Saturday, August 24, 2013

Time to Pat the Dog

Ebbing and flowing....this seems the movement of life; sometime rushing like the Mulberry swelled with springtime rains, and later,  languid, barely sensing the current that eases me on.

It's raining here.  

But not long ago it seemed absolutely still.  I read to my heart's content, I cleaned this cabin at my leisure, walked and prayed when I pleased, had long talks with young, adult children,  retired early from the day to watch something on television or read some more;  so much time to think and pray and wonder.

I wasn't expecting the rain and the swelling "Mulberry" and I asked the Lord while rushing through a shower, how I could keep all of the sweet times with Him while spending all the day's moments very busy now?  He didn't answer me, but sometimes just asking Him things stirs hope.......because so often, He outright answers....and if not then,  I figured He would in time.

Another day, I rushed out the back door, down the 5 steps, through the yard's overgrown grass, over the creek, past the little pond and onto the circle in the trees that is my "special place" here.  I was lapping the sacred circle path again and again, speaking hurriedly to God...trying to make the most of this bit of time "I" had carved out for us.  Why was I surprised that I could not focus to think or pray? The dogs were following me as they always do.  They looked at me longingly, they stopped to lay right beside the path hoping, I know, that I would pause for a moment and reach down to them.  But, around, around, around I went.  Dogs are not as important as getting my mind on Jesus and using this time to meet with him....I have no time for dogs any more anyway and I actually need to get back to work soon......

"No dogs, I can not stop for you, I am in a hurry to be with God and get back to the house for work.  Go away for now."  

And then I heard Him say something................because sometimes he answers previous questions in curious ways and at unexpected times.

"There is time to pat the dogs." 

I repeated it for myself..."There is time to pat dogs..............there is time to..........pat dogs?" 

This morning I was hanging 'round again in the book of John.   Thinking of how the climax of all time had just occurred......the son of God had come, lived, taught, loved, fulfilled the prophecies, was betrayed, and had given his body over to be crucified.  Now, he had done that, his body taken down, treated with myrrh and oils and wrapped carefully up and placed in a tomb near the spot where he died. It was all happening as the sun shown above them, as the birds were singing, as the hours ticked on in that day, as they lived and breathed just as I am doing today and during all of my busy days of hurry and rushing, lately. 

 On Sunday morning, before the sun came up....I read from my warm spot w/ a pillow behind my head, that Mary makes her way to the tomb to find he is not laying wrapped in burial cloths.  And I'm imagining that  moment when His spirit came back into his body laying there wrapped up.  Now he was alive in his body and he was about to leave the tomb empty for Mary to find, and the rest of them. Was he excited? Was he in a hurry?
 
How to put a weight on these events as I think?  How can I stay here and realize for awhile what was happening then, of how it was planned for ages before for us, how I am living and moving in the wake of this....The wake that continues on and on.   

But of all of this amazing imagining that I am doing, seeing him in  my mind, imagining how he might be feeling or what he might be thinking in the tomb --alive, there was one small detail that emerged and lingered right before my mind's eye;  He folded his clothes.  

Oh my goodness, he folded his clothes (or cloths, rather); there. was. time.  And I think of the dog with the big brown eyes beckoning me to stop for a minute on the path.  And I vaguely  remember something I read recently that almost was lost on me;  that HE is our destination, He is our goal in a day or a lifetime. When He died, we were His goal in doing that.  If we are thinking of accomplishing something great or small up ahead it is nearly like  a mirage compared to the goal of being present with Jesus in each of our ticking moments and the processes of life.  If I could grasp this, if I could, this could really change things for me. 

I have been out to the path again in the fall air.  I reached down to pat the dog and I say it to myself again, "There is time to pat the dog."   I reach for that black, furry coat and look into the happy brown eyes anticipating me, and Jesus reaches with me.  He leads my thoughts to realize that he is not rushing me through life and experiences and jobs or tasks.  He is not pushing me towards great goals and events though we surely will do both great and common things in life.....our relationship is His goal.

 I saw that there could be balance to my thoughts and movements in a day no matter how fully scheduled it is, or not.  I think he folded those cloths in the peace of the moment because there was time to do all that He needed to do. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Adoption

I haven't said much about "THIS" lately, but it is, every day, very much on my/our mind..... Ever since the notion came to us  through "her" (click link in red) and hers, we've held this (click link) in our hearts; since words like these started burning in our hearts:

27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

                                                 AND

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  Eph. 1:5

And He made us want to be more like Him, do more of the things that He did, love people more like He does; openly, with acceptance, patience, and without bias.  Like Him, we want to keep forgiving things and be forgetful of wrongs done to us.  He is making us want to reach out, reach in, and live a more inclusive, open and servant-like life --like Jesus did. 

We saw things like this:


We read things like this (click link) and this (click link), and couldn't look back--or hoped we never would.

So, how are we doing at all of this?

We are learning that when we can't, HE can-- in us--all of us.  When we can't love, we ask Him, and He will fill us with love.  When we can't forgive and forget, we can go to Him and He will create a forgiving heart in us.  When we are too tired, He really does give us more to give.  When we are failing, we keep hope that He who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it. (Phillipians 1:6) He does not discount us for our faults and orneriness......He keeps changing us; little by little and leap by leap.

We can't, but He can, always! 
 
I believe for all of us, that the more we realize how small we are in the picture, the BIGGER He can fill us with Himself and His attributes.  What an awesome hope, that we never have to be good enough, tough enough, strong enough, smart enough, rich enough; we have to be filled with the ONE who is. 

Back to adoption; we are two tiny steps away from being "open" as an adoptive home and we can accomplish those steps this very month.  This will make us available to children in the foster care system who's parents have lost the right to parent them, making them orphans in need of a family.  This is not  the 1st path we started on, but this is the door that is open to us, thus far. 

A while back, some of you shared w/ us and gave towards  a fund for adoption overseas.  We have applied with an agency.  And when and if the timing becomes right, we will take a step further there. It is our longing to do that! And if we don't, we will return your gifts. Where we once felt that it was "either adoption through the state, or adoption overseas"  (adoption overseas was  the overwhelmingly strongest desire) now we feel open to which ever God has, even if it is BOTH. ♥  So, we plan to hold on and see what HE has in store.