Saturday, June 11, 2016

Lines from February, Part 1

Her house was a haven. Isaiah 54 was a kiss. 50-54 just now.
Show me how to enlarge, and give, and do justice, and bless, and trust.
Show me Your face. Pace me. Sweeten me.

Only do what leads me to You. Anything else is idol, is sin, is loss.
There would be relief, as well as rejection, disappointment, pain, in being told "no". But hearing nothing scares me. Feeling trapped. Waiting is the great test, isn't it? And what will I do when I hear? While I wait?
How can I choose the cross and freedom?
Grow me into what You want me to be. Help me to think, and feel. And be still and know. And obey, joyfully.
There is so much possibility and thrust in me right now. Direct me, use this warm, sharp energy.
If I take myself from Your table to write my own story, burn it. You have my permission. I must have You.
Oh, Velita. Kyrie.

Last night it was,
"God has allowed in the lives of each of us some sort of loss, the withdrawal of something we valued, in order that we may learn to offer ourselves a little more willingly, to allow the touch of death on one more thing we have clutched so tightly, and thus know fullness and freedom and joy that much sooner." (Elisabeth Elliot)
"I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." (Phil. 3:8)

And this morning it was Psalm 16:6-8.

You had ways of preparing me. I was somewhat prepared. Thank You. Hearing about E was the the hardest part of today. And even that, You know. But I feel small, weak. Couldn't really handle "Tenerife Sea". More like "John My Beloved".
Sending the song today...was it right? It was prayed over, and done, almost mechanically. More like, "I may never have another chance" than "I mean this".
I don't mean it in the same way, now. We're past passionate declarations and glowing praise. We're tired and wise. Heh, I don't know about wise. Unsure, conservative maybe. This isn't the end, but it's a kind of withdrawal. Talking brightly to the child who's fallen, hoping the scratches weren't much, and the tears can be averted in the confusion.
Yes, that's almost exactly what it's like.
If only children weren't so practiced in crying anyway. 

But what this comes down to, what I wanted to say, Lord, is I know You're there, I know You're weaving, I feel You wanting me, and I'm thankful. I want to respond, to worship You somehow, in this small fertile shadow.
I want, I need, to laugh.
I dreamed this years ago; the joke's not on me.
I mean, it is, which is why I should be able to laugh.

But I feel so much more capable of causing hurt than I did last week. I makes me afraid, like I should hide. Don't let me. Take me with You out into the air; there is hurt everywhere. There is life everywhere. I am needed.
But I don't want to do anything right now. I just want to ride on Your shoulders under leaves. Smell the sun on Your head and feel You rise and fall.

Keep everything safe for me, I might discard it in a fit.
Use it more than I can imagine.
Please, make Yourself more in this, in him, in me.

Thank You for placing me here: here in this place, with these people.
And these books.

Meet all of us here. In Your power. Right now. I am sick with hunger for You.

Why do I feel so awful? Sad is too sad for me. Happy is too happy. I must be avoiding You - where? Why aren't we OK? What's making me second-guess myself and feel like a cheap novel? Why are my words always pompous or puerile?
There are blue zits of pride on my neck yet (that was such an awful dream). Cleanse me from the inside out. I want to sing again. Thank You for today's songs, but they're already flat and repulsive.
I need sleep and soil and some attempt at courage again.
I need to depend on You, I guess.
You're generous and forgiving. You don't rub it in. How - ?
Give me a fresh start tonight. Lay me down in security. Show me what needs to be done in the meantime. My Trust. Show me Your holiness and vigor and inescapable resurrection.

"O tarry thou the Lord's leisure; be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart; and put thou thy trust in the LORD." - Ps. 27:16

Don't let me become fearful or obstructive. Make me true. Show me my heart, and Yours mostly.

Thank You, Kindest.
My first bite of bear. Huckleberry pie: A+. And best embarrassing moment: "Hey stranger! ...Oh, you really are a stranger...I'm sorry, I thought you were someone I know." Still laughing. He was cool with it.
Thanks for Papa loving me, and Mama loving me, and H's GREAT SPECTACULAR MIRACULOUS news about going to see R! You. You're just the best. Remind us of this. Thank You for allowing me to play some small part.
Thanks that it's now tomorrow, and the Sabbath. For L's shared article about "Everything Doesn't Happen For A Reason" and the things it taught me. Or reminded me of. Or highlighted to me, by contrast.

I am very frail, very impatient. And lazy. But hungry for You.
This waiting is a strange sweet knitting of us. Sometimes like nausea, and sometimes like flying. All the terror and the glory of it.
Blegh. I don't think there are any good words when I reach this point.

I want to be asleep, but I want to write. Because life is so painfully sharp & beautiful. My own hands move me. The punctuation of my wall clock. Warm light of the lamp by my bed. Are there any mistakes? Does everything happen for a reason, or do You just recycle before we can blink?

Keep teaching me grace. I'm not very patient with clutter, or worry, or talkativeness right now. But You are.
I'm not brave enough to drive right now. But You are.
My prayers are feeble things, like sleep-talking. Help me.
As I replied to N today, it's hard to overestimate prayer. Because we can't overestimate You, can we?

Thanks for the shopping today. Cookies for A. Parsley for me. Cherry pie from Mom tonight. And back massage from Dad yesterday evening, while Mom kept exclaiming over the sunset and telling me to look.
I don't want to miss these small gifts. Clemmies, and leftover chicken dinner, and Lila. The feeling of cutting old apples for applesauce. It's a beautiful experience... methodical, ceremonial, deft. The kind of thing you watch someone doing out of pure love & awe.

I need Your inspiration. Take over my schemes and make them better, and help me laugh and jump in.

I had time to make Valentines and help Mom with preps for the party. I admit I'm dreading the stress of packing and setup. Help me.
Your love is so so good. Fill my tired body and refresh my spirit tonight. Unite my heart to fear Your Name.
Keep me in mind of the ashes all day, even before they're imposed. Make holy the ordinary.

Parties like this are a mighty muscle-ful, the kind that makes me belligerent. But it's done, it's over, and it was a beautiful thing. Thanks for giving Mom faith I didn't have. And for carrying us through. Extravagance and costly love...they really do matter, even if part of me screams, "Waste!" and "Bother!"
Help me not live that way. I want a generous heart. I want to gush sweet cherries, not bleach, when you squeeze me.
Actually, both of those sound gross.
But what I mean is, I see the things that come out of me under pressure, and most of them are selfish, critical, and shallow. Thanks for the grace anyway.
Thanks for the joy on E's face and the pleasure these women had in celebrating her and enjoying pretty, delicious things. Thanks for the men who supported us and did so much grunt work.
Saturate tonight, Holy Lover. Savior. Friend.

Dad burned a scrap of paper for the ashes he imposed tonight. On it he wrote a prayer: "May God reward your love for Him."

Tried to write music and it was half-baked. But I had a good talk and prayer with Mom.

"Charge me to see in all bodies the beat of spirit."
Richard Wilbur, "The Eye"

Lord, thank You for Your endless mercy. I don't need to impress anyone.

Lord, show me the fellowship of Your suffering. Thank You for calling me out these last few nights, keeping me from sleep so we (have to?) dialogue. Thank You for showing me that I needed to say yes, and helping me say it. But You see, we both see, where I still hold back, distrusting myself, wanting painfully not to lie, like my child self unwilling to sign the card "Love," or tell A that I liked my beanie baby. Did I? Truly?
But this covenant rests on You. My small yeses have very little play in the matter and its fulfillment.
So, yes, help me live the rest of this achy day fully devoted, shedding & preparing inwardly, outwardly. Sin and uterine wall, sentimental idols. Cleave. My Soul.
Build in me compassion and the patience needed to understand - "help" can be so destructive, but I must do something. Mustn't I?
I feel myself wearing down a bit. Wanting to haggle with You for just, something more. Some clarity. But You've shown me enough, You truly have. To last for the rest of my life, if I'd only remember it.
Take me piece by piece. This life belongs to no one but You. I can't save myself or preserve myself for anyone else's comfort or expectation. The fact is, You can do with me whatever You will, and whatever it is, Your love will be in it.

How appropriate. 2 Chronicles 15 & 16... Asa's reign. Let me seek You wholeheartedly, Jesus. Help me find you. I'm too piecemeal and paralyzed right now, I need the passion and focus of a lover.
You alone save, and You can save with anything.

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