Saturday, November 10, 2012


“Yes, I wish he could play baseball.  I wish I could see him drive up to the house in an old pick-up truck.  Yes, I wish I could hear him say “momma”.  But, God has used my son, Brandon, to show me more about His love than any sermon I've ever heard, or any song I've ever sung."  These words have been spoken many times by my dear friend, Karen.  One thing her son, Brandon, can do and does it very well, is swing!  I think he tries to get as close to God as he can because he swings so high his feet almost touch the top of the porch!  Brandon’s story began a lot like Briley’s.  Though Brandon can’t speak, his story has been told many times.   And, like Briley’s story, it has been used to change many lives.  A story to tell; their playground.

Sitting in the hospital room, mommy is talking with Briley FAITH, a rattle in hand.  I watch Briley’s big beautiful eyes follow the sound.  To the left then to the right.  Watching, listening. 

I can’t help but wonder, “Will she ever run and play?”  “Will she laugh all the way down the slide?”  “Will she swing as high as Brandon swings?”  “Will we take walks around the playground surrounded by big oak trees, trying to catch the acorns as they fall?”  Yes, I wish, too.  But then God shows me a different playground.  One she is already on!  Her playground is a playground we should all be on…God’s. 

Oh, nothing at all is wrong with taking the little ones to the playground.  Nothing at all is wrong with a daddy swinging his child around and around and around as if flying like superman!  Wonderful moments!  Very important moments to take!

The “playground” God revealed to me is full of hurting people.  This place is full of those who hunger, those who thirst.  Many who have lost their desire to play “life”.  Lost, alone and have never met “Hope” on their playground.  Throughout their days have never seen “Faith”.  All alone.  Wanting a friend.  Someone to help them laugh again.  Someone that brings sunshine to their playground of life.  Someone who will run at their side sharing encouraging words.  Just someone.

Briley is on that playground.  Sharing kindness.  Feeding the hungry with God’s word.  Giving water to the thirsty.  Encouraging others to live life!  Reminding them that they are special!  That God loves them, too!  She’s become a friend to the lonely, a light to those who have lived in darkness!  She is that smile that reaches to the inside of every person on her playground!  Thank you, God, for how You are using Briley on her “playground”.

Now, I have to look at my “playground”.  It, too, is full of hurting people, the hungry, thirsty, lonely, and lost.  Instead of wondering if Briley will ever swing as high as Brandon, I am now asking myself, “What am I doing on the playground where God has placed me?”  Why do I let “skinned knees” keep me from getting up again?  I see the grass has grown in my playground and the equipment is rusted.  It’s time to go back.  Pull the weeds and add God’s Word to the soil.  Remove the rust and apply the trust.  To introduce Faith and Hope.  To make a difference.

What does your playground look like?  Are you playing “church”?  Are you playing “Christian”?  Or, is your playground a mission field like Brandon's and Briley’s?

Heavenly Father,

Thank You that when You sent Your son, Jesus Christ, to die for us all that it was for real!  You weren’t pretending!  You didn’t say let’s just do this for fun!  You had a purpose!  Your purpose gives us purpose!  Forgive me for not letting You use my purpose to the fullest!

Thank You for giving Briley the playground of making a difference!  Oh, if I could only be in my life where she has already been in her little life.  Truly making a difference!  If I could have let go of me and reflected You early on in my years like Josh and Crystal are!  Oh, Father, please forgive me!

But, I know You are not finished with me!  I know You are not finished with all those who are reading this!  I know You have a purpose for us all!  A playground, a mission field!  Lead the way.  My heart has learned to follow Your will.  My soul is fuller in this emptiness.

Briley has given so much to me and many others.  I know You have a huge reward for her!  If I have gained any rewards at all, my dear precious Lord, please give them to her!  If You have healing for me, please give it to her!  Give her my tomorrows.  She still has playtime,  right?

Forgive me, Lord, but my heart is crying today.

In Your name, the only Way, the only Reason, I come.  AMEN!

Isaiah 61:1-3
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,  To proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;  To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,  To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

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