Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Severe Simplicity; Could It Really Be?

Is it that severely simple (?);  cut off from complication, exempt from misunderstanding,  the truth about love;  His love???  (John 3: 6) 

 He put His love on full display.  

And what a display it was--and what a love;  the betrayal, the beating, the lies, the trial, that struggle to the cross and His haunting silhouette hanging there.  It has been discussed, mocked, studied, told, foretold, hated and marveled at by countless humanity.  It has been explained and rebutted.  It is so very large, yet so strikingly simple.


And I was remembering how in the garden when it all went down that day, how they remembered His words from before:  ".........if you eat of the fruit of this tree you will surely die", but they ate it anyway.   And I wondered at His use of the pronoun "you" shall surely......."  because, as my heart beats quicker, I embrace again with both horror and glee that at that moment of decision and consumption the clock began to tick and tock for a day when He, too, would surely die----for us.   What love! 

And it has taken such a long, long time, it seems, to "see it" more clearly.  Like a child who doesn't realize, until too much later, how much their parents loved them, I find myself moving into these last hours of 2014 with wonder over His true love........ and hope for mine.

And among my fondest hopes for 2015, this is the one that is catching my imagination and desire more than any other;  A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  (John 3:34)  and then this;   By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, IF you love one another. 

To be known as His own, what an idea...what a hope!  And if all of my life came to a screeching halt and 2015 wasn't mine after all, would I leave joy drowned in the knowledge that He loves me?  And would the loftiest new goal in my small life be accomplished this far; to love as He loves me?  Have I loved well?  Can I love truer and better, like HIM?  

His love Is too good to be true, yet it is true.   My hope for 2015 is Love.


Happy New Year! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Etchings in Contrast; Some Things I Couldn't Say Just Yet

2014 will forever be etched in my mind with images of this mesmerizing contrast:

It was the year when 3, powerful little whirlwinds blew through our hearts and home on their way to...... I'm not sure where.  I thought that they would stay here. We all did.  But, as some would say,  "It was not to be".  

 I had never had girls, and I found that they liked to wear my high healed shoes, fix my hair, and wear my clothes and what little jewelry I had. Before long they had me buying giant pickles and hot cheetos.  I began making a lot of deviled eggs and pancakes, oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins and home made bread.   My mom said girls would add something wonderful to my life.  I didn't understand, but now I understand a lot more.

 Along the way, we met a young lady who drove almost an hour to come to our house and spend an entire day working some kind of magic on dark, short hair.   She would do this every 6 weeks; washing, combing, conditioning, drying, and then braiding and braiding and adding length and brightly colored beads, spending no less than 6 hours on each.   The beads always went "clickity- click" when a girl does just about anything, and they don't mind at all.  They just love feeling pretty.  And they are.  

And like some miracle, in 2014, I was also mom to another son who loved justice and kindness and, I think, could charm his way into the hardest of hearts.  He was funny and full of life in an intense and marvelous way.  He asked questions and questions and questions.  He wrestled and wondered, and woke up really early in the morning.  He sang and clapped real loud and danced with his sisters whenever something good was playing.....or just when anything was playing at all.

  By  now, I expected that they would share our home and our last names.  But instead they had to go forward into their journeys without us.  I can't explain it to you in print and paper or white computer screen.  It is their lives too, after all.  Some things I can share if I see you sometime, or if we talk on the phone.  And if you wonder--- I am not so tempted to ask why it had to be this way.  I trust in His plan for them and for us (Jeremiah 29:11).  But I do flounder at the task of processing the feelings and taking it all in now that we are a giant 3 less.   I have lived awhile and know it's o.k. not to kick against this God-current and it's o.k. to wait to see where it is taking me without a map of my own.  I imagine that most of the questions will be answered without my asking and the next path will open up without my pushing on the gate. 

It is true that sorrow, pain and this hard work are not wasted around God's kind kingdom and it serves to bring deep hues and contrast concerning this life--the one where He walks with us and the ones who love Him, and never leaves us for a second.  (Matthew 28:20)  A year like 2014 seems to only serve up the contrasts of joy and sorrow in the brightest hues imaginable.  I am learning among the contrasts that when you live in the pages of a story that God is writing with you and for you, there are twists and turns and sometimes the endings aren't what you had assumed that they would be based on the beginnings.  I am learning to carefully hold back my assuming of what the pages will hold next, and instead just intently "follow along".  I learned that these surprises and "seeming" plot changes are not necessarily mistakes made that have changed my intended outcome, but they are stories; our stories to be lived in and remembered, and sometimes told.  I learned that even these short brushes of lives against other lives (people brushing up against people) are powerful events.  They are powerful enough to last a life time and have invaluable worth.  They have been in mine.

And the illumination and learning is only beginning to arrive for me in glances and shorts, and seems to always emerge from the mist rising off the settling grief of the unexpected ending--the story that wasn't what I expected.

 Of course, it wasn't really an ending, but a chapter that I had not anticipated and my role in it all is not what I had been gearing up for. Their story continues and as it does we go with them in a different way.  Instead of washing their clothes and teaching them new things, I pray for them like a woman possessed with a new mission.  For now we are able to send our "love reminders" on birthdays, and this week, with Christmas gifts.  Some day that role may change again, but I am not trying to read ahead.............. ♥♥♥