The dust kicked off my hiking boots with every step I took on the back trail. The sun was full up in the sky and I don’t usually hike at this hour but I wanted to squeeze it in before my schedule got too hectic. The trail was empty and it felt good to be alone for a while. I had some buds in my ears but in the shade area I stopped to take them off.
Listening quietly I tried to hear all that was being spoken. The breeze was so gentle to tickle the dried leaves among the trees. They provided a continuous hum echoed by the hillsides. Now and again I could hear and see a squirrel hustle about. Finding a large tree, I made myself sit for a while in the brittle grass. I had no words to speak, it was time to just listen.
I was thinking about those I love today and how time and distance can seem to just fill up the space between us all. It’s hard to maintain close relationships if we are unaware of what is happening in each other’s lives. What is making us laugh, hurt, hope or fail? These are things that matter.
A conversation earlier today with a friend had me agree in empathy but not in truth. She lamented it hurt too much to think about her family members, so would rather not think or talk about them at all. I understood her inner ache and I even understood why she would make such a decision. It doesn’t agree with my heart though. If I don’t long to be near those I love, if I don’t think about them, talk about them and especially pray for them, then how can I possibly be living my love out loud?
I will not be bound by time or space. I will walk in the freedom of my love and rejoice in my ability to express it no matter where my physical body may be at the moment.
Classical banjo! Who would have thought it? The variety of talent always does a number to open my eyes to how much we are going to see in our Father’s heaven. If we are living in a fallen world of the imperfect…..it has to grab your attention when you hear what seems to be a perfect piece of music, see the perfect performance, read the perfect story, look upon the perfect art work….you get the idea?
Our ability to grasp the possibilities is so dim! Sometimes I feel like the woman reaching for a superior cleaning agent to wash my window view so I can see better, but it always looks too blurry. It’s as though there is Vaseline obscuring my ability to see clearly.
2 Peter 3:13 (NIV) But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God.
People can be so murky at times, like a river bed with its silt stirred up by heavy currents. Looking at their lives, it’s not easy to get a read on them. I have to say as time moves on, I am enjoying less of the turmoil and prefer peaceful and still. We have all heard the saying, “still waters run deep” and I have to say such countenance is enjoyable.
A few years ago, Clint Eastwood directed a movie called “The Garden of Good And Evil”. I loved the flavor he captured of people from a southern town there, but mostly I loved the title. Things like that interest me along with lots of other odd details. What made me remember this title was a short phone call this afternoon.
My husband and I are committed with all we are to live a life to honor our heavenly Father. Sometimes this is expressed by helping our brothers and sisters. Such help doesn’t always look like what we would think it might, and sometimes it’s not even convenient or comfortable. (Just more honesty folks.)
Now comes the conversation of hearts; a squeeze sensation to our own comfort levels but no other answer can there be except the right one.
2Co 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
We smile just thinking about how our garden’s name is being changed to only one description. The garden of Good. The seeds are worthy, faithful and will grow a good crop.
I have often given thought to how much our words matter. They can be offered as a gift or an affliction. To bring comfort and joy or hurt and pain. I enjoy reading a great deal. Sometimes I am brought to tears by another’s ability to share the words of their life stories. Sometimes I have outbursts of laughter for another’s thoughts or joys. To be touched even briefly by their life tales can be powerful.
This is an area we so quickly dismiss. Our own life stories; how they may be an offering of hope and encouragement to others if we would share them? Everyone has a story and I know I want to hear as many of them as I can. In the meantime I will be learning how to share my own story.
I heard a sentiment earlier about “one of my tribe” and it tweaked something right in me. I could actually remember hearing this many times in the conversations with friends and family throughout the years. I am sure it even became a “street” mentality.
Why it strikes me? The desire within we all have to want to belong to something bigger then ourselves. Doesn’t this hearken to the beginning days when God set up “tribes” for the Israelites? They each had a name of belonging and even a banner flag flown to show their very colors. Is it any wonder our current street gangs pervert the original for a counterfeit meaning of something so important?
Yes, we belong to a tribe of real meaning! We are set aside for better purposes and this is not a bloodline thing anymore, it’s a heart thing. We just have to believe!
Night falling on a country road and as I left the dirt drive I rolled down my windows to enjoy fresh air rushing into my car. My mind was swimming and I just needed it to stop long enough to catch a deep breath. I turned up my stereo to let the waves of music hit the depths of my heart, hoping to displace my thoughts for a few minutes. Within minutes I hit a stretch of road empty of houses or traffic. Without a second thought I put my foot down on the gas pedal and watched the speedometer quickly rise.
The air was rushing faster and I could feel it blowing my hair wildly. I wanted this to last for a while. I needed and wanted this rush. The yellow lines started to blur into one now. No matter how fast I wanted to run from memories though, they kept overtaking me. My car was not fast enough. It was no use….it was time to slow down and look at these things; time to find a safe place to pull over. I wondered how long I’d have to stay there?
At a favorite lake up north, now and again we will get together with friends to rent ski boats. No camp site set up, just a day finding hidden coves to enjoy by ourselves. It’s great to snorkel in the clearer parts of the lake, observing fish and turtles beneath the water.
At one point on one of these adventures, we came into a cove that looked a bit different. There was a rise you could see just beneath the water. I got out of the boat to check it out and found there was an old asphalt highway. In my sandals I waded this stretch of history, scrapping away all the silt covering the white lines. Grabbing a camera we snapped a couple shots of this road beneath the water.
How many roads are covered over in our history? Who drove them? What did the countryside look like at the time? Will we ever meet up again with those who can tell us?
I have the winning numbers to the lottery in life! I know it with everything I am but instead of laying back to relax about it, I am carefully examining every number written on my ticket, also every word in the fine print. It simply excites me to hold this truth in my very hands knowing the promise which lies behind it.
I am looking forward to having my name be called so I can come forward and collect that which is mine to have. It’s what fuels my dreams, my hopes.