Friday, April 24, 2015
Sniffles and snuffles and coughing and shuffles
Sleeping, repeating, trying some eating
Fretting, regretting, please no more retching
Hulu and Netflix, hour count: six[flipped]
Breathe in, breathe out, both through the mouth
Alka seltzer and Theraflu, man I sure love you
I need you but I don't, let me explain. Please come in, but don't stay, my tissues were just too far away.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Beauty is a funny thing
It quirks and surprises
Strengthens and weakens
It can change people and change plans
It can make us brave
It can make us sad.
Sometimes it's a pretty face
Or shape or sculpture or painting
Beauty on the surface
But it can be something deeper
Something vast and lasting
Something that gets in your soul
I -small - sit and watch your creation
Observing, learning, listening,
Beauty like yours deserves attention
But I - small - sit in silence
Unable to do you justice
Unable to form the words
When Beauty like yours deserves shouts
Of triumph of joy of love
I -small - am only quiet
But what I have
My still tongue, my quiet heart,
My silent reverence, belong to you
Every part of me
Every moment given
To Beauty like yours
Friday, November 22, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I've read Mark 15 for days.
At first it was intentional - I didn't want to breeze over the most pivotal choice both man kind and God ever made. And then I was sucked in. I have so many questions.
Why does Mark kind of gloss over it? Why is there no grief? Is it because he knows what happens next? Is it because his mentor has just faced a similar fate? Is it because there's a sting that Jesus rose and Peter does not?
I tried to read it without thinking about the next chapter. I tried to read it like someone who doesn't know the story. In Mark, the telling of the murder of Christ is brief. It's kind of has the feel of, "let's get through this bit so we can move on to the rest of the story." He kind of glosses over the unpleasantries.
In my mind, I picture myself reading this for the first time - I picture myself seeing the scene in my head. If I was still myself, but myself without God, reading this story would send me over the edge.
I have anticipation issues. I always want to know what comes next and I get a bit of anxiety if the next step remains undecided for too long.
When I read books, I need to know. I've stayed up all night and into the next morning to finish a book because I need to know.
So, if I were me, but not me, I would have gobbled up this chapter and careened right into the next. "What?! Mary and this guy's mom saw where he was buried? Why does that even matter? Oh my gosh. This is going to be a late night."
I wonder if that is how Mark felt. I wonder if he was so excited to get on to the next part, the hope part, that he kind of saw the back story as a means to an end. That sounds harsh, which of course is not what I want. I think you get my meaning.
Part of me understands that. You need history to have present, to have future. And so much of the time I am so ready for what is next I forget to remember that what was before is just as important. We repeat history when we forget it. I repeat history when I forget it. When I forget what God has done, when I forget how far I've come.
But then, another part of me wonders...Was Mark trying to avoid the grisly stuff? You have to have it in there so the story makes sense, but it's so concise. This life altering, world changing, history making, future forming event is written more like a timeline and less like a story.
This part of me understands too though. How often do we cover up the ugly? How often do we hide the sad and the desperate and the lonely? How many times have we held in our struggle?
I wonder about Mark. He couldn't have been much older or younger than me. This young man penned an account that is in THE book. You know? This young guy wrote down some one else's story, and it is in the very pages that guide us today. I'd love to ask him what he was thinking. I want to know if that is just the way he writes, if that is just part of his personality.
Maybe though, he was a trooper. Maybe he wasn't hiding his grief (his mentor had just died after all. That's got to be pretty heart breaking). Maybe he felt led to write this account of Jesus' life. What if he felt led to do it, but he was still sorrowing over the loss of his friend? What if he didn't simply say, "Lord, I can't. It's too much." If he was anything like me, he would have thought and prayed and argued a little, and then, he would have given a brief, "Ok, Lord. I'm in."
Perhaps Mark doesn't skim through the torture of Jesus for any reason other than he was called to use his gift in a time of pain and grief and sadness. And he answered that call by submitting to God and doing the best job that he could. Despite how he felt.
And it's in the Bible. His book is in the Word of God.
I think that God doesn't always call us to excellence (of course He wants us to be excellent - what Dad wouldn't?). I think that He calls us to submission. And I think from that obedience come things beyond what we can imagine.
Mark's book is in the BIBLE. That blows my mind.
Side note: I think Mark and I could have been great friends. I bet we'll hang out in heaven.
We've been reading "The Jesus I Never Knew" By Philip Yancy in my small group (the book is awesome - you should read it. It's challenging me in all kinds of ways). And in there is an incredible quote by C.S. Lewis that I'd never read before (I know that me wanting to quote C.S. Lewis will come as a surprise to you seeing as how I've never referenced him or his work before - get over the shock as best you can).
“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward … promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea."
This is such a perfect example.
Maybe we don't think we measure up to God's standards (Yancy also addresses this in his book - seriously, read it) so He could never possibly want us.
Maybe we have lost the capacity to dream - maybe our hope receivers have shorted out.
Maybe everything looks too bleak - life is too hard, too heart breaking, too soul crushing.
We become so accustomed to mud pies that we can no longer comprehend the vastness of the ocean.
I think it's time to wash the mud off my hands and go play in the waves.
Thanks for reading
Saturday, August 24, 2013
I love nature. I don't particularly want bugs (or most animals) to touch me, and I have a semi-irrational fear of most flying beasties. But, that doesn't mean I don't see the beauty in them. Bees and bee like things, for example, are what I would (slightly melodramatically) call my nemesis. But I can appreciate them for their pollinating ways, their intense work ethic, and unwavering devotion to their royalty.
I had a friend jokingly tell me that I am maybe a little over appreciative of nature, but as far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing. (I know someone is going to say something, so I'll add a disclaimer. Yes, worshiping nature is taking zeal for the earth too far. But that's not the page myself, or my friend, were on).
The beauty of this earth is meant to be enjoyed.
I watched it as I walked to my car, trying to examine every fluff of cloud in sight and analyzing the way the lingering light hit each one, and the resulting colors being played upon them. I stared breathlessly at the vastness as I drove down a nearly empty road, the white lines reflecting the sky and glowing pink. I shifted my attention off the clouds to the setting sun itself, bursting orange and pink. It glowed softly now, it's work almost done for the day. Where the light was still the brightest, the color was intense, making it look kind of shiny. It looked like orange lava in the sky, molten and dangerous and stunning.
Smiling, I congratulated God on his creation, and told him what an awesome show he was putting on for us tonight. "Man, Lord" I said, "that really is gorgeous. I know you don't need my affirmation, but gosh. That is some good work."
It was right then, in that moment, I felt him whisper, "just wait until you see it later. Wait until I show you the sun all over the world."
That's when I started crying.
But then I realized where I was (exactly the spot my dear friend and I had been stranded on the side of the road, in a summer storm, just a month ago) and started laughing.
After I somewhat regained my composure, I asked him, "How can you do that to me? How can you just drop a promise into my heart like it's nothing?" And boom. That's when it hit me. To God, it IS nothing. Not that it means nothing, giving your children gifts always means something. But that it IS nothing, because he can do anything.
In that moment I was so blown away. I could almost picture God smiling at me, like a person smiles as they watch someone unwrap what they know to be the perfect gift.
It is sometimes so hard to believe that my perfect Lord loves imperfect me. That my blunt and bumbling ways don't deter him or his will. But the reality is that we are all SO deeply loved by a God who delights in giving us the things our hearts need.
And that's just pretty dang sweet.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I go through these phases.
Dark and thick and creeping.
During the day it's rough, but the worst is at night when I'm sleeping.
See I go through these phases -- Phases of nightmares.
The first ones triggered by some silly movie, the next few much more real.
Much more dark much more dense, much more evil
A mugging, a murder, an unexpected death.
Creeping and crawling and writhing in my subconscious, stealing my breath.
And, bam! Launched back into reality, I jerk awake.
Unsure in the dark, unknown what is true and what is fake.
It's just a dream, shake it off. That's what I tell myself
when I sit up in a cold sweat. It's just a dream, shake it off.
Darkness follows me into the light.
Ice begins to challenge heat.
Night is on Day time's heels and tastes the sweet
taste of victory.
It followed me in a haze around my head
Until the crack, when my smooth exterior broke
How do You look in me and see something so pretty
When I look in and see something so flawed, unfinished gritty.
So afraid of being loved, I built a great, vast wall
I built it up so just enough could get in, which was hardly any at all.
On my knees, vulnerable, weak, lost
Came the whisper, "Let it go, Little Mouse"