The Creator spoke.
Light. Dark. Water above. Water under. Dry Ground. Plants and Flowers. Sun and Moon. Fish. Birds. Living Creatures.
Man. The Forming One kneading dust. Breath. Soul. Spirit. An image of Three.
He stood alone. His Creator closing his eyes. Rib taken. Bone of my bones. Flesh of my flesh.
Perfect helper. Formed from man, giving life back to him. Man leading, woman helping in perfect harmony. Knitted together, three strands strong.
Fruit, lovely and forbidden. The woman walked too close, too interested. The man followed. He didn’t lead her away. She didn’t help the man. The serpent asked questions.
She ate. He ate. Sin entering the Creator’s masterpiece. Black and ugly. It would take flowing blood to make white.
God pointing the way through generations. Blood on the door frame, making the shape of a cross.
Sacrifices. Holy of Holies. Laws. Lambs running outside the camp. The people still sin stained.
Born in a stable. The message brought to shepherds, the Lamb is born. He will not run away with sin. This Lamb will carry it up a lonely hill.
The Father giving, the Son giving, the Spirit giving. God so loved the world He gave. His flowing blood covering, making a way. Relationship restored, life given.
Jesus brought trusted friends close, spoke. Go, make disciples, baptize, teach. I will be with you.
Disciples obeying through generations. Eight year old girl admitting my sin, accepting His grace. Only His blood making me white.
Reading missionary books by flashlight. Praying. Hoping lands far away come near.
Learning going can mean going to school, the store, park. As I go, go.
God opening doors. Mission trips. Becoming a missionary. The wonder of His love, His sacrifice told to those who had never heard. There is a God who walked up a lonely hill. His blood our only hope. It is grace.
Married a man who went, goes, leads our family to go. I walk holding his hand, helping. Children needing obeying parents. Children learning by watching.
A wooden globe, hollow on the inside. And yet filled with God’s creation. God so loved the world. Every man. Every woman. Every child. All colors. All languages. God loved.
Globe waiting on the table. Family gathered around, food steaming in bowls. One child carefully opens the globe.
Children from the whole world waiting. All placed on the table. One selected, looks like a people group somewhere in the world.
We name a country. All share what we know. The child prays. Prays for God to send disciples to make disciples. Prays for open hearts. Prays for clean water. Surely the God who loves hears.
We open wide the world for our little ones.
Our children grasping life isn’t about them. They are vessels with living water, pouring out on others.
They draw pictures, write words to be translated to a little boy in Ethiopia through Compassion International. We pray for him to know Jesus. They give earned money to help him. He needs it.
We open wide the world for our little ones. They need to know. God is sending them. Each of them to go as they go.
We walk into homeless shelters. Meet new neighbors. Give to missionaries in countries we will never see. Talk to the lonely cashier in the store. Travel miles to tell those who God knows.
They ask why. We talk about the Savior’s extravagant love. He gave everything. We are only sharing the Bread given to us. Gracing others with our graced lives.
Children beginning to grasp true giving. When we pour, He fills. His heavenly supplies know no end. They can go into all the world. Not stopping to see what they left behind.
Graciously the Creator knitted each of them in my hollow places. They have a purpose, a race only God has marked out.
We stand cheering for our children to run. Training them to go, not stay. Praying they will take the narrow path, high onto mountain passes. It’s not safe, but His love compels abandon.
When our race is finished, we will stand before Him. Songs in every language praising the One who gave Himself. We hold hands, a family of many colors marked by the blood.
Our children in the choir, standing with those they told. The beautiful faces exploding with joy. Only what is poured out saved in the storehouses of heaven.
Today only a wooden globe. Someday heaven.
I will open wide the world for my little ones.
Photography copyright © by Jane Carole Stein