Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lines from July, Part 1

Lord Jesus,
Help my unbelief.
Defeat this darkness. Help me not be so afraid of it - in them, in myself. Seeing that loss of control, that self-destructive madness, that choice (?) to be untethered. I hardly know what to think. My words and my prayers are calm, soft, but my heart is tripping. Forgive me for so quickly judging others. Or for making excuses for them.
Show me, us, truth. Holiness. Wisdom-love, which is not always sanity. Make this night one of peace and security. Protect us.

Thank You for a lovely day, even though I felt numb with compounded emotions, and like a flirt, and like a child. Help me "just keep going. No feeling is final."(Rilke)
You are, Omega.

Yesterday: "Where's the lunch lady with the skirt?"

Thank You that tonight is peaceful. Thank You that T stayed. Thank You that P wanted to sit on my lap. Thank You that J brought snacks.

Thanks for freedom, for blessings, for privilege and education. Thank You for forgiveness and grace. Thank You for R reading "Love Does" and L & L eating plates of bacon, and for J's beautiful dress.

Help me pray boldly, intently, early and late and everywhere in between, alone and with others.
Help me stop doubting. Help me stop hiding. Help me speak out my fears and wounds and bitterness to You.
Thank You for the shattered china vase.
Prince. My Peace.

It's 11:11 and You want me to dance.

"Glory be to God for dappled things", like today.
Roughly 140 bags of popcorn. Conversations with a homesick camper, with T.R.I.B.E. girls (fresh & wonderful, about heaven), with E about justice. Rain and flower gifts and a late night working.
Please keep me ever, only, Yours.
Woo my whole attention, again.
Help me rest, and relish each moment of living. I can't get any of this back.
My awkwardness, my silliness, my beauty, all for You. Whatever strength is left, whatever wit and vitality. Whatever desire - take and transform me. Shape me for You, and help me see it and accept it, and refuse self-pity.
Enlarge us all tonight.
Speak truth and love into our hearts.

My tambourine just fell on my head.
I caught it, and I've been trying to laugh quietly.
"Where morning dawns and evening fades, You call forth songs of joy."
-Psalm 65

I have nothing original to say. This is another Thank You.
Thanks for clarity and concrete statements that help me understand where the girls are coming from. Thank You that I could look at them and say, "You are worthy of love. God made you for love..."
Don't let that brief light in her face be smothered by lies. Speak truth AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN to us, all of us, as we need to hear it and believe it.
I know I do.
JESUS. We need Your wisdom, Your intention, Your Love. On and on...

I'm grateful for a walk, greeting people:
Me: "Good evenin'."
Lady: "Hi, how are you?"
Me: "Doing well, how are you?"
Lady: "Good, thanks."
Me: "Good."
(as I walked on, overheard):
Her Husband: "Who was that?"
Lady: "I don't know. A neighbor.....a nice person."

Let me be dangerously good. To let you feed my soul. Help me mean this, what I give to You and intend for You. Make me free from dependence on the good opinion of others, or on my own personal safety, or on my level of "control".
I want to go where You go.
Thank You for 30 days of Ramadan, and what You are doing in the Muslim world.

7. Army/Navy Day
You redeemed such an awkward start to the day (feeling compromised and angry). This was all in all a beautiful day, because You moved in it. You guided it, You bookended it. Thanks for the long walk, the luxurious waltz, the secrecy and the wide sky. Thanks for reminding my soul where it is, and where it belongs. Thanks for granting safety today in so many potentially disastrous situations. Thanks for the good sportsmanship, the brotherhood, the fun.

Thanks for the ability to give good back massages. For the deliveries coming in perfect time. For the chance to give the kitchen's deliveryman a cup of ice water. Thanks for prayer with B & A, and with T tonight.
And for the camper(s) who came to You this week.
Bring us all closer to Your   h  e  a  r  t .
Please take tomorrow.
Thanks for the camper that called me "Mr.", and all the laughs it elicited.
My beautiful foot callouses are peeling disgustingly.

Show us Your face. Meet my lonely hungry heart.

Many times over the last month I've thought to myself, 'You can always go farther and longer than you think you can.' Picking raisins out of Raisin Bran. Smiling at another human with genuine love. Pushing forward with that last ounce of energy.
But there are times that we push ourselves too far, that God lets us feel our mortality. And it feels like a flashlight without batteries. Or in my case, tonight, like a flashlight with a fritzy connection and a cracked bulb.
Four and a half hours ago I felt like I was losing my mind, I was faint and out of it. Up in the office, with my Gatorade and the A.C. on full blast, I still felt like I was going to lose consciousness, which in the moment felt like dying: I couldn't will myself into being OK, or staying with the world.
It's terrifying. It also starts to matter less and less. One imagines what one's body will look like to the first person to discover it. One feels compelled to tie up loose ends, leave no one in the lurch. And one longs for some calm soothing competent companion, some mother/nurse/lover. One wonders at one's childishness and melodrama.
I cry out to You, God, and Your answer seems to be my continued existence.
I beg You for rest and protection, and You hold me waking and dripping tears like a soggy rag. An Old Rag the Hag. A towel seeping melted Blue Raspberry water ice.
I scan songs, verses, through my mind. I mumble, "Jesus." I pray this all matters for something, these laboring, wasteful hours. I pray over brothers. I cry again. I sense each false mental refuge for the rubber cheese it is.
Holy Spirit, bite sharp and real into me. Sanctify my weary, clingy prayers. If you must persist in cutting me apart, send my 12 pieces as a warning, as a sobering call to repentance.

"Lord, the LORD Almighty,
may those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
may those who seek You
not be put to shame because of me."

"But I pray to you, LORD,
in the time of Your favor;
in your great love, O God,
answer me with your sure salvation..."

-Psalm 69:6,13 NIV

Psalm 71. It was right for this day. A full night's sleep, finally, and I'm feeling more alive. Was able to work, and interact, and paint today. Thanks for a sublime moonlit swing with S. The reminder that this little Lurch IS a home, a place to share. Help us learn from You, and share You, more and more. To follow Your Spirit, to feed the new hearts You have given us. Help me to be brave and patient.
By that I mean... why am I still single?
You are utterly perfect. I DO believe You. I believe Your timing is the most loving, the most skillful, the most wise. Forgive my dismay and ingratitude. Here You've thrown me a party, and I'm criticizing the guest list.
I don't feel much like anything, but please use this matter to make whatever You like.

Please cover us in peace and the knowledge of Your presence tonight. Help us hunger after You, meditate on Your Word, obey it.

Jesus, this is a day to trust Your ability to carry us. We are small and ineffectual on our own, but You are a masterpiece.
You wove today in so many ways: and praise You for J's earring. I got up this morning when I heard A drumming on J's bed and preparing to pull her out. I stayed up and talked with the girls a little, made coffee, and before they left I heard J remark that she'd lost an earring. I caught a glimpse of the one remaining, but the search for the lost one was brief and unsuccessful.
Later, as I set up the store extra early, I saw R come into the Trading Post and offer an earring found in the Dining Hall to one of the Horse DayCamp counselors, with the supposition that it must belong to them. Again, I caught a glimpse, and intercepted the earring with, "I think I may actually know who that belongs to." Sure enough. J was astounded. I told her, "God loves you!" and I think it was perfect timing.

Tonight I got to give several people back massages, pick berries around the Maintenance field, and paint.  Also play with P (see the "white rabbit", "sleep", watch lightening bugs, twirl).
R has a frog, Quintillion, in a trashcan in the kitchen.
S comes tomorrow. You are coming soon.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Lord, I need Your direction... called H tonight, and had a good convo... what's next? Where do You want me? What do I do about wanting to be married? How do I pursue that, appropriately?
Wowza. This week is almost was full. Prayer, deliveries, store talk, all 3 groups, meeting the counselors, painting... keep me freshly juicy on You. Guide me. Steer my heart. Make me true, help me point TOWARD You, not be a distraction from You. Make me a sister and a friend. Teach me how to be a lover.

And so Boy's Camp closes out, not with a bang but... whispering voices in the next room (T and J, talking about You), Miss R outside on her hammock, S home preparing to move. Thank You for this week, this long day, starting with a rush to wake the girls (whose alarm was on mute) and go down and help in the kitchen. It was energizing, actually. But I came back here for breakfast - picked berries and had cereal and coffee.
The store was beautiful today, so prepared, though it took a long time. Never got to mop. At all. This whole week. Oh well!
I watched a bit of the ceremony and saw the video tonight. And painted more. S came up, and we exchanged massages. Apparently we had great rockets tonight; one landed at Traber.
J was crying as dinner wrapped up, I found him outside fighting his tears. Talked a bit, brought him a cup of water and let him be, knowing I couldn't say much else and he probably needed the privacy.

I really need to know You're there. I need You to help me think about You, and eternity. Because right now it makes me frightened and angry. How could You entrust such a critical, precious message to such selfish, arrogant, lazy, stupid messengers? To me?
I am not ready.

I forgot to say... I accepted the job today. This feels so abrupt. I seriously didn't think I'd accept when I called H last night, but so it happened... I'm also quite unused to making these kinds of decisions without at least one conversation with Mom and Dad... that's partly why it feels so risky. But I know they are not You, and You must be my guide, and my adult life must be grounded in Your counsel.
This summer has me feeling funny about my age. It's the perfect age, really: too old, too young (?).
I still hear your voice above all others,
...remember the color you wear and notice
when you enter;
want to be seen
and also want to hide.

J is right that I'm still a brat. Still insecure, thirsty to be queen bee. I can already feel it as Girl's Camp approaches. I'm gathering up my usual comforting achievements and uniquenesses to fight the threat of fresh, godly, attractive, hard-working women. This is very uncomfortable to write, but it is honest.
Pare me down to You, my Savior Lord.

Form tomorrow after Your will.
All of me, forever.

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