Hallowed Eves and Hallowed Days

Standing in a playground of brown scrub patches while the kids ran past me I wondered why the sky seemed bigger to me all of a sudden.

The wind whipped-lashed across the field.

I looked up then and saw the trees, all bare and leaf-less, bending, bending, bending.

Oh, right. The sky wasn’t bigger. I could just see more of it coming through the tree branches bracing for winter.

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The birches, lithe, lean, suddenly began twisting to a fury of wind and my pants flap-slapped against my shins and I had to turn my face.

The sky to my left was menacing, black clouds roiling above the ancient elms. To my right the sun blazed glory and the grounded leaves were suddenly swept up in a current of russet and gold medallions funneling across the field. IMG_7740

Children started laughing.

Some rode the wind with their arms open wide. We all braced into the gale this time, our faces couldn’t help smiling in the golden torrent of leaves swirling above our heads. Then the black disappeared, the clouds scattered and the sun shone hard through mist raining diamonds in one small place.

I looked hard into it.

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How does it rain wet jewels where there are no clouds?

I wondered if the children standing there could feel the fine-ness of the diamond drops washing over them.

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I wondered at the beauty of the rainbow that suddenly appeared over our heads and why it makes me cry that God always promises us…because we can’t promise Him.

It was a hallowed moment.

It was a sacred and set apart moment and I was compelled to look at the day the Lord had made and rejoice in it.

Everyone on the playground was rejoicing because it was fierce and beautiful and dreadful and glorious all at the same time. A glimpse of heaven invading hardscrabble earth.

Light always trumps darkness.

His glory always trumps witchery and trickery.

It’s all hallowed, really, if we really look hard into it.

All our eves, all our days, all are sacred because of the Ancient of Days.

Bridges

 

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This autumn time, where is it that you are trying to get to?

What is it that compels you to keep moving on a path where the destination isn’t quite a tangible reality, but it is a hope?

It is a faith walk, you know, to keep going when you are looking for sign posts along the way that tell you, yes, you are moving in the right direction.

But, what if the sign posts are few and far between? What if the trees close in and the streams bank wide?

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Do you keep going?

Do you give up and wonder if you’ve lost your way?IMG_7802

Or do you wonder instead that it is a gift to be able to stand in beauty itself and you will be shown the way.

 

Besides,  you know there will be bridges.IMG_7784

Bridges that spark hope and delight and mystery.

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You know that you will not be left on the edge of things with no where to go.

You have walked with Jesus, the redemptive bridge builder, who spanned the Great Chasm between our Father and humanity once and for all.

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I know this, too. For us Jesus followers, it is our common tale.

It is because of Jesus, who entered the abyss instead of me, that I am able to find the bridges.

It is because of Jesus that I am embracing the mystery.

It is because of Jesus that I am up for the adventure.IMG_7788

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The Warfare of Granite

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When the granite comes careening down the hill vibrating on eighteen wheels and a trumpet blast echoes through the town and you are eight years old, you don’t remember anything about glass shattering or trucks crashing or walls shearing off buildings. That part is blank.

People say when you suffer a tremendous impact, the kind that sends your brother through a windshield and one of your sisters to a place underneath the dashboard bleeding through auburn curls that you black out. Other people say the sort of thing that cuts up your grandfather and slams your other sister backward makes the memory all a blur.

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It is not true.

There is no black, there is no blurring.

These imply seeing.

You didn’t see anything.

You didn’t see the crashing or the throwing. You didn’t hear the shattering or the boards being splinter-ripped from their nails. You didn’t feel the throwing and the knocking about. You didn’t feel the weight of the granite bearing down as it pushed the bed of the pickup truck into the cab you were in, metal crunching accordion-style.

It is nothing to you.

Except it wasn’t nothing.

Not to the policeman standing nearby realizing he’s still alive as the granite whooshes past his body.

Not to the lady who is watching a soap opera when the wall of her living room is torn off.

Not to your mother who is watching it all unfold in slow time across the street.

It is nothing to you, that blank space, even when all the cuts have been bandaged and the bumps have been examined and you hear the grown ups talk about what a miracle it was that no one was seriously injured, because you just don’t know where you really were when it was all happening.

Until you have to get into the passenger seat of a car.

That’s when terror tries to fill in the blanks.

The slippery serpent of fear waits for an opportune time to strike and it was a warm October day when a flat bed truck carrying tons of granite rock lost its brakes exiting I-89 and slammed into a pickup truck carrying four little kids and their grandfather that an opportunity came. Fear tried to wedge its lie into the heart of an eight year old girl that day and for forty-five years she has engaged in the rugged warfare where terror tries to get the upper hand in everything.

Yet God…

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He comes with rock splitting grace.

A river of grace and truth flows from a high place and there is no stopping it.

Sometimes the grace river trickles through your day making small erosions in the what ifs.

Sometimes the grace river roars through your night toppling fear boulders that threaten to suffocate.

In the long run you realize it is a good warfare.

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It is good because it’s where you find your King.

And when you find Him, the One who took all the weight of every sin rock upon Himself, you realize that in the blank places, the mystery places, you have actually been hidden in the cleft of the only Rock that matters.

Once you realize that He has hidden you, that it is He who fills in all the blanks, you realize it is He that makes you stand in peace.

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The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer…

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

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