Tuesday, February 22, 2011

30 Minutes

The drive back from my meeting this morning was easy and slow. Bright sun. Sea blue sky. Tiny airplanes scattering the view. Lake shores and bridges.

Songs of my heart spilling into my little four-door, whispering words of gratitude.

Everything was so clear.

Do you know what I mean? For a good 30 minutes, my Nissan was a sacred room of worship. Mental fog lifted and I kept whispering gratitudes. Praise. Adoration.

I have times like these and I wish I could say they happened more frequently but I think you'll understand me when I say... it just doesn't happen all the time.

When it falls into my open hands, invisible manna from Heaven, I am filled, down to my toes, with unspeakable joy.

Tears are shed because I'm spilling over the edges. I'm overwhelmed with how good God is.

See... I love blogging. And writing. And any sort of artistic creation that I can force out of my bleeding heart.

But some days, by stirring up words and color, I end up stirring the bottom of the basin. My placid water turns gray and brown, and I wonder if there's any beauty left to extract.

Some days, it feels more like an army crawl through the muck. I am dragging the weight of it all on my own back. Mud splashes into my mouth and I end the day with only the taste of the things that need to be washed clean.

See, sometimes I act more like a soldier of God than a child of God.

And even more, sometimes the soul-baring that is required to write, paint, sketch, sing...it's just a giant mirror of how far I have yet to go. It's still really muddy in there.

(I know, I know. We're all muddy.)

But do you ever just tire of your own stuff? My desire for Godly discipline sometimes turns so self-focused that I forget that my righteousness is nothing. That's when I realize I'm missing the point. Some days, the work of Grace seems more like work than grace.

(Even now, I hesitate to say all these things because I don't always like talking faith and pain and the mix between them. The possibilities for being misunderstood are nearly endless.)

What beauty is there in such mud? In army-crawling through life?

(My elbows hurt and these burdens are too heavy.)

Oh yes. I'm going to stop this madness.

Because Manna has fallen today. And I am up to the brim, filled.

I'm going to be carefree, even though I'm not care free. And I read these words from my ramblings last summer, and I remember why I do this. All this:
"We enjoy things that don't last, knowing full well that the stuff that lasts bleeds into the temporal. At least it should. So we enjoy homemade bread and coffee, because it fuels our community. We eat cake at midnight, because we're talking about dreams and the future. We shed tears because we know that sometimes we mourn together. Then we high-five about air conditioning, because we celebrate the basic luxuries. Carefree in a full of cares world. Because we can."
(I'm nodding, as you're telling me that you understand. And I smile, because you are a gift to me.)

Thankful to join up with these other writers today:


  1. I don't misunderstand. Your words are precious. They are clear - free from mud. The Son shines through them and the fullness of His beauty and color and light shines brilliantly.

    So glad you are full.

  2. I love that your car was a sacred room of worship. Sometimes the car is the only place I feel I can truly get a way from it all.

  3. I love that phrase- carefree in a world full of cares. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing of yourself here.

  4. I'm going to be carefree, even though I'm not care free.

    Amen and amen!

  5. i know just what you mean. this morning, whilst quietly stitching at my machine, i was listening to worship songs and found myself singing my lungs out, tears spilling. pure manna. pure grace.

  6. love this piece. and the comments. you've hit a chord.

  7. Jen - thank you. so much.
    Amy - I know what you mean! My car & my closet.
    Rachy - Here's to trying, right? :)
    Suzie - Praying that with you too!
    Nic - I love, love, love everything about your comment. Love.
    Kendal - thanks friend. :)

  8. I've been preocuppied (as you know!) with myself this week and well, I won't lie ... every week. But I'm stopping to listen for a minute. I love how you communicate your thoughts (and the thoughts behind the thoughts). My mouth is sealed shut to things I think and should say but I just don't think to say them ... ya know? I'm learning how to be a better communicator as I read your words. There is greater depth and complexity ... and it keeps me coming back here. Not just because I think the world of you.