black panther

My sister and brother-in-law are visiting with their three small children.  It just so happened that my husband was leaving for a camp ministry conference right about the time my brother-in-law was needing to get away from his work in youth ministry.

We haven’t been able to go outside, which means the kids have been having a fair share of screen time.  It doesn’t bother me. I know this is the way it is sometimes, when you’ve gotta do what you gotta do to keep the peace and get by.  Big people need breaks.

Until it does bother me, and when it does, the agitation comes on all of a sudden.  I can get angry in an instant, not outwardly (at first), but in a way that demands the release of emotion.  I walk into the living room and say, “Seriously, how long is this movie?”

~~~

I was sitting at the dining room table this afternoon, remembering the late Billy Graham, the evangelist.  It reminded me of the Bible I have from my parents, given to me when I was seven, on the night I attended a Billy Graham crusade.  There was a personal note on the front cover pages.

I got up from the table, looked for the Bible, but couldn’t find it.  “Cherish God’s Word” are the first words from my dad.  He tells me to look to the Word, and I will never be disappointed.  My mom and dad signed their notes with a reference to Philippians 4, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”

~~~

My husband got home early, about 4:30 this morning.  He wasn’t supposed to get home until late tonight.  The weather forecast had predicted ice, and most of the people at his conference decided to wait it out and stay an extra night–one more day away from life.

But he decided to beat the ice and come home, driving through the entire night.  I find that to be highly honorable of him.  He’s what the Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson would describe as high in the Big Five personality trait of conscientiousness.

I’m not well versed in the intricate details of the Big Five, but I can easily find parts of myself in all four of the other traits: extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and neuroticism.  Conscientiousness, interestingly enough, was the missing link in my life.

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on gender reconciliation

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Supposedly when C.S. Lewis became a Christian, he quit keeping a journal.  He thought it was too self-centered.

C.S. Lewis wasn’t a woman.

And journal or no journal, the man wrote down his thoughts.  There’re a lot of men out there, who over the course of thousands of years, have done the same thing.

I’m not gonna hold it against them.

Let the men become famous.  The women will carry on, without fame or glory, bearing witness to the fire of the holy human lifespan.  We’ll gain wisdom with our silence.

We’ll find healing in the hidden words.

 

 

 

Lord, I believe

Sometimes it feels like I was born into the wrong civilization.  I don’t relate with Western culture and the functional lack of spirituality. Even Christianity, a religion to which I am deeply loyal, seems insufficient, at least at times, at least for me, maybe not in matters of the human heart, but in the suffering of the human psyche.

The ancients seemed to have a much higher grasp on what it meant to be human.  The sophistication of the Western world has completely neutered its humanity.  Christians assault each other with the endless diagnostics of sin.  Humans are idolatrous.  Humans are selfish.  Humans are corrupt.  Even the good we do is sinful.

I can’t take it anymore.

It’s like a walking death.  We are the walking dead.

I want to see the good in people.  I want to believe that there are two sides to every person, not just the unavoidable one.

How can we stand to live so disconnected from our bodies and souls?

In Eastern religions they fear evil spirits and worship the trees.  As Christians we worship the Maker of the trees, the God of the spirits, the Ruler of even the underworld.

The Spirit of God breaths life into people.  The apostle Paul is the perfect example of a man who creates his own reality by seeing the worst, but believing the best.

“Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

And such were some of you.  It was me who was that person.

I don’t want to be that person.  I am not that person anymore.

Stop telling me that’s who I am.

“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

 

february musings

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I heard the sound of birds this morning, followed by a squawk of the same species, but different voice.  One of my hopes for living out here is to come away with a more intimate knowledge of nature.  Right now, they’re birds.  I have yet to learn their names.

Two years in a row, we saw when they left.  The first year was the last week in October, this past year, the first day of November.  Come 9 o’clock in the morning each time, at the tail end of breakfast, the kids and I heard a loud ruckus right outside the dining room window.  The backyard trees exploded with black birds.

There are natural phenomenons so magnificent, that the primal response for me is to laugh.  It happened last summer at the solar eclipse, as soon as the darkness covered the sun.  I laughed out tears then laughed them away.  In those ninety-so seconds of indescribable light, I nearly lost consciousness of everyone around me.

The crickets started chirping in afternoon heat, a sound you never hear in the summer til evening!  A rooster crowed from the next farm over, doing what the light had told him to do.  I heard the laughter of one of my sons, stretching out his arms like he was spreading his wings, running gracefully round and around in the yard.

The kids and I ran outside to see them.  For the next half hour, we followed as they flocked from one set of trees to the next.  We ran through the athletic field and stood at the fence, for they had flown across the street in to the neighbor’s back yard.  The last time we saw them, they were flying away, waving again for the ones who missed them.

 

 

clear waters

“Difficult and rich–this is what a person in an authentic maturation finds at the essence of it all-and it shows–both inside and outside on the person who strives toward it.  This we know, there is a noticeable difference between a considered life of depth and one based on phantasmagoric beliefs.  On this journey toward “true home”, though we may, from time to time, turn back to record or measure from whence we came, we do not turn back in order to turn back.”

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves~