Behind The Veil
This is not the sort of veil you may be thinking about . . . the veil that millions of women worldwide wear to cover their heads and faces; nor is it the temple veil that split at the moment when Jesus on the cross, gave up his Spirit; and it’s not the veil that covers the radiant face of a bride until the moment her husband tenderly lifts the sheer lace in order to kiss his new wife.No, it’s none of those. It’s a different kind of veil.
One is flung randomly over some middle-aged and older people; and then occasionally, a veil is cast over the miracle we know as conception. These two are veils that cover the mind, but are not shrouds that stifle the spirit.
A Tale of Two Ruths: Ruth 1
The veil of Alzheimer’s has befogged my sister Ruth, my very dear sister Ruth, for several years. She was only nine and had two brothers when I popped onto the scene (in a hospital in China). Can you imagine the delight in a nine-year-old girl’s heart to have a baby brother to take care of? And probably a ‘surprise package’ at that! (Dear Reader: it may be a stretch for you to think of me as a baby . . . a crying, mewling and puking, ever-hungry, pampered and cloth-diapered infant. But, thus I once was.)
Ruth and I have always had a special feeling for each other, which I can only attribute to those early days of bonding. Though my sister and my other sibling’s families have always been scattered around the Earth, I, like a migrating bird, winging its way over countless miles of chartless ocean . . . like a salmon, bashing and thrashing it’s way hundreds and hundreds of miles up swift and rocky river rapids, waterfalls and other hazards to get to the place of its beginnings . . . well, that’s me. I have always felt drawn by some internal homing GPS and have managed to find a way to get to the remote and distant places where Ruth and her family have lived. I guess I was always looking for my origins; and my sister Ruth was that to me.
And in a way she still is that place of security to me. Though bound by a blanket of bewilderment, mostly not knowing who I am, it is a wonderful thing to sit, holding Ruth’s hand and loving her through her foggy veil, grasping at the few and fleeting and miniscule flashes of memory she has. Somewhere in behind the veil, Ruth’s spirit is alive.
[There are vast differences in the behavior of those who live behind the ‘Veil of Alzheimer’s.’ Most caregiver’s assignments are nothing short of continual, committed, courageous acts of love.]
Ruthie, as we all call her, carries a different kind of veil, also over her mind. It is the veil known as Down Syndrome. Short of a miracle, Ruthie will bear this condition for life. Though Ruthie may be ‘behind’ in speech and other developmental issues, she is one of the most ‘alive-in-the-spirit’ children you could ever meet. She is a joy; she is a delight . . . not simple, but simply a delight.Sympathy is not what Ruthie invites. She radiates joyfulness and a bubbly temperament that is almost always there. She lights up a room. She has her teenaged boy cousins eating out of her hand and her girl cousins can’t get enough of her. That her parents, grandparents and anyone who meets her immediately and unconditionally falls in love with her is a no-brainer. She is a miracle, just the way she is.Without denying that this kind of a veil puts an extra burden on parents, many with children who carry this ‘veil’ testify to the fact that these special kids are a plus, not a minus, a credit not a debit.And yet this ‘Down veil’ is being lifted in many places. And it is being lifted in such a way as is considered to be a blessing to the human race. I’m not so sure.I refer of course to the pregnancy tests that enable a pre-birth diagnosis of various abnormalities to be found in a baby while still in its mother’s womb. These tests, though a blessing in many cases, far too often lead to the ‘disposal’ of a child. In our city and region, the birth of Down Syndrome babies has become virtually unheard-of. (Is that a blessing or a curse? Think about it.)
As a man, I cannot speak with any experiential authority to this issue. I cannot ever know the horror of being a young – or older – woman facing an unwanted pregnancy. And I offer no advice in this area; I can only offer compassion and the strong desire that the sanctity of human life – life from the beginning of life – be recognized, and that Godly choices are made.
I offer less compassion for men who coerce their partner or wife or daughter into a fatal ‘choice.’
The closest Donna and I have come to this kind of decision was in the adoption of our son. His birth mother had named him Peter (which was already our name-choice before we ever heard about him). Though he bore some physical defects that in today’s world might easily have resulted in his ‘de-selection’ as being unworthy of joining the human race, he made it into this world with the compensation of having a brilliant mind. And I suppose we too could have ‘unselected’ him at the moment we first set our eyes upon him. But that was a choice that Donna & I and our three girls easily brushed aside—we were overjoyed and halfway over the moon as we eagerly carried him home.
Both Ruth 1 and Ruth 2 live up to the meaning of their name, they’re absolute opposites of ruthless (which means ‘merciless, cruel—and a lot of other bad stuff.’) The word ‘ruth’ means merciful and compassionate.
Are the Ruths you know well named and ruthfull?
There are other kinds of veils than those carried by the two Ruths; veils that any and all of us are vulnerable to. One is the veil known as a “blind spot.” This is a veil we can throw over our memory, blotting out unpleasant past events, while struggling to move on in life; yet all the while in denial of things that we have done or have had done to us; things that veil and therefore cripple parts of who we really are—who God created us to be.
The good thing is that we don’t need to be ‘veiled for life.’ There are trustworthy pastors, counselors, friends and spouses who can, with Father God’s help, assist us to shuck off any veil and walk through the rest of life, in the light.
Are You In a Job or In a Ministry?
A job is at your choice.
A ministry is at Christ’s call.
In a job you expect to receive.
In a ministry you expect to give.
In a job you give something to get something.
In a ministry you return something that has already been given to you.
A job depends on your abilities.
A ministry depends on your availability to God.
A job done well brings you praise.
A ministry done well brings honor to Christ.
True Authority ~ From Heaven’s Viewpoint
By Jill Herringshaw, currently on staff of a DTS
The other day I asked a staff colleague, a dearly loved and respected friend, to agree in prayer with me for a student. As we prayed I saw something I had never seen. Before my mind’s eye, I saw myself walking hand in hand with this friend towards the throne.
There were many people present, and as we approached, those surrounding Him there who were presenting their prayers, offerings, and worship . . . they all graciously and reverently stepped aside as they saw us coming; this created an aisle for us to approach His very feet.
It was my friend that they were deferring to, for they recognized her as one who frequents This Place and who, though little known on this Earth’s turf, is highly regarded There. As she presented her requests, I wept to hear her voice reverberate through the halls of Heaven, for all of Heaven stopped to listen to her.
And now I see that this is what happens with a life that is quietly devoted to God in prayer. My friend has gained a place of honor that few have achieved. This place of authority in prayer only comes from clocking many hours there in God’s chamber.
Father, please sign me up. I’ll need Your help, and Oh, I’d love my friends to ‘catch’ this too. Please?”
Farewell to Dian Falconer (Crossroads DTS Crystal Springs, New Zealand 1994), taken by the Christchurch earthquake.
Childlikeness: Part 1I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus of NazarethGod is calling us to be childlike in our faith, not childish.
Children are listening to God and receiving such amazing spiritual understanding. In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy . . . (Acts 2:17) Prophecy, very simply, is listening to God and speaking what He says.
One day my daughter Michelle was taking her very ill, six year-old son Jonathan, to the doctor. In the car, Michelle asked him, “What are you thinking about, Jonathan?” He replied, “I’m thinking about what it would be like in heaven.”
Michelle, hiding her concern that he was talking about being in Heaven, said, “What do you think Heaven will be like, Jonathan?” With no hesitation, her little son said, “There will be crowds of people standing around together and then a huge present will come down in front of everyone.
Curious, Michelle continued, “Really? Do you know what’s in that present?” Jonathan came right back, “It’s a big city and it’s all gold.” Michelle continued her questions, “Jonathan, why do you think it’s gold?” His immediate response was, “Well Mum, that’s my favorite color!”
(My grandson had never heard about New Jerusalem’s streets of gold.)
There’s a beautiful picture book that all my grandchildren have read called, Children, Can you Hear Me? by Brad Jerzak, a friend of our family. For our little ones, it’s their favorite book. I teach in many nations on how to listen to God, and if the people seem to think this is all too complicated, the Holy Spirit sometimes ‘nudges’ me, and I pull up this children’s book on PowerPoint; with its wonderful color paintings, I ‘show and tell’ it to the people and it gives such an amazing insight into who God our Father is.
I’ve been reading, Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, about his four year-old son, Colton, who as he was dying, went to heaven, but came back. When he asked Jesus why He died, he replied that Jesus had told him, so that the rest of us could go and see His Dad.
He also said to his own dad, “Did you know Jesus has a cousin?” He had told Colton that His own cousin had baptized Him. His father asked his son, “Was his name John the Baptist?” and Colton said, “I don’t know, but he was really nice.” Another thing Colton kept repeating was that, “Jesus loves the children; He told me to tell you.”
It’s important we teach our children how to listen to God.
Lots to think about. I love it.
Love & Blessings,
(to be continued)
Renewal Camps & Gatherings
July 25-30: Norway (Skjærgårdsheimen, perhaps the most beautiful location in all of YWAM). Mark & Jill Herringshaw, former pastors of a very large Lutheran church in Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota, will be the speakers—they are now North American Coordinators for YWAM Associates.
Contact: Lidvard Andreassen – firstname.lastname@example.org
July 27-Aug 3: Germany Hainichen (Saxony) Markus Egli plus Jeff and Romkje Fountain, former directors for YWAM Europe,
Contact: email@example.com Aug 7-13: France (Le Gault la Forêt) Champagne region, near Paris, with Daniel Schaerer – “Our Destiny in God” Aug 18-21: Switzerland (Burtigny) near Geneva, with Eliane Lack France & Switzerland Camps: www.ywamassociates.eu
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