Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I don't know if this is finished.

I have an over-sized bathtub in my one bedroom apartment. I'll call it a garden tub, yes, a garden tub that's over-sized, and overused. Last night, I tip-toed into the bathtub with approximately 4 books about God, a notebook, my journal, my Bible, and an audio Bible playing on my CD player.

I didn't become aware of what I was doing until I had done it. And it looked like the efforts a little girl might make to feel part of something bigger. And before I knew it, everything in me was crying out. Every part of my body hurt as I longed for Him. Like what felt like tiny golden chords tied to every pore on my skin that began in Heaven and ended on my skin. And I felt every one of them being pulled so gently, but not enough.

Maybe I thought the more books I had to look at and the more places I had to write about Him would calm the desire inside my heart. And I think He looked at me and smiled at my pathetic attempt to show Him my heart.

Maybe it was a sad sort of smile, because He knows my heart and how it longs. And He must have laughed a little to himself, at this little creature He had made, with her strange mind and funny symbolism. And I think He must have been close, because as much pain as I felt from missing something that I couldn't quite have enough of, I want to feel it all the days I breathe life on this earth. And I cried. Oh how I cried. And it wasn't a few tears falling down my face. It was the sort of hyperventilation cry that happens upon little girls when they want something so bad and they've been told they can't have it.

Wait. Please don't get me wrong. I am not saying I can't have God. Oh, I have Him alright. I have more than I thought I ever could. But this, it's a supernatural sort of longing in my spirit, and it won't be satisfied until my body is able to withstand all of Him it longs for. Which in turn, means I'll never be satisfied until I become supernatural myself. When I die.

So I'm crying and feeling and loving and thinking. And I remember asking God,

Are these the tears You cry as You long for Your people? Because it feels like something like that might feel. Are these the tears You cry when You long to lead your children home, but CAN'T because we'd like to choose death instead?

And we willingly hammer those nails in Your hands and Your feet, and we make a crown from thorns, and push it into the flesh of Your Son. And then we walk away, too little faith and too much greed to wait around and see a miracle happen three days later; after all, we've got other idols to tend.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

there is no title.

Sometimes you don't know that you don't know, until you know.

Sometimes I want to move somewhere new, just to know that I'm not settling somewhere I'm not meant to be. Wait, what does that mean? To be meant for something specific? Couldn't I do God's work wherever I end up? I don't believe in all that destiny, soul-mate nonsense either.

Sometimes I want to move into an old apartment above an old city that I've never been. And glide across the old hardwood floors and run my hands down the walls and fall with the peeling paint. And then walk to my big window, and it would open just the way windows used to open, from the inside out with no screen, and I'd meet the world from my safe place everyday. And I'd watch the people and secretly pray for them and play Jason Upton too loud until the neighbors started to complain. And then I'd leave my computer on all day and play scriptures and maybe something would happen in that invisible sort of God way, and someone's life might be touched. And at Christmas I'd string christmas lights around the window and sip coffee at my desk in the dark and play my scriptures on my computer, and I'd seek what I'm looking for. Sweet Jesus.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Dawn

When I walk through life and arrive in places like October 31st through November 11th, God shows up sort of like a big golden flashlight (i'm so cheesy).

OK, listen. I don't like comparing God's Light to the light of a flashlight. Because when I think of flashlights, I see an ugly black-ribbed piece of plastic with a tiny lightbulb, that emits only enough light to expose one's own shadow lurking in the dark.

And that's liable to scare someone like me into a premature heart attack.

But this flashlight, God's flashlight is not for exposing shadows. I'm not even the one holding it or directing the light in the direction I think I need to walk. It's just a bright light that's going ahead of me, whispering follow Me, and we'll make it out of here.

And as we walk further, it sort of looks the moon in the darkened sky might look. And it's cold and my feet hurt, and I'm thirsty. And very hungry. And I cry to God but it seems like He doesn't hear me at all. And I look around, and no one's there. Just me, a ground full of rocks and broken glass, and a big moon up ahead.

So I walk in the only direction I can. It's like a siren calling me, and I almost can't control my body anymore. Because if I could, i'd probably be on the ground half-dead.

And soon I can see the dawn rising there ahead of me. With the most beautiful colors streaking across the sky. Colors I've never known before. I can't even remember how I got here. It doesn't matter. My feet don't hurt anymore. What are feet? Like my body doesn't exist and nothing else matters; All there is, is LIGHT. And I can't stand the glorious beauty, and before I realize what's next, I'm on my knees in awe, praising the One who painted it.

And it's here I realize that I'd never have gotten to see it if I hadn't gone through the night without sleeping.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Written for my grandfather. Read at his funeral November 3rd, 2010.

A short time ago, or maybe a long time ago (time feels different here), God let me be part of a blessed conversation that would offer comfort and peace, and laughter and tears. It happened in my grandfather's living room. Grandpa, Mom, Dad, Daniel, Thomas and I were sitting in Grandpa's home. We were talking about the new floors he just had put in to that old house. I can recall the words renting and selling; or we could have been talking about something else, but that’s not the part I remember. And then my grandpa said, “Well, you know; when I leave here, ya’ll can rent out the house, you might be able to get something out of it.”

“Leave? Well, where are you going?” My mom said. My grandpa just looked at her. He looked at us all.

Like the answer to that question had already been carved into his heart and pumped through his veins with every new breathe he took.

"Where am I going?" He stated, matter-of-factly, finger pointed upward to the Heavens “Well, I'm goin' Up Yonder!” And we all laughed and today I smile and cry, because God gave this conversation to us to remember on this day.

But sometimes it’s hard to look at situations like these and hear words put together by people who might not understand, for a purpose they probably don't fully grasp (I know I don't), when they say “He’s in a better place,” and then I'm supposed tell my mind and my heart that today is a day to rejoice. Because we are earthly-minded creatures by disease. And somewhere in between life and death; love happened. Love happened to us all and we are left forever changed. And now it’s gone. And what’s left feels like an empty house that was once filled with children and grandchildren and family and LOVE. But now it’s empty, empty but overflowing with memories and feelings of times past, all these that we hold on to, while simultaneously realizing that nothing will be the same as it was.

But God stops me where I'm at, for I am weak. And then He comes to me and says, "Let me carry it for you. I will show you the way." And then I start to realize that I was not meant for earthy-mindedness, but to become spiritually-minded. To put my eyes to the things of God. To recognize that today is the greatest day that grandpa’s soul has ever seen. And I know that there’s a great party up yonder to welcome him home. And I can see my grandma with her new and perfect eyes, taking his hand and placing it in the hand of Jesus, his eyes fixated on the radiating Light. And Jesus walks with him, and places it in the Hand of the Father. And with his new and perfect ears, grandpa hears the whisper, “Welcome home, beloved son, welcome home”.