As our children started attending the “adult” church service with us, we again talked about God sightings. These had nothing to do with nature but rather how God was showing up in their lives to teach or encourage them in their relationship with Him. We often get asked if we “make” our children attend church with us. We respond by saying that first of all it became a tradition in our family to go to church together. From the time they were 4 years old (the age we had them attend “adult” church), we believed it was important for our children to see us worship, learn from our Pastor and also engage in the family of God. Secondly, with great anticipation, we would remind them and ourselves we did not want to miss any God sightings and even more importantly, the opportunity for God to use us as a God sighting for someone else. Let me explain. There were Sunday mornings when certain teenagers were not all that excited about church (I know none of you can relate to that). During the greeting time, an older person might tap one of those said teens on the shoulder and say, “Young man, I am so glad to see you in church this morning!” Now that may not sound like a big thing to you, but if you’ve primed the pump to look for a God sighting, and then have something like that happen…well let’s just say it was better then 20 sermons!!!
What does this have to do with #TeamJustus you might be asking. At the moment when we realized we were in for one of the darkest, most difficult storms of our lives, we asked our daughter-in-law Caroline if she would begin to record the God sightings on this journey with Justus. Because of her technical and people skills we knew she would do a wonderful job making sure we collected these every day. So no matter how tired or discouraged or doubtful we felt, we ended each day at the hospital with a family meeting. The beginning of the meeting was all about Justus’ condition and the next 24-hour schedule and who would be at his bedside. Next we would check on everyone’s emotional condition and what they needed to get done in their own lives. Then, we would ask if anyone had a God sighting. All I can tell you is, there were more than can be told you in this post. Someday we hope to do a book for Justus of those God sightings once he can better understand what happened when he was 4 years old.
Here is one of my favorites God sightings:
Alyse had decided to fold cranes for Justus’ room. We were going to fold 1001 because it is significant in the Japanese culture. The girls had started this project during some especially hard days with Justus. After folding just a few, they realized what an undertaking this was going to be.
Simultaneously, and unbeknownst to his sisters, Tana got a call from a girl who knew of Justus’ story through a mutual friend. She shared her story about being in Dornbecher, sick and in a coma, when she was a little girl. She relayed that when she was waking up, one of the things that gave her comfort, was looking at the 1001-origami (paper) cranes hanging in her room. She asked if Tana wanted those cranes for Justus’ room. Tana being the gentleman that he is, thanked her kindly but said, “No thank you” because he did not know what we would do with a bunch of cranes (Afterwards, he said he had never heard of origami cranes nor what in the world their significance was!) When Tana went back to Justus’ room, there in the back of the room were his sisters folding paper cranes. He told Alyse about the phone call. Of course Alyse and the sisters immediately said, “YES! We want the cranes!”
So Tana messaged his friend and had to recant his response and offered to pay the shipping to get the cranes his sister wanted for Justus’ room. Her reply, “They are already on their way”. She ended up sending over 600 cranes to add to the task.
This may just sound like a cute coincidence in how I am retelling it. All I know is, at the time, this was one of the ways God made Himself present and known in a very tense time for our family. There are many more of these God sightings that are still taking place in Justus’ journey today. It has been one of the ways we have tried to live a life of faith with our children. We wanted their relationship with God to be personal, genuine and full of their own God sightings.
As far as Justus, he had a better day. Still getting over his little cold, but honestly, he’s staying strong. When you haven’t seen him in several days and then see him again, the change is extremely noticeable and very encouraging. We continue to pray for his surgery date. We also had a good day lifting up all the other requests that have come through #TeamJustus. Remember we’ve created a page on our Axis Ministries website to better list those requests and also link any information they have. Here’s the address –http://axisministries.org/
Remember what David has been saying… God is chasing you! He wants to make himself known. He wants you to see his hand in your life. He just needs us to open our eyes and open our hearts to seeing him. Think about it the next time you see the leaves changing color, or a “coincidence” happen in your life. Could it be, a God sighting? Don’t miss them!