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“I am my Beloved’s and He is mine—and there is blood between us, there is blood between us.”

So began a little song in my spirit this Sunday in church.

blood-of-jesusFor the past month or two, we have been partaking of the Lord’s Supper—Communion—every Sunday, as our pastor teaches on the concept of covenant and the various covenants given by God. I cannot fully describe the power that I have felt in partaking of the bread and wine each week, seeing the very heart of God on full display in front of the congregation in the poured out blood and broken body of Christ. If a picture speaks a thousand words, the display of the broken bread and wine—symbols of His surrendered life, His love—and receiving that life into the depths of our being speaks more than a thousand tongues could say.

In the broken bread, I see a Heart that was willing to be mocked and beaten, suffer painful misunderstanding and false accusation, indifference and betrayal, and to endure it all openly, willingly, humbly, for the sake of love. In the cross, God has set the most startling statement of love before mankind… He’s not playing, “He loves me, He loves me not…” He’s not dangling His love before us like a carrot on a stick, promising us His love if we shape up. No, His love was already poured out for us before we even took a thought towards Him.  He’s got His heart on His sleeve. He’s vulnerable. He’s hanging naked on a cross, with blood dripping down His body, down over the wood and onto the ground, and there is some of that blood in the garment that the soldiers are gambling for at the foot of the cross.

This is how much you are desired, Beloved. If you should ever forget, look at Me lifted up on the cross, my arms outstretched to embrace you, and know that I did it for you.

There is blood between us.

When I look at you, I remember My blood,

I remember the price I paid to redeem you.

Your value is forever set in my heart.

You are worth it.

And when He was on the cross, He looked out at creation and could see it only through the blood—His own blood, literally, for the blood running down from His forehead, mingled with his sweat, certainly ran down past His eyes, causing Him to behold the world through the cleansing flow, His own precious blood.

Yes, when He looks at us, He says, “There is blood between us.”

He will always and forever now see the world through His blood. He will never forget the price He paid. But that blood has no power to bring redemption to our lives until we apply it. When the nation of Israel left Egypt to begin their journey to the Promised Land, it was through blood-covered doors, the blood of a lamb for each house, a lamb that symbolizes the Greater Lamb. Those who exit a world of bondage and death through blood-covered doors can never forget that their freedom was bought at a price. Someone died so that we could go free.

 If we see the value—the necessity—of His shed blood, we will apply it to our lives, as the Israelites did the mantle and doorposts of their house. The value of the blood of Christ is of inestimable worth to every person who was born on planet earth. There is nothing more sacred, nothing worth more than His blood. Nothing! His blood is the only door out of bondage to sin and death. Do you see that there is no other door to Life than through this blood soaked door, the bloody door of the Lamb; the cross?

Even the application of the blood on the door speaks of two very powerful places that the blood will bring redemption in our lives. This blood on the “mantle” will bring a cleansing to our mind/thoughts and renew our minds to the mind of Christ. This blood on the “posts” will bring a cleansing to our arms/hands, redeeming us from bondage to sin and dead works and setting us free to do His works, so that our touch may heal creation.

But there’s more!

In every ancient culture, it was the shedding of blood that sealed a covenant. Missionaries and anthropologists speak of encountering tribes the world over who would make covenant with each other in blood; covenants that could not be broken, that were considered binding unto death.

Among other things, circumcision represents the shedding of blood to enter into covenant. And in the consummation of a marriage, it is the shedding of blood that seals the covenant.

As the scripture says, “the life is in the blood.” In the shedding of blood for the establishment of a covenant, there are many statements that are made, but certainly one of the strongest is, “I give you my life.”  For if life is in the blood, and I bleed for you, what I am giving you—in essence—is my life. I open up this body of skin and pour out of my inner life for you. I share the deepest and most sacred parts of me with you. I am willing to suffer and bleed for your sake. I am willing to pour out of my own life so that you can touch it, partake of it. I am no longer isolated within myself but my life is yours as yours is now mine. You have access to my blood and I have access to yours. How can we be separate now? We are one.

There is blood between us.

To my surprise, when I heard the Lord speaking that to my spirit, I heard in His voice not only the acknowledgement of the fact that I have received and applied His blood to my house, but also an acknowledgement of the blood I have shed for Him. What a wonder! How humbling. My blood does not purchase my redemption. It does not take away sin. But it does represent my willingness to enter into covenant with Him in the surrender of my life to Him. And He sees it, and calls it beautiful.

gustav_klimt_the_kiss For when we take up our crosses and follow Him, are we not also shedding our own blood in a figurative sense? When we lay down our lives for Him, choose to deny ourselves for His sake and the sake of the brethren, when we partake of His death, carrying around in our bodies the dying of the Lord, is there not a shedding of our blood in some sense? When we give ourselves to Him in the most intimate ways, opening bare our heart before Him, allowing Him to come in sometimes with a bitter north wind, sometimes with a refreshing south wind, but equally surrendered to Him in either account, is that surrender not in some sense the shedding of blood? Is this not a very real part of the covenant that we have entered into with Him? For there is no entrance into covenant union without the shedding of blood.

The Lord sees it as so, for He says, there is blood between us and it is not only My blood I see, beloved, but yours also. I see our shed blood, the mingling of our lives, My invitation and your response to it. As I suffered and laid down my life for you, I see your suffering and laying down of your life for Me and I will never forget it.

You may say, “oh, but my love is not fully abandoned to Him in the way you describe! My love is not consistent like His. I waver, I stumble in love. I’ve given Him my life and then I have run away from Him. I have opened my heart to Him and then closed it. I’ve slammed the door in His face! And so many times, I find myself doing the exact opposite of love, the exact opposite of what I want to do! What of me? How can a weak love such as mine be valued by someone as Perfect as Him? What does He say to imperfect, inconsistent love such as mine?”

The Song of Songs gives us a great insight to this question, for it is the question of every sincere lover of God.

Though there are many nuggets throughout this book that reveal the answer, I will pull out just one, in hopes that this small appetizer will send you on a journey of fulfilment and joyeous discovery into the Song of Songs, the Highest Love Song of God’s heart.

“You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace. (Song 4:9).

Notice first that His heart is ravished. Notice second that He calls her both His sister and His spouse, declaring that they are related by blood and by shed blood. But now notice what it is that ravishes Him—one look of her eye and one link of her necklace.

It is not yet the sustained and perfect gaze of unbroken peering into His soul. It is the timid but genuine glance towards Him. It is perhaps her first real gaze into Who He Is. And a deep recognition begins to stir in her as she beholds Him in truth and He knows it.

He knows that He is being seen by her and His heart is overcome!

Her gaze also speaks of the opening of herself to Him. No longer will she let shame cause her to hide her face. She will turn her open eyes fully towards His open eyes—and though she quickly glance down in initial embarrassment, He knows that the first glance will lead to others and eventually into locked gaze where she will behold the unending depths of love in His heart and she will believe and rejoice in His love for her. And likewise, she will allow Him to peer into the depths of her own heart.  And the very thought of it—the very beauty of the first glance, immature as it may be, ravishes His heart.

In the same way, He is moved by one link of her necklace. A necklace may represent many things, but what I primarily see her is that it adorns her neck, which speaks of her will. She is not stiff-necked or stubborn against Him. She may not be perfectly yielded yet, it may just be “one link” that He mentions, but it is so lovely His sight. In the one link, He sees her first surrender to Him. He sees the “yes” to Him that costs her something. But she has very little idea that every genuine yes to Him creates a new link in the crown that adorns her neck and beautifies her for all eternity.

In short, He who sees the end from the beginning, sees the faltering steps we take towards Him and they are beautiful in His sight. He sees the God-given desire to be wholly His and He sees that love drives her to press on towards Him–and continue onward–even when she stumbles and fails. And His heart is moved so deeply that that He declares, “You have ravished me!”

Oh Lord, how small our shed blood is in comparison to Yours! How imperfect in the laying down of our lives! How kind You are to acknowledge our response to You in such a loving way and humble way! How unthinkable that our response of love should mean so much to You! That we should be treasured in such a way as this! Oh, the unfathomable depths of Your generous heart! Who is a Lover like You?

I look down at His feet and at His hands that still hold the scars where He wrote my name in them, and I can only worship.

fiery seal of love For the truth is, it takes God to love God. Only God can truly love God. A heart that says, “I will shed blood for you” is only a reflection of the Original Heart, the First Heart to ever suffer for the sake of love, for He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the ages. Therefore, when He sees a response within us that says yes to covenant, yes to receiving His shed blood and yes to laying down our lives so that we may come into union with Him and His Body–His people–He sees Himself.  He beholds His own nature in another, and His heart is deeply moved.

Oh, there is so much more to say, but I dare not overwhelm the reader!

Can you say, “Lord, there is blood between us”? Have you received His blood? Have you looked—deeply looked–upon His sacrifice? Have you seen His heart—for YOU? Have you applied it to the mantle and doors of your own “house”? Have you partaken of His blood and body? Have you put your faith in Him? Have you tasted of His love?

gustav-klimt-the-kiss-detail-4083In the Song of Songs, the Shulamite declares “a bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breasts.” Myrrh speaks of suffering, as the plant is pierced many times to bring forth the fragrant, healing resin. When she says she holds Him between her breasts, this speaks of keeping Him close to her heart. In other words, all through the night, through the dark seasons, she comforts herself in remembrance His great love, His great sacrifice. The remembrance of His suffering for her sake is a like a sweet fragrance that stays continually fresh in her thoughts. She can never doubt how deeply she is loved every time she breathes in the fragrance of the myrrh, so she holds it over her heart where the fragrance can permeate her senses. The very scent draws worship out of her heart and she finds herself continually saying, “I will remember Your blood, I will remember Your love. I will never forget You. I will never forget what You did for me, my Beloved, my dear friend and companion. I hold You reverently in the most sacred part of my being.

“I will let this love overflow from the banks of my heart and wash out of me into creation so that others will see who You are and love You too. I will speak of You, I will tell of Your wonderful ways, I will declare Your Name, and I will love You, oh Lord my God,

I will love you,
I will love you,
I will love you.

For there is blood between us and I will never forget.

And in the echo of His voice deep within my spirit, the reciprocal way in which love flows, I hear Him speaking back to me through my own words.

My friend, if you love Him, read the paragraph above one more time, but this time, listen to Him speaking to you. Can you hear His heart? Can you hear how much your willingness to give Him everything–or perhaps now, it is just that small thing—but can you see how much it means to Him? Can you fathom that He will hold the memory of it sacred throughout all the ages? Can you taste of the wonder to which He has called us? Can you see clearly the inferiority of anything less than total abandonment to Him? Can you see how dead and worthless all idols are, contrasted against such a loving, living, eternally beautiful heart such as His?

For if we truly see the value of His shed blood, our response can only be one thing—

Here I am, Lord! I am YOURS!

There is blood between us and I will never forget it.

~Mercy Aiken

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Hello, dear reader. My apologies for not keeping this blog better updated.

Lake Nakuru is shrinking, due to drought

So much has happened since my last post. I had the opportunity to go to Lake Nakuru National Park with some of the SILA staff last month—an experience that I will never forget. It was a kiss from God. It was ethereal. The whole day, I continually found myself blinking back tears as I stared at the herds of wild zebras, rhinos, antelope, gazelles, water buffalo, water bucks, pink flamingos, pelicans, baboons, monkeys, and many other critters.

The Group who went on this trip. These are the people I spend most of my time with.

We were surrounded by green hills and purple mountains, within a basin which held a large lake and beautiful flatlands of yellow grasses and stately Acacia trees. Every once in a while we would drive through a grove of those pale yellow-green trees with their high branching canopy above us, and I would breathe a sigh of joy from somewhere deep within the roots of my being. Even if I never saw one animal, the trees alone were enough to overwhelm me! Then, we would emerge from the trees to discover some new vista, with a new herd of some other kind of creature resting or foraging in the grass. Occasionally lions are also seen in the park, but we did not see any that day.

I hadn’t written about this yet, because I am still waiting to get pictures from my Korean friends, Wesley and Apollos, who joined us for the tour. (In the mad rush to pack for this trip, I somehow forgot my camera—another reason that tears kept filling my eyes). It hardly seems fair to just tell you about it and not offer any photos, but that is the best I can do for now.

In the Kerio Valley

I grew up in a national park, and I have this wonderful feeling of “home” as soon as I enter one anywhere else in the world. Thank God that there are people in this world with enough hindsight and foresight to protect these amazing places! All day long, my heart was filled with continual praise and joy for the animals, the Park, the people who manage it, the trees and grasses and lake, my family back home at the Grand Canyon, and the presence of God that so filled my heart in the midst of it all. It was an experience I will never forget.

Termite Palace in the Kerio Valley

We also spent a day and night in the Kerio Valley, hiking and exploring around and having meetings and just getting to know each other more. A grand time was had by all. The Kerio Valley is my favorite place in Kenya so far. It is just enough like southern Arizona to feel comfortingly familiar, and just different enough to always remind me of my exotic location.

Pelicans in the background

Soaking it all in

UPDATE ON GOD’S KIDS

Ann and little Frieda with her flowers

Ann Fyall was here for a month, and a lot of great changes were made in that time—the main change being that we all agreed to close down the little Dominion school send our kids to EERC (SILA’s school) instead. The little school was started mainly to serve the orphans, but was also open to the surrounding rural community. There are many reasons why this decision was made, and I won’t bore you with all the details. We are all very happy that the kids are now at EERC! EERC is a great school with a lot more opportunities for the kids and I know they will really thrive here.

All the kids with their new blankets. Great portrait taken by Blanca.

Since I am so involved at the school, it also makes me happy to see Naomi, Maxwell, Solomon, Festus, Purity, Faith, Pascal, Viona, Titus, Hermon, Frieda and Patience on a daily basis. They are making friends with the other students and have already grown so much just in the few weeks since Term 2 started in May.

I am especially proud of Naomi for having the top math score in her entire class! Many of our kids were a little behind in their initial testing, but some of them are already starting to excel. Purity is doing exceptionally well academically, as is Festus. Hermon and Frieda are also doing great. Some of the others are struggling a bit more. It is a huge advantage to them that English is really emphasized at EERC. It is forcing them to learn it. In their other school, classes were conducted solely in Swahili and many of the children could barely communicate in English. At EERC, they also have the opportunity to learn to swim, go on field trips, play sports, participate in the children’s fellowships that we hold twice a week, and many other activities that will expand them. Plus, I know all the teachers at EERC and have the highest respect for them. I am so excited that “our” kids are getting this opportunity.

Faith and Patience in their new school uniforms

Joseph and David gave us a real break on the cost of sending them. (Almost everyone in Kenya sends their kids to private schools, which are pretty much on every corner). Even so, coming up with fees for 12 kids to attend school is not cheap. Some of you have asked if there is anything you can do to help the kids. My reply is that the best way you could help these children right now (other than praying for them) would be to help us out with the cost of sending them to EERC. If anyone would like to give to this, it would be much appreciated. Every little bit helps. You can do so through: http://dominioninternational.org/ministries/word-workers-international/dominion-childrens-home-kenya/

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask me!

Kids having fun after school

I am currently at EERC 4 to 5 days a week, leading morning Bible studies for the teachers and children’s fellowships for the kids, as well as visiting in the classes to tell stories and teach songs—a fun way to help them improve in English. (My mom and aunt sent me a bunch of great children’s books to bring with me, and they have been an invaluable way to connect with the kids here).

THE CHILDLIKENESS OF OUR FATHER

This is pretty much my view whenever I look down!

I am loving every aspect of my “job” and getting to know the kids, teachers, and support staff at SILA has been a wonderful gift. I honestly don’t know that I have ever felt so loved by anyone as I do by these little ones. I came here to love on them, but it is their love for me that overwhelms and humbles me. I can’t walk anywhere around the school without at least two or three little kids running up to me, screaming my name and throwing their arms around my waist. Who can resist that?

Is this the kind of love that Jesus was talking about when He said we must be like little children to enter the kingdom? Did Jesus get the same feeling in His heart when the children came crowding around Him, simply to hug His legs and look up into His eyes? Did they squeal with joy when He crouched down to their level to look into their eyes and smile at them? (What a picture—God in the flesh, crouching down on His knees to look a child in the eyes and smile at her).

Festus and Titus

For obvious reasons, much of my Kenyan “journey into the heart of God” has been with children and through children. I have found myself pondering afresh the many places where Jesus referred to children—and always in a most positive way. It is almost like the child became to Him a symbol. I “see” Him now, looking at the children and receiving incredible revelation. He saw something in children that reminded Him of the budding new life that He saw emerging in His disciples. He knew that if they ever heard Him at all, it was only through the ears of their inner child, the child whose “angel” “always beholds the face of my Father in heaven.”

Cuddly darlin's--Priscilla and Faith

We all have an “inner child” of which natural children are merely a picture. It is our inner child that knows and sees. If we lose touch with our inner child, we lose touch with God Himself because it is only in the realm of childlikeness where His fatherhood can be experienced. Jesus knew this firsthand, from His own experience. He also became just like a little child—a perfect little child, and thus the perfection of His Father and His kingdom was made wide open to Him and He was able to give it to others.

While pondering this, I was reminded of a dream I had several years ago. In this dream, I saw a little girl in a white dress, perhaps about 5 or 6 years old. She was speaking the gospel, with the most incredible wisdom and great simplicity. I watched her in awe. How could it be that one so young could be so wise and speak with so much authority? There was a power in her that was pure and holy and totally disarming. She could look at people and see right into the heart of situations and speak a word that brought clarity and healing. She laid hands on the sick and prayed for them in the simplest faith, and they recovered. Everything about her was miraculous and beautiful. I watched her in action for a while, feeling exceptionally oafish—large and dense and coarse and dull. Finally, I asked her the obvious question: “WHO ARE YOU?”

She looked at me like I was shocked I wouldn’t know who she was, and then she told me her name. It is the name of a woman minister who I really respect, who I know happens to be in her 70’s. I had always admired this woman for her remarkable faith. In confusion, I stared at the little girl and said, “How can you be so and so? She is in her 70’s and you are just a child!” to which the girl told me, “If you are seeing me like a little child, it is because God knows you needed to see me this way.”

WOW! What a revelation! Creation stands on tiptoe, waiting to see the unveiling of the sons of God…and when they are revealed, it won’t be those who stand on their great intellectual prowess, or whose closets have been jammed up with a lifetime of old clothing and accumulated junk and cobweb-theology and sharp swords. These sons will be simple and pure; and their clothing of light will be cloaked in garments of humility. And lo and behold—they will be CHILDREN! And the world will wonder and fall to its knees when it sees the simple restoring power of a true word spoken from child-like lips of faith, hope and love.

As I said in a Facebook post a few weeks ago:

While “childishness” must be grown out of, “childlikeness” must be grown into. I am now convinced that any REAL spiritual growth comes only out of the true child-nature because only the child is willing to learn. True childlikeness is high spiritual attainment. “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will BY NO MEANS enter it.” Luke 18:17
Jesus is saying it is IMPOSSIBLE to enter into the realm in which He dwelled, apart from a childlike nature. He knew this not just from observation but by His own experience. It was the spirit of Sonship in His own heart, calling “Abba Father” that taught Him true childlikeness. And the wonder of it all—when He gazed at Abba, He saw that same Childlike Heart. Childlikeness is never something we grow out of. If we become too “mature” to be childlike, we have grown past God Himself–grown into something old and withered and dead and barren—whereas our Father is freshness and simplicity and purity and humility.”

G.K. Chesterton said this wonderfully well: “It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” –G. K. Chesterton

I am learning so much from my little teachers.

children praying over Easter weekend

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Isn’t everything I see and hear and taste and smell and touch just the appearance of the world in front of the world?

I suppose at the very beginning of my blog, I should share the story behind why I named my blog, “Ordinary Daisy;” and why daisies are so special to me.

The story begins in January of 1999, when I was attending a large prophetic conference in Colorado Springs with some friends. Part of the conference included turning to the person behind us and praying for a moment and then sharing what the Lord told us about the other person.  While I was grateful at how my “word” seemed to impact the lady I was praying with, I was disappointed with what was spoken to me.  It was something to this effect: “Every time I look at you, I see a daisy. God wants you to know that you are like a daisy to Him.” 

I was immediately irritated.  A daisy?  Come on!  Why could people not see past my exterior?  Couldn’t they see that I had so much more in me?  I had graduated from college a few years earlier and since that time, had been working for a web-based ministry in hiddenness, in lonliness; deep in the boondocks of Arizona.  It was my choice, but sometimes I had the distinct feeling that I was watching my life go up in smoke. (I don’t mean that in a negative way. In the midst of the smoke, He awakened worship in my heart and turned everything into incense. It was a time I wouldn’t trade for anything).

Even so, deep in my heart, I was hoping for someone to recognize me; to tell me: “You are doing a great thing.  In laying down your life there is a great reward. There is a mighty call of God on your life.”  Granted, the Lord had whispered plenty of encouragement to my heart and I knew that I was where I was supposed to be. But in my immaturity, I wanted to hear more than “daisy.”

When I got back together with my group, I was so embarrassed about my “daisy” word that I couldn’t even tell them.  I only said, “Oh, they told me that God sees me like a flower.”

Later, everyone who attended the conference experienced a time of personal prophetic ministry with some of the staff.  I don’t remember all that was spoken to me, but there was one word that went like an arrow to my heart:  “God says that He sees you just like a beautiful flower, just like a daisy…and there is something so special to Him about a daisy heart.” 

What?! Again? A daisy heart?! What was that even supposed to mean? I blinked back tears, got my coat and headed for the door.  If I was going to be compared to a plant, why couldn’t I at least be called an oak tree or something powerful with roots that went down deep and bore much fruit? Why did I have to be compared to a dumb flower? As I was walking back across the massive, snowy parking lot to join my friends, the internal, audible voice of the Lord came clearly to me.

“Mercy, why do you like daisies so much?”

I stopped in my tracks, stunned. 

Up to that moment, I had completely forgotten that I love daisies.  As unbelievable as it may sound, I had totally forgotten that daisies are in fact, one of my favorite flowers! Immediately, all the emotions that daisies had ever stirred within me came flooding into my heart.

Why do I love daisies?  Let me count the ways!  They are so bright and clean, so happy, so pure, so fresh and simple—and yet somehow hinting of a complex beauty and truth beyond what was apparent to the eye. I could never look at a daisy without my heart being somehow lifted. Indeed, when had I ever been able to look at daisy—really look at it—without my heart turning soft within me?  One of the things that I loved most about daisies is that their simple beauty is so available to everyone. While some flowers may be reserved and untouchable in their beauty, the humble daisy seems to welcome all; profoundly revealing the charm of the commonplace.

Immediately, all that daises were associated with in my mind came flooding to my thoughts: wooden floors, mandolins, front porches, stars, creeks, climbing in trees, sunshine, home-made pie cooling on a windowsill, quilts, canyon wrens, picnics in meadows, bare feet, clean windows with light shining through them, china teacups, and so on.

In one moment, God’s little question to my heart began to melt away my self-striving. I realized that in the same unexplicable way that I was drawn to daisies, God was telling me that He was drawn to me. Just the way I am—right now!  I didn’t have to be some great thing to catch His eye. All I had to be was myself, the true ME that He made me to be! So what if there are billions of daisies in the world? Each one possesses its own unique daisy-power to inspire.

Many a man has stopped at the daisy—an indeed, every other created thing—and fumbled to read its ancient language; with a faded knowledge that still resonates somewhere deep within the soul. We carry within us a knowing that is not entirely forgotten, though most would feign to attempt to express what those vague feelings might mean.

Some of the meanings that have been associated with daisies through the centuries include: unfettered love, loyal love, innocence, purity, new beginnings and inner sanctity.

Because a daisy’s petals close over its center once the sun disappears, one website says that “a daisy hints at a wrapped up secret and even points at keeping it hidden. Thus, daisy symbolizes truth… It stands for the concealed truth, away from everyone else’s notice. When a daisy was given in public, it meant a transfer of secret from the giver to the receiver.” 

As I look back on that day, I see that God was handing me a daisy as a mystery for me to unlock—the mystery of myself.  Even more, He was giving me the mystery of Himself; the “concealed truths” of His person, which, since that time, have been the most amazing and wonderful discoveries of my life.

As I recently began to research more about daisies for this blog, I was amazed at what else I uncovered.  The name itself comes from the Anglo Saxon words ‘daes eage’ meaning “day’s eye;” because they open at dawn and remain open as long as the sun is shining; softly closing their petals over their sun-heart when the light goes away. With a bright yellow sun in the center, and petals like the white rays of a star, daisies are from the Aster (star) family of flowers (along with sunflowers and many others).

“If your eye is good– full of light–your whole body will be full of light” said Jesus.  Maybe He was thinking of a “Day’s Eye” when He said it; the daisy being the first to open its eye to the Light and “awaken the dawn.” Maybe He was thinking of me…of us.  

What I realized that day in one profound moment is that if I could see myself the way God sees me, I would understand that He has already placed inside of me the things that I am naturally attracted to.  If everything was clear, I would fully understand that “the works of His hands are wonderful, that my soul knows right well.”  God has placed the key to that enjoyment deep inside us. The things that we are drawn to are clues not only of who we are, but aspects of God Himself that we carry within us.  Amazing!

If it takes humility and simplicity to see things as they really are, then one of my primary goals is for the “eyes of my heart to be enlightened” and washed of all cynicism.  I want to see the world through God’s eyes; through His lens of love and truth that pierces every shadow and brings meaning to every symbol, however obscured it might initially appear to be.  I want to see everything for the truth it represented in the heart of God when He drew it out of Himself and spoke it into being.

After all, everything that He made prophesies of a deeper truth, giving shape and form to concepts, emotions and ideas.  The Bible itself plainly reveals that God thinks in symbols. 

Of course, nothing that He makes is truly ordinary, in the ordinary sense of the word!  Every daisy is unique, just like every snowflake. But in an era where we strain past the boundaries of nature in order to stand out, there is something so refreshing and pure about not trying to re-create ourselves but instead, simply discovering who we were created to be in the beginning. If we could awaken our hearts afresh to the wonder of existence, we would revel in the fact that ordinary things are themselves so…extraordinary.

I love how the Bible says that “Elijah was a man just like us…”  Of Jesus, Isaiah prophesied, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him.”  The wonder of the Shulamite in the Song of Songs is that she is just a shepherdess out in the fields—not a “high” lady of the courts.  Before David was anointed King, he was least among his brothers, and the last of his family to be considered for greatness.  Queen Esther was also an “Aster”—a Star of the heavens; and the flower-family to which daisies belong.

Ordinary daisies are earth’s counterpart to the blazing stars of heaven; they are angels in disguise, humbly growing at our feet.

And so, while I have created this blog to document my adventures in Africa for the next 6 months, it is really dedicated to the never-ending discovery of the heart of God.  My desire is to discover Him more fully in every place I can, because He is the most fascinating Person that I know.  I fix my Eye on Him! May it ever open more and more to the fullness of the Day.

I look forward to seeing what He uncovers, and I hope that some of you will enjoy taking this journey with me…to Africa and beyond!  ~Mercy Aiken

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