Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Musings on Moments in Life

Life is delicious.  Not always easy.  Not always pretty. 
But magnificent, nonetheless.

I’ve been thinking about life lately. 
The beauty and the ugliness of it. 
How grit and grace collide.  How joy and grief coexist.  How wonder unfolds before our eyes, every single day,
in myriad ways, if we will just take the time to notice.

Like how the clouds coalesce into grand panoramas, if we will just take the time to stop and look up. 
We rarely do that, you know.  Look up.
 We rush around, eyes forward, mind elsewhere,
and fail to see the majesty of the skies, or the trees,
or the stars.  Their glory is lost on us. 
We don’t see, so we don’t respond. 
We don’t see, so we don’t worship.

Wonder abounds.  
I cuddled a puppy last week.  He was all fur and mischief, a constant blur of clumsy activity, tripping over paws he has yet to grow into.  He enthusiastically covered me with puppy kisses and anyone who has experienced the sweetness that is puppy breath understands its appeal.  It is simply irresistible, and it never fails to take me back.  Suddenly I am, once again, a little girl surrounded by puppies, loving them all, and yet wanting each one to feel special.

Generosity overflows. 
Recently, as I waited for a table in a busy restaurant, I saw a stranger pick up the tab for two other patrons.  It was a moment of unexpected generosity that I was grateful to be present for.  Though only a spectator, I shared vicariously
in their joy, and felt compelled to somehow
replicate the generosity I had been so privileged to witness.

Beauty is abundant. 
I met with a woman last week, who was refreshingly unaware of her beauty.  While gifted in many areas, her one desire is to teach women how to study the Bible.  She, having been awakened to the beauty and benefit of God’s Word, wants to unveil for others her marvelous discovery.  With no seeming motive other than to bring God glory, she passionately shared with me her desire to see others transformed the way she has been, by the refining work God undertakes when one seeks to know His heart through His words.

Love relinquishes. 
Jimmy and I got to share in the joy of a baby dedication last night. There were dozens of babies present, and as I watched those parents and grandparents, their joy was palpable.  Such promise.  So many possibilities. Such potential contained in those precious, little lives.
Dreams, expectations, hopes, and wishes,
permeated that room like a long-lingering fragrance.   

I know what it is to dream for your child.  I know what it is to hand him over to God,
and I know what it is to take him back.
I did it often, that “give and take”: 
When Austin was chronically ill,
when he had his heart broken,
when he lost his way, when he traveled to the Far Country.

I wanted to mitigate his pain.  I wanted to make things better, but finally I realized that love demands sacrifice. 
The safest place for our children
is in God’s hands. 
The parents present Sunday night understand this,
but their resolve will be tested: 
When their children are in pain, when they go away to their first overnight camp, when they are bullied on the playground,
when fear keeps them up at night,
when they are not chosen for the team,
when they back out of the driveway for the first time,
when they choose a wayward path,
when they leave for their first date,
the temptation will be strong,
practically unrelenting, to take them back.
But don’t do it.
Leave them where you left them—In God’s hands.

One thing I learned is that a life of uninterrupted favor and blessing rarely cultivates a passion for Christ.  Grief, heartbreak, and difficulties are powerful tools in God’s arsenal.  We lament that our children must experience these things, and consequently succumb to the
fallacy that we know what is best for them.
We take them back and stunt their growth. 
In our very own Mt. Moriah moments,
when the urge to rescue is great,
we must relinquish our children,
and entrust their hearts to the keeping
of the One Who knows them best and loves them most.

I spent the night with mama and daddy Sunday night.  We laughed, and sang silly songs, and danced in our jammies, and drank coffee, and told stories.  It was fun.  And then bedtime came and the refrain I heard almost every night growing up:  “Good night, sweet dreams, don’t let the bed bugs bite,
I love you. I went to sleep in the room where I had cried, and wished, and prayed, and been proposed to.   In that room that held so many memories, I whispered a prayer of gratitude, for the concentric circles of love
within families that continue to grow and spread,
encompassing generation after generation.

Today is Valentine’s Day, and I will spend it with the love of my life.  He truly is the only boy I ever loved, and I will soak in every moment.
I will bask in the love.  I will pray for enough Valentine’s Days
 to see us through old age, and I will give thanks
to the One Who made it all possible.

This blog has been about life.  About moments. Unrepeatable moments that can all be sacred when seen through the veil of
God’s purpose, presence, and activity.
God’s fingerprints are everywhere.
Evidence of His abiding with us is unmistakable.
His presence in the miraculous, and in the commonplace, transfigures our moments into dazzling spectacles,
always teaching us, growing us,
gracing us, delighting us.  

These moments comprise the fabric of our lives,
stitched and held fast by unbreakable threads of love.
Under the care of an extraordinary God,
our lives need never be ordinary,
for in the end, all our moments matter,
and life itself is grace.