hair and black-brown eyes. what's so special about that? nothing, really. just an observation. but one thing did stand out from that rather ordinary scene - while one hand held his bag, the other, in gentle rhythmic movements, waved a thin, red & white wand in front of his person. it hit me. he was blind. since he was a bit portly, i did not initially notice the airport attendant to his right (behind him, from my perspective) assisting him to find a seat at his terminal. He sat down right beside me and stared off into nothingness. i continued reading.

i noticed that although the gentleman to my left could not see with his eyes, he seemed to possess the keen ability to 'see' in other ways. He sat peacefully, eyes wide open, seeming to absorb the sound waves reverberating all around him...tired babies squawking, airplanes taking off in the distance, overhead speakers announcing boardings, passengers' shoe soles brushing the carpet as they rushed to respective gates. i closed my eyes for a moment and tried to 'see' that way, too. it's amazing how you can perceive sound so much more keenly with your eyes veiled in darkness. at one point, i placed my hand on his shoulder and asked, "is there anything i can get you?" perhaps that isn't the wisest thing for a woman flying alone to do in a regular situation, but this was a bit different. he quietly but politely said, 'No, I'm okay'. I resumed my study and that was that...or so, i thought.

...about fifteen minutes later, what do you know?! a young woman arrived at the same terminal likewise swinging a shiny red & white wand but this time, her father is behind her, gently resting his large hand on the nape of her neck. I watched in wonder as she moved freely and confidently, listening to His gentle voice speaking close to her ear. and, of course, i noticed something...wherever the father wanted the daughter to go, he would ever so gently guide her in that direction with his hand.

my eyes brimmed with tears, thanking God for this holy moment in time. in the midst of a bustling airport smack dab in the middle of the arid metropolis known as Phoenix. I sensed the Holy Spirit's gentle voice speak. "That's how I deal with my children."

that did it. the dam broke and blurry eyes became blurrier. i'm sure i looked like an absolute fool, but i didn't really care. loving Jesus sometimes looks foolish. Since i have been studying Isaiah the past few months, a verse that was fresh on my mind burned into my soul: "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth." ~ Is. 42:16

I was broken. I saw myself in these precious people. I am that man - utterly dependent & vulnerable. I am that girl - blind to the future, helpless without a loving Father.

...and i'm excited to be led down paths i have not yet traversed and to break out from the familiar into the wild unknown, gently led by the tender hand of my matter what the road ahead holds.

photo courtesy of Google ©


Ash said...

Thanks so much for sharing that Lizzy!! Such a beautiful picture of the Father and his children!! I always LOVE hearing what the Lord is teaching you! Man.. sometimes I wish you guys lived closer!! :) Love ya lots friend!

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for posting this! I to have been brought to tear's as i tryed to picture this time for you.

I so want to see God in all my way's as well as through others..

You captured this very well, and allowed me to be right there.


Love you so much, A. Jane

Jen and Justin said...

What a beautiful picture. Thank you for sharing...

Anonymous said...

Wow, Liz. So encouraging to me this morning...just what I've been struggling with. Thank you for sharing!!! Love you!

Rose M. Lantz said...

to my sweet friend,
I absolutely love that God would place you in my life and allow me to have a friendship with you....You are indeed a beautiful woman of God and your heart for God is so big....I saw you posted your blog late last night but I couldn't read it since we were getting ready for bed, I was so excited to read it this morning. Beautifully written....I was so ecouraged! Thank you for sharing!

Melissa said...

Beautiful Lizzy! Thank you so much for sharing. I love that you said with a gentle whisper. Reminds me of Elijah when God was not in the fire or tornado etc. He is in a gentle whisper. Quiet time is important, how else our we to hear our Father? Thank you again!

Kate Van said...

sweet thoughts Liz- thank you sis. love you and miss you every day!