Monday, April 30, 2012

A Whisper in Due Season

Have you got a dream inside you that you think will never see the light of day?  The kind of thing that you tentatively share, only to hear things like, 'That's nice, dear.'...and you realize that no one sees this how deep this thing is planted in your heart?  Do you take it out now and then and look at it and think, 'This really isn't that big of a deal.  Why can't I just put it down and go on?' ...but you can't, because you know some part of you will shrivel and die.

But there are times when it is tempting.  Because once it's dead, it won't hurt any more.  It will just be a numb place.

I have a dream like that.   One I have wept over and fasted over and still do not have any reasonable expectation that it will ever, in my grandfather's words, amount to a hill of beans.

But it's my dream. One of the true passions of my heart. And I'm getting very discouraged.

Doing my daily internet check after work, as I cruised down the blog posts in google reader I skimmed through Beth Moore's latest post.  A narrative that I registered as very sweet and was just about to click to the next entry when the last line caught my eye.

I know your season's coming.

Why that jerked my head around like a calf on a rope I don't know, but it did.
I re-read, closely, the paragraph just above, and somehow the words spoke straight to me and, to my surprise, tears flooded my eyes:

Don’t be discouraged. Don’t decide it can’t matter all that much. “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His name in serving the saints, as you still do.” (Hebrews 6:10) 

Some days, a whisper like that is enough to put hope back where it goes...

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Mystery in the House

Wednesday night, after teaching my middle school girls and then going to the high school to finish up last minute costume tweaks while waiting on the Flute Player to be released from rehearsal,  I came home and caught up on email and blog posts and whatnot, then finally headed to bed around 12:30 AM.  Happened to think that I should feed the cat, whom I hadn't seen all evening but figured she was asleep on the foot of the bed upstairs.

Imagine my surprise when I looked up from pouring her food in her bowl and happened to glance at the cat carrier, which has been sitting in the dinette since we moved it off of the porch, and saw that she was looking at me out of it. Locked in.

Now, the latch for the door actually has to be pinched together to secure or release it...i.e., she couldn't just have gone in and had it swing shut behind her.  Someone locked her in.

The Actor was upstairs most of the evening, and said she'd been in his window most all day.  But he had gone outside for a half an hour or so to work at mowing the back yard.  He couldn't remember if he'd seen her after he came back in or not.  Neither he nor My Sweet Baboo admit to any knowledge of how the kitty got locked in her carrier.  The Flute Player had gone straight upstairs after we got home from the rehearsal; she was cleared. did the cat get locked up?



The mystery is solved.  Under direct questioning, the Flute Player admitted to putting the cat in the carrier before we left the house on Wednesday; she said the cat was bothering her (THAT'S a mystery in itself!), so she locked her up and then forgot to let her out.  

I'd just assumed she was still free when we left.

So the lesson learned here is...never assume...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen!

...the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!" Luke 24: 5b-6a

Can you imagine being one of those women...going down to the tomb sad and grieving, finding things so different than you expected and hearing this pronouncement from two fellows who were dressed in clothes that 'gleamed like lightning'?  Can you imagine the confusion and the crazy hope that those words would inspire?  After seeing the incredible abuse  and agonizing death Jesus had endured just a couple of days earlier;  the words 'he has risen' probably didn't even really process. 'He is not here' may have been all they really grasped.

The unnamed disciples who were walking to Emmaus later that day reported to Jesus that the women had 'seen visions of angels', but all they could confirm was that Peter and John had found the tomb empty, as the women had said. 

It is interesting that, after the resurrection, no one recognized Jesus immediately when they saw Him.  In some way, He had changed.  It always took a minute (or a couple of hours, as in the case of the those guys going to Emmaus) for folks to reconcile what they saw with the Jesus they knew.

Hebrews tells us that it was for the joy set before him [that Jesus] endured the cross...  After the resurrection, Jesus would have been walking in that joy.  He knew everything pertaining to the relationship of God and men had just changed.  The veil was torn.  The way was opened. He was standing at the door, waving them to come through.

I think that folks just couldn't comprehend that joy.  Moses put a veil over his face so the glory wouldn't overwhelm the Israelites; Jesus just showed up unexpectedly, full of joy, and it dazzled everyone for a bit until their eyes adjusted to it.

He is risen!  Things are not as they seem. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ten Days...

I knew it was coming, but I still wasn't quite ready for it.

Two Saturday mornings ago, the Artist came down downstairs. 'Mom, would you mind if I borrowed the van for a while today?'

The van is the antithesis of cool.  I was mystified...but I shouldn't have been. 'What do you want the van for?'

He grinned. 'Moving my stuff into the apartment.'

Two of his friends had rented an apartment and were more or less waiting on him to join in and split the costs again.  He'd gotten a raise at work, and paid off one big chunk of his outstanding debt.  Independence was calling.  And the rain was holding off; he wanted to take advantage of the dry weather.

His room (that he painted dark brown only 6 months ago...I'll have to have him help paint it a more girly color before his little sister upgrades into it) isn't *quite* empty, but it's close.  I suppose it's possible that, if both his roomies find ladies and get married, he could end up back at home for a season, but I rather doubt it.  He's never liked living on this end of town; it's too far from his occupation and his social life.

As he was loading up, I kept thinking there should be a ritual or something to help handle the 'moving out'.  A blessing to pass along.  'Bye, mom!' just didn't cut the mustard on this one.  We weren't even home when he brought the van back and got his car and the rest of his stuff and headed out.

But he's gonna be 24 in just a couple of weeks; he's not too young.

And, truth be told, I'm not seeing significantly less of him than I did before.  You wouldn't think it'd make that much difference. And, I suppose, it really doesn't.  It's all in how I decide to look at it.

After all, all I need to do to see him is bake a carrot cake... ;-) 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday Dream

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I have been very pensive this weekend; not being in a liturgical church, our interaction  with the calendar is minimal.  The message at church this weekend was about the triumphal entry, but the emphasis was on the purpose for which Jesus rode into Jerusalem, not the celebration of the fickle crowds.  We had a long look at the point in the parade at which Jesus tops the Mount of Olives, sees Jerusalem spread out before Him and is so moved by grief over the near-sightedness of the people that caused them to miss His presence that He breaks down and sobs.

In all the church drama productions I've seen that involve the Triumphal Entry, I have never seen that moment portrayed.

So I am feeling rather out of step with folks who are posting lovely things about the celebration of Palm Sunday.  Not that they are in any error, but I'm hesitant to follow the example of those folks who so eagerly welcomed the King and, less than a week later, were screaming at Pilate to crucify him.  I'm not criticizing, you understand, just coming from a different perspective.

I've been reminded of a dream I had sometime ago...particularly since the setting of the dream was that very day and place.  I have mentioned it before in a post, but the gist of it is this:

In the dream, I was in Jerusalem. There was a commotion on the street, and I went over with the crowd of people to see what was going on.

It was Jesus, on the donkey, coming into town. And as I looked at Him our eyes met.

But unlike the folks around me, I knew the rest of the story. I knew He was coming, not to reign, but to die. Moreover, I knew He was taking my place.

Now, I wasn't Barabbas in the dream; I was me, Lisa. And I knew that I was the one who was supposed to be under the death sentence...but that He was coming to take my place.

In the moment of eye contact, I consciously knew that was true.

The crowd pushed us apart, and I wandered down the street in a state of shock, grieving. And woke up.

When I saw The Passion of the Christ the thing that stood out to me the most in that movie was the total commitment of Jesus to See It Through.  He had so many opportunities to go away, to hide, to avoid the schemes of the Sanhedrin...but he didn't yield to any of them.  He prayed, he agonized, but he didn't shrink back. 

He knew what would happen when he rode the donkey into Jerusalem, even if no one around him had been astute enough to listen to all his warnings.  They believed they were welcoming the King to his Throne.

In a way, I suppose they were.  But it wasn't the throne they envisioned.  Not the throne of earthly power...but the throne of the heart.

Since I dreamed about it, Palm Sunday has always seemed rather brittle to me...I can't wave a palm branch and sing 'Hosanna!' when I fully know that Jesus was coming to die for me.

Instead, I want to lay my cloak on the ground and weep as He rides across.