Updated: Jan 25
It's a a cold and rainy day here as I write this. I usually wait till towards the end of January to set the themes and direction for the new year. I'd rather not rush into it with my own plans and agendas, but let my course be charted through prayer and thoughtful remembrance and reflection of the past year. This let's dreams and paths emerge for the new year, themes that will be confirmed as I make my way through the year.
As I was walking into this year, a picture I took at the local Arboretum (below), helped me frame a few thoughts about walking into the new year, literally and figuratively. Those trees form the most beautiful arched tunnel, making it a great photo backdrop. As I looked at this picture, I was reminded of our Maker's love and protection that forms a canopy or covering over our lives. A place for us to thrive as we follow the direction and paths that He leads us to, even into the unknowns. We can walk those paths in the safety of the shelter of His embrace.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and we have been sharing information on social media to raise awareness and bring about rescue and healing. To take on this fight for justice, our courage can only come from knowing the love, protection and healing we are offered when we choose to come under God's Canopy. As we look to help provide physical canopies of shelter and rescue, let's also not forget to offer the hope of the only Canopy that all of us so desperately need to be under.
I'm ending with one of my favorite quotes from Gary Haugen, founder of International Justice Mission, in his book, Just Courage. "And in presenting before us the struggle for justice, our Maker asks: Do you want to be brave, or do you want to be safe? Jesus wants us to realize that it's a choice, and he wants us to know that he takes care of us so well that it is actually safe to be brave. Remember what Lucy said in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when she hears of Aslan for the first time? She asks, "Is he quite safe?" The answer, of course is , "No, He's not safe, but he's good." Even so, as we follow such a lion into the world it will not be safe. But it will be good. Very good."