When I was little, we used to make fairies out of flowers in my grandma’s backyard. Upside down blooms became fairy skirts and buds became their little heads. We’d make them dance and fly with the help of toothpicks, and tell stories or play games with them. They’d be invited to magical tea parties and playdates with cousins.
Whenever I see a flower, I see a fairy.
The summer before my freshman year of high school I got contact lenses. I remember my dad drove me to the Cedar City Walmart Vision center and after a brief exam I got to try on my first pair. It was a miracle. I could hardly speak for the excitement and awe I felt at what I could see.
I remember seeing individual leaves on the trees from the passenger window as we drove on the freeway. I had no idea that people could see that far.
Every time I’m on the freeway I look out my car window to see the leaves.
I love the Old Testament. It’s a beautiful story about an imperfect family loved by God. He loves them so much that He chooses them, makes covenants with them, fights for them, works miracles for them, and promises them a Savior in Jesus Christ.
One of my favorite Old Testament practices is how they remembered experiences they had with God.
When miracles happened, they would name the place after what they learned about God.
In one of my favorite stories, due to an extremely sensitive and difficult situation, Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid found herself running away from home. An angel stopped her on the way and told her to turn back.
An angel stopped her.
The angel gave her promises from the Lord and glimpses of blessings in her future.
What she saw allowed her to turn back and face her uncertain and difficult present.
Before she returned home though the scriptures say,
“…She called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me; for she said, Have I also here looked after that seeth me?” (Genesis 16:13).
She named the well where she was “Beer-lahai-roi” which means “The well of Him who liveth and seeth me”.
Him who seeth me.
A few summers ago, I received a strong impression that I needed to pray to love my seminary students.
This wasn’t particularly unusual. I try to include my students in my prayers often, especially in asking for an increase of love for them.
The timing of the prompting was out of the ordinary.
It was summer so I did not have any students to pray for.
I knew a few from the year before, but I had no idea who would sit in my classroom.
So, I spent the whole summer praying for kids I did not know.
I prayed to love them the first time I saw them.
Just a few days before school started, I received an unexpected assignment to teach at another seminary.
I promptly cleaned up my office and classroom and headed to the new school.
The change was abrupt, and I was nervous.
The first day of school came faster than I was ready for.
As I stood in front of my first period class and looked, an abundance of love filled my heart. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t speak.
I had prayed for them all summer.
I loved them even though this was only the first time I saw them.
That love served me well as I witnessed miracle after miracle that school year.
Those kids became some of my sweetest friends. I love them.
I miss them.
That first day of school I learned that the Lord sees.
He saw me and my new assignment, but most importantly He saw those students.
He wanted me to see them.
To see them how He sees them.
Like flower fairies and freeway leaves we don’t forget when the Lord shows us what He sees.
When life is complicated and we want to flee, angels stop at wells to remind us that He sees us.
He sees them.
He sees you.
He sees me.
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My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!