Julie Lyles Carr: Sunday Selah

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Selah

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.

1 Peter 1:17

There's nothing like going through the family video library to make you think about your past.

That's what we've been up to around here the last couple of days.

Back when Da Boy and 1 of 8 were mere youngsters, they made some crazy videos with our video camera and we've been trying to find all of that footage. We've come across some really funny footage and have laughed at how young and gawky and witty and pithy Da Boy and 1 of 8 were back in the day.

And, some might argue, still are today.

The witty and pithy part, that is.

But it's also been a fascinating look back at the various houses and locales and friends who have graced our stage. And it's incredible to see the kids through baby stages and toddlerhood and charming early childhood.

And to see myself in those situations.

Even when I'm not always thrilled with what I see on those archives.

Particularly the way I looked from behind in those mom jeans.

I don't know if it's the lack of sleep or the pregnancies or the frenetic lifestyle of the last few years, but I find myself watching these home videos transfixed. There is just so much I don't remember or have forgotten. It's the chaos of the Christmases, small children scrambling, the noise, the huge laughter, the squeals. It's the videos of the kids explaining homeschool projects with drooling babies crawling into frame and kid debris littering the counters and coffee tables. We've oohed and aahed over the irresistible cuteness of the kids at the ages of two and laughed at the awkwardness of the preteens with their crazy braces and odd fashions.

And then there is the occasional shot of me, sometimes operating in patience, sometimes not, sometimes using a gentle tone, sometimes frustration and stress evident in my voice. Sometimes the house is fairly picked up and sometimes it's a disaster. And this is all with my awareness that there is a camera on.

It's all captured on those little micro cassettes. For posterity. For history.

I wonder what will be played in the HD Jumbotrons when we stand in the arena of faith before the Lord. Our lives are ever lived before Him, our every deed captured by His eye. I have to ask myself if I am living in a way that shows me aware that it's all being captured. While I know that my sins are no longer counted against me because of the blood of Christ, I also know that the fruit of His Spirit should be evident in every frame of my life. And I think about the times that I'm just plain sloppy, my attitude off, my tone a bit harsh. Not a big stinking mess as far as messes go, but unattractive and cringe-worthy all the same. A gawky stage I should have long outgrown.

This life is the ultimate reality show and the only licensed editor of what is captured on the film of our lives is the Messiah. For grace to be shown in its full value, I wonder if some of my more ugly angles will make their way into the home movies of Heaven.

Not to embarrass. But to show the space filled by grace. Not to condemn. But to show the distance spanned by the open arms of the Savior.

I want to live knowing I'm on a camera of conviction. I want to consider what the movies of this life will hold. And I want to remember that the eye of Heaven is not fooled by the fake and isn't bamboozled by posturing. It will be the motives of my heart that will play across the screen.

It certainly gives me pause.


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