Monday, July 16, 2007

musings from years past - revised

Even As I am Known

The mask - heavy
Life - tawdry
A cheap, simple show
They did not know

The day - long
Life - provoking
Testing patience to its end
Oh, if one knew

Time - stangnant
Life - ominous
Looming tiresome and dull
Should they know

The mask - safe
Life - fake
This is not real
None can know

One day renewed
A stranger somehow understood
How could he know

The time now precious
One heart cleansed and true
Delivered by his knowing

The mask now old
Cast aside, discarded and abused
They'll never care

One day eclipsed
Life finished
In his gaze all will be shown

One time soon past
A shrunken, helpless waife
Knows glory, grace, eternal life

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

book review - surprised by children

I just finished reading surprised by children by Harold Myra. It is the story of how God led a white American (Norweigan) family to provide foster care and to adopt black children into their family. The children's stories are tragic and inspiring. Not all ended happily or should I say positively. Some stayed only a short while as toddlers then returned to live with their birth families. A few became a lifelong part of their family. Harold journals his journey as an older dad raising a second family as well as his thoughts and feelings on interacting with African-American culture in the 70's.

Being in youth work myself, I found much encouragement in hearing him tell of experiencing emotional wear and tear to the point of feeling ill, of needing solitude, yet finding inexplicable joy and delight through the children's questions and view on life and their need and acceptance of him as their father. He simply tells the story, but always brings it back to what God was doing in his heart and mind all the while.

Towards the final chapters Myra speaks of a French Christian from the 1600's named Fenelon and his book The Seeking Heart. The few excerpts he inlcuded have put me on a search to find and read the complete work.

"Do not resist what God brings into your life. Be willing to suffer. God prepares a cross for you that you must embrace withough thought of self-preservation." "Ouch," Harold says. Ouch indeed.

"See God's hand in the circumstances of your life... Nothing so shortens and soothes your pain as the spirit of nonresistance to your Lord. Do not reject the full work that the power of the cross could accomplish in you. "

"Embrace the difficult circumstances you find yourself in - even when you feel they will overwhelm you. Allow God to mold you through the events He allows to enter your life. The events of life are like a furnace for the heart."

"Never say, 'This is too much for me.' Depend on the Almighty. God's hand holds you. Do not try to look to far ahead, but live moment by moment before God. Let your anxiety flow away like a stream."

"Faith holds us in continual suspense - We're constantly 'up in the air'. We must simply let God act and let His will unfold."

Duh. Yet so hard to remember.

Myra comments that if the Christian life is the stuff of the Gospels then magnificent adventure equals big trouble. He says, "The adventure of faith draws us into the mystery and includes great and mighty things. But often the greatest things in our lives are rather small.

We just have to have eyes to see..."

Monday, July 2, 2007

people watching at the grocery store

I've never known grocery shopping to be so humorous, but between the squeaky carts and items the little old men were buying, today's outing was pretty entertaining. Some Mom had her son in one of those carts with the plastic truck on the front - only this cart had a defective wheel. It screeched so loud everyone in the entire store was aware of every move they made. It was annoying, sure, but the Mom's red face as she pulled up to the front desk and asked for a lube and filter service made it adorable.

What really had me giggling was the ingredients in the cart of one older gentleman. He reminded me of the old ranchers I used to see in the small town markets in Colorado. He had on a flannel shirt (yes, long-sleeved) which was snugly tucked into his dark blue jeans which were pulled securely up between his ribs and armpits. His face was wrinkled and his eyes, distant. The items lined up neatly on the seat of his cart were: a hoagie (grinder, sub, whatever) two jars of Sunmaid prunes and a toilet plunger...