When the kids where little, and boredom on car rides was at an all-time high, we’d play the yellow-car game. We’d see how many yellow cars we could spot as we drove. One summer, not traveling anywhere special, and not including taxis, we counted hundreds of yellow cars in only a couple of weeks. It’s amazing how many yellow cars there are out there.
This morning, after reading an Ed Welch article, I thought of the yellow-car game. Welch’s article, Seeing the Invisible God, began with:
I have often thought that just one, brief, sensory-filled visitation from the Lord would be the most effective way for me to be changed. It could be accomplished in a minute or less and would, I think, inspire greater obedience, less wavering or dullness of faith, more vivid hope, and tireless evangelistic zeal. That doesn’t seem too much to ask.
Welch explains that we see the invisible God, though, not through sensory-filled visitations, but in three better ways: first, as we know Jesus through the indwelling Holy Spirit, and second, through scripture. Welch’s thoughts on the third way, though, are the ones that caught my attention.
The appearances of hands and feet
He describes what our family experienced during the long years of our son’s cancer treatment. We were deluged with love and care from God’s people, and we considered each precious person’s help to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Each time we found ourselves in exhausted desperation, God would inevitably move His people, who would, in myriads of different ways, tangibly show us His love and compassion. He cared for us through each of them.
…she began to see that the many people who cared for her were the hands and feet of the living God. They were responding to God’s love and compassion for her. In this era, God has determined that human beings, endowed with the Spirit, will be the way he accomplishes his purposes. With this in mind, we keep our eyes peeled for the appearances of hands and feet.
These words strike me, I think, because these past couple weeks I’ve felt spent and drained. Spiritually and physically lethargic. And in this malaise, I’ve not been able to discern the root problem. I’ve known I’m physically tired, but why so crusty and dry? Why so irritated serving others? Why so distant from God?
I’m still not fully sure why. But I do know this: crusty dryness softens when a fresh sense of my Father’s love and compassion warms my heart. And so this morning, God used Welch’s words to waken in me a new idea:
Today, instead of yellow cars, I’ve started counting hands and feet.
I’m not going to count in order to feel good about myself, or to have my self-esteem bolstered, but because I’m oh-so-quick-to-forget my Father’s daily grace to me. I want to be intentionally aware, through the appearances of Spirit-endowed hands and feet, of God’s love and compassion. I want my heart to be softened by His care.
For hands and feet do overflow in daily abundance, even when a day lacks the complicated messiness of exhausting cancer treatments. And in this new “watching for hands and feet,” I’m sure I’ll be humbled by how often the living God showers (even in the littlest of ways) lavish care upon needy me.
I’m keeping my eyes peeled.