Sunday, February 28, 2010

Free to Dance!

I never got around to posting yesterday. I had a performance of "The Ram in the Chile Patch"my folktale from Mexico in the evening up in Lakewood. Thankfully, Estith was free so we went together. It was a smaller-sized crowd composed of many very, very young children as well as shy youngsters who weren't all that eager to come up and play parts in the show. So for the main character, Juan, I ended up going with an adult who seemed willing. He turned out to be the library director! He was a great sport! I wear a long, braided wig in the show. At one point, one of the little girls who was in the audience had to be taken out to use the bathroom. After the show her mother told me that while they were in there the little girl said, "I love people with long, brown braids. That's how I want my hair to be." I had to laugh since as most of you reading this know, I do not have long, brown hair, but rather wear a wig for this performance! Then after the show an elderly lady who had attended by herself came up to me and began speaking to me in Spanish. She told me that she didn't remember a lot of Spanish but a few things, like animals (words which were used in the performance) and other bits of vocab. I thought it was so sweet that she had attended the performance on her own and had participated so willingly. It's moments like those that make what I do so amazing. . I love meeting the people that I perform for, seeing the excitement in the kid's faces when they come on-stage or say a word in a foreign language or when a shy child gets on-stage and surprises everyone with just how dramatic they can be. That happened earlier in the week during a performance of "The Monkey and the Crocodile," my folktale from India. This sweet, quiet little girl from Thailand who looks about as gentle as you can imagine got up to become the evil Mrs. Crocodile and when I prompted her to pout and have a temper tantrum she let loose like no other child has ever done before in performance!! and it was much to the surprise of all of her classmates! She was extremely dramatic, and I wonder if anyone even knew!

I love those moments when the children surprise not only me but their parents, siblings, friends and teachers. Sometimes the kids who are most disruptive in class and have earned a reputation from their teachers shine on stage. I think sometimes the kids surprise even themselves! I've had kids do such creative things onstage that I've added things to my program to include their ideas. It's pretty cool.

And then there are the kids who won't come onstage, not because they're shy, but because they're afraid of looking silly in front of others. Or maybe they come up, but they won't get involved -- they go through the motions but without any feeling or real engagement. These are the children I feel bad for. They are so young and already they are afraid of looking silly in front of others. I sometimes joke that I make my living by making a fool of myself. And to any of you who have seen me perform, you know that I go all out, I hold nothing back. I do everything as big as I possibly can, becoming larger than life. And it's very freeing really. And I feel bad for the children, even small ones, who are already too concerned with their reputation to allow themselves to be children and have fun.

Today we had a service at church that was completely led by the children. There were a few standing in the back row that looked like they'd rather be shot than be standing up there singing. The thing is, I don't think that was really the case. I think they just didn't want to look like they were having a good time because it wouldn't fit with the reputation they'd carved out for themselves. I often wonder what happened to these children to make them this way. What is it that teaches our children this? Do they learn from their parents? From the media? The world in general? Have they been hurt in some way that they feel the need for self-preservation and so they build up an icy wall that prevents them from showing any emotion? My heart goes out to these children -- I want something different for them. I want to help children be children again.. and I want us adults to give them a good example by not taking ourselves too seriously and by living with passion.

Maybe that's why I love African culture so much. Because when I see the people celebrating, they don't do it in tiny ways. They dance with their whole bodies and sing at the top of their lungs. It seems like they aren't concerned with guarding their reputations when they do it. I think that's why I never loved dance until I studied African dance. In fact, I used to hate dance because as a child when I took dance classes, I felt like I could never get it right. Try as I might I wasn't as coordinated, didn't have the rhythm and could only see myself doing it wrong in those big mirrors at the front of the classroom. But when I took African dance, the drums were pounding, there were no mirrors and my teacher never made it about the final performance so much as he made it about the celebration that dancing was to him. And for the first time I felt the exhiliration of dancing. I felt the music, the beat of the drum. I stopped worrying about looking good in front of everyone and instead enjoyed the jumping, leaping and movement. I felt free to dance!

And I think sometimes we have to free ourselves from the mirrors that are watching our every move and get down to the business of dancing! What do you say? Will you join me?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Why Are Your Hands In the Air?

Today I read about how Moses displeased God and missed out on his chance to enter the Promised Land. It's found in Numbers 20. See, the Israelites were complaining once again -- (they complained a lot during their time in the wilderness) that they didn't have anything to drink. They were thirsty in the desert. So God commanded Moses to give them water in a miraculous way. Moses was supposed to gather the people and speak to the rock and the water was supposed to pour out. Instead, Moses and Aaron gathered all of the people and said, "Listen you rebels! Must we bring you water from the rock?" Then Moses struck the rock twice and water poured out. But God was unhappy with Moses, because he had taken credit for God's miracle. He gathered all of the people as instructed, but instead of getting out of the way so that the people could see God's power, he took credit for it. I can just see Moses raising his arms and saying, "Take a look at this everybody!" Because he knows God is going to show up.

Now, I've never brought water from a rock before, but like Moses, it can be so easy to take credit for what God is doing in my life. It can be so easy to raise my arms and say, "Hey everybody, take a look at what I've done," instead of recognizing that any good thing I have accomplished has only been done through God's power. Everything that is good within me is a product of His grace to me.

I guess we can raise our arms to draw people's attention to ourselves as if to say, "Look at me!" Or we can raise our arms to God in recognition and thanksgiving for what He has done in us and through us, and we can say, "Thank you, Lord," -- drawing people's attention to Him.

My prayer is that I would never get in the way of God receiving the glory. . .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Well today was interesting. Another interesting day that started with a very interesting Bible study. I was doing my daily devotional reading. I use a Bible study method called the SOAP method where you choose one Scripture from your reading that stands out to you, you make an Observation about it, then Apply it to your life, and finally, say a Prayer over it. I was reading today and nothing was really standing out to me all that much, but I finally decided to choose Psalm 29:11 which says: "The Lord gives strength to His people. He blesses them with peace."

I began to journal about it and then I thought to myself -- I wonder what the Hebrew words for strength and peace are? I remembered hearing that the Hebrew word for peace is 'shalom." So I did an online search for the meaning of the word shalom and found that the general translation of peace is rather lacking. Shalom has a much wider meaning, including: completeness, wholeness, health, welfare, safety, prosperity, fullness, rest, harmony and tranquility. Try plugging that definition of peace into Psalm 29:11 and it's amazing to think of all the blessings that God bestows upon His people.

But even more fascinating for me than that was what I learned about the word strength. I never did find the Hebrew word that is being used in this verse. But I learned that the Hebrew word "El" which is often used for God was originally written with two pictographic letters in the Ancient Hebrew. The first pictographic letter depicted an ox head. The second depicted a shepherd's staff. The ox represented strength and the staff authority. Thus, God is the strong one of authority! Second, for Ancient Hebrews, a staff across the shoulders was understood to be a yoke. So they saw God as the ox in the yoke. When plowing, 2 oxen were yoked together. One was older and more experienced. The younger one would learn from the older ox. So the Ancient Hebrews saw God as the older, experienced ox and themselves as the younger ox. In other words, we yoke ourselves to God in order to learn from Him.

The funny thing is that one of my favorite Bible verses comes from Numbers 23:22. Not too many people have a favorite verse in Numbers, but when I first read this verse I just loved the imagery. It says, "God has brought them out of Egypt; he is like a strong ox for them." Other translations say a wild ox. The image of God as a wild ox really stuck with me. I loved thinking about my God as a wild ox -- powerful and unpredictable. And knowing that the Hebrew word for God was once depicted with an ox makes the imagery even more powerful!

Then I found this imagery repeated in Psalm 92:10 where the psalmist says, "But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. How refreshed I am by your power!" This related perfectly to my daily verse which said that God gives strength to His people. But it's not just any strength -- it's His own strength! And what does God use His strength to do? He uses it to bring His people out of slavery -- to draw them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. I have to believe that if God gives me strength it is for this same purpose -- not to bask in my own strength, but to use it to help others and to bring them out of slavery.

So many things are lost in translation. I've had so many interesting Bible studies of late based around the study of Hebrew words. If you're interested, another interesting word study is "disciple."

Until tomorrow, Shalom!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Busier than Before

Dear Readers (assuming there are some of you out there!),

I apologize for letting you down yesterday with nary a post. I forgot my computer's power cord at my parent's house and didn't have enough charge to use it when I got home. Perhaps it's better off that I didn't have a charge because yesterday was an extremely busy day. Overwhelmingly busy. So much so that I was fairly emotional last night. See, I was supposed to have moved back in December when I had nothing going on. I was supposed to have lots of time to set up things like trash pick-up, carpet cleaning and other things that homeowners have to do. Instead, for reasons beyond my control, we moved in February, when it seems like just about every day on my calendar is filled with something. I've been overwhelmed by all that I have going on lately. And the problem is that for the most part, all of it is good stuff, stuff that I like. And I like a lot of things, which makes it hard for me to say no, even if I've begun to feel like I'm burning the candle at both ends.

It's a hard balance for me. I don't want to be too busy; and yet if I'm honest with myself, I enjoy being busy. During the seasons in my life when I have had little to do, I haven't dealt well with it. I've been antsy and anxious. The past year and a half as I started my company and worked on getting it going, it seemed like I always had plenty of time on my hands. Now, the company is beginning to take off and it seems like I'm busier than I've ever been. I'm trying to learn how to balance it all. As things begin moving, it's easy to want to fill up every minute of my time with more work -- especially since I love my work so much. And yet I know how detrimental that can be not only to myself, but to those closest to me.

I appreciate so much other cultures that have a slower pace, where people come first and people will drop whatever they're doing even to entertain a total stranger. I find such beauty in that way of being. And yet, my way of being is American through and through. I've noticed a lot of people that complain about how busy they are. However, if you listen to their complaints, many of the things they're complaining about are things that they have chosen to do, not things that were forced upon them. Even our volunteer activities and social engagements can become sources of complaint if we're not careful. On top of that, I've noticed that complaining about how busy we are can also become a source of pride. It's like we're trying to prove that we have more on our plate than anyone else. Recently I've caught myself complaining about how busy I am. And then I've had to stop and check myself and say, "Hey, you chose to get involved with all of this stuff. So don't complain about it!" I've asked my husband to keep me in check because I don't want to become a complainer. I don't want the good things I'm doing to become a source of complaint that drags other down. I know there are times when we are all overwhelmed by life and all that is going on, but I think when we begin to complain about it, that's when we have to stop and ask ourselves if it's something we have to do or something we've chosen to do.

I think I like being busy because I'm the kind of person who doesn't want to miss out on anything. And yet, I think there's a paradox here somewhere, because when you're too busy, you miss out on enjoying the beauty of each moment. Today is a gift, tomorrow is not guaranteed. I don't want to waste today becoming overwhelmed by tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

How rich are you?

If you want to do something humbling and a bit sobering today -- visit Here you can find out how rich you are compared to the rest of the world's population. You just put in your annual income and out comes your ranking. I was surprised to find that my husband and I together are in the top 5% of the world's richest people!

That's super humbling because here in the United States we are not conditioned to think of ourselves as rich unless we have enough money for expensive cars, the newest technology, fancy vacations and the like. By US standards I don't consider myself all that wealthy. My husband is an electrician and I'm a self-employed actress. It's not like our careers would put either of us in the uppermost echelons of society. And yet we have three good meals a day, a warm and safe place to live, cars to drive, a computer, television, and many more little things that I couldn't even begin to list. Certainly we are rich and blessed beyond what we deserve! It's only the media that would make us think otherwise. They bombard us with images of all the stuff we need to be happy and feel wealthy. They fuel our greed and our need for more without telling us that every three seconds a child dies from hunger or that with the $20 billion Americans spend annually on ice cream, we could feed 83 million hungry children for a full year. Now I'm not saying you should stop eating ice cream for good -- I don't think that's the answer and I'd probably go through major withdrawl if it were since I know I contribute significantly to that $20 billion. But it should make us stop and think. And then again, the answer isn't in the statistics either. It's in the faces of the children in need. I'm convinced that if they weren't just numbers on a page or images on a screen but rather people that we had to sit across the table from, maybe things would be different.

All I know is that during those months when it feels like we are just scraping by to pay our bills and I'm tempted to think how nice it would be to have a cushier pay-check, I'm going to try to remember how rich I already am. And I'm going to try to continue to figure out what part I play in spreading the wealth.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Choosing Not to Remember

Today my pastor preached on grace, and he said something that really stuck with me. He was talking about how often we hear that old saying "forgive and forget." Then he said, "God doesn't forget our sins. He just chooses not to remember them. He chooses not to appoint them to us."

This makes so much more sense to me than saying that God forgets our sins. God is omnipotent, and all-knowing, so how can He be forgetful? I don't think He can. But He can choose not to remember our sins, not to focus on them or use them against us. When we live under God's grace, this is exactly what He does. If I asked Him, certainly He could rattle off every single bad thing I've ever done; but because I have chosen to accept His free gift of grace, He chooses not to.

I think we have to learn to do the same. Forgive and forget doesn't work for me. When it comes to being wronged, my mind can be like a steel trap. I haven't forgotten the ways I've been hurt by others -- oftentimes many years after the fact. However, I can choose to think about all the wrong that has been done to me and remember it every time that person's name comes up in conversation or every time we meet. I can even try to use it to my favor if the two of us happen to get into an argument. Or I can choose not to remember it, not to bring it up again, not to use it against them -- just as I wouldn't want the other person to use any of my past failings against me.

I'm going to work on choosing not to remember the faults and sins of others, just as in Christ, God has chosen not to remember mine.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Psalm 23

I read the 23rd Psalm this morning, and even though I've heard and read it a ton of times, I heard it differently today. It's nothing ground-breaking really -- just the fact that as I read it I saw it more as a promise from the Lord. I know it's David writing it, but I heard the Lord promising to be with me all throughout my life. And to be with me in different ways at different times. I saw the psalm as a statement about what our journey in this life is like with God at our side. As I read the psalm, I put the words "in my life" in front of each line to reinforce how God is with me.

For example:

In my life, He lets me rest in green pastures, he leads me beside peaceful streams.
In my life, He renews my strength. . .
In my life, even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for He is close beside me.
In my life, my cup overflows with blessing.
In my life, surely His goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life. . .

This last one is my favorite. I love the verb "pursue." To think about the Lord pursuing me all my days with goodness and unfailing love is amazing. God is actively looking for ways to bestow His goodness and love upon me! How awesome is that?

Friday, February 19, 2010


When I started packing up the boxes in my apartment in preparation for our move, I couldn't believe how much stuff I had. But that really hit home when I unpacked the boxes here at the new house. Our new house is more than twice as big as the apartment we were living in and somehow we still have more than enough stuff to fill it. At our old apartment, the spare bedroom served as my office, extra closet space, a holding place for Estith's tools, all of his musical instruments, and the props for my company! It's a wonder I was able to get any work done in there!

At any rate, when we moved we didn't move right into our house but rather to my parent's house while we were waiting to close on the house. My parents graciously allowed us to store our stuff in one of their garage spaces. It was weird seeing all of our boxes and furniture filling that spac.e. All of my earthly possessions condensed into one area. And for the 2+ months it took us to close (longer than we'd expected!), we lived out of a couple of suitcases.

And to be honest, when I packed up my boxes and then again when I unpacked them, I felt guilty. Thinking about all that I have and how little others have made me want to start getting rid of stuff left and right. And yet, is that the answer? It's so easy to pack up a few garbage bags of extra clothes and take them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, and yet, I'm not sure that's the answer. I read a book about simplicity in which the author Chris Heuertz said that we have to be careful with simplicity. It can become an idol. For example, why do we want to simplify? Is it to make ourselves feel better and assuage our conscience? Or do we forsake buying something that we don't need in order to use that money to help someone else? Simplicity for others vs. simplicity for self. That has given me a lot to think about. And then I love what Shane Claiborne had to say -- "If you're not willing to give something up, you don't own it -- it owns you."

I'm still trying to figure it all out -- how is God asking me to simplify? And how can I make it about the needs of others rather than about making myself feel better?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 2 of the Journey -- Thirst

Today I wasn't such a nice person. I was easily annoyed. I was impatient. I spoke my mind when maybe I should have held my tongue. And I don't have any excuse for it really and am thankful that I live under grace as a result. However, perhaps my actions were compounded by something else. Now I'm not making an excuse for myself, but what I'm about to mention couldn't possibly have helped the situation.

So, today in my "Hole in Our Gospel" Study Guide, I was asked to forsake water for 12 hours in order to have a deeper understanding of what many people in the world experience daily. I didn't think it would be nearly as hard as it was. I've fasted on a few occasions (need to work on bettering that!), but I love food much more than I love water so I thought it might be easier. Boy was I wrong!

I woke up and my first impulse was to get a drink of water. My mouth felt dry and had that uncomfortable just-woke-up feeling, but I held off my urge to wash it away. Since we've putting together the new house, I've been going to bed much later than usual and waking up early. It was 6am and I needed an energy boost. I thought about some coffee. But realized that wouldn't be possible without water. And so the day was off to a shaky start. All day long I had that dry feeling in my mouth. And the funny thing is, I didn't crave juice or pop or any other beverage -- just plain water. By the time the end of my water fast arrived, I grabbed a glass and guzzled down as much as I could. I thought if I didn't I might snap, and I didn't feel like being a jerk anymore!

As I reflected on the day, I realized that having no water was difficult for me while I was merely sitting at a computer in a room at perfect temperature -- in other words, I wasn't enduring scorching temperatures or having to do some kind of physical labor that was toilsome and burdensome. I couldn't imagine being in a place where it's excruciatingly hot and on top of that I have to walk for miles looking for water and then if I find it, lugging it back all the miles I've already walked. (This was definitely a good activity for me to do considering the fact that the story I'm sharing this summer through World of Difference is all about the global water crisis in Haiti! )

I know that mine was a simple little sacrifice compared to what other people are really facing, but it definitely taught me how much I take water for granted and how much I crave it when I can't have it. I guess it's easy to do the same thing with God too. And that reminded me of a story that I once read. It goes like this:

Each day a young student would ask his teacher, "How shall I find God?" And his teacher would tell him, "Through desire." The student protested, "But I love God with all of my heart. So why haven't I found him?" Well, it just so happened that one day the teacher and student were passing through a river. Unexpectedly, the teacher took hold of the student's head and pushed it underwater, holding it there. The student began to panic, his arms were flailing as he struggled to reach the surface. After a few minutes of this, the teacher finally let go and the student emerged gasping for air. "Why did you do that?" he asked angrily. The teacher simply said, "When you are given the grace to gasp for God the same way you were gasping for air, you will know that you have found Him."

I want to have this kind of a desire or thirst for God. The Bible says that Jesus gives us living water. And just as my body craved water over juice, pop or any other beverage -- so I hope that I would thirst for God more than I thirst for anything else. And I pray that I wouldn't take Him or any of the blessings He's given me -- including water -- for granted.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Six Week Journey

I'm beginning a six-week journey. . . Take a look!

The season of Lent begins today with Ash Wednesday and lasts about 40 days. Lent is a time for reflection and preparation leading up to the Church's greatest celebration -- Easter. This lent, per the suggestion of a friend, I have decided to try blogging each day -- reflecting on what God is doing in my life and what He has already done.

Some say that the forty day time period of lent coincides with Jesus' forty days of being tempted in the desert by Satan. In many ways, I find that living in this world is akin to being in the desert. The world is not always a hospitable place. At times I feel lonely or like no one understands me. I don't face physical hunger or thirst, but I face a daily hunger and thirst for something more than this world offers me. I want my life to matter, to make a difference, but when you feel like you're in the desert you wonder if it does. Like Jesus, I face temptations. I am tempted to want the things of this world more than I want the things of God.

My life in this world is like Lent. Thankfully, it doesn't end in the desert with me shriveling up and dying from heat-stroke and lack of water. No, it ends with me being given a river of life that flows out of me and an invitation to drink the water of life without charge! Just as the Church prepares for Lent in anticipation of Easter, Jesus' resurrection, so my life is a preparation for the great celebration that is to come -- the resurrection and my life in Heaven.

During this lenten season, in addition to blogging I will be doing a study series based on the book, "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Rich Stearns, the president of WorldVision USA. The book and daily action journal are about poverty and justice issues and how the Church has a duty to respond. I truly hope that God uses the series to move in my heart, giving me a deeper love for Him and His people. If you are interested in getting materials (some of which are free and can be found online) to do the series, you can find more information at:

And now, here goes. . .

Reflection: Day 1
I just moved into my first home and have spent the last few days unpacking boxes. I like for everything to have its own place so thankfully there are lots of shelves and storage areas in this house! Yesterday I was unpacking a box that contained photo albums from childhood up to present day. Since I hadn't looked through some in quite awhile, I decided that before I put them on the shelf, I would open each one at random and look at one page of photos. I thought it might break up the monotony of unpacking things. Little did I know, it would turn into a much greater blessing than that!

Many albums contained pictures from college. I saw photos of my friends from Tuesday Night Fellowship (TNF), and I remembered all of the fun that we had together. Pictures from the TNF leadership retreat I went on my freshmen year reminded me of how older members had invested in me. Pictures of the TNF skit team that I joined my first week of college and that I later led made me realize that any ability that I have or desire to create Christian sketches that illustrate the gospel in a fresh way sprang from time spent with that group. Pictures of our overseas mission trips made me think about how God sparked in me a love of other cultures that has led me to travel and to advocate for the less fortunate around the world. Could this be the place where the seed for my work/ministry with World of Difference was planted? Seeing the smiling faces of my friends as we ministered in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados also reminded me that it isn't just serving others that brings joy. It's serving with others. There is so much joy when we build community and serve together.

Each album that I opened spoke to me about how good God has been to me. The relationships He's given me, the places He's taken me, the joy, love and peace I've found in my relationship with Him. And I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for how God has used every thing in my life -- from "random" encounters to "innocent" invitations. The girl who invited me to TNF the first time never went back. I never left, and her invitation got me where I needed to be. The person who invited me to the Salvation Army in Madrid, the church where I later met my husband, never went back. But again, her invitation got me where I needed to be. Today both my husband and I are very involved in the ministries of the Salvation Army -- including arts and missions. Coincidence? I think not. God is that good. If you don't know Him or if you've forgotten how good He is, I pray that you wouldn't wait any longer. He can do incredible things in your life. He has in mine, and I'm so grateful for it!

See you tomorrow. . .

Friday, February 12, 2010

I've been reading the book, "Kingdom Without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity," by Miriam Adeney. It's a wonderful book which talks about how the gospel is growing and spreading across the world. What I particularly like about it is the way in which it shows how each culture receives Christ in its own unique way, often maintaining many of their cultural practices, but coming to see them in a new way in light of Christ.

The book comes to a close with a Thai story by Kukrit Pramoj. It is a re-telling of the story of blind Bartimaeus. In this retelling, after receiving his sight, blind Bartimaeus is not overjoyed, but rather overwhelmed. He sees the sewage and flies, the children in rags, the people with skin diseases. He sees the weary, bitter, hardened faces of the street vendors. And he sees the face of the girl he loved in his blindness. Having been burned in a fire, she has an oozing sore where her face should be, and he cannot stand to look at her. Then he sees Jesus crucified. Confronted with the ugliness of the world, he begs Jesus to make him blind again.

Supposedly, the story is a Buddhist response to the gospel. In Buddhism, life is empty, meaningless, and ugly, and since we can't do much about it, we should just try to rise above it -- to a consciousness that allows us to be on top of all the ugliness and suffering. It must be nice -- to rise above all of life's suffering, but a Christian cannot respond that way. When we see the ugliness of the world, we have to think the opposite. We have to think, "This is not the way that God intended things to be. So how can I be part of making it different?"

I find this story fascinating because when Bartimaeus asks to have his sight removed, he is choosing ignorance. Bartimaeus begs for sight, but when he actually sees, he is overwhelmed by it. He wants to pretend it's not there or at least find a way of escaping the fact that it is.

I am convicted by this. How often would I like to choose ignorance! But having traveled to many places in the world where people live in poverty and even seeing its affects in my own community, I can't. It's too late! I've seen the suffering in the world, and I can't go back. I can, however, choose my response. I can bury my head in my hands and act like it doesn't exist or I can ask God what part He wants me to play in making it better.

Jesus came to give sight to the blind. Our God is not one who wants us to pretend that suffering doesn't exist. He is one who wants us to look right at it and be changed. That's why He is still opening eyes to this day. I love Him even more for that.