Your Glory breaks thru the dark
And my heart runs after You
When my eyes are opened here
Heaven's light is captured true.
Leaves turn and Seasons change
The dying falls from the sky
But in the seed of the broken fruit
The living gift will lie.
In the midst of grey days, when the sun finally decided to burst upon the scene, I happily grabbed my camera to focus on the way the Light spotlighted a treasured family hand-me-down. I've placed a pretty wreath around this wall plaque now, but I remember staring at it while growing up, and wondering if somehow it wasn't quite true.
How could my Mom place that definition of HOME on the wall, when she so obviously knew about the many choices that were being made by each of us to "NOT" live for God?
Even more, how could I then place it in my own home, with those same tendencies running through us still?
It is week 10 with Jayber over at Michele Morin's site
Living Our Days
for the great book study she is leading of Jayber Crow, by Wendell Berry. Jayber has moved back by the river, and has entered the final chapter of his life, where he has encountered a sense of home and community in spite of his choice to move out on the edge even farther.
Jayber's words about how our little touches to a place impact our sense of home, especially touched me. As I have had to move slower in this chronic illness lifestyle, some days I feel that the touches I can make now are so small. And yet it is the smallest of things that may touch us most deeply:
"Every little difference I made seemed a significant change in the world. I would finish a piece of work and then I would stand and look and admire the way it fitted in with everything else. Just sweeping the porch seemed to make the tree limbs spread and hover more gracefully above it. Where a falling limb had poked a hole through a screen, I took a fine wire and stitched on a patch, and then sat a while and looked out the window, feeling that my work had improved the view."
Berry, Wendell. Jayber Crow: A Novel (Port William) (p. 309). Counterpoint. Kindle Edition
In his little cabin by the river Jayber finds a sense of family with the friends who have stuck by him through all of the years in his small town. Yet more surprising to him was the gift of friendship offered by those few who chose him to continue their barbering, even in the cabin:
"But the ones who have remained have been faithful. Their coming is made even more an act of faith because in this house on the river I have no mirrors on the walls. Here, I am the sole judge of my work. When they climb into the chair, they have to trust me. They have to be willing beforehand to be satisfied with what I can do with scissors and comb and razor only."
Berry, Wendell. Jayber Crow: A Novel (Port William) (p. 306). Counterpoint. Kindle Edition.
And those few came to include the family of Jayber's oldest friend, Burley. He was the one who helped him find the town barbershop, and now he was also the one who owned the land where Jayber's cabin stood. Jayber took to visiting their home as well:
"On the winter nights we would have popcorn, and sometimes Burley would go to his room and bring out his shoebox full of keepsakes, which he would take out one by one and identify and pass around for everybody to see. The smaller children would be playing around quietly or sitting in laps or lying beside our chairs to listen. I so much loved the quiet of those times of talk, when the children were listening or asleep, and we were all aware of the darkness spread over the ridgetops and the valley."
Berry, Wendell. Jayber Crow: A Novel (Port William) (p. 318). Counterpoint. Kindle Edition.
And in that joining, hearts were being knitted together. Hearts became family as homes were shared, as each heart made a home for the other ones. And I saw how the Love of our Lord has called us into this joining of homes and hearts as we walk through our days.
As I was writing this post, a phone call came to let us know of the passing of my husband's only remaining Aunt. As the tears ran down my face, I remembered how she was a feisty, independent sort, but always wanted to share her knowledge of antiques and crafting and the old ways of living. Never having walked with God herself, it was a strange thing for her when my husband made his choice to live for Jesus. There were many discussions over the years, as first our prayers were spurned, and then our prayers were welcomed, and finally, even requested. But always, hearts were shared as homes were opened.
And, somehow, I feel this is where we let
the Light of God's Glory
shine to those around us.
Whenever one of us
makes the choice to "live for God,"
all are given opportunity
to witness HIS Glory there.
Home becomes more than just a place.
Home becomes a dwelling place for the Glory of God.
"God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory."
Colossians 1:26-27 MSG
God's Glory in me?
God's Glory in my Home?
Oh, yes, most emphatically yes!
In these days of shifting shadows
and wavering choices,
Whenever I have set Jesus as Lord,
He has come to dwell in me!
And HIS GLORY rests here,
in the Grace of His calling,
drawing us ever on
for that day
in His own Heaven Home
I am linking today with:
To find a copy of Jayber Crow, you can click the link here.
Love that poem. And oh, that my home would reflect His glory, is my prayer.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your stopping by here! And, yes, my prayer continues for HIS Glory to shine! Blessings to you!
So sorry to hear about this recent loss, Bettie.ReplyDelete
And I appreciate the way you've allowed your chronic illness to become the thing that has slowed you down to notice the beauty -- instead of the thing to make you soak in bitterness.
I also thought it was interesting that when Jayber moved out of the "center" of things there in Port William, he found a sense of belonging on the fringes. I guess I can apply that to myself in that wherever God puts me will be the place where I'll be most effective and feel most at home, even it it's not where I thought I'd land. I do love the way Berry has knit these characters together!
Thank you for your kind thoughts Michele. It is amazing to me how God will bring connections with everything we are going through! I kept wanting to tie in all of Jayber's beautiful nature scenes, but I just kept coming back to Home & Family, and then we got that call about my husband's Aunt. I so appreciate your comment here that "where God puts me will be the place where I'll be most effective and feel most at home, even if it's not where I thought I'd land." More of that "being led" that Jayber spoke of way back at the beginning, right? What a Precious Lord we have! Thank you for pointing our thoughts always back to Him, Michele! Blessings to you, on this last week of the study!Delete
I love this, Bettie. Thank you so much for sharing and welcoming us in to this tender space in your heart where you show us the beauty of God there. I am really sorry to hear about your aunt. I pray that you have comfort during this time. BlessingsReplyDelete
Thank you for your kind thoughts and words! It is such an encouragement to know that Jesus allows us to share HIS Grace and His beauty with each other. I am glad to have found your site on FB, and to be able to connect with your re-launch of your link-up as well! Blessings to you!
Dear Bettie, your poem is so beautiful. I could linger long with it and still see something new and fresh. Simply lovely. The whole post and the accompanying video made me think about how we tend to want heavy clouds to pass on by as swiftly as they appear. But what if God's glory, His Shekinah presence is actually in the rain that falls, the hard and dark? What if God draws closes to us when we are hurting most and rains His Love down in abundance? Might it make us view life's pain and problems, sadness and sorrow a little differently?ReplyDelete
We look for the clouds to move and long for light to reappear, maybe not even realising how mightily God descends on us during the very storms themselves. As you write so movingly about God's glory, I hope and pray that memories of how it touched your dear departed loved one's heart, opening up a receptivity in place of stony resistance, paving the way for His grace to enter in, will bring some hope and consolation to you while you grieve her loss. Sending love and gentle hugs to you, sweet friend. xoxo
Oh, yes, those very thoughts about "opening up a receptivity in place of stony resistance, paving the way for His grace to enter in" have been comforting my heart all day. And what precious consolation He brings when it is HIS Word that touches us! I love the thoughts that you have shared here--what if those clouds that we view as only troublesome and heavy, are actually the places of His Glory raining down upon us? Oh yes! I remember years ago when He spoke something similar to me, that what I felt was only darkness and dreariness in my days, was actually HIS Hand covering me from the worst of the storms, actually causing me to dwell in His shade. I had not remembered that for years! Oh thank you so much for stirring up such sweet memories. Our Lord knows exactly what we need to hear from Him. May He bless you this weekend, my friend! Hugs & Love! xoxo
Everything you create is sheer loveliness. xoReplyDelete
Susan, thank you for your beautiful encouragement! You are a blessing to me! xoxoDelete
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Sending you hugs to all of you today. It is so beautiful hearing stories of God's pursuing love, Bettie. All those prayers, all the love, all the joining of homes and hearts: God's grace at work in and through you all to open a yearning heart to His great love. Praise Him that He never gives up on us - keeps pursuing us Homeward. What a joyous reunion it will be for you all with her in heaven.ReplyDelete
"And HIS GLORY rests here,
in the Grace of His calling"
Tears at these words. Love from afar
Thank you for the love that you share so sweetly! What a precious thought to hold onto: "Praise Him that He never gives up on us - keeps pursuing us Homeward." May I ever learn more from Him to keep pursuing with Love in the same way that He pursues me. His Grace is so much greater than we realize! Love, and hugs to you!
I love the quote about home on the wreath. It caught my attention. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s aunt. I imagine your story is richer because of your aunt but one that would have been complete if your aunt lived a life with Jesus. Thank you for your words.ReplyDelete
Yes, isn't that a lovely quote? Thank you for your kind thoughts! And while I was so sad that our Aunt did not walk with Jesus through the years, I am so thankful to have witnessed the softening in her heart, and to hear from a cousin last night who also loves the Lord, that he felt she came to Jesus before she died! What a gift of Grace! Blessings to you!
Such a beautiful poem, Bettie! May God comfort in your loss. Many blessings to you with much love and hugs! xoxoReplyDelete
Thank you so much--your encouragement means so much to me! Much love and hugs to you also, my poet/sister/friend! xoxo
Those hand me down treasures are the best. Thanks for visiting my site and your sweet comments. I loved your poem "Glory."ReplyDelete
Dear Hazel, Yes, I do love those treasures passed down from our loved ones! Thank you for visiting here with your sweet comments also! Blessings to you!Delete
Oh, dear friend! This post! It just touched me so deeply on so many levels. I thought of your dear mother and how she hung that plaque there, and how her faith in God is probably one of the main reasons you serve Jesus today. Just look at the seeds she planted...how they have germinated and grown in you, and the sweet, precious fruit of the Spirit that so shines from your life is the proof. And reading of the warm times of fellowship the man in the book enjoyed with his dear friends in their individual homes just blessed my heart and made me long for such. And, then to read of how one day we will join Jesus in HIS home! Oh, that just brought me so much joy...I never thought of it that way. I always so cherish when kindred spirits come to visit us in our home, and oh, how I prepare and plan and try to make sure they are comfortable and have their favorite foods, etc. It hit me after reading your words, how anxious Jesus must be to welcome us into His home!!! NEVER have I pictured it this way, and oh, my, it just brings the tears to my eyes! I can just hear Him saying, "I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also"!!! Dear friend, you bless me so much. Your words are so deep. They edify and encourage my soul, and I am just so grateful for you and your precious presence in my life. I have been trying to get over here for days, and praise God, I finally made it. I will answer your dear email very soon, also, and I just trust the dear Lord will richly bless you today!ReplyDelete
Oh such sweet thoughts you have stirred up with your sweet comments! Yes, my Mother's faith was something she lived and breathed for all of us. Even in her own weaknesses, Jesus was her bedrock. I am sure that she is rejoicing and watching with that great cloud of witnesses even now! What precious thoughts to see our Lord waiting for us to join HIM there in His own home, eagerly preparing and anticipating our coming--thank you so much for sharing this lovely truth! He told us that, but we often get so weary waiting here, that we forget the beauty of His waiting for us too! Thank you for your lovely visit here, friend! I appreciate your heart so much! Much Love and Hugs to you!
I have been blessed this day. God has opened my eyes to a bit more He is teaching me and wants to teach me. Your poem is beautiful and touching. I downloaded a copy of Jayber Crow a month or two ago, but have not read it. Now I want to and glad I got it. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Dear Linda, Oh I am so blessed and thankful that the Lord is working in you, and encouraged you here. Thank you for your kind words! I have certainly had a lot of pondering and conviction in my own heart as I have read this book. It's not an "easy churchy" book. But God used it for a lot of soul-searching in me!I will be giving my final review in this coming week's post. Blessings to you!Delete
I have heard so much about Wendell Berry but have never read anything by him, but I think I need to soon! And I'm so sorry to read about the passing of your husband's aunt. I'm encouraged when I read that gradually over time she came to understand your husband's faith.
I think about you often and pray for health and wellness for you! Happy thanksgiving! xoxo
Oh, I was just thinking about you this morning, and praying for you also! I am thankful for the sweet connections God brings about, and hope that you have a Happy Thanksgiving too! Yes, I am so grateful that we were able to witness the softening in our Aunt's heart, and to hear word from our cousin that he felt she came to faith before she died. Blessings, love and Hugs to you! xoxo
Your poetry is so beautiful and always full of hope and encouragement.ReplyDelete
Dear Barbie, Thank you so much for your sweet words. I am so grateful that the Lord brought you hope here! We just cannot see all of the ways that He is at work behind the scenes, working to bring about His Glory in us. You are in my prayers so much! May the Lord bring You more of His own dear encouragement, as you hold onto Him!Delete