Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lines from the Months of This Last Year: June

Make it your ambition (to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and)
to kill 7 flies before breakfast.
1/3 accomplished today.

No amount of anything can save me, protect me, or satisfy me but You.

"O taste, and see, how gracious the Lord is..." (Psalm 34)

Help me not build things up to such a tremendous height. Keep things in their proper sizes. Driving. Men.

"All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee...?" (Psalm 35)

Well, Lord, please preserve me. I don't want to die with the paintings looking this awful.

"For my wickednesses are gone over my wounds stink, and are corrupt...I am feeble and sore smitten; I have roared for the very disquietude of my heart.  Lord, thou knowest all my desire..." (Psalm 38)

"For I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were." (Psalm 39)

Lord, my Lord, how am I to understand all this? Start with gratitude.

Mimado. Spoiled. I read that and it made me nervous. I am spoiled. I have things so easy. And yet I make a big deal out of my inconveniences, my feelings. So I start to self-flagellate and plan sacrifices and disciplines.
Happily, I recalled that it's not my job to make religious plans and projects for myself. What does God want? How should I view my circumstances?
With gratitude. With open hands. It will be He and I together, whatever comes.
God, remind me of the logs in my eye. Is it my job to defend You? To judge on Your behalf? Show me how to love people. My family, my closest people. You, and trust You on days like this when I'm not pleased, don't feel right or lovable. All knees and elbows, and a stubborn chin. Oh, make me laugh!

"Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but mine ears thou hast opened....
As for me, I am poor and needy; but the Lord careth for me." (Psalm 40)

"My soul is athirst for God..." (Psalm 42)

Let us come to You like children, again and again and again today.

How. THANK YOU. I don't understand. But I'm grateful. For J's fever breaking. For someone's prayers in CA, another in KS, another in PA, all coinciding today, and You answering.

Thank You for Job today. Stark and difficult and so, so comforting.
Thanks for Dad being so patient and helpful in the face of my stupidity. Thanks for Mrs. L's fragrant sea roses. For the prospect of a full, good Saturday. For faithful prayers. For all of my family.
Surround us, Lord. Protect us. Prepare us for anything.

"Our heart is not turned, not when thou hast smitten us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death..." (Psalm 44)


"This far you may come, and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt."

Maybe You have been a little lax with us, forgot to turn the water off.
But everything knows You mean well;
the garden grows regardless of my droughts,
and even the basement flooded apologetically
like a shame-faced child
with wet pants.

Could You be
more gentle? Any more

Everything I love, I am afraid of.
How long did my voice go on, and all they were 
were words, were whimpering, were fumbling 
trying to touch You (trying to see through, feeling shapes in the dark,
the door handle, the bedpost, the light switch
    is broken, it must be, You have never been 
cruel to me), 
Or have You? 

Have You.
How can I? I'm sitting at Your table, playing hostess.
"Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?"
Will You take more salad? I made this stew myself.

River deep, can I know You as well as You know me?

I want him to be well. 
This is more than a lot of analogies about pearls and tapestries, 
thorns-in-the-flesh and stigmata. Shake down the stars on us. 
"Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades?"
Sing in tongues. We sang to her as she lay in a coma, on the bedsheets 
with Hawaiian flowers that my roommate gave to me. 
And there she died today. You can't say You didn't know. 
"Can you loose the cords of Orion?"
I'll tell You everything I want, and before You say no, 
show me that I don't want any of it. 
I want You and more You     and 

      You are

the liminal pleasure of not touching.
Eyes closed at the piano, feeling notes, finding chords, that-one-sweet
stirred me -
sustain. . . sustain. . . last just a little longer before
my fingers slip into dissonance and lift quickly 
in pain.

Carry me, Your love is wider than my need could ever be.

These drownings feel like baptism.

Lord, thank You. It is too much, but it is not too much. Not really.
Thanks for Your irony. You're just the most lovably frustrating. I want to say dangdest but that's not OK. May I? If we both clearly understand what I mean? And if I apologize just enough to make it awkward?

Thank You that my tomatoes are growing. Thank You that I do not have to compare my life to anyone else's - I just need to follow You.

Beggars get me thinking again. And just thinking, about the last couple times I was here. There IS something very exciting about the city. So many lives colliding. And unique places. Old & new tossed together, wealth & poverty.
Jesus, take and hold me tonight. Make me more of a woman, Your woman, this weekend.

There was a totally extravagant wedding going on. And with so much richness, I felt both fake and delighted. Had that icky feeling I get around wealth - that I want it, and I DON'T, and if I'm being sweet it must be because I'm scheming.
Give me daily bread. And,
Thank You.

"O cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall nourish thee, and shall not suffer the righteous to fall for ever..." (Psalm 55)

Solomon built a temple for You. How can I make You more at home?

Lord, I want to understand. To understand what all this means, to look at it from a wide, a high angle. Why things matter. How they connect. I want to do a better job of listening and of obeying, but all it seems I can do is make half-sincere plans and then fail. Help me up. Give me a new heart, mind, and spirit for this life. This isn't just a song I sing in church, this is what I want. I want You. I want to really be satisfied in You, and not pretend I am. Bring me back daily to the Gospel.

Lord, forgive me. Already I feel bitter and offended this morning.
Mom just came down the hallway, gave a quick succession of claps, and said in a high voice,
"It's summer! We're making ice cream at 10 o'clock at night!"


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