Friday, February 23, 2018

Lament

Silence. Lament. Rage. Hope.

Four paintings adorn the wall behind the dinner table. A woman weeps at the base of a birch tree. Her face is hidden. Her back is sheltered by the trunk of the tree.

The woman and the tree trunk do not move as my eyes drift from painting to painting and back again.

Silence. Lament. Rage. Hope.

Hope. Rage. Lament. Silence.

Behind and above the woman ...

     ... the canvas is painted white. Silence.

     ... the canvas is painted a gray and stormy sea. Lament.

     ... the canvas is painted a vibrant and angry red. Rage.

Behind and above the woman ...

     ... yellow and orange displace the vibrant and angry red. The tree has pushed forth leaves, rich and green. Hope.

I am drawn to Lament.

R

Photo credit: Image 64239214

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Cross

It surprised me -- the Cross.

I had approached the beautiful, sturdy, enticing chair from the side, with an air of self-absorption. I was seeking a peaceful place to calm my inner self, to meditate, think, pray and wrestle.

My decision to travel here to Victoria TX was impulsive.The training offered by Quantum Circles was secondary to the opportunity to engage the healing essence of human friendship, to see and hear my friend teach, to discover the passions of her heart, to reveal my struggles and let her healing words wash over me.

God surprised me. God was already here, in the chair, waiting for me like a trusted friend ready to share whatever was on my heart. On my friend's porch, God offered friendship, the Cross inviting me to leave my burdens here.

R

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Quiet Space

A foggy morning follows the thunderstorm that blew in Tuesday night. Deer graze in the pasture near the house across the street. The birds are singing, celebrating -- does the moisture refresh them too?

I fold a boldly colored blanket across the base of the guest bed, adding the books I am reading which refuse to conform to a neat pile.

There is much work to be done here.

Not in this guest room, this space, but within me. Old patterns of speech and thinking need to fall aside to make way for the new-to-me concepts, processes, skills and tools of Restorative Justice.

My heart is heavy and quiet with anticipation, like a woman's womb before childbirth, engaging both apprehension and excitement at the wonder of what God is unfolding.

R


"My heart needs a quiet space in the stillness of time." -- Widowspeak

 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Texas

This morning I woke up in a city new to me. Opening my eyes I take in the pasture that rests beyond the windows at the far end of my room -- in a camper. The comfort of the queen size Sleep Number bed is tempting and I need to muster myself just a bit to come out of my cocoon. The warm morning air greets me as I open the camper door, then step into the house -- a dear friend's house, a sanctuary for her and her husband. I make my way to the guest bathroom and turn on the shower. The soft gray paint of the walls is soothing. The warm water flows over me. I reach out to touch the row of tiny brown tiles, the beauty too much to resist.

The day will officially begin at 8am with training: The Language of Shalom. Today is day one.

Tears form at the corners of my eyes. There is a deep knowing sensation that Victoria TX is where I am supposed to be, that this is somehow connected to healing the deep crevice of sadness and disconnection I experienced these past months in the wake of my husband's death. [more]

The sound of cars arriving signals a need for transition. I gaze one more time across the pasture, then open the camper door. The day begins.

R

Victoria TX image by: townmaps.usa.com


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hub Caps and Sparrows

I’d been ignoring the sound for weeks, while simultaneously monitoring it just enough to know it was metal scraping against something and it originated in the rear end the well-worn Mistsubishi that is my car. In this season of economic challenges, oil changes are the extent of the maintenance, and the scraping of metal doesn’t typically indicate a need for oil. I am convinced it is an exhaust clamp, or pipe, or muffler rusted and ready to go skidding down the freeway at the most inopportune moment and that the funds in my checking account will not be enough to cover repairs. 


On this particular morning, windows open because it was such a beautiful day, I drove across the parking lot and the sound grew loud enough that it could no longer be ignored. As I monitored the problem, I realized the sound occurred more frequently when I accelerated and slowed down when I put on the breaks. Tired of the low-voltage anxiety of ignoring the sound, I found a parking place in an empty row, got out of the car, and put my ear to the asphalt—fully expecting to see an epic failure somewhere in the exhaust system. Surprise and delight rushed to greet me when my mind confirmed my optical observation—all is well. 

I got up from the pavement and brushed some pebbles from my knees. Standing beside the car for a moment I am baffled, not quite knowing what to do next. Then I looked down and discovered that the plastic hub cab on the rear tire was hanging loose. I kicked it a couple of times, gently, to force it back into place before taking a closer look. The overwhelming majority of clips designed to attach the hub cap to the rim were broken. Only one intact clip remained. Breaking the final clip, I removed the hub cap and tossed it into the back seat. As I pulled out of the parking lot the noise of metal scraping no longer accompanied me. The 2003 Mitsubishi seems to run just fine without the hub cab.

All this to say that ignoring the noise didn’t ease my anxiety, it just camouflaged my worry. This misadventure clearly reveals my wavering ability to trust in God’s provision. In sharing this story with friends recently, I found myself saying—and hopefully more faithfully believing—that God cares for me and for you more deeply and fully than He cares for the sparrows, that our Creator is a generous God, and with faith we can rest in the assurance that the worrisome economic challenges we face are hub caps in God’s economy. 

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. – Matthew 10:29-31 NIV

Friday, August 18, 2017

at the end of me

I remember this recent time and place. At more than four miles into the journey, this is the moment I reached the end of me.

I remember my exhausted grandmother body crying out, not wanting to take another step; my heart, soul and mind wrestling within me, intent on reaching the summit.

Looking down on the Black Hills of South Dakota from 6500 feet above sea level is glorious, worth every ounce of effort.

Finding the end of me is even more precious, exposing the bedrock of my humanity, opening my heart to deeply appreciate God's Divinity.




Since I first stood with Mama Kimberly in 2011, she has become my friend, my mentor, my sister.

In the years from then until now, there is much to be thankful for and there is much to grieve.




And at the summit we celebrate!

Deep inside the captives are set free!


“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” -- 2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Duet

Joy dropped by this morning just before sunrise in an email announcing that my submission titled Ecclesiastes was now live online.

As I follow the link to view the image the publisher selected to accompany my words, I notice something is different. The scripture included in my closing thoughts now appears at the beginning, just beneath a delicate floral image.

To every thing there is a season,and a time to every purpose under the heaven. —Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV 

Brilliant! is my heartfelt response. This simple change that the writer me could not imagine is powerful, practical, peaceful—capturing the essence, welcoming our readers.

Stunning! the editor me chimes in, awed by the simplicity and complexity of another woman's editorial talents.

My eyes move down the page.

Em dashes replace the misused en dashes. Yes. As a writer and an editor I often straddle the fence, using punctuation and structuring sentences in ways that promise to make my middle school grammar teacher cringe. So much of my writing is visual. I like the space-dash-space of the en dash and often feel confined by the em dash appearing to touch the words. So much of my writing is also auditory, filled with sentence fragments imitating the impromptu nature of public speaking.

Grateful! I am grateful for the generosity shown me by the community publishing my work and for the breathtaking trust a writer exhibits when giving me her precious unpublished manuscript.

I close my eyes, allowing my heart and mind to meditate on the duet that is writing and editing.

Rw