Wednesday, May 27, 2020

dear Jesus

Dear Jesus, we are grieving so much and then a story comes along that quite literally stuns our very souls. We pray for all the losses. We pray for all those rising up to protect, to cure and to lead.
We cannot hope to make sense out of a senseless world. We are called to be the people you have created.  And we are created to be your image bearers.
Bearing light. Bearing strength. Bearing grace. And Bringing love. Incredibly small in so much bad, but I truly believe small is everything when wrapped in love.


Friday, May 22, 2020

still LIFE

Artists for generations have painted what we are living,
still  life. 

They found items still so fascinating, they mixed colors and canvas. So does God. He created us to be still and know that He is He. Does stillness feel like art?
 
I have a feeling He is looking at us still and finding beauty. We are getting back to the basics. We are caring for things and people in new and deep ways. We are praying long and hard.
 
And I am convinced in those moments, he looks at the museum of our lives and finds beauty. He looks for our stillness and shuns striving.  Rather, He looks inside the stillness for the reflection of Him.
 
That is our role right now. To reflect Him.
 
To be hope in despair.
To be light in darkness.
To be beauty in ugly.
To be love in hate.
To be calm in chaos.
 
We are not alone in our stillness; we are sheltered in Him. We are fearless with Him. We are inspired by Him.

Live still.  Love well.

Monday, May 18, 2020

the refresher


My 10-year old learned this trick on a trip to Florida some years back. When the temperature hits 70 degrees, the refresher makes an appearance. It is both beverage and mister and it’s appearance officially launches our summer.
 
All summer, we can never tell if Ava Joy is really sweaty or really misty. She parked the refresher on the counter waiting for the next fill up.
 
If only refreshment was coming that easy these days. We are lacking in refreshment, we are long in frustration. Frustration that doesn’t end in a squirt of a bottle or even a simple prayer.

The long of this virus is daunting, the short is obscure. We cannot look around and find refreshment, we have to look up. In looking up we lay down.

We lay down the unknown and uncharted. We lay down the control and the confusion. We pick up similar circumstances, with refreshed perspective.

Perhaps it is not our time to know or understand. Perhaps it is our time to live slow. Live careful yes but be carelessly loose with smiles and words of encouragement and faith.

He is still in control. He is still asking us to rest. And He was and is forever the refreshment for our weary hearts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

out of place

It was long passed dinner when I noticed the toaster on the porch. The eldest said, “it was on fire.” I didn’t push passed that.  I figured since it had recently combusted, I had not business carrying it.

Then early morning, the eldest daughter asks for toast;  I look long and hard for that toaster. Out of place.

Most everything seems out of place. We are sheltered in place yet the absolutely everything else seems out of place. Trips to the grocery feel like preparing for battle, and trips to church seem a cherished commodity we have forgone. Our homes have become our fortress and our calendars our gift.  

What is still in place? If we are fortunate enough not to fight this virus first-hand, we have found ourselves with time to discover. Books have come down off shelves.  Projects have found completion. Hands have had time to cook and pray and hold others, even at a distance. Our world feels on fire, our Father feels close.

So much has gotten in the way of Him.  He has felt out of place. Not today. Today we don’t have to search for Him.   And today His message is being heard in the silence.

Always Here.  Always Available.  Always Good.  
Always Ready.  Always Listening and Always and forever, Ours.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

shadow


This situation is impossibly hard to explain to a 10-year old. Heck, it’s impossibly hard to explain to this 50-year old. We are grieved. We are grossly mystified by a disease we cannot see.

We see the long dark shadow of it all. Where is the light we collectively wonder? The cast of a shadow always points us back to light. So do we attempt to explain the darkness or do we look for the light? Our goal in this is not understanding; but simply standing.  Standing on what we know. 

God is good.  All the time. It is He that dispels darkness and He that creates light. We stand together.  We wait together.  We love together.
And we hope together as the shadow ebbs and the light soars.

Monday, May 4, 2020

bubbles


I watched those bubbles for a good long while.
The carefree nature of it all.
Only the free seems sparse and the cares, plenty.
 
I keep telling my high school senior to feel the feelings.
You cannot make normal out of this one.
 
This is far from normal, far from nice, far from life as it was.
I have pushed long and hard for normal with a dose of easy.
 
Perhaps this is what He meant when He said, “in this world you will have trouble.” 
Not one inch of that statement says free of care.
Rather, they point us to the Caregiver.
 
I have talked to Him a lot about this one.
I can’t say I know what He is doing.
 
But I know what He is not doing.
He is not wringing His hands and He is not losing sleep.
 
He is opening His arms.
He is bending His ears. 
He is pointing our cares towards Him so He can set us free.
Surrender is always the other side of prayer.


Friday, May 1, 2020

20/20


20  / 20
In a day that we feel dazed.
What are we seeing more clearly?
 
Clarity is not hard to find.
Courage  in the hands of people we never held dear.
Time  opened by empty calendars.
Freedom  deleted in a moment.
Loss  uncontrolled.
Fear unchartered.
 
Jesus unaltered.
Never before have we learned so well.  He remains.  
He is unchanged.
In the upside down He is the one right thing.
Focus -  the vision of the mountain beyond this valley.  Ours thru Him.