Sunday, November 28, 2010

Welcome back to the world...

Good news is, i'm back.

Bad news is, i had closed this blog down to invited members only while i tried to work through something with someone, and it didn't quite happen.

God knows.  Sometimes it feels like an avalanche, all at once, like Job's daughters and sons and crops and houses, and boils and his wife on top of it all, telling him to curse God and die.

Lately it's been relationship troubles (in a big way) with the outside world, allergies with the littles including a costly 911 ambulance ride, a rotator cuff irritation that's taking a long time to heal, arthritis? already?, a flooded basement and the resultant insurance fixing up that is taking months, and giving us a lot less room for nine people in a regular sized house. Plus a hundred smaller things that make up the fabric of light and dark in a life, including six sick children right now, a sick mom and dad (that's me and T), and a conference three hours away that he has to be away for (again?  so soon?)...

And yet.

When these things pile on, it looks and seems so deliberate.  Like someone would like to break me down, as Kanye West likes to put it... and yet ... Jesus walks with me.

Something so profound.  Does He fix it all, magically, using His God powers?  He could!   He could... or - He can walk with me, hold my hand, speak to me through His word, encourage me day by day to turn my face to Him, to choose to walk in the fruit of the spirit, to let Him animate my responses, my hands, my heart.

It's late, i'm lonely for my man, and i'm still waiting for all my little chicks to be, finally, asleep and hopefully getting better from this cold that's making the rounds.  But underneath it all, i have such a contentment.  He has blessed us with so much, He has been with us through all the bad stuff, and still loved us.  He knows my heart and my own immediate responses, but He doesn't get tired of teaching, reminding me, calling me back to His heart.

I'm feeling a little fumbly lately.  I like to have a path set out before me, and walk the path - and i like a map that shows me where i'm going.  But i serve a God who says "walk with me in the wilderness" and see where i'm going to bring you.  I want the faith of Abraham, to walk with him, not knowing where i'm going.

Listened to Jason Upton today - Come Up Here...

I was dreaming of the holy city 
I was wearing my wings 
Then I looked up and saw a doorway to heaven 
And I heard you calling me 
Come up here, come up now 
My beloved, my beloved 
Come up here, come up now 
My beloved, my beloved, come 
I want to fly 
Like an eagle in the sky 
I want to fly 
Through that doorway in the sky 
And Come

I want to go when He is calling...

Another song running through my head today
Jonathan David Helser - 

Likeness of Jesus

I want the cry of Moses
I want the ears of samuel
I want the heart of mary
Most of all
I want the likeness of Jesus

I want the prayers of Daniel
I want the voice of John
I want the walk of Enoch
Most of all
I want the likeness of Jesus

From glory to glory,
I am transformed,
Nothing between us,
The veil has been torn

I want to be holy as he is holy
I want to be righteous as
He is righteous
I want to be loving as
He is loving
Most of all i want to
Be like Jesus

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thoughts about death and mourning

Yeah, nobody is dying here...

But my sister is writing a novel about losing  a baby, and i just read the sample Wisdom Booklet online, whose theme is "Mourning Requires Visualization", and i guess i'm just thinking...

When we lost our little baby, i drove around, and wished i had someone who would understand.  My husband was distressed, partly just for me, i know.

Much later, when his grandfather died, it gave me comfort to picture my little one, safe in her great-Opa's arms.  It seemed unthinkable to me that Opa could be there and not find her and love her.

and i felt God laugh and me and say "what about Me?"

Of course, God is there, and she is safe with Him.

But this is what I think was behind my thoughts.  the saints in the book of Revelation, who are beneath His throne.  Begging to be revenged and given justice and satisfaction, and God is telling them... wait.

That doesn't jibe with what i want to believe about Heaven, which is that once we die, there is a timelapse moment, and it's all over for everyone else, and only good things happen.  Time passes for those martyrs in Heaven, and even they, up there, are waiting....  That makes me catch my breath.  Because what of my tiny one, my never held treasure?  Is she waiting, too?

Mourning does require visualization.  I agree with Mr. Gothard.  It gave me comfort to visualize my little one in her Opa's arms, and also in the arms of Jesus.  But those other visual pictures that come from the Bible, and therefore must be true, are less comforting.

I wrote a song when i was away at music college, confident in His love and leading.  It was a watershed year for me and for my faith - where i really experienced God's hand and presence, felt His breath, and was changed for the rest of my life.  In that song i wrote "when in times of honest need, have i ever felt deceived? God is wisdom, God is good.  I can trust my Father's love'

And i know it's true, i know He is all of those things - and i know i can trust Him.  But I also know that what looks like need to me He doesn't always see that way - so many times it's been my attitude, rather than my situation that He's adjusted.  I have not found in God a comfortable theology to lay back and grow fat in - rather, it is something alive and active, something challenging and iconoclastic, as He breaks the idols i didn't know i held, and makes me think in a different way.

I am so much less likely to have an immediate judgment than i was, and open to learning.  But sometimes i long for the simple visual.  And when it comes to my sin, He is very able to give me that visual so that i can mourn with Godly mourning over my own shortcomings.  In withholding a simple picture of my child, i wonder if that's His way of standing in the way, so that instead of sorrow, i see only Him.

Jasper hike-0046