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 intact, unapologetic.

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 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.

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 more concrete. The trouble is, what comes with that is an illusion of control over what will be. A low grade anxiety my 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 me – all us?

                        Taste and See.

An Ocean

It might sound cliche, simplistic,

Pseudo-poetic

But – and I know I’m not supposed to swear –

But I swear it was real –

There was an ocean and 

It was in me and around me and with and in spite of and in comfort of.

So much water and moving waves that it was

An endless surface and me tiny upon it.

The ocean – 

I just got to be there with it, on it, in it.

An ocean – but no scary – and

It all rose and fell in a landscape of clean.

I was alone – in a way – but also held

Amidst this continuous, absolute, consumptive presence

Not my own.

Weeping, 

Love

(That I don’t deserve) 

Pours out and over my vessel’s rim.

I offer nothing but

Ears to hear

Eyes to see

Asking through belief and

(Sometimes out of desperation and by tenacious, teeth-gritted faith:

Also gifts, these)

Gifts of grace

He shares a whole ocean of love.

I am absorbed, carried, cleansed, filled

To overflowing.

Offering nothing, 

Grateful, overjoyed, so pleased to be HIS.

What else is there?

Where else would be better to be 

Than submerged, cleaned, carried on a whole ocean of love?

Thank You and 

Glory!

I’m a Fool, and other Glorious Truths


As soon as I put something “out there” I want to retract it, or I feel like a fool. “Do not presume to be teachers” rings in my head if I say anything with any degree of certainty. It’s a miserable way to live, constantly second guessing everything.

It’s tempting then to want to shrink back into oblivion, not take the risk and just do my best to stay out of everyone’s way. But there’s this glowing ember of a start within me. One that would burn away all that insecurity and self loathing, years of feeling defeated and stupid. 

At first glance I thought the doubt was evil – and maybe the accuser’s always at work trying to get us to undermine our value – but when I ask God to order my thoughts, to tell me what’s true He whispers that all this unknowing can mean freedom. Not being able to nail anything down, not ever getting to a place where I feel I know anything? This can be a  glorious place, and a perfect place from which to begin. Doubt doesn’t have to result in frantic scrabbling or overwhelming defeat. It can return me safely to the one and only thing that I can know and from which everything else may stem:

You are good, God. The remembrance of that, the looking to that, the basking, seeking, celebrating of Your goodness is all that needs known. May our eyes be good in seeing the goodness that then the whole body be full of light… Flowing out to all the spaces, beating back the dark and the the unknowns and the devaluing, useless questions. 

Praise God, He is good.

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:5

Hope

Seems an awful precarious vessel

By which would flow

All of You, any of You.

Even my wonder at Your goodness is

Too unreliable, too simple.

Part of and maybe the magic is

You’re to be hoped in:

No matter our fragility

Lack of dependability

Whimpering, stinking inadequacy.

You and all Your

Tendrils of light keep

Warming:

Teasing to hope.