Sonic Footprint

If anyone questions whether there is a God, He is always fully present.  If anyone asks if He hears our prayers, glance at who He places in your presence.  If anyone wonders if He answers those prayers, look to the present to see how gloriously he responds.  If anyone inquires about His expectations of us, teach them how His love demonstrates His present responsibility.

Faithful living brings a heart full of hope and a life of love and joy.  Each day, we draw the picture of faithful living by the sonic footprint (the pattern and mark our words are leaving on others) we place on those around us.

Below is an excerpt from an earlier post.  At the time, I was trying to keep a positive sonic footprint while I was in the middle of a storm.  You see, I believe that economic independence is obtained through education.  Two years ago, my dream of my offspring having that seemed to be going up in smoke.  The anguish I experienced was soothed only in the comforting arms of prayer and through the encouraging words of others.  God sent a prophet to me to let me know everything would be okay and charted a course my daughter could take to get where she needs to be.  She is now on that course.  She has pulled herself together and will soon enter community college.  Enjoy!

While I was working at guest services today, a man on the security team named Aaron Hope approached me and began talking to me.  His opening words included a comment on the emblem on my shirt. The emblem was my daughter’s high school and mascot.  He told me he graduated from there just a few years ago.  He talked about his positive experiences there as well as his challenges and struggles.  His story included examples of his involvement in many activities, his laziness as a student, the encouragement of his parents, and his eventual and close-call path to graduation.  I explained to him the grip fear has on me as I see my daughter in the exact same place while running out of time to correct her course.  He laughed at the similarities between the two of them.  He gave me some tips on clever ways to encourage her and let me know that his educational path ended with a college degree.

He was honest with me about the three university rejection letters that were the results of his less than perfect grades.  He talked about having to apply to the local community college and finally getting accepted.  It was a challenging experience for him because he knew he was a smart kid who had failed to apply himself.  His decisions led to a less than desirable result.  He was left behind as he watched his friends go away to four-year universities while he stayed at home to attend junior college.  Through the experience, he found motivation to succeed.  He regularly attended community college classes, paid attention, and made good grades.   During his first year at the school, he visited a high school friend who got into a state university just two hours away.  After visiting the campus just once, he committed to doing what it took to get admitted.  The next year, he transferred there.  He suggested that I take my daughter on a campus visit to the university and informed me that it has an undergraduate program and a follow on professional school program in my daughter’s area of interest.  He ended the conversation with reminding me to be prayerful and patient because everything was going to work out.  He then smiled and went on his way.

I believe this experience was God’s plan.  God knew about the emotional meltdown my daughter had the day before when she realized the deep whole she was in because of low grades.  He heard her cry out in my arms that she was slipping into a spiral and did not know how to stop it; that she is one of the smartest people in her group of friends but has the lowest grades because she hasn’t been studying like she should; and that she performed poorly in her sporting event the night before because she was tired as she can’t sleep because she is worried about passing her classes for the quarter.  God’s spirit moved me to stay at home Saturday night to be with her instead of coming to church.  He knew I was feeling fearful about her future, alone, and helpless.  He also knew I needed a constructive example of an encouraging person who would make me feel good, to help me through the moment as well as to assist me with improving my sonic footprint.

Sooooo…to bring me into the fold, I was struck with an issue of importance to me, my daughter.  God worked it out that I would be standing alone in His house the next day.  He sent a handsome and physically fit young man who is half my age because He knew that would catch my attention.  He sent a messenger named Aaron Hope – a brother and keeper from a high place bearing a strong and confident prospect.  (Aaron is Hebrew for teacher, lofty, exalted; also Moses’ older brother and keeper by God’s command.  Hope means to cherish a desire with anticipation.)  Because I was vulnerable, I was able to hear God’s voice and was encouraged while receiving a lesson on how to advance His kingdom.  Through the 10 minute interlude with Aaron, I was left with this:

  1. With Great intentionality, God sent his exalted teacher to remind me to stay optimistic and faithful as events of the future occur by His will and in His time.
  2. 5 “Before I started to put you together in your mother, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart as holy.  I chose you to speak to the nations for Me.” Jeremiah 1:5
  3. As I wait, I must be an Aaron Hope by being positive with my words, leaving others feeling good and God led.

1 Peter 1 (MSG) tells us:

3-5 What a God we have!  And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus!  Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now!  God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.  The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. 

6-7 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime.  Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.  When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. 

8-9 You never saw him, yet you love him.  You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing.  Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation. 

10-12 The prophets who told us this was coming asked a lot of questions about this gift of life God was preparing. The Messiah’s Spirit let them in on some of it—that the Messiah would experience suffering, followed by glory.  They clamored to know who and when.  All they were told was that they were serving you, you who by orders from heaven have now heard for yourselves—through the Holy Spirit—the Message of those prophecies fulfilled.  Do you realize how fortunate you are?  Angels would have given anything to be in on this!

13-16 So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives.  Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing.  You didn’t know any better then; you do now.  As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness.  God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

17 You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way.  But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.

About valencia68

With gratitude, I openly play and learn in the diverse waters of creativity and connection. View all posts by valencia68

5 responses to “Sonic Footprint

  • Aaron

    Great message and fantastic takeaways. So many times we walk through our own lives concerned about our own futures and next steps. So rarely do we stop and think, “what influence will I, or this conversation, have on others.” Thank you for sharing your insight into what you got from a conversation that came at such a timely point in your life. My takeaway from this post is, always be mindful of other people’s struggles, concerns, and challenges, and remember that God put all of us in a place for a reason… sometime to receive a message, but sometimes to (unknowingly) deliver it. Thank you!

  • valencia68

    To God be the glory for His plan for the greater good of all of His children. Please know that He is always with us, even in the midst of the storm. I am glad you are back and happy you are okay.

  • jlawrence408

    Oh, what a blessing it was to catch up on reading your words of wisdom. Life is quickly passing and with it has been tragedy after tragedy. It was just enough to allow a spirit of fear to creep in. I am aware that fear comes from the enemy, surely I will get my footing back and be able to make sense of everything that has happened.

    The Mexico mission trip was filled with the joy of meeting new brothers and sisters in the Lord. They were true examples of serving others with His love. I promised to return (God willing) to serve side by side with them again next year. That was in October when I hugged them tightly and wiped tears from my eyes as I said goodbye. I felt a dark cloud pressing against His light and returned home feeling uneasy. One of my new sisters in the Lord was Elisa. A young attractive woman in her thirties, married and mother of three beautiful girls. Elisa was running for Mayor of the village they live in. Her father Manuel had been mayor years previously and so proud that his daughter wanted to serve her community. Daily I would hear what resembled an ice cream truck as it drove up and down the dirt roads encouraging citizens to vote for Elisa over the make shift loud speaker. Eloxochitlan, Oaxaca is one of the poorest villages in Mexico. The people survive on less than $2.00 a day. Elisa’s family are considered well off due to God’s blessings. Manuel started a fish hatchery and a small kitchen on their property. Weekly they invited the village to their home and fed everyone that came. Manuel’s home was turned into a clinic while I was there. Elisa and David opened their home for a missionary couple and their young daughter. Elisa’s brother had a mechanics shop on property with several employees next door to their parent’s house. Our Physical Therapist and I stayed in a house within walking distance. The family had given up their home and had moved in with their parents. It was a run down typical Mexican house that was obviously cleaned on hands and knees for our stay. Two other missionaries were hosted by a family across the street from where we slept. The men in our group shared a room at Manuel’s house. I walked the streets at night alone feeling secure as I made my way to the village square. I was always greeted by smiling faces as I passed by. I was humbled by their humility and graciousness. Children would giggle at my attempt to speak to them in Spanish and some would even take the time to correct my mispronunciation or learn to say hello in English. I admired Pastor Chable’ who drove the curving roads for six hours to the village from his ranch in Oaxaca twice a week for the past few years. It had become his mission field. He started a small church in Eloxochitlan that sat amongst the Catholic churches adorned with statues of Mary. These were his sheep and he served with such love.

    On December 14th, all those mentioned above gathered together to make their way to the village square to vote for a new mayor, Elisa. A riot broke out and as Elisa told it from her hospital bed, they were there to kill them. They were all beaten and left for dead. Elisa spent a month in the hospital. The doctor’s feared that she would never walk again. Her mother was also hospitalized and had to have surgery to try to save her eye. Pastor Chable’ was in the village that day and badly beaten. He had a concussion and the doctor’s wanted to admit him but he told them that his sheep needed him. Elisa’s brother, the one who owned the mechanics business, was stripped, tied to a pole and beaten to death. One of his employee’s tried to protect Elisa but to no avail. He was beaten to death and found floating in one of the ponds at the fish hatchery. Every house that we stayed in was burned to the ground as well as every one of their vehicles. Pastor Chable’ took the five families that weren’t hospitalized to his ranch in Oaxaca where they would be safe, regroup after losing everything and physically heal. Adventures in Life Ministries contacted me in Wisconsin with the horrific news. Pastor Dave was returning to Oaxaca the following week to minister to our new friends. God used his writing skills to plead with churches in Nevada and California to meet the needs of our Christian brothers and sisters that were in such despair during the Christmas season. Pastor Dave raised $30,000 in two weeks. God provided another truck for Pastor Chable’ who needed to make daily trips to the hospital and a vehicle to get into town to buy food for his guests and animals on the ranch. He also needed to drive back up to the village to begin clean up once they had healed enough to do so.

    I still don’t know who these men were that beat and killed my new friends. I will hear all the details in time. My husband will never allow me to return to Mexico now. I am alright with that and know that our reunion will be sweet one day in Heaven. God will restore what the enemy meant for harm. Elisa’s brother and employee are in God’s presence where there is no more pain. Elisa and all the others are strengthened by the outpouring of God’s provision and love. I am safe at home knowing that God’s protection sheltered me from harm weeks earlier. God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

    Two weeks later I would be faced when tragedy hit closer to home. Another story for another day. With news of terrorists on every channel and loved ones being taken years before their time, my own mortality as I watched my husband unable to get around without the use of a walker due to diabetic neuropathy—-fear has encompassed me. Thank you for reminding me that I stand on the rock. God is still in control while evil appears to be winning. Its ok not to stuff all these feelings as I am accustomed to doing. I need to be willing to go to those dark places that I have ran from all my life. God will be my strength as he continues to show me the evil that exists. I don’t question why, we know how this story ends. But, I am learning answers to questions in my heart that I have pondered over the years. God knows all and sees all. He is just.

    In Him,
    Janet

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