On a sandy beach in Uruguay, giant concrete fingers partially submerged in sand reach up toward the sky. It is called the Monument to the Drowned. Locals just call it La Mano, “The Hand.” It was created by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal as a warning to swimmers about the danger of drowning. “The Hand” has become a tourist attraction, but its real purpose remains to remind swimmers about the perils of the sea.
I love writing for Our Daily Bread. I confess, however, that sometimes I whine to my friends about how difficult it is to communicate everything I would like to say in a short devotional. If only I could use more than 220 words.
A college student I met had recently placed her faith in Christ. She described her initial life-change this way: “When I trusted Christ for salvation, it felt like God reached down from heaven and placed a new set of eyes in my eye sockets. I could understand spiritual truth!”
In a message to the 2002 graduates of Cedarville University, Dr. Paul Dixon encouraged them with these words: “Your times are in God’s hands.” Our family listened and thought it was appropriate for the graduates, which included our daughter Julie.
When I was growing up in Singapore, I remember that some of my school friends were kicked out of their homes by their non-Christian parents for daring to believe in Jesus Christ. They suffered for their beliefs and emerged with stronger convictions. By contrast, I was born and raised in a Christian family. Though I didn’t suffer persecution, I too had to make my convictions my own.
In one of Joe Morgenstern’s weekly Wall Street Journal columns about movies, he considered the impact of the great film stars in close-up scenes where they said nothing at all. “Movie stars,” he wrote, “can do as little as they do at crucial moments because, having already earned our respect, they can assume that we’re paying attention.” This quality of powerful silence that we admire in actors and actresses, however, can be frustrating or disappointing in our relationship with God when He is silent.
The Taj Mahal in India is a magnificent mausoleum. Built entirely of white marble, it was commissioned by the Emperor Shah Jehan in memory of his wife, who died suddenly. It took 22 years to complete. Millions of tourists visit this memorial annually in order to see this grand structure the emperor ordered to be built in memory of the woman he loved.