image comes to mind when you hear the phrase "You live in an ivory
know what my mind conjures up…fairy tales, castles, dragons, and
devastatingly handsome knights on white chargers rescuing damsels
in distress while hardly breaking a sweat. "Rapunzel," "Snow White,"
"Cinderella," "The Princess and the Pea," and "The Frog Prince"
are just a few of those favored fairy tales I could name.
remember as a child, loving to read and would often read those
make-believe stories before I went to sleep at night. An ivory
tower is safe, kind of like your bed at night, when you snuggle
down inside your comforter and slowly drift off to sleep.
question to you is…do you live in an ivory tower, whether it’s
an imagined one or a real one? Many of us, myself included, live
in ivory towers of our making.
as the wicked witch imprisoned "Rapunzel" to keep her safe from
contact with other humans, we shut ourselves away from the world.
We keep our distance from all the chaos, misery and nastiness
this world has to offer. It might just "rub off" on us and ruin
our Christian demeanor.
of us make our own prisons from our fears of danger, sin, our
past, financial problems, health problems, and even our fears
of having a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus said that He did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power
and of love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) I John 4:18 states
that "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear."
Even the much loved prayer of King David, Psalm 23 reads, "Yea,
though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will
fear no evil, for Thou art with me."
been taught since we were children that we needed to stay away
from danger…shun all the bad influences that can entrap us while
we are defenseless.
parents, I'm sure, lived through many nightmares and sleepless
nights while we grew from an infant into adulthood. Our parents
still worry about us, even though many of us have actually attained
that elusive mysterious place called "adulthood." I understand
more about that parental trait called "worry" since I now have
three children, two of whom are teenagers.
are faced with all kinds of temptations, dragons and beasts in
that gargantuan "Enchanted Forest" we now find ourselves. Unfortunately,
many of us have to dip our toes into that same forest before we
come to our senses. Thank Jesus for His mercy!
type of fairy tale do we live in our everyday life? Do we unselfishly
slave for others such as Cinderella? Do we have a wicked stepmother
or a miserable home life like Snow White?
we constantly gaze into a magic mirror, wishing for our lives
to suddenly be perfect? Do we sleep on the proverbial pea, constantly
tossing and turning, struggling to find our place in this world?
are not of this world any longer are we? Jesus called us away
from all of the chains that bind us here, including the chain
think it's time to knock down our ivory towers and take a look
at the example our Lord and Savior left us to follow. Did He remain
in the carpenter's shop, safe from harm?
could have chosen to do just that very thing. Did He stay close
to His mother, Mary, who thought she could shield him from harm,
just as we mothers today want to shield our teens from all the
"evils" of the world?
could have called down the legions of angels in heaven who were
waiting, breathless as they watched Him willingly give His all
for us…but He didn't. He would have kept His hands and feet on
that cross, even if there were no nails to hold Him there. He
held Himself there with Love.
should thank Him everyday for that Love, and not let one drop
of that precious Love go to "waste." We should be burning with
a desire to help all of those who do not know Him to realize the
great sacrifice that was freely given for them, and how so very
much He loves them.
may come as shock to many of us, if we truly reflect on our life,
that we have indeed shut ourselves away from the very commission
that Christ gave us.
love God with all of our heart and mind and soul…and to love our
neighbor as our self.."
like to skip over that last part because it's really so very hard
to do, and impossible for us to accomplish without the love of
like to often reflect upon the words of one of my favorite hymns…perhaps
it's yours as well.
make us instruments of your peace
there is hatred let your love increase
make us instruments of Your peace
of pride and prejudice shall cease
we are Your instruments of peace.
there is hatred, we will sow His love
there is injury, we will never judge
there is striving, we will speak His peace
the people crying for release
will be your instruments of peace.
there is blindness, we will pray for sight
there is darkness, we will shine His light
there is sadness, we will bear their grief
the millions crying for release
will be your instruments of peace.
on a prayer by St. Francis Assisi
I think these
words speak far better than I, what Jesus expects us to accomplish
in the few years He gives us on this earth. Actually, when I think
about the years I have to spend on this earth, and how many I
devote just to Jesus, well…sadly I think I fall very short.
My life is just too
busy living and struggling through the complexities of "life"
when I should be reflecting "LIFE."
To be instruments
of peace, we must take action and plunge headlong into where there
is no peace to be found.
Where there are walls
of pride and prejudice, we should be the first ones to extend
our hand of friendship in reconciliation. Take that sledge hammer
and knock those walls down, in the name of Jesus.
In order to sow His
love, we need to boldly enter those areas of the world we were
once told to stay away from. We need to brazenly conquer hatred,
Blindness comes in
many forms, spiritual blindness, physical blindness, refusing
to see the true Word of God when it's placed in front of us. Do
we listen to His will, recognizing it for what it is, especially
when He knocks at our heart?
He wants us to share
the joy and hope of knowing Him with all those that do not.
in this world; our families, children, fellow brothers and sisters
in Christ face darkness every day, having many tough choices to
make. Many of our foreign brothers and sisters face persecution
on a daily basis in third world countries.
Do we say a prayer
for them? Do we even give them a second thought? They are just
a small part of the millions crying for release?
Will you come down
from your ivory tower and be an instrument of peace? You many
need your hip boots, a raincoat, and a heart big enough to fill
the state of Texas, but you are a child of the King, and He needs
He needs you to be
an instrument of peace, his hands, his feet and his mouth.
"Cinderella" and "Snow White" are fairy tales, and in the end
they win the hand of a Handsome Prince. Guess what?
Our life is very
real and not just some words on a page written by one of the Grimm
We have those fairy
tales beat hands down and in the end, we also win the hand of
the Fairest King of them all, JESUS!
Isn't that worth
putting forth a little effort by climbing down from your ivory
tower? Sure it's scary…and it's a rough and rocky path, strewn
with many hazards.
Helping others who
are not as fortunate as you sometimes is a "thankless task." (at
least to our human reasoning). I realized that their material
possessions, or lack of them, doesn't really matter, but for them
to go without the Hope, the Joy, and the Love of Jesus, would
be more than many of them can bear.
I'm putting on my
hip boots as I write.
How about you?
Care to join me?