March 30, 2011

Scars...revisited

This week I want to re-visit something I wrote on my other blog 2 summers ago when I was in Kenya....

I've been thinking about scars lately, how they don't hurt but can tell a story and can bring back memories of pain or growth. 
Maybe that's one of the reasons I am here, God wanted to give my heart a scar of poverty...that the pain I have seen and felt this summer and the growth in understanding and love from it might eventually not always hurt or invade every waking thought as they do now but will leave a mark that others will see and will give me a better ability to share my story and how God has worked in my life. 

Looking in the mirror now, I can still see the scar.  Like any physical scar, sometimes its hard to see and sometimes it stands out vividly, and sometimes i can still feel the sting.  In a way I wish those times that I feel the sting would happen more frequently.  Looking back now I am saddened at how easily it seemed to scab and heal over, how easily I forget that it's there.  But God is gracious and holds a mirror to it every once in a while and reminds me that it's still there.

Linking up with Emily and others at Imperfect Prose 

March 23, 2011

barefeet searching for excellence


This is the end of my barefooted adventures…whatever is admirable.  It seems that all the things that came before –truth, purity, right-ness, beauty – feeds into this final thought as if these things are not enough but I must think of only the highest caliber in each category.
My heart is prone to wander, making idols or created things instead of loving the Creator as I should.  I think that this final requirement is the only defense against idolatry.
It is so easy to love things of truth or beauty, to look up to those who are right and pure and to let it end as admiration instead of letting those things do their job and point us to the Author of all Beauty, Truth, and Right.  I shield my heart’s eyes from the infinite glory of God shining in my face and instead focus on the objects reflecting that glory and call them the source.  By calling me to ponder excellence God is pulling my hands away and telling me to stop taking the easy way out. I need to let my eyes feel the disquiet of infinite glory and see my heart’s defects in the light it provides.  Only in this light can I see how much I need God’s grace and how far Jesus had to stoop to pull me up from darkness.
Barefeet takes courage, I pray that God would strengthen my heart.

March 9, 2011

lovely barefeet

“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…”

March in New England is a hard time to focus on lovely. November is kind of a drag for it’s grayness – March is defined by brownness. The world around me seems enveloped in a smear of mud The snow that once was white and clean is the gray-brown of road salt and the ground newly reveled that once was green in summer splendor is now brown with dead leaves and mud.

Mud is everywhere…roads, yards, homes, cars, clothes. I have to admit I’m pretty good at suspending reality and being optimistic, but even I can have a hard time imagining mud into lovely.
Trees are lovely, flowers are lovely, clean flowing streams and crisp green lawns are lovely…even freshly fallen snow and dripping icicles are lovely, but there is just something about mud.

Perhaps mud’s “lovely” comes in the anticipation. Mud season is a season like all others and I know that “this too shall pass.” The sight and sounds and smells of mud may not be lovely in and of themselves but there is something in the air tickling the senses and teasing of spring to come. Like the first few chords of a favorite song, this March air can get the adrenaline pumping. “No, all is not as it should be yet, but it will be soon” the earth seems to say.

The lovely is there for the taking in March, it just needs to sought fiercely and held tightly.
In the midst of cold and colds, surprise snow that has over stayed it’s welcome, dirty snow/ice piles, potholes, and flooded streams, hope for change is in the air. That tricksy southern sun warmed wind catches your ear and whispers as Narnians said the spell began to break… “Aslan is on the move.” And that is a lovely thought indeed.

Letting my bare feet get a little muddy and joining up with Emily and others at Imperfect Prose.

March 2, 2011

purely barefoot

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,

Purity is a lost art.  Not that any  person or time or place could claim true purity, but it seems that at some point the pursuit of purity used to be something worth doing.   
Yes, there are still individuals who pursue purity or maybe even a few groups, but as a culture nothing could be more foreign. 
The loss of absolute truth may have something to do with it...by definition purity has no room for gray areas or exceptions or excuses.  It demands perfection...pure love, pure joy, pure peace, pure faith... all without a shadow of doubt. Part of me longs for those things, and yet when I look at my life through this filter of purity all I can see are smudges and taints, shadows and holes; and I wonder, so far gone, is it worth it to try anymore for purity?

I know that Jesus' pure love, pure, obedience, pure sacrifice is the only hope for my soul.  It is only in Him that I may be made pure.  Washed clean not by my pursuit and striving but by His blood. 
The pursuit of purity is only effective when it is the fruit of being forgiven
And yet, this pursuit is even more counter-cultural than the pursuit of purity for purity's sake. 

I'm wrestling with this and joining my voice to the community at Imperfect Prose