I know the truth of Who I Am

I’ve listened to “The Only Thing” by Ronnie Freeman many times.  Speaks my heart.

I hold it together.  Every day.

Lipstick, hair, jewelry.

Cardigan.

Happy.

Smile.

What you see is me, in part. What I see of you is you, in part.

But the hallways of my heart…Would you be surprised?

Would you see the work that Grace has done?

The inside…messy, selfish, fearful…

Redeemed.

The only thing that’s good in me is You, Lord.

I know the truth of who I am.

I know me well enough to know that no matter what shows on the outside,

the only thing in me that is good is Jesus.

 

 

 

Tweed…


No more exuberant greeting, freshly shaved face, or tender hug.

No more fist bump as he passed our pew after communion.

I never realized how much he did for me.

And now he’s gone.

What do I do with that?

He’s gone, and dad’s gone.

The tweed gentlemen…patriotic, honorable, kind.

After dad, his presence comforted.

When I hugged him, my cheek brushed his sportcoat, his cologne a reminder of  good and of memories. And he always kissed and patted.

Did he know he served my heart? Did he know his kindness was precious?

I won’t again walk into church without remembering him.

The tweed gentlemen aren’t here.

but are There…

Comfort.

 

 

Chased. Captured by Grace

” And by Your grace I’m made what I’m not. My unrelenting, ever creating, my ever chasing God. ”

It only happens when I’m captured.

I wait to write. Until I can’t wait any longer.

Because it has to be authentic. Artificial has no place here.

I heard it this morning.  Grace in the showering, hair and toothpaste. Grace in the making of bed…

The music captures, his voice and lyrics.  “At the well, I heard You call my name”.

Calling me by name.  Grace

“I drew You water but You drew me further”

Can it be?  He chases?  He redeems?

Being made into what I’m not.

This I know for sure.

Listen.

 

 

Raspberries and 100 degrees

I remember begging.

Begging,

pleading,

wheedling.

Hot tears, blonde curls, big blue eyes.

And the reluctant “Yes” that he finally spoke.

So I rode my bike to the patch, so excited to be 13 with a job….picking raspberries at 7 cents/pint.  oh, and all I could eat…

The patch sat in the bright sun and black dirt, plump red raspberry dots on brambly bushes with sticky stickers, ready and waiting.

It was so fun, those first few days of hot skin sunburning and mouth full of warm fresh berries.  Picking and filling the pints, proud of quick, fast fingers.

The heat began in earnest on day three, beating and relentless on bare shoulders already scorched and sore, The stickers felt prickly, and fingers didn’t fly as easily.  100 degrees by noon.

Mrs. Farmer was screeching, urging us to work harder, faster, with less eating.

Day after day, dropping my bike to go out in the patch.  Hot sun, tired.  No longer eager.  The raspberries began to taste sour.

Begging again…this time to quit.

Please, dad.  Please.

Tears.

More tears.  So many more tears.

Please let me quit.

And his steady gaze.  Looking straight into me.

“No, you may not quit.”

“You will finish what you started.”

I couldn’t be in the presence of a raspberry for years.  Years.

But I didn’t quit.

I saw it through, that 13th summer.

Failing

In the last several days, some dear ones have admitted to struggle. To getting it right, but also getting it wrong.

Painful struggle to believe in Good when so much of what has …been….has been failure. Even epic failure.

In the last several days, some dear ones have admitted to struggle.  To getting it right, but also getting it wrong.

Painful struggle to believe in Good when so much of what has …been….has been failure.  Even epic failure.

So I’ve done that.  Epic failure.  Sad outcomes, ruined relationships, heartbreak.

If we caused pain, we will embrace regret. And when pain is inflicted on me, that “undeserved” pain, we embrace painful wounds.

But the most painful pain, even if unintentional, is when we have hurt someone else, because that  is an aching hurt. A hard to heal over cut.  A sore. Self-pain.

And Pain will reach, if we can’t let it go, uninvited into our futures.  The dark seeping into expectation, into joy, to pry the joy away.

I think the admission of struggle is itself an admission of hope.

Pain won’t win.

Change is possible.

Healing triumphs.

God was always there.  God is always there.

You have been my God through all of it.

It is well. Is it well?

I have a screen.

It’s the sifter of experiences, and the setter of my perspective.

All that happens goes through the screen before I… act or react. And it’s unconscious because that screen has been in place for a looooong time.

My eyes were set on Him many years, many, many  years ago. And somehow I received the gift of a theology of suffering.

Came to understand that I could expect difficulty, loss, anguish…in this life.  And came to understand that anguish is an opportunity to hold tighter, walk closer, and learn much from Jesus.

I want that, so the screen interprets what is happening through the theology I hold dear.

My eyes are on You.   My eyes are on You.

My eyes are on You. My eyes are on You.

In my soul….it is well.