On that Sunday afternoon after attending church in Antigua, just prior to receiving the challenge to use $5 however the Lord would lead, we were sent out on our first ministry assignment: to spend an hour walking around the city (in pairs) and observing our surroundings while quietly praying that the Lord would allow us to see through His eyes.
My partner and I headed to the crowded and colorful market – in many ways the center of the city and its culture.
As a videographer great at both seeing and telling a story, he was completely in his element, but although I love the Charleston market and something about the Plaka district in Athens forever captured my soul, without my camera in hand, I was completely overstimulated and out of mine.
Although honestly somewhat skeptical of the assignment at hand, I was genuinely seeking the Lord and at least halfway expecting Him to open my eyes to some profound theological truth or insight. Because that was the whole purpose, right? No pressure.
But when we paused for a moment not long after entering the outskirts of the market, the Lord allowed me to watch a seemingly everyday sort of scene unfold in one of the clothing shops. Two women, a toddler, and a baby in a walker who appeared to be about 10 months old were all crowded into an incredibly small square space full of merchandise. The shop was a step up from the ground, so every time the baby walked close to the edge, one of the women (his mother, I presume) pulled him back, so he wouldn’t fall.
Beginning to feel introspective and without even realizing that the Lord was answering my prayer to see through His eyes, I heard the Lord say in one of those it’s-so-clear-it’s-almost-audible sort of ways:
“This is not about your desire to have a child someday,
This is not about your desire to adopt a child someday,
This is not even about that mother’s child that you’re watching so closely,
This is about knowing that child is MY child.”
Seeing with His compassionate eyes. Loving with His overwhelming heart. Longing for His Kingdom growth. Over and over again.
He is the faithful Father.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…”
Romans 8:15-16 (ESV)