the song we’ll first dance to as husband and wife

love I made it mine
I made it small I made it blind
I followed hard only to find
it wasn’t love
it wasn’t love

love of songs and pen
oh love of movie endings
takes out the break
leaves out the bend
misses love

love not of you 
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be

love’s reality 
is not a passing bravery
it holds out hope beyond what’s seen
the hope of love

love not of you 
love not of me
come hold us up
come set us free
not as we know it
but as it can be

[‘Love‘, Sara Groves]

things I have been doing, maybe

Learning to make the space for oneself, for time to sit and really think, there in the quiet.  Making space to breath and rest when the panic of perceived failure encroaches.  Learning to see God, even when I don’t exactly want to or feel like I deserve to do so.  Fighting through the silences to put  fear into words, when that is all there is to be voiced in my prayers.  Sitting and letting the words flow until tears follow, filling the silence.

Each time I begin to think through the story of my jman days in order to finish this public retelling, the nightmares return — the torment and resistance.  There’s too much pain and rawness yet; it’s so bound up with my current struggle to find a place in the Evangelical world, in these churches filled often with so many self-satisfied non-seekers.  I am the greatest of these.

I’ll pick up the threads soon, I hope.  No more promising timelines.  I’ll leave you with two photos, though.  The first is me sitting in the airport in Istanbul at the very end of March.  The second is several months later, after moving out to Washington and beginning to rebuild.  My eyes had grown dead from 8 months of endless conflict and anguish; they are rekindled.

 

 

winter comes

I’m writhing a bit tonight under the weight of conviction and duty and the necessity of obedience in a particular situation, not knowing what may result.  I was reading through my feed reader this evening, since my disquietened mind had exhausted itself for the time being in calling out to and yelling at God by turns.  And He replied, but in the words of an author over at one of my favorite blogs.  Her article is excerpted here:

“Yet often we imply that the Jesus we worship would never allow us a season of uncertainty, or vulnerability, or war. We think he wants us to be fat, full of ourselves, and sure. We know belief tumbling in summergreen strength through valleys and heights, simple and monotone, making promises of happily ever earthly after.

It is a breed of faith easy enough to manage among wealthy people expecting pleasant things. That is why the anomalies are so horrifying: sicknesses, disasters, misunderstandings, prisons of all sorts, Novembers in June. The story shouldn’t go this way, we think. Dyings are such a shock, for the Jesus we have loved is pleasant and easy, and we shop for him until we find him sold our way.

A thousand times I have read the words, but who ever believes them without October skies grown low and grey? You have died. The old has gone. The new has come. The old shell must be sucked of its green juices and tumble down, resigned to the contrast. For there is another world, and it is often winter here when spring there rises.

The veins of fallen leaves read like hymns, yellow-running, red, and holy. They are prophets of a new dimension.

My life is gone.

Behold what is left:

Brilliance.”

scattered

Spending the first night back at my parents’ home post-orientation is bittersweet.  So much rolling around in my brain; it will take weeks to untangle all the ways in which the past two months have changed me.

I’ve seen how followers of Christ living in community and doing the hard, daily work of loving one another well can be a blinding light in the vast darkness.

I’ve begun to hear the Spirit more clearly, as the detritus and distracting noise of the outside world was pushed away for a time.  Now that I know that voice, I recognize it in the midst of the everyday chaos of life more quickly.

I really learned, what I should have years ago, how incredibly powerful the scriptures are, how they speak specifically to every part of my life, and how beautiful it is when God’s words permeate my thoughts and flow out into my prayers.

My thoughts are still constantly with all of you, my comrades, and I remember you before the Father as you go.

only just begun

excerpted from Andrew Peterson’s ‘Resurrection Letters’:

The sun warms his face. He closes his eyes and feels in a flash the hearts of all men and women from the beginning of things to the end, from Adam to Abraham to you and I in this room on this night, and with each thump of the holy heart in the frame of his ribcage he loves enough to overwhelm us all. Love set loose on the world. Love like a roaring lion, like a thunderclap of deep laughter.

From the moons of Jupiter to the center of our boiling sun, out past numberless stars to the walls of the universe, that laughter resounds and makes its way back to the ears of the figure standing at the mouth of the tomb.

“It is finished!” Jesus cried in his agony on the cross.

Now he thinks of the Kingdom he is making, of the world he is redeeming, of the living hope he has unleashed.

He smiles to himself and agrees with the Father. “It has only just begun.”

some notes from far green shores

[originally posted over at my tumblr]

I love it here.

 

This city is so breathtaking, I can still hardly believe that it’s a real place.  How have I been living my whole life in places so brown, so dull and dry?  I love Kansas City in its own way, but I can hardly believe my eyes at the beauty here.

This trip came at the worst, and the best time.  I miss the early weeks of May.

The last few days have brought, to my happy bewilderment, new focus and courage and strength and hope.  There is such profound beauty in this world.  There is friendship and deep understanding in unexpected places.  There are so many beautiful people; and I can’t wait to be out in the world outside kc, meeting more and new souls every day.

When things are hard and nights are long, I want to look back on the way I felt tonight; overwhelmed by the love and beauty of it all.  [it can crack the darkest sky wide open.]

rivers and roads
rivers and roads
rivers ‘til i reach you