Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Living Water


The rains were falling steadily all night, and as I saw a break this morning, I was drawn outside to witness the sparkling of the drops as they caressed the new growth on the peonies:


 




Have you ever been thirsty?
I am speaking about the kind of thirsting
where you feel so thirsty there is a fainting in your soul.












I have been in that land of thirsting,
and I have watched the shimmering waves
of heat baking the desert sands
as my parched soul 
looked up to Heaven
waiting
for even one cloud to form.



Many years ago, my family traveled and shared a drama in which I portrayed The Woman at the Well. Week after week, in many different settings, my lips spoke the cry of a woman so thirsty that she begged for a drink when the well was right before her. You see, Jesus had offered to her a different kind of water: a filling up for her soul's thirsting.



"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'”



As the weeks and the months passed, everytime I spoke those woman's words, a deeper longing was planted in my own heart. I didn't know it at the time, though. I thought I was being filled, as I gave out the words of Jesus, week after week.  


Ah, how does it happen?
How does a cry in our heart
become lodged so deep
that only another
longing
can answer in return?



I thought I knew how deep the well in my own heart was. I thought I felt the fullness of my Lord's Words when I shared His heart with those around me.  But I had only scratched the surface.  I offered my praise, and I offered my worship, and my Lord knew what was required to let me see my own unmet longing.


The desert of pain
And the heat of suffering
burned away the 
half-met longings
to uncover
the well where
full-hearted cries
could finally be uttered.



I have some very dear friends who continually pray for my healing. They wait in hope for the day that Jesus will restore movement to me, and a full remission in this place of pain. Where would I be without their sweet prayers of HOPE? And I do see improvement from the awful heat and swelling that began this journey of disease.


But there is a deeper healing 
in my soul
that I would never trade
even for just a day 
without physical pain.


For how can I tell
of the wondrous
filling
for my soul's 
thirsty well?

How can I sing
of my Savior's dear Presence
carrying my heart
to His bosom of rest
when the pain
overwhelms?

And How will I share
these dewdrops of love
poured down on my heart
when the desert sky
breaks
with the water
from Heaven?



Is your heart facing a desert sun today? Are you fainting as the heat of the day wastes your soul?  There is a filling that can happen for you too, my friend.  There is a place of stillness close to the heart of God where He calls you to come. It is His very Word spoken at the end of our drama, week after week. I longed for those words to be mine, years ago, but it took the pain of suffering to bring them home to my heart:



"The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let the one who hears say, 'Come!' Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life."








I am linking today with:
 







    

Monday, April 24, 2017

Let Me See You


I spent a lot of time this week thinking about the gift of marriage.  A lot can happen over the course of the decades, both for the good and the bad.  When my husband and I were starry-eyed teenagers, we thought we saw Beauty when we looked in each other's eyes.



What we really saw were
 dreams for the future,
wisps of imagination
and hopes we envisioned
and longed to embrace.


As the years sped by, and life dropped in, those visions faded, and not all of the dreams came true. But something deeper was birthed as we began to see the true heart behind the eyes. Something snuck up on me when I wasn't looking. 


The wrinkles became
beautiful
And the weakness
seemed strong
As I looked at the scars
won by living
together
and facing the world
as one. 



 

Seeing

If beauty is in

the eye of one who beholds,

let my eyes see you

  --BG

 

 






 




Where is Grace?

Behold the sun shines

on the good and bad alike

eye of Grace watches

  --BG



And my heart
sang a song
birthed from the place
where God must see me
with eyes filled with Grace.  

My own lines
and wrinkles
may look ugly to me
the scars
that I've gathered
from the heat of the years. 

But God looks through 
His Grace-Lens
And views 
His Beloved, His Own
clothed with a beauty
from His
Love-Won-Heart.
  
  

  "Many waters cannot quench love
    rivers cannot sweep it away."
Song of Songs 8:7 NIV 




These Haiku are offered as part of the #Haiku #Poetry challenge set out by Ronovan Hester at his site:
Ronovan Writes 
where the prompts are "Behold&Eye."
Take a peek over there for some fun with Haiku!  


I am also linking today with:
Meg Weyerbacher, #TeaAndWordTuesday

Jennifer Dukes Lee, #TellHisStory  



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Look Up!




 

 

 

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”








If you were my neighbor last fall, it's a pretty safe bet that you would have seen me standing and staring up into the sky. Every fall when I hear a certain distant bugling, you can catch me watching for the sandhill cranes as they fly overhead on their migration south.  There is nothing that compares with the sight of those tiny dots flying so high that they are barely visible, and yet bugling their calls so vividly that I can feel the echo down deep in my chest.


Have you caught a glimpse of beauty flying by?
Is something stirred in your heart when you look up?


This spring morning caught me looking up also.  The Easter weekend was only a few days past, so my thoughts had been dwelling with those disciples who had watched as their Risen Lord left them once again, ascending into the Heavens.


And just like that, the familiar bugling of my shorebird friends sounded through the morning air.  Flying so low with their huge wings swooping in and out, the cranes were returning, back from their springtime migration.


What strange mystery lets them know it's time to return? Is it the angle of the sun? Is it the warming days? Is it the magnetic pull of the poles? Scientists have their theories, but I think I know WHO awakens the stirring in their breasts, because I have felt a similar stirring in my own heart.


When the angels appeared to Jesus' disciples, they asked the men what I have often thought was a strange question:

"Why do you stand here looking into the sky?"

Their Lord had just left them, after all! Into the sky He had vanished! But the angels' next words stir something even deeper in my heart:

 
"This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”


For you see, I believe those disciples were looking into the sky, and longing for what "might have been," as they missed their friend and Rabbi.  Those days of walking with Him beside the sea, and listening to His teaching, watching Him heal the sick and raise the dead, had been like no others in their lifetimes.  But the "might have been" could not compare with the true reality that was coming their way.

Oh, I know that feeling.
Wishing and longing for the old days
and the old way of doing things.
Can't I just have one more glimpse, Lord?

But the days of this present
and the days of our future
are more wondrous
than anything the past
could show us.


Those angels did not know the days or the times when Jesus would return for His people. Jesus Himself had told them that only the Father holds those times in His hands:      


 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."



So where does the calendar for the crane 
and the heron, the oriole
and even the little hummingbird reside?

Their Father, who created them all,
holds the number of their days in His hands.
And Our Father,
who breathed us all into Life,
knows the number of our days  as well.


He knows the New Lessons
and the New Kinship
that I will learn
with Him
today.


He knows the pathway
where only Stillness
would help me hear
His voice.
 

And one of these days, it won't be 
the Bugle of the Cranes that I hear.
No, my heart will leap
when the Trumpet of my Lord
will resound!
He's coming back and He won't delay.
When the Father opens the way
"this same Jesus will return for His Bride"  



 



If you have an interest in learning more about Sandhill Cranes, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is an excellent resource here.



I am linking this week with: