May 29, 2013

thoughts like scattered clouds

The cool, rough shingles pulled at the skin on the bottom of my dusty feet. Sitting on the roof can feel like sitting in the clouds sometimes. Everything looks a wee bit different from a little farther away.

The light was glowy; the trees shone with newest green, but the shadows fell deeply, in a warm, comfortable way. It was the kind of dark you would want to fall asleep in, those nights when you remember that night is a shadow, the earth's shadow--the nights you remember the sun is still bright and burning on the other side of the globe, you just have to wait until you spin 'round again to see it, to feel its rays.

At that moment, the sun was a sunken light. It fell into the horizon with splashes and ripples of pink  splattering the blue and grey sky. Some drops even landed in the yard, falling almost transparently on the intensely green grass, and the white siding. I was splashed with a drop too, on my arm. Real beauty is like that--it leaves some of itself on you.

The wind gently laughed in my face--which felt a little like a cool version of the wave of air that rolls out of a hot oven when you open it. Momentarily intense, but the cool (or hot--if you are referring to the oven) lingers, your face and neck now used to it, wearing the different air almost like a mask--or did it take away the mask? Sometimes I cannot tell if the mask is on or gone.

He will look so familiar I think. I mean, if His beauty is reflected in sunsets, and mountains, and people's hearts, won't we recognize Him? In an intensely, unfamiliarly whole, unveiled sort of way. Maybe at first it won't seem so. But we'll recognize what we squinted at hazily in this world. That is what this life feels like--slowly coming into focus.

Now the shadow has fallen more heavily. A beautiful scent--it might be honeysuckle--hangs in my room like invisible curtains. They open and close on memories, like a strange old film in shaky black and white. There has been sorrow. There has been pain. There has been joy. There has been delight. Right now there is peace. Easier peace. Still I will say, blessed be the name of the Lord.

May 12, 2013

finals' rambles

Well, this is a familiar event. I am sitting in Caribou, writing a blog post at a time when I desperately need to be productive. When I say productive, I mean in terms of school. Writing is always productive. Just not always productive for school.

the following post is rambly

The toughest school year is about to end. 
Finals loom. 
I'm packing my room. 
I'm tired. Boom.  

And obviously mentally strained. But as I sit here, in my last Caribou "study" session of my junior year, I consider what the past year has brought. 

A lot of exhaustion. 
A lot of tears. 
A lot of fears. 
A lot of questions.
A lot of Grace.
A lot of growth.
A lot of Him. 

Perhaps I could put it more poetically. Perhaps I could take a nap. Perhaps. 

Why am I telling you this? I guess because part of me is selfish and wants people to notice me. I am a member of the human race, selfishness has corrupted me, too.  Another part of me is listening to my Savior--because I could not be this vulnerable without Him. Another part just needs to write something. The last part is to hopefully encourage you. This is as much for me as it is for you and for Him. Probably more for me. 

I guess that is what I have learned. My motives are mixed, my faith is tattered, and yet He still uses me. He still pours through my words. Because it really isn't about my words, it is what He does with my words. Really it is about what He does, whether through me or through that dude with the pink bendy straw at the table across the room. He is who He is. That idea becomes more incomprehensible every day. He is Him, always. Me? I am not me all the time. I do not act like a child of God. I screw up, I lie, I fail miserably, I pout, I wallow, I hide, I run away. He sees "beloved" regardless. And because of that love, I am lifted, freed, every single day. I don't always believe it, and I certainly don't always feel it or see it. Blindness is not just physical. And is not as rare as I once believed. 

Finding out that I am a coward was one of the most devastating moments of this year--of my life, until I realized that it is in my weakness He works most. Because that is when I let Him.  Life is a lot messier than I once believed. I anticipate that to be proven for years to come. Yet, He is immensely more beautiful and terrifying than I once believed. I anticipate that to be proven forever.

"We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten branches of self-reliance, and to root us firmly in Christ." Charles Spurgeon

"When you talk to honest saints, who have been through real hardship, they will say things sincerely like 'I never wanted it, I would never have chosen it, I wouldn't want anyone else to go through it, but I wouldn't trade it. because I learned so much about Jesus and I became more like Jesus and so I cherish whatever it is I have gone through because of what I have learned and how I've changed.' Is that true for you? It beats bitterness. It beats wasting your suffering. I mean if you and I would keep these things in mind, God could actually use the hardest parts of our life to be the sweetest part of our life, to use the most painful parts of our story to be the most encouraging parts of our story for someone else." Mark Driscoll

"Redemption was born on a far darker day than this one, so bring the chaos. Bring the madness, Do whatever you've got to do to recreate my heart. After all, it's me that needs to change, not my circumstances." Mike Donehey

And so I am being changed.