Suffering, it would seem, puts either a window or a mirror in one's life. I have found my experience in the church, I am sad to say, that most Christians have replaced the window and placed a mirror in it's place. In their trials and grief they become introspectective, morbid, and self-pitying. They see only their pain, their urgency, their injustice. I read this quote, the title of this post, go bury your sorrow, the world hath it's share. How true that is. But on the other side of that, the few dear saints, as we fondly call them in the church, the rare ones, like my Granny I so often talk about, are the unselfish hearts, who in times of anguish and calamity, and in their own brokenness, turn that mirror and replace it with a window in order to see the needs of others in the place of their own. Consequently, with new vision, their own brokenness, and experiences of suffering, can be of help to someone else. Wasn't it for our sakes that Jesus dedicated and sacrificed Himself? I am certain God meant for us to look outside ourselves into a hurting world, and not waste time gazing at our own personal sorrow. What I have seen is some of the greatest suffers, like my Granny, possess the gift of silence til they die. When I took this burden on, I prayed that God would reveal (help me see behind the faces of pain) so that I could become a comforter to those who tried to conceal it. So often the abused or broken, live in denial or secrecy. Because if I fail at this, I feel I have failed at my own sorrow, my families own sorrow. What purpose has it served? God, I want to walk in it with abandon, as I try to share my life with others. Now at this point in my life it certainly sounds good, and we are still in it, going through it, not on the other side of this thing, but, BUT, their was a moment when I could not make any sense of our life and why it took such a turn. Especially being in the church and following Godly principles, as best we knew how, and yet day by day we continued to see our life fall apart. I have started a fashion blog, I call it, for a lack of a better title, a place women can go and see that it doesn't take alot of money to look beautiful and stay up to date with fashion. I go around to thrift stores and show them how to take a few key items and mix them up and make lots of outfits. It evolved out of my need to find something that was a kind of stress reliever for me, something that I could do, that required no thought, no struggle, no mental anguish, something I would truly love doing. And putting things together, textures and colors, shoes and accessories has been a talent of mine for as long as I can remember, so wah-la, whatasoutherngirlwants.com was born. The picture above, is me in the room at Salvation army, that entire ourfit was 11.00. Encluding the Bass penny loafers! So as I was pulling clothes from the racks of Salvation Army I was reminded of a dark and sad day in my own life. Kenny and I had met for lunch like we did everyday, it was our only alone time. With 4 kids, a business and pastoring, there was not much alone time. Well, this particular day, lunch was a quiet one, I think we both were just sick of talking about the mess our life had become, and tired of being cheerleaders for each other, some days you just can't muster up the strength to do it. I will be honest, I was on the verge of losing my faith, I had prayed and prayed and prayed until I felt I could pray no more. I had started fasting again, because anger and bitterness had begun to build and I knew if I didn't put a stop to it, it would destroy what was left of our family. I honestly didn't even want to go that day. We made small talk and then I left. Little did Kenny know Coleman had put his shoes on that morning and they didn't fit. My blood vessels in my head began pounding and I could feel heat began at my feet and rise to the top of my head, because I knew we didn't have the money to buy him anymore. We were barely paying our electric bill. I left Kenny, drove to a near by parking lot and parked, I couldn't bear to go home and just sit, and look at the home I knew I would soon be losing. I began talking to God, God we have clothed and bought shoes for many a children, and I can't even buy my own child a pair of shoes. Why is this happening, why can't I hear you, why won't you move on our behalf? Why have you abandoned my family? We have devoted our lives to you, why are you silent? I laid my head on the steering wheel and began to weep. I could feel the warm sunshine coming in and about that time the most beautiful healthy, fat mockingbird landed on the mirror of my Denali and turned and looked me straight in the eyes, well in his mouth was a piece of bark and it was dripping with rich golden looking sap, at that moment I felt an impression in my soul, Iwill met ALL your needs, as they arise, day to day. I am your source. The words of Jesus resonated in my heart, ...the birds of the air don't store up, I feed them, how much more do I love you and Coleman than that fat bird. Trust me for today, for tomorrow will bring it's own worries. That bird must have sat and stared at me for 60 seconds. Then he dropped the lil piece of bark and flew off. I sat there dumbfounded, too scared and shocked to move. I kept that piece of bark for over a year, before I put it away in a box and, so, from that moment I made a commitment to live by the Lord's prayer, God in heaven holy is Your name, Your kingdom live in my heart, Your will be done in my life, meet my need for today. And never allow MY own self pity to keep ME from seeing others in need. I felt another whisper, you might say, to go into the store that I was parked at and look in the shoe department. I thought well, the day certainly can't get any weirder. So I went in the store, and would believe, the exact shoes Cole wanted, the 125.00 shocks, which was NO way he was getting, had been returned, because they been worn and were marked 20.00. I had a twenty I had found in an old purse, so that very day I bought Coleman a pair of the exact sneakers he wanted! I guess God proved His point. From that moment I have tried to always keep the window from becoming a mirror, and the way I have always done that is to be generous with my childrens' clothing and shoes (that is, in giving them to others when I see a need). It seems it always comes back 2 fold. Even backpacks and gadgets, they have never lacked for, God has always provided. Funny story, one of Kenny past girlfriends, from Bible college actually sent the kids backpacks this past year! True story! But the window must always stay open, we must never look out and only see ourselves looking back, that is when we are in serious trouble. Those shoes started that journey for me, faith is no irresponsible shot in the dark, it is a responsible trust in God, Who knows the desires (and pains) of our heart. He knew Cole needed shoes, and I needed an act of kindness from Him to keep going one more day.