29 December 2009
18 December 2009
How are we supposed to look, we humans?
21 November 2009
14 November 2009
are not enough to bring the rain
and the fire in the sunset
lit up your eyes
for a moment,
but kept burning,
to your detriment.
proclamations of the truth
are not enough to bring the rain.
09 November 2009
When it is dark for more hours than it is light, and one sleeps for 4 hours...the days meld together. I am not sure if this is good, or if it is bad. I like those dark hours. But, there is less definition for "what day is it?"
In philosophy today, the professor spoke of the squirrel that broke the ac unit.
But he also spoke of immortality, the resurrection of the soul and body, or was it just the idea of "completeness"--resurrection of the self?
John Updike's "Seven Stanzas at Easter"
Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.
It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that–pierced–died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.
Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.
The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.
And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.
Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.
20 October 2009
The other day, a line in a song punched away the little breath I had—“Peel back the veil of time/and let us see You with our naked eyes”* In so many ways I found myself on life’s rim.
I could only think of Moses the chosen, Moses the called, Moses of the ancient faith—Moses who could only handle the wake of God’s presence. I, who could barely breathe, was calling on the unveiled glory of God…if ever there was a time to be prepared for God’s glory, this was not it.
Maybe running makes me sane. (this is much debated)
All I know is that almost daily I ask that I be shaken by God’s presence…yet it requires my remembrance of running that day to give me a glimpse of what it is I ask. I understand my place in the world best when I am running.
'O look, look in the mirror,
O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.
'O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With [all] your crooked heart.'
My friends. There are days that I sit at the kitchen table, the silent house around me, and observe the goings on of a cloudy day (via the glass door). The summation of my findings:
-leaves fall like those helicopter seeds I used to play with…and still would play with, could I find any
-wet acorns are usually rotten (no deep meaning here, just fact)
-imagining the air as frigid is done with ease—the wind and slight damp encourage the thought (and my thoughts on such a topic need no encouragement)
-blue jays are the most vocal of birds
…and it is the same each year.
Funny, how fairy tales are the same. At least, the Disney version is the most common, and is the one oft recited, whether it be Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel (no, I don’t know how to spell it), or…you get the gist. (Though, can we please add Quest for Camelot to the list? I like that one…but not as much as The Sword in the Stone…)
"Fairy tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water." (G.K. Chesterton)
When did you or I first notice that apples were green?
Or that strawberries are delicious?
or that water is unique?
(or that questions are wonderful, wonderful?)
Why do I prefer asking questions instead of giving answers?
Why do some prefer the opposite?
…for one wild moment, I can realize that either preference is okay.
“What’s the difference between searching for your lost love with a glass slipper and getting on Facebook? Facebook is faster.” (Hansen, J., Arkansas Dem. G)
“…for our generation does not stop with faith, does not stop with the miracle of faith, turning water into wine—it goes further and turns wine into water” (Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling)
sense the gravity of what Kierkegaard is saying???
I don’t think I do, completely.
Perhaps he says faith is no longer “enough” for our generation. If so, it is because we do not realize that it is enough.
“Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly…even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord God.” (Ezk. 14:13,14)
Noah and Daniel and Job. Noah’s hundred years and watery days. Daniel’s vegetables and lions. Job’s faithless friends.
Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to (“If You Want Me To”)
Each step as one who seeks God is as a first step, is it not? In that, it requires faith. hm.
There is a closeness to God that may indeed allow one’s human feelings to align with the Majesty’s desires. This has been told me.
Lord, that I may listen. That I may put aside the sin that so easily entangles. That I would be fully, wholly, undividedly Yours.
“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none”(Ezk. 22:30)
May this not be the end. (I will walk through the fire, if He want's me to.) A dangerous thing, that I say.
You know, I run, every so often.
Run with me. ;)
19 October 2009
12 September 2009
Funny, I was going to write about the one who has hope being able to look back at memories and see them truly. However, as I typed "curse," the word "cures" came out instead.
Amazing, our finiteness. How time "cures" us, us wee folk, we who twist fairy tales...drink the unicorn's blood and live forever...be bitten by a vampire and do the same. We beg more of time, use less of it. (ha, to concoct these very tales)
hm, I do not know whether it is time or our dull memories that cure. Perhaps next time we wish to complain about our poor memory, we will instead praise God from whom all blessings flow.
21 August 2009
But it is more than that. It is more than feet hitting the sidewalks and roads. It is a squeezing once again, in my stomach and my chest, the conviction that I have one life to live, because the death I've already died--and not for my country.
17 May 2009
...who can fathom a mercy so free?
the analogy, sins as far as the east is from the west? It isn't a distance. It is a "nothing," a lack. There is no distance great enough. Our sins are paid for, and are gone.
Why do I forget?
16 April 2009
12 April 2009
He spoke of staying in America, for even if our country falls, it will be "up to someone to raise the remnant." If she survives, people will be needed to train the next generation.
By looking for the "big picture," have I missed it altogether?
Can I, in good conscience, leave a broken people for a broken people?
What if that first broken people was a privileged people, a group given a chance while the others had none?
May the Lord direct my steps.
May He protect His remnant.
14 March 2009
"I like seeing the dissonance between someone’s facial expression and or body language and what they are saying"
"Whatever happened to that wonderfully unsteady sense of mystery, that awkward flubbing around in relationships that used to characterize “getting to know” someone?"
"Human beings are far, far more complex and wonderful than their status updates and “ingredient listing” profile pages. And it is far more rewarding and profound to get to know someone in an unsafe, slightly uncertain and awkward way than to rigorously research them and pretend to know them via all the accumulated Internet data on them."
To rigorously research someone. A temptation, either because "I heard from him that she said that he was..." (and you just have to know who this person is) or to stave off boredom.
But consider that phrase "rigorously research someone." That's just plain creepy. And it's you. And it's me. Doing the research. Being research. Why? To "know" people? Is it because we care deeply for their souls, for the way they live their lives...is it because we wish to come alongside and share in their sorrows and carry their burdens?
Because were that the case, you would do far more than "rigorous research." You would pick up the phone and talk. Go out for coffee. Take a trip to Walmart with them. You would get to know them in that awkward, "slightly uncertain" way.
I have had direct experience this past week with that "wonderfully unsteady sense of mystery" that comes with getting to know someone. And in part, it had to do with a transition from being a "facebook friend" to a person with whom I speak face to face. It is wonderful. (But I must admit, that Facebook has its place. In moderation, it can be a tool, but one must wield it with wisdom)
05 March 2009
Memories of dreams are some of the strongest, and sometimes the most sickening, memories. I dreamed two days ago that I was drowning and that I did not realize it. That I was drowning, slowly breathing in the heavy water as I slept. And I tried to wake up. In my dream, I never did. In reality, well, I awoke a thankful and air-gasping person. I wonder if I ended up drowning in my dream.
Another dream this week, a memory plagiarized from I Am Legend. I won't describe it, but it wasn't fun. Only one person didn't want to kill me. And that was because he didn't really have the time.
Why do I mention my dreams?
Because even dreams take part in shaping my "worldview"
And because I had an interesting conversation about dreams last week.
Different accounts were given by people my age about dreams predicting or warning. And that is all that I can say on the topic right now.
03 March 2009
The joke that day was that, by the time normal people awoke on that fine Christmas Eve, they would not even know that it had rained.
At 2 o clock that afternoon I went to my car and started it--the windshield wipers came on. A remnant of the morning no one else remembered because no one else experienced it. A remnant no one understood. The remnant is that which exists in every life-the part of each person no other person experiences. The remnant is, for the one who experiences, a choice to either remember or to forget.
-Communion with the Lord.
-When am I fullest?
-Whose advice to I take the most?
"This is the world as best as I can remember it/
Rachel's weeping for the children/she thought she couldn't bear.../
seems love comes for just a moment and then passes on by"
And the world was felled in less than a day-
did the first even eat of the Tree of Life?
It would seem that is left to us (?)
That knowledge was corrupted to look better than life
and that Eve ate
is no great mystery.
But that she ate and yet lived should be a greater one.
How much greater is the grace coming from a judicious God than a God who gives merely grace and love, the God we have convinced ourselves is better, nay, the best? The "god" of our creation....Why do we not weep to know good friends, healthful food, and a blessed rain?
Did fear not pound in Cain's heart, when he was angry at the Lord?
Upon Noah was the Lord's favor set.
"And the Lord shut him in" Gen. 7:16
You O Lord have hedged me in, behind and before.
"I'm beggin' You for mercy...And I'm beggin' You to forget everything that I've ever done..."
Lord, search me and try me. Know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
Because today the past accosted me.
I went back to read some writing I had done for the Ukraine trip I went on this summer. I couldn't finish reading it, for it hurt me too much to do so. I spoke of "shiskas" and newly made friends named "Dima." I spoke of offering all to God and He not requiring all of what I offered. I spoke of not knowing what to do when back in the States. I didn't want to stop writing, for fear that the inaction would close the trip, finally and completely. I feel all of it again, even as I read it. The camp counselor's (Meisha's) last words were "and if we do not meet again on earth, it is in Heaven I shall see you next." But no. Why does the past haunt me? Not like, haunt me as if I had grave sins for which I must do penance, nor haunt me as a mistake I made would haunt me. But, grip me. Remind me that I had forgotten. That I have, not grown numb to God, but to the piece of His greatness that was Ukraine. That I have not let my Amerikanski self upset me more. Oh, I do. I do. I have changed since Ukraine, by the very grace of God. But Achoom and Sasha? And Dima and Julia...Galia, Yasha, Meisha, the ones that bring tears to my eyes because I remember faces...but not the names that were so very ingrained in me. I remember very little of the Russian.
Numbness I feared, forgetting I trembled at. Yet these very things have I done. What part does this play in His work of redemption?
"...for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer." Psalm 6:8-9
May the grace of God be with me in truth, that I may see His glory, a glory too great to look upon but for His Son.
31 January 2009
"sometimes I fear, maybe I'm not chosen. You've hardened my heart like Pharaoh and that would explain why life is so hard for me..." (Prove Me Wrong, Caedmon's Call)
"Now I know us plain folks don't see all the story
And I know this peace and love's just coppin' out
And I guess these young boys dyin' in the ditches
Is just what bein' free is all about" (The Island, by Paul Brady?...I like Celtic Thunder's rendition)
orthodoxy takes discernment
27 January 2009
I went back to read some journaling I had done for the Ukraine trip I went on this summer. I couldn't finish reading it, for it hurt me too much to do so. I spoke of "shiskas" and newly made friends named "Dima." I spoke of offering all to God and He not requiring all of what I offered. I spoke of not knowing what to do when back in the States. I didn't want to stop writing, for fear that the inaction would close the trip, finally and completely. I feel all of it again, even as I read it. The camp couselor's (Meisha's) last words were "and if we do not meet again on earth, it is in Heaven I shall see you next." But no. Why does the past haunt me? Not like, haunt me as if I had grave sins for which I must do penance, nor haunt me as a mistake I made would haunt me. But, grip me. Remind me that I had forgotten. That I have, not grown numb to God, but to the piece of His greatness that was Ukraine. That I have not let my Amerikanski self upset me more. Oh, I do. I do. I have changed since Ukraine, by the very grace of God. But Achoom and Sasha? And Dima and Julia...Galia, Yasha, Meisha, the ones that bring tears to my eyes because I remember faces...but not the names that were so very ingrained in me. I remember very little of the Russian. And the trip was a catalyst for what God is now doing in my life, I believe. But I remember so little and fear. My teammates. Surely they have moved on. It seems...I wish I could speak to them, a few or one. Perhaps I will. It is strange. I feel that this cannot become what it has become--an experience experienced and laid to rest. I do not know. I do not know.
May God be glorified.
-Satan's aim is more than to make you slip only to rise again. He wants to make you sin that you will be more joyful in sin than God. Satan wants that you love sin unto death.
-if you want to combat sin, know the Bible
-We are validated by ourselves-why do we do this? We are not merely tempted to use every availiable avenue to promote ourselves...we give in.
-Does your life have an ever-increasing tendency to look like your Master?
"You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt. 5:48)
What despair must grip our souls at these words! In this chapter, Jesus points out what the Law really looks like. It doesn't look like the Scribes and the Pharisees. It doesn't look like "Thou shalt not murder." It looks like perfection. It looks like Christ. (the Spirit of the Law, not the Letter of the Law) Perfection.
I can keep the same language,
but can I keep the same heart?
For my words precede me,
the sinner not yet whole is
apt to call himself clean.
Yesterday I grinned like a mime
released from canvassing
sidewalks and stairwells.
In interest of time, I danced only
the rumba and square.
But today I am jobless and sinner unclean.
my loyalties lie
only God knows where
the words allow room to breathe.