Monday, August 14, 2017

A Letter to Myself and "To Whom it May Concern"

(A note on where we are before we know HIM)

I think You stand and stare….like I stood in Waterloo, my old home town, like a ghost of Christmas past…no one knew me,  no one seemed to be able to see me there in her streets, ME, the daughter of that bustling town. They walked by, drove by, carried on conversation beside me, but they could not see me there and I did not know them. If they could have seen me they would have exclaimed at my arrival!  They would have grabbed me up and hugged me and we would have reminisced of all of the times I had there, combing the streets on foot and wheels. We would talk of how I was one of them, and how we share history together.

 You stand amidst Your people, Your things. Your imagination is all sprawled out around us and we, like dumb beasts, like a haggard old woman in a movie, we just pilfer through, picking up random things, stepping on Your tiny enchanted worlds under our feet, we trample over scores of wisdom and story, we touch worlds of wonder with our hands, smell aromas from another land and never move through to the wonder--to YOU.  

You stand like the Ghost of Christmas past, and we don't see You.  We are flat-lining in Your presence, and in a world utterly bursting with Your life. 
We pinch our own feeding tubes, stay far from "living waters", close the breeze out of our own windows, as we choose our own erotic views that stimulate for a breath and execute our capture in the next.

Wake up, flatl-iners! Let's wake up from our eternal sleep. Unpinch our life line, stop erasing the precious letters of our names from the book of life!  Hear the trumpet calling, carried along summer breezes, and on our ocean beaches, funneled through our ever waking hours, a kingdom calls to us.  A residence reaches for us.  Our Maker stands on our streets and moons over the ever moving, ever evading, loves of His life, us

Titus 3:3  Be truly humble toward everyone because there was a time when we, too, were foolish, rebellious, and deceived—we were slaves to sensual cravings and pleasures; and we spent our lives being spiteful, envious, hated by many, and hating one another. 

But then something happened: God our Savior and His overpowering love and kindness for humankind entered our world; He came to save us. It’s not that we earned it by doing good works or righteous deeds; He came because He is merciful. He brought us out of our old ways of living to a new beginning through the washing of regeneration; and He made us completely new through the Holy Spirit, who was poured out in abundance through Jesus the Anointed, our Savior. All of this happened so that through His grace we would be accepted into God’s covenant family and appointed to be His heirs, full of the hope that comes from knowing you have eternal life. This is a faithful statement of what we believe.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Oh, Sunday! Held in the Rows of an American Church Today.

Oh, Sunday! Ready. Set. Gather with the saints wearing jeans, capris, leggings and such.  I saw saints with sparkling white teeth smiling at me and I heard the tickling sounds of laughter inside a big ole brick house called an American church today.  I felt the feelings of family and I knew I belonged.

Then, in long soft rows of loved ones, I listened to their sturdy voices rising, snugging me in tight with gathering glory, swaddled safe within sounds of songs swelling, and us gatherers grounding our hearts together in the sacred Sunday morning time. My voice rang out with the singing ones, the loving ones with the eyes full of HIM!  I held hands, hugged friends, kissed soft lady faces, gave high fives, and learned new things--  new things from old places, like an ancient “living” word in a big book with a big binding that binds us all together still.

We are always finding what seems new in the old.  Yes, I am, too. And we confide to a feeling of being yet “young inside” the weathered skin with new, soft wrinkles—young because in this place all remember to open wide as a child. I glance back now, in the night, in my soft bed on the little farm and see myself strong in the mix of it all-- even me, even now.   Yes, even me!  And are we all a little dazzled by the idea of belonging?  Sunday is coming again in pursuit of the prize!  -- a gathering church that knows how to hold one another and then how to hold the world.   

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Don't Look Back Too Long

Ever open an album, a box, a disc or a memory stick and find the photos of that mysterious thing called "times past"?   I opened the old oak cabinet this week with the 6 memory sticks in it.  I picked up the box on the piano full of the prints of moments from many yesterdays. When the stick is plugged into this laptop my memories are flung up onto this white screen, transporting me helplessly back to another time in my life.  It feels a bit like, "Hang on my heart!  Hear we go!"

We built this farm with little children around our feet.  Goats and chickens, Basset hounds and rabbits, ponies, donkeys, guinea foul and guinea pigs are memorialized along with the four tiny faces of my little ones.  I wanted something special for my special loves--those 4 little roosters ranking 1st in our hearts.  We gave the gift of growing them strong and kind around a family of fur and feather-bearing friends.  I wanted to share with them a part of who I am and what calls to the inside of my heart as well.  And often that is a large brown goose, an emblazoned red sunset,  or a jersey cow.

Over the years, which is really another way to say, "During the season that time shifts into warp speed",  I saw our 4 little oak trees spread out around this place, growing in body, mind and spirit until, at once, somewhere in the warp, they were looking at me from grown up eyes  and telling tales of their own dreams and plans.  The roosters still crow here and the goats call to me from the field when I arrive home, or walk out on the porch, but the sounds carry across a farm that is in a fevered flux. 

Everything is changing here.  My heart radiates thank yous as I walk on the grassy lawn that leads to all the delights of home. And if a farm could hear me, I would say to my Four Oaks, "Thank you for what you've done for me.  You've held me kind and tight when I came outside to grieve over a loss or a big problem.  You thrilled and awed 4 little ones, and gave them adventures with snakes and woods and fields to run in until they weren't little any more. With your tall trees you've delivered squirrels and beauty, shade and swings and climbing things.   In the gardens we've heard poetry and God.  We've plucked and eaten from vines and bright blue skies. You  wake me up with a fresh sound every morning, proving that what is new to me is also ancient and true. You helped to raise my four little oaks trees, for which you earned your dear name, Four Oaks Farm, and I am forever grateful to you, little farm.  I remember the day I prayed to have you and the way you sit sweet and fresh amid this big world, by the gravel road,  in a river valley.   Thank you that most of the tears I have ever cried on this place have come from a well of happiness." 

But, I won't look back too long today.  I must stop myself soon, for looking back can slow the heart for forward things and forward is the only place that hope grows green and lush on a farm like this.  And growing is what a farm is for, after all.

Forward ho.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Let's Fly!

Out to the south of this soft, brown cabin and across the wet-weather creek, the breeze shuffles over my sleeping garden plot.  Coming inside, it wandered round the wires of the wobbly fence, picking up wood chips and old mulching hay as it passes by,  tossing a few bits 'round in it's happy, laughing wisps. The geese call out in the mid morning air, a quartet of sounds, making this place full of dimension and warmth, in frosty January.

The nation is in a spinning wind of disagreement and accusation since the inauguration and before. Friends turn against friends, fiery words are passed around, everyone seems to feel smarter and more knowing than the other. With the push of a button we stop listening to one another, stop seeing one another as we reach for some peace and agreement to sooth the concern in our hearts. Turmoil reaches long, dark arms to draw us all into this simmering, sickening cauldron of disagreement.

On this small plot of a farm, behind the high hill to the east and under this peaceful, blue January sky, the spinning could be felt just the same...if one moved towards the whipping wind, if one engages in a match of mental "strength" or clever, intellectual reasoning bent to show the decided "stupidity of the other side".  One could.  Anyone can. Somehow in the fuzzy morning grace that appears every day like magical morning dew, I was arrested with an easy invitation;  "Look away", the thought seemed to offer, "Turn a blind eye"... such an easy, breezy proposition. "Remember how it was to fly?"  Then I partook of the remembering, of lifting up like in the old days, like in a childhood dream.  I remembered that all I needed was to think it and up, up and away from the lower lands I could go.  And then I wondered when the invitation to fly was ever pulled back or away?  Maybe we only have forgotten it was there.

And since I was kindly invited, I thought I would go up today into the air and I thought I would let my thoughts rise up and fly into the higher place where the droplets of love and kind thoughts are formed, until so many drops are buoyantly, "bouncingly" waiting in the sky that their heavy little bodies, all at once, must fall free like rain onto those below who need it most.  We have all been below before, and have needed the rain, too. And who can be to blame?  Staying in the dry lower lands of grown up reasoning is hard work, wearying work, for sure.

So what fun for me that I'm inviting you, too, since I heard there was unlimited space  and no one who can fly is restricted from coming along!  I heard that we could soar like eagles, and not get tired! A Saturday for soaring.  What a pleasant surprise. Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, January 26, 2017


This is my confidence;  I am Yours and You are mine.  This my place to live-- in the weight of the divine.♥

You train my heart in this place of weighty belonging.  You train my heart to be daughterly, a King's daughter, the King's girl.

You lend Your power and presence to show me what is mine. You award me with love and kindness.  You possess me in complete freedom, this perfect paradox.  Your liberty illumines my night and stands bright in my days.

You shower me in joyfulness.  You tend me as your special garden.  You breath close to my face so that I feel Your nearness, not just know it. 

You lead me out in peace and surety.  You give me Your name.  You call me Your own.  You call me Your own;  Daughter.