Lickety split they grow up, turn out, pop off ridiculous words. And one of the best things about living far away, is the very feeling of coming home to all their dear faces.
In a twelfth grade answer key, there was a list of the evidence. A checking list of ways that the grass and mountains and man declare there is Beauty after all.
Last in the list was the Lord’s voice and it stopped me, because how often this is true.
His words, His commands, the speaking of His will is always the plumb line of beauty and truth. We measure our actions against it. Our eyes through it.
His voice, sweet to children and confounding the wicked. Be careful to hear it.
Quick to listen, slow to speak. And maybe this applies to our Father as well as brothers – the beautiful sound waves of a loving parent.
His Mercy is More.
Not to fuel defiance. No get out of good behaviour free card. And certainly not an immunity to the consequences of rebellion.
But what these words whisper, is to remind us that what Jesus did, we can not undo.
What He purposed for His children is our new hearts and redeemed souls.
And He got what He came for.
So let’s not mince words in shades of gray or excuse ourselves politely as an exception to the rule.
The story goes…New Hearts get busy with God’s work.
And no yoke, obedience becomes instead, the most joyful expression of a brighter sky.
- When you’re writing a card and a word doesn’t look right, it’s OK to scratch it out and fix it. Don’t rip up the whole card.
- Don’t worry if the music makes you homesick. It will be the most pleasant kind of sadness there is.
- Never wait until you’re thirsty to drink water.
- Never wait until you’re bored to read a book.
- Muscadines are the sweetest, best, plumiest grapes that I’ve ever tasted. They also make my lips tingle and burn.
- Keep more stamps around than you think you need.
- If you turn your back on a plant, it will be do much better than lots of careful attention.
- Changing sheets is the quickest path to getting your act together.
9. A company makes personal essential oil diffusers. Oh my. Oh dear.
I’m an emotional chameleon. Give me a sad story and I will twist myself into knots to avoid the sadness of it, shade myself to some less mindful clime.
Too often, I don’t stay to fight, the flight instinct is strong and carries me through nodding, smiling and beating a quick retreat to denial.
Friends are not made with denial however. And we don’t take breaths because of a God who winks at our tears.
Instead of flinching, we are told to lean into the mess. Just a little longer. Just a little dearer.
I’ve been thinking a lot about it these weeks, and realizing that if I weep for the world or someone else’s hard news – these aren’t tears falling out of line with Scripture.
Instead, we are agreeing with God’s design for burden bearing, not the fixing, fussing or fleeing that I love so much.
So I’ll seek out the sad and stay awhile. Put up a tent and boil some tea.
Keep them close. And tell them the truth.
Do we leave room in our lives to love each other extravagantly?
Do we have space to give above and beyond?
Do we believe that Jesus is enough and that we are free to utterly enjoy Him?
Do we reflect the generous nature of Grace in our lives…
…and in the Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Saturday evenings,
thankfully, paint the world a bit brighter with His wonder?
Brin’s favourite thing is to do her copy work sitting in my lap, while I read from my phone with one hand, and scratch her back with the other. If I stop at one chapter she urges me to another.And the other day, in the middle of that famous winter-time story I read this,
“and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
This is not the traditional Christmas reading of peace on earth. This is special. An intent of peace-making that declares Jesus the king of it.
And the next day I read another verse, a song of heavenly hosts to come,
“He brought me out into a broad place;
He rescued me, because he delighted in me.”
And in the amen those words pleased and delighted nearly scandalized me. Because I understand the fall, justice and at least the idea of substitution. I can wrap my mind around a crisp, legal agreement where we are at least happy to scrape through and stand in the back row of Heaven.
This delight is something new all together, though. God’s pleased face as He restores peace to the chaos is an idea that seems too good to be true. And His care because He not only sees me as righteous, but also as delightful, is so deeply humbling, gratitude for grace bubbles up again.
If we set our faces to this world as those assured of God’s delight in us and His mission to bring beauty out of the ashes, we might walk the hum-drum differently. Praise God for the joy to be more than conquerors this day, and tomorrow.