"Jesus died on cross. He was very very sad. He carry cross. Dropped it. Was naked. And he had glue (we don't know what this means) Had boo boo and cut with knife in hands and in feet. He was very sad and he cried. Then he happy and went to heaven. With Mamaw."
I am not sure the Gospel could say it better.
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After hearing Tedi's Easter story, you may not read this but I feel compelled to write it. I was sitting in church tonight listening to the sermon. The message was spot on.... In my journal I wrote "God is not opposed to effort but rather opposed to earning. We do not have to 'earn' it because, simply, Christ died so we wouldn't have to. Thus our daily action of "earning" it should change. Rather, we are selfish, getting good at keeping score with our good acts and bad acts." It was the "selfish" word that got me. I can tell myself "Natalie, you are not selfish." but I am. We all are. With this, I admit, my mind bounced around a little, but then it halted. My selfishness in another form.....please keep reading....
While JT and I were engaged, we decided to go to Opry Mills IMAX to see Passion of the Christ...(not a great date movie, especially in IMAX). At 20 years old (yes, I was a child bride :-) I still remember the deep ache I felt and tears that snuck from my eyes as I watched Jesus' mother Mary run through the streets peaking at her son dragging His cross.....weeping at His feet....wiping His blood......listening to people mock and bully Him.... I remember her pain. At twenty years old without the inkling of what having a child may be like, I was broken for her. Today, in the eighth pew back sitting between two of my most coveted blessings, the image of Mary's grief collided with my selfishness. Could I give up any of my beloved? Even more, could I give up Tedi to save merely one person, much less generation upon generation? God gave His only Son for us (something unfathomable), but I wonder if Mary ever felt like Jesus, her son, was taken from her....that no mommy should watch her son die....probably not. God chose a lady much better, much stronger than selfish little me to mother the Savior of the universe.
Then it hit me....though different in magnitude, but quite similar in pain.....He chose me to mother someone else's most valuable gift....how did Tedi's Ethiopia mommy feel as she watched him walk through the gate to the orphanage or up the steps onto the bus (we do not know how it went down). Did she wail and make dirt turn to clay with her tears? Did she turn helplessly and walk away? She, my friends, was not selfish. Regardless of motive or circumstance, she gave her most precious gift. I am entrusted with his life, his well-being, his becoming a Godly man..... And thus, I must choose now to NOT be selfish, to embrace the gift of the Cross and stop trying to earn Christ's love and salvation..... I, along with JT, must do this because a lady far far away saved her son, giving us the gift of Tedi, and our Savior gave His life to save us.
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Check out our Easter Challenge pictures. Even at our casual church, many people were dressed "up" for church. I felt proud in my shirt! If your family or church or friends did the challenge, I would love to see pics! Love toooo and I will post them!
Natalie and Elizabeth Lauer, rocking our challenge like champs!
with his "Easter Gift", a Panda Pillow Pet "kung fu pana"
My beautiful, Godly, inspiring friend who started this Easter Challenge with her Forget the Frock blog post.... I can't even begin to thank God enough for this blessing, this friend, He has given me.
Check out this girl in Emily's Sunday School class. What an example and what parents!!!!
the ones responsible for inspiring the challenge and truly living it!
You must check out their website!
An entire church I do not know that rocked "Feeding the Orphan" shirts this Easter!!!