I love this photo, and it resides on my fridge. It made me laugh out loud when I had it developed 6 years ago, and it still has the capacity to crack me up today. My oldest is just not buying what Ariel, the Mermaid is selling, and it is very telling of the difference that age and experience can make on a trip to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
Or in your day-to-day life, whichever the case may be.
Many years ago, I once heard Michael Card tell a story at one of his concerts about a friend of his who went to visit Mother Teresa seeking guidance and direction in his faith. I love MT deeply. She was small and yet so powerful with her no-nonsense ways and a deep abiding faith in God. A faith that was not without its seasons of deep struggle and dark nights of the soul. Yet she pressed on in loving the castaway’s and undesirables in her society.
I later found the story in written form in Brennan Manning’s Book, Ruthless Trust.
“When John Kavanaugh, the noted and famous ethicist, went to Calcutta, he was seeking Mother Teresa … and more. He went for three months to work at “the house of the dying” to find out how best he could spend the rest of his life.
When he met Mother Teresa, he asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she replied. He then uttered the request he had carried thousands of miles: “Clarity. Pray that I have clarity.”
“No,” Mother Teresa answered, “I will not do that.” When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Kavanaugh said that she always seemed to have clarity, the very kind of clarity he was looking for, Mother Teresa laughed and said: “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
I desperately fear the unknown, and too, long for clarity. I have very good reasons, for I know first hand that this world can be harsh and darkness great. But, I’ve had an opportunity this past month to reflect on all that God has done for me in bringing about redemption in my life. It has reminded of something my oldest said to me one day when she was about the same age as she was in this picture.
We were driving in the van, and she said out of the blue, “Mommy, you can’t see my white crayon on white paper.” The way she said it, you could tell this had vexed her for sometime. But then she said, “But you can see it great on black paper!” I smiled and knew that she was onto something deeply profound.
Sadly, it is easy for me to doubt or become suspect, and demand that someone give me proof before I believe or follow. And yet, He has given me all the proof that I need by writing on the black paper of my heart and life with the white crayon of the gospel. It is what stands out when you see me, and should be all the clarity that I need.