Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Candles, lights and bits of sweet sadness......For me Christmas comes in many shades of emotions, all of which are neither good nor bad but simply what is part of where I've been and where I am. As I have aged I have experienced more of life in all of its expressions; from loss to great joy and all that lies in between.
Every morning during this Christmas or Advent season I have had "coffee with God" by the gas stove with the light of the Christmas tree and soft quiet carols playing. I have prayed and I have been quiet. In the quiet my heart fills with many things. One of those things have been memories that hold bits of sadness and bits of joy. The sadness comes as I remember and for lack of better words, am visited by those who are no longer on this earth.
Daddy comes.....he was never big on Christmas but he was there to make sure we had coined ham ( I still am not sure what a coined ham is or even if I have spelled it correctly but it was good) or pre-tasting the food or just sitting at his place at the table.
My grandparents and special great aunts come. They loved so to laugh and loved to eat and loved to tease and joke around but most of all they loved to be together for Christmas.
Megan, my niece comes most often. She is the one that brings such a sweet sweet sadness. She was only 24 when she passed from this world. The last Christmas I had with her Jon and I surprised her with the pink sweater that she wanted. I had seen her look at it in Wilmington when we visited her. She looked across at me with acknowledgement and a smile that she knew that I had seen her with that sweater. The sweetness with the visits of memory is that I was privileged to know and love Megan. But the deep soul sadness is that I no longer can buy her a present. Tears come. Jesus comes. And I know within, that both Jesus and I share those same moments of love and memories that I have of her. The difference is that He knows her still and holds all that she was and is. I could never have that knowledge. The difference is that He has always loved her and does still and as much as I loved her, I could never love her like He does.
Friend, do not think that I write of a sadness that is despairing! No, I write of sweet sadness. It is born of love and joy that I have had the wonderful opportunity to know and love all of those who have left my life for but a moment. I would never ever trade a single tear for the not-knowing of all these who have come to me in silence along with the presence of the Holy Spirit. I rejoice that I have been so blessed to know so many, to love so many, to miss so many!
"For behold I bring you news of great joy which shall be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord." the angel of the Lord. So God bless you my friend, If you too know a little sweet sadness. It is His coming that allows us to love deeply and to know the great joy as well as the sweet sadness that accompanies such love.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas........I have always said that for me Christmas comes in moments throughout the Advent or Christmas season if you just keep your heart open to hear, to see, to listen. Such a moment took hold of me, if you will, in exquisite awareness just last evening.
Jon, Joshua, and I were invited to a movie and to dinner with dear friends and fellow sojourners for Christ. After the movie we took the snowy wintery drive up to their house with lighted trees along the way flocked by God's own doing. We were greeted in their beautiful home with decorations, music, the smell of food and the sounds of friends gathered.
Then we came together at the table to share the evening meal. Jon was asked to lead the blessing and we all held hands around the table. But there was a wonderful miracle among us already! Our host was and is by the hand of God a survivor of leukemia and the accompaning stem cell transplant received from a 20 some year old who cared enough to be a donor. He has celebrated his one year survivor and keeper of his new stem cells. As Jon prayed about welcoming the Christ Child and about continued well being as well as blessing the food and those less fortunate, I was filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit speaking "Christmas" into my soul. In that moment it was Christmas. We stood before our Lord around a table ever mindful that life is a gift; life in Him is the greatest of all gifts.
It was a quiet moment. It was a full moment. It was a moment of Emanuel, God with us! Such moments once a part of us is always a part of us enriching our hearts and turning us toward Him. So as the old hymn prays forth, "O come, O come Emanuel," I pray let it be so in my life! And may all of us have many "Christmas" moments during this holy season.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Diversion......So Starbuck and I were on our way to enjoy a bit of peace at Lizard Lake. We began our hike at the hot laborious haul up Daniel's Hill. We only include that climb for the added exercise. I was so looking forward to sitting by Lizard Lake and just enjoying the quiet. Weelll, to my surprise, (Starbuck really didn't care), there was a backhoe up on the 4-wheel drive only road doing work just before the lake! Believe me when I say, it is a rare event to see work done on this treacherous Lead King Loop!
My first reaction was irritation. It was man-made noise after all. I go into the back country to avoid such. Starbuck and I had just paused by the river and I thought, why don't we go down there and have our snack and a sort of peace; you could still hear the backhoe. So we made our way down to a spot in which I had never been, found a large rock shaped like a seat of sorts that hung a little over the river, I secured Starbuck by me and sat down with my snack.....diversion.
The river was clear and running, making that soothing noise that rivers have made through the ages; their own music of the soul. It made the noise of the backhoe recede into the background. From my perch on the rock while eating my yogurt, I was watching this aspen tree with the few gold leaves remaining. They actually reflected the light of the sun making them glow. The breeze had each leaf quaking, shaking in a little dance individually of its own. A few would let go of their tenuous hold to the tree and drift to earth in their final stage of life, death, in a graceful and lovely ballet!......diversion.
I was still on the water. It was just God, Starbuck, and me, backhoe long forgotten. I reflected on aging and how that it is sometimes a very difficult process. I said a prayer within my heart that I, like the aspens, could reflect the light of God as they do the light of the sun. I said a prayer within my heart that even if dying became a difficult process that it would in someway be the final ballet for me.....diversion.
Alas, Starbuck and I rose to make our way up and out from the river. I continued to reflect on what I saw and prayed, moved deeply by the Holy Spirit. I thought of all those whose lives that were not, nor ever had been, easy. I thought of all those living in the wretched conditions of war and disaster. And I asked the question within my soul, can the end of life be beautiful like the aspens for all? Can dying be a ballet for all? I heard an answer in my soul, "For Me, child, it is." I began to weep.......diversion.
We are so bound to earth as humanity that we forget that the eternal plan is in the ballet of death where we then meet our maker. In the meantime, perhaps it is simply our call to reflect the light of the Son and dance in the breeze of the Holy Spirit as best we can, in whatever our circumstance.
So friend, you may set out on one trail, but never forget, there are wonderful sights and lessons in the Diversions! May we have "eyes to see and ears to hear."

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Power......Our spring has been cool this year yet the runoff of the snow from the mountains was in full glory as we hiked back to the Chrystal Mill and Chrystal City. We do it every year yet I am always humbled by the power the water displays as it rushes over the rocks and edges. With friends "in the know" we saw what I have fondly named, The Secret Waterfall.
Because of the force of the water of the fall it splashed out everywhere and could not be contained. It was wild and touched everything around it creating wet places and slippery rocks. One had to step with care knowing that to slip into the frigid rushing water would not have a good outcome. Yet to stand in the presence of this fall and feel the water hitting your face and body was nothing short of Eden-like. I was filled with awe, a healthy dose of respect or should I say fear, and heart felt wonder to stand so close to such power!
I sometimes wonder, have we lost a little of what the Old Testament refers to as the "fear of God." Due to the great love of Jesus in the New Testament, do we forget, at times that, "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth...." This God holds all power and this God cannot be contained! To stand in His presence puts us on ground that is HOLY. To stand in His presence we cannot leave without some of Him splashing in our faces and upon our bodies! This can be a fearsome thing as we are made aware that this is an all powerful, all consuming God. May I not forget to know just a little of the Old Testament fear surrounded by "For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." The force of the water splashed out everywhere and could not be contained.......