Enough

A kitchen clean up diatribe and its aftermath
Reminds me why flesh – mine or any other’s –

Is only good as far as it goes (which isn’t very far and not necessarily good).

Even if one who’d listen is faithful for a moment,

There’s loneliness at the end of the day.

But-

This may be the best news there is.

When I stop putting faith in these who are limited

I’m left with still needing to have faith in something.

All laid bare and unattached and independent

I’m left with You.

You who ought to have been sought outright and first.
First and last and always, YOU.

But there’s also you… and you… and you… and you… and you and

You, darling, loving husband.

And you too, there on the fringes and who-knows-in-what-form-of-needy needing helping.

There’s all these, Lord,

Who You seem to think I’m fit to care for, and who

I expect You’d like very much for me to care for like You care for me.

I don’t get it, and I’m so inadequate to the whole crazy thing

(Which [see Moses] means nothing in the world of God’s capable Providence).

I fail you both: You up there and heavenly, and you down here so searching and lovely and trying and earthy still with all your own heavenly potential.

You – none of you – need me, I know.

And yet, here you all are, and I’m in your midst.

It occurs to me to stop wondering at this position I’m in and whether I’m up for it

And instead,

Just meet the whole damn thing:

Pray and try and fail and repent and pray and try again and repeat.

Empowered in the power of being and present and loved and capable of choosing all these as enough and more than enough because You are.

You are good and enough.

Enough for light and love and life.
Enough and more than enough for them and me and here and there and everywhere…

Enough for all this.
Enough for light and love and life.

Enough and more than enough for them and me and here and there and everywhere…

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Eternity stares down my borders.

Why hide my face

From such loving scrutiny?

All these dehydrated papery wrinkles

Need withering’s reversal.

Need re-filling with warmth and light and living water

Away from all this self-induced winter.

(Not the crisp, clean, bright, light, renewing sort of winter,

But the gray, damp, bleak, worse kind of winter void of snowy open spaces and full of miry pits, thorns, and sloughs.)

The strongman needs bound again:

And we both need reminded of

Who’s power reigns supreme.

Instead of diminishing,

My inheritance (wonder of wonders, gracious God) is an enlarging.

Though I’ve been showcasing my smallness by

Giving free reign to my less-than-bests, it’s time to look

Upward and outward,

Extend and unfurl in all this spring.

Though surrounded by yesterday’s-life-made-today’s-dead-patches,

Life courses through:

Ready for the realizing,

Suspended in anticipation,

Poised and ready for animation,

Radiating in slow simmer,

Spurred and graced with remembrance and thankfulness,

Restored to mirror, channel, vessel, servant, and

Resurrected in the power of

Chosen.

—————-

Praise and thanks, great and gracious God.

Puckered up

Energy turned inward turns sour.

A relaxed grip

A look outward

Expended on these in my care

And all that wasted tension

Softens

Morphs

Spreads as something useful and

Warms outward in healing waves.

Love is an avalanche of healing fortitude.

A mountain

An ocean

A steppe

A fjord

A forest.

Life’s entire ecosystem.

Not a locked up tension-puckered-toothless-soured littleton.

It’s vista?

Always breathtaking and

Further than the eye can see.

No cheap, temporary, quarter-paid-for-a-limited-view from some man made platform.

Every crevice, ultimate horizon, expansive silence and thundering roiling

Is love’s claim.

Bringing belonging,

Springing forth,

Love changes everything.

All that’s worthy responsively?

Praise and thanks and glory remembered,

Celebrated, savored, taken in and poured back out.

Dear, dear Jesus. All and every smallness and bigness. Deeds done and undone… To You, my Lord. All offerings to You. Praise!

“Send forth your light and your truth,

let them guide me…

Then will I go to the altar of God,

to God, my joy and my delight…

Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God…”

(Psalm 43:3a, 4a, 5a)

A Soul’s Dawn

Those expansive desolate saturated monoculture February fields
Might tempt me towards gray and soggy.

That dissonant electric guitar wail

Could draw me closer to fear or discomfort or distrust.

But I know what’s above the clouds and beneath the surface.

There’s plenty of evidence of what’s not seen too.

A smidgen of belief catalyzes right vision: no airplane’s needed to remind me of light’s sunshiney warming horizon-presence.

Some remembrance goggles is all.

Seeing through a glass darkly

Isn’t the only way to see.

A day’s heaviness of soul

Can break to light.

“I can feel it/Comin’ back again” a fitting and timely song confession cry just now for

Grace’s scandalous help and palpable presence.

Suddenly all this light amidst all this gray

Lights up everything

And I’m reawakened and

Woken to glory.

Glory’s in every song

Every word

Every breath

Every thought and I’m

Opened up to the pleasure and profundity and nothing’s-left-untouch-ed-ness of Love:

I’m right saturated.

A soul’s dawn

Testimony to Life given and repentance honored.

Your condescension is Your glory, and unexpectedly, remarkably, wonderingly, my benefit, Lord.

What a wonder that simply admitting wrong, desiring better, discontent with wasted time, resources, self is enough to turn it all upside down and back to glorious where before there was just muck and gray and a slough of despond.

What a wonder that forgiveness looks more like liberation than penance.

That turning toward the light – even when it’s not in plain sight – is enough to dispel the dark.
And that repenting – literally “turning away from” – what’s wrong is all that’s needed to turn toward that light.

That the remedy that ushers in the right comes from a willingness to face where one’s wrong.

What a blessing to serve a God Who’s much more interested in (my) redemption than (my) wretchedness.

What a joy that He gives 2nd, billionth, zillionth chances to turn toward Him and that He honors such turning every. Single. Time.

Hallelujah that the prodigal son is me and the welcoming forgiving father is Him, and it’s all real and better than I could have imagined. That I’m not just in story, but the story because it’s His story, and wonder of wonders He invites me into it.
What an opportunity to get to live into love’s inheritance and come into “love’s discovery” as the Indigo Girls sing it.
Husband’s air guitar and

Happy belting “free fallin'” and

Radio crooning and on the way to grocery shopping in all this gray early February day and who knew it could all be alight with wonder?

Who knew that yesterday’s despair could be today’s joy?

Ah, love. You’ll always surprise, won’t you?

You’re the God of the new and the old, the tiny and the magnanimous, the God of the unexpected, the grays, the rainbows, and the everything in between.

You’re in the mud puddles and the pure waters and the failures and the successes.

Thank You. Thank You for being available and awesome and impossibly huge and big enough to come down to the tiny. And thank You that Your coming down enlarges rather than shrinks power and purpose and love and goodness.

I’m smiling and almost overwhelmed with the goodness and the happiness of being back in my Lord’s sight.

Thank You, repentance. Thank You, redemption.

Thank You, Lord, for these, for You, for LOVE… In all Your parts and effects.a

Careful

In reading James 4 this morning, it occurred to me why to do lists are so troublesome. As soon as words are put to paper there is a permanence given to what may otherwise have floated off into forgotten oblivion. I grab on to one of the floating possibilities for how to shape time and in writing it out I also “nail it down” (picture what that phrase refers to) into something concrete. The trouble is, what comes with that is an illusion of control over what will be. A low grade anxiety may even result if I don’t do that which I asserted should be done. And certainly, sometimes there are some things that need to be done, reminders of needful things. But there is something binding about the written word. Maybe that’s why it’s so important. It’s one thing to put words to our experience. It’s another thing entirely to put the right ones to it. Every time my eye falls on what’s been written – and undone – it gives the illusion that there’s something I ought do and this may very well trip me up into a potentially misled pursuit. As ever, the only reliable plan in checking our actions is returning/inviting/placing all said action before the only One who knows what’s best and Who, mercifully, miraculously, is willing to pass on such knowledge to us. If offering that to do list/what we are to do is preceded with “if it is the Lord’s will, we [I] will do this or that.” (James 4:15), we ask Him and submit to Him first, before proceeding. We wait in quiet expectation and slow in the humbling knowledge that we don’t know any of what is before us, but He does and will give guidance (perfect at that) to our steps. Incidentally, praying before writing to do lists – or anything for that matter – safeguards us from many potential missteps. Incredible that He will bother with the likes of us.
And I don’t know how this fits, but verse 17 feels like a warning this morning: “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought do and doesn’t do it, sins.” God help us, please.

Taste and See

Nudges and Glimpses of ebullient quality,

Encroaching, hurting troubles

Serve up all their own

Flavors of glory.

Center You and

Reoriented, reminded, returned me and I’m (blessedly) back to

Positionally sound.

You:

Filler of spaces

Piercer of light and dark places

Present. Here.

Sweet, bitter, salty, sour

Regardless of how all this may taste

You nourish.

Seeing, willing vessels

You nourish

In spite of

In light of

In love of.

Oh, You,

Author of glory,

Glory-sharer.

All of me – all of us?

Taste and See.

Value, continued

“The whole concept of the Imago Dei…the ‘Image of God’ is the idea that all men have something within them that God injected…This gives him a uniqueness, it gives him worth, it gives him dignity.
And we must never forget this…there are no gradations in the Image of God. Every man from a treble white to a bass black is significant on God’s keyboard, precisely because every man is made in the Image of God. One day we will learn that.
We will know one day that God made us to live together as brothers and to respect the dignity and worth of every man.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.