April 27, 2011

hope that does not disappoint

perhaps I tempted fate a bit too much last week
let that be a lesson to me, never claim an eeyore week before it is through
last week went from gray to prickly black...ever read that book about alexander and the horrible no-good very bad day?
life it seemed was getting in my way at every turn, barring productivity, joy, peace
everything I touched got ruined...
but Halleluiah! Easter morning did not disappoint!
dressed in a pretty dress with a rockin' hat I went to church determined that joy would come with the morning
everyone dressed up, the sanctuary filled to overflowing with faces, some familiar some not
the orchestra played, the Word was read and Pastor preached on Job
wait Job? you may ask...YES!
Even in the midst of all of his suffering and pain, ever so much more than I could bear or even imagine, he proclaimed "I know my Redeemer lives"
Life is messy and muddy, painful and slow at times, but I know that my Redeemer lives.
All these things shall pass away and I will think on them no more when I see His face smiling at me.
Because my Redeemer lives I have nothing to fear
Because my Redeemer lives I can love freely because His love satisfies when others disappoint
Because my Redeemer lives I have joy and hope in knowing that I am on my way home
Because my Redeemer lives I can recognize hints of heaven in truth and beauty that I see around me
Thank God that hope in Him does not disappoint!

Linking up with Emily and others today at Imperfect Prose

April 20, 2011

plumb tuckered out

 I'm tired
I'm not sure why but it's making these past few gray days even drearier
It's been an eeyore kind of a week
even with the daffodils blooming and trees beginning to bud - the promise of spring has seemed awfully far off
Between hard things going on, gray cold mornings, rainy afternoons and chilly damp nights
the dark feels like it's closing in and it is just plumb tuckering me out trying to fight it
...but i keep telling myself that Sunday is coming
I love Easter!  
Easter morning reminds me that though Thursday and Friday loom heavy with
  somber words and desperate prayers
  betrayals sealed with a kiss
  ransom bought with blood not my own,
the story doesn't end on friday night
Sunday is coming with
  death conquered
  love victorious
  promises kept
the black rain clouds in my soul will only last so long,
soon light will break through and scatter darkness...
not because of anything I can do but because Jesus says so

Thank God that He knows my frail heart well enough to know that I need reminders
I long for the day when I won't need reminders of the resurrection anymore because I will see the Risen One face-to-face

linking up with Emily tonight at Imperfect Prose

April 13, 2011

Living on Kenyan Time

It’s funny how life cycles around and things occur in spurts.  Lately God has been bringing Kenya to mind in all sorts of ways.  Every once in a while, but lately more often than normal,  a smell will bring a flashback, or a craving for Kenyan tea will hit or someone will ask me about my trip.  Last time I wrote seemed to be the beginning of the cycle…the tip of the iceberg of memories.  I know that that scar of poverty-witnessed is embossed on my heart, but these reminders have got me to thinking, in what other ways has my life changed since that excellent adventure?
I remember wondering, on the plane ride home, at how my life would ever be the same, ready to change the world or at least my view of it…I also remember mourning how “normal” life returned so quickly once I got home.
One recurring thought is about how I use my time.  “Kenyan time” was a fluid concept, punctuality was more of a loose suggestion then a rule.  It took a while to get used to as an American, especially as a New Englander, but now I wish I could have some of that fluidity back.  I wish I could find a way to work that freedom into my life to put relationships before results and people before punctuality.  In theory it sounds like a good plan, but it’s a lot easier said than done.  I also miss the tea breaks in the morning and afternoon, a time to sip and talk and reflect regardless of to-do lists and deadlines. 
The more I’ve thought about this concept of Kenyan time I guess a lot of this boils down to “living in community” being a cultural priority.  When community is your guiding principle then time and tea and talking all flow out pretty naturally.  I also think that a culture of need is a pretty big driving force, when food and shelter and other basic needs are harder to come by, you have to rely on your community for support  Physical need seems to stop a lot of competition in its tracks and focuses everyone on what’s important.  I wish I knew how to translate a realization of spiritual poverty into the catalyst for community that physical poverty is. 
How amazing would it be if the recognition of our sinfulness and brokenness pushed us to rely on our brothers and sisters more strongly, instead of pushing us to retreat into our stone soul-castles casting out everyone who would dare try and come close enough to see our weakness. 
I pray that God will open my eyes to see the needs of myself and of those around me as opportunities for relationship building…that I would not focus on how to fix the problem but how to love through it and let God do the healing.

Linking up with a community of brokenness at Imperfect Prose