In my Daily Guidepost 2016 reading, for reasons I didn’t understand at the time, I read ahead. I went all the way to Thursday, May 26 Titled, “A Quest For Beauty: God Sees the Heart.”
I have often used the scripture Roberta Messner used for her contribution on this date. “For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” ----1 Samuel 16:7 (NAS)
Ever since dedicating my life to Christ, that scripture showed me that division among races is nothing but a devilish evil trick. God doesn’t look at anyone’s skin or even ethnicity. He sees the heart – and if God does this, I too must “see” others in this way.
Roberta suffers from neurofibromatosis. For her it caused painful and disfiguring tumors all over her face. She was unable to hide them and whenever she was out in public she was humiliated. Yet her lesson was God sees her heart, that’s all that matters to Him and He had always been with her and always would be with her.
With that reading under my belt – something happened yesterday that painfully brought back the sudden death of Kaylee our first grandchild at the tender age of six. It happened October 20, 2015 but the absence of her is still so fresh.
This happened through an experience my son Alex and daughter-in-law Kristen had had that morning, I ached for them and many of the feelings of loss and heartbreak came flooding back – along with some anger thrown into the mix.
I had to run errands and a delightful woman from Visiting Angels stayed with my Mom so I could do what I had to do without panic.
I was miserable as I ran around Okemos and Lansing. I teared up randomly, embarrassing myself, I couldn’t focus when I had to mail something. The poor UPS guy must have thought I was a doddering old dementia patient on the loose.
But I had to do what I had to do and if I that meant tearing up in public, well, so be it. There is this impulse I fight on days like this where I want to explain myself. I want to tell people why my heart is shattered. Why this feeling of missing Kaylee simply won’t leave me. I can handle it better as time goes on, but it is never far from my thoughts.
One of the lessons Roberta Messner received from her tumor affliction was if she did something nice for someone, it brought her out of her self-imposed pity party. She applied it, and it worked.
Suddenly it occurred to me to look around at my world, which at that moment was a discount warehouse. I almost cut off an employee with my cart. When she said she was sorry, I apologized profusely and said it was all my fault. Then there was a Mom with her two little ones in her cart. I told her how lovely her children were. It brought a smile to all their faces.
When I checked out I told the woman scanning my items that she had an absolutely beautiful smile. Then I said, “Well, maybe your beautiful smile has something to do with the fact you’re beautiful all over!”
She glowed and I could feel my mood brightening. She was obviously a woman who liked her job – or if she didn’t, she sure made a great effort at camouflaging it!
I confessed to her I was having a difficult day. She was so cheery and sweet that I also told her she definitely lifted my spirits and thanked her.
As I left the store with my stash, in that area outside the store but inside a place you get your carts, I saw out of my peripheral vision someone in an electric wheel chair to my left.
This grief I still struggle with sometimes is very tough to shake. So although my spirits had definitely lifted, suddenly I felt that thick cloud of sorrow begin to descend on me again and was focused on just getting to the car. But I forced myself to stop.
I saw the face of this frail woman and it was a face of suffering. Yet she still had a pleasant countenance. God doesn’t look at the outward appearance, He sees the heart.
I restructured my face from a contorted expression of gloom to one with a smile. I said, “Ma’am, do you need assistance? Is there anything I can do for you?”
She turned her head towards me startled. A look of wonder washed over her face. “Oh…no, I’m fine…I’m just waiting for my daughter…thank you though. Thank you very much.”
That cloud just vaporized. I told her I just wanted to be sure and hoped she had a nice day. She called after me, still expressing her appreciation. I smiled back at her one last time and thanked God in a silent prayer for His peace that surpasses all understanding.
Kaylee was one big huge walking heart. That overused saying, “What would Jesus do?” while overused, is still applicable. Kaylee would have noticed that woman and would have had concern. She had such love to give and she always gave it away willingly all through her six short years on this earth.
My new motto should be, “What Would Kaylee’s Do?” A reminder that I can still give life to her legacy. I can show others Kaylee’s heart because it was so much like the heart of our compassionate Lord Jesus Christ.
Besides, it feels good.