Ah, the clean slate of a new year. Fresh off the Christmas holiday, we’re feeling good about ourselves. Time to activate on the new year’s resolutions. Weight loss? Exercise? Quitting that bad habit? Nah, let’s not bother with the small stuff. Let’s go big. “Seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) That ought to take care of it. If want the Kingdom life complete with all the amenities, all I have to do is follow Jesus.
Such a bold resolution, but my track record thus far is not so good. I mean, while I’m busy looking into the distance for what Jesus would do, I’m fumbling the things at hand. I see his patience with children, his compassion for the sick, his attention to those in need, but it’s not even noon and I’ve already raised my voice, shelved my empathy and affixed my headphones so I can tune out all the whining. It looks so easy when Jesus does it, and so messy when I get hold of it.
This Christmas I discovered a wonderful tool that planted an idea and gives me the hope of a strategy. Of course there were angels involved. These angels began in 1997 when my husband Scot, the amateur woodworker, designed some “lawn ornaments” as Christmas decorations. He, not being one to settle for small projects, designed and constructed three 4-foot tall wooden angels. Complete with wings, hymnals and a working electric candle, these white painted cherubs, must be pieced together and staked up each year as they take their place on our little grassy knoll.
This year, I found out their secret. They weren’t drawn free hand as I had imagined but were traced via pantograph from a design ordered from a wood shop catalog. Aha! Using this magical tool, one only need trace over the original design and the device reproduces the image perfectly in a much larger size. You simply focus on what’s at hand and let the pencil re-trace the image, all courtesy of Read the rest of this entry
In the beginning, we agreed.
Then there was the smallest ripple of discontent.
A mere, “Aw come on.” And so we did.
But we didn’t. Agree, that is.
There was the tap, “Look at it this way.”
Which led to the shoulder shake, “You have to admit…”
which resulted in the back turn
where after came the word toss
followed closely by the paper airplane propaganda.
We sneered and shot withering glances
which now fell quite short across the broad expanse.
So we threw stones
that were answered by cannon;
Our artillery barrage
was met by sniper fire.
We’re exposed. Take cover!
We retreat and regroup in our caves
across the crevasse,
a huge canyon now between us.
Sad, we say. We didn’t want this, we say.
We are a people who love, we tell ourselves.
Love rains down into our canyon, cuts through rock and stone to shape cliffs and ledges, gouging cracks into crevices into streams of unhindered flow to the bottom where it runs and tumbles and gurgles and plays.
Clear and sweet and icy cold.
I am thirsty.
Dare I risk a sip, standing on its banks?
So exposed. So naked.
I would be so close –
so close I could see them,
perhaps even hear them.
In the beginning, God came from a great distance, down a great chasm, into a wide ravine and turned water to wine. Drink, all who are thirsty.
That’s good wine, we agreed.