I thought the note was for some other mom.
Years ago, my daughter toted a note home from preschool. Now that they had all learned their phone numbers, they were working on their address. Could we please practice at home?
I reviewed our address with my four-year-old until she could rattle it off like a pro.
At the end of the month, we received a new note. They’ll be studying spring, plants, and working on their spring program and, by the way, some kids still didn’t know their address….could we please practice with them at home?
I asked my daughter to say her address.
She said it.
I nodded my head approvingly.
This note must be for some other mom.
In April, notes came home every few weeks…about spring break and final plans for the year and what they were learning now and preparations for Easter parties and the spring program and oh, one more thing, could the children who still didn’t know their addresses please make sure they learned them?
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Some parents! You know?
But then in May, I sat at the tiny table with my body squeezed into a preschooler-sized blue plastic chair and had a conference with my daughter’s teacher. She hands me the assessment sheet with checkmarks everywhere. Your child can do all of this….but she can’t say her address.
I’m sorry. What?
Apparently, that note had been for me all along. I called my daughter over to the table and she recited her address flawlessly in just over a second and then ran off to play.
I guess all along they’d been asking my daughter if she could say her address and she just told them, ‘no.’
So, the notes home could have had my name written all over them. They were meant for me! And I had moseyed along on my oblivious way thinking surely my child had gotten her little box checked off.
Sometimes, we need notes and faith and life to be monogrammed with our initials before we realize it’s for us.
We can look at the Bible, we can see what God did and what He’s doing and we can think He’s wonderfully compassionate, powerful and yet full of mercy, for the world and for everyone else in the world.
But then it gets personal.
The disciples tagged along after Jesus as He healed the crowds. Lepers and the lame, the demon-possessed and those wrecked with pain came to Him for rescue and He performed the miracles.
My Bible marks the book of Matthew with newspaper headlines: Jesus Heals The Sick. Jesus Heals Many. Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.
Jesus changed lives for lots of people.
But then it got personal for the 12 rag-tag followers.
When Jesus went off to pray, He sent them on ahead to cross the lake on their own. In the middle of the night, he came out to them, walking on the water.
Peter jumped out of the boat and took steps out onto the sea….and then sank when he saw the wind and felt afraid.
But as soon as Jesus lifted Peter up and they slipped into the boat, the wind ceased. The storm calmed. The sea rested.
Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:33).
Max Lucado writes:
They had never, as a group, done that before. Never…….You won’t find them worshiping when he heals the leper. Forgives the adulteress. Preaches to the masses. They were willing to follow. Willing to leave family Willing to cast out demons. Willing to be in the army. But only after the incident on the sea did they worship him. Why? Simple. This time they were the ones who were saved.” (In the Eye of the Storm)
FAITH HAS TO BE PERSONAL AND INTIMATE.
Sometimes, I confess it, I slip into the humdrum and the mundane and the complacency of religion.
But then God rescues me from the storm. He comes close and draws near. He whispers my name.
This is for you.
Not just everyone else. Not just other moms, other wives, other women.
Not just for the whole world. Not just for the crowd.
This, dear one, is for you.
And the worship that I’d been offering by rote and by habit transforms into heartfelt praise and all-out abandon.
Because, after all, I am the one who is saved.
Originally published February 25, 2015