Sunrise With Fog

Sunrise With Fog
Every Morning is New

Monday, August 29, 2011

Looking Forward: Another Year

The old oak tree stands in witness of all the storms of life, of the beauty of the sunrise, and it hosts the joyful birds who sing throught the day. It is an anchor with which I frame each sunrise, a measurement of the seasons, and always an image of lovely form.

Through the years it seems we learn to yield to the temptation to sit a while in a quiet spot. It is in these times of reflective pondering that we have time to taste the deeper things in life.
 69 Going On 70
     Beginning another year leads to a new decade, 69 going on 70. It seems
so unreal, to be swept along in detached awareness of the passage of
time as if in slow motion, seeing more of the stages of life at the
same time.
     Body is aging, and yet I am still “me!” I am still the unique person I
was created to be. It is a journey of discovery in moving toward the
light. There is a vague longing for what I what I am that still lies
hidden and enfolded in the many peculiar layers of my dance of life.
This is another milestone in counting the days of favor, as I see with
redeemed vision as it works out what is being restored. It is an
amazing transformation when new compartments of the heart are swept
free of years of coveting worldly things. This brings new circulation
of life which adds renewed vibrancy to what was formerly a
struggling spark of eternal hope.
     As I climb further up the holy hill, different portions of life come
adorned with new applications of truth that measures against the
standards of holiness sublime.
     Seasons follow seasons, each perhaps as a rung on the ladder of ever
brightening ascension. Some trails navigate narrow dangerous drop-offs
on either side necessitating great care. The next segment often
arrives as on a gentle plain that encourages confidence. Tranquil
boundaries are such restorative blessings that confirm favor bestowed
by a loving Father.
     It is a gift to appreciate the precious expressions of God’s delight in His creation. We are encouraged to respond with the measure of delight we are enabled to absorb.
It is written that we are to be still and know that God is God. We
must be still to hear the truth of the ages; then in awe we become
aware of the gravity of being humbled before the Holy One of Israel.
There are points on the heights of joy when we can scarcely contain
the overflowing love. We are lifted up with emotion at seeing the
character of God made real through what He has made known, and then we
are lifted above our appointed boundaries to catch our breath in the
brilliant light of glory.
     Time travels its prescribed course and fills my mind with wonderful
memories. Though I cannot stay long on the mountain I can ponder the
accumulation of such moments through my sixty-nine years. With
childlike excitement I am blessed to anticipate many wonders as I move
forward into my seventieth year which is yet a mystery.
     Colorful jeweled memories mixed with patterns of poetry, marbled with
times of suffering and longing, bring more humbling of self inawareness of
the broader spectrum that is beyond present comprehension.
     My own shadow leaves but a trace when measured against eternity.  I
respond to the incomprehensible richness of the knowledge and wonder
of God with exciting joy in being compelled to tell others as I rejoice.
     I then step aside for a time to a quiet place with God given humility,
realizing I am as a unique shell along the mighty sea. I am counted
with purpose, then set free to be about the work prepared for me, assured of my place at the table for eternity.
     The Lord has been weaving the fabric of my life ever so firmly, strand
by strand until radiance unbeknownst to me is revealed. It is the
depth of the riches of this knowledge that thrills me so that I cannot
remain silent. I cannot attempt to keep this glorious river to myself.
For every thought or action that does not align with what I know to be
true of God the light remains dimmed until I respond. Jesus has more
to tell me but I cannot yet bear it. Perhaps I cannot yet carry the burden
of understanding nor deal with suffering and pain of life’s lessons.
     But I think perhaps it is that the weight of glory is so vast that I
cannot consume it all at once. Each coming day will arrive with
lessons and joys of its own. I trust He will enable me to pick up my
mat and walk forward with Him as He teaches me the joys of loving
others with His divine love. I ask that He help me take one day at a
time to delight in what I receive from His hand. July 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Watching the Light in Stillness

As the heavens declare the glory of God the Lord prepares our hearts to respond to the beauty He has prepared for us. We taste His goodness through what He makes known of Himself to those enabled to stop and listen to the beauty.
Do you find the time to sit and watch the sky? Sometime in the early morning hours it is as if I am watching the creator of the universe paint the heavens with broad strokes, at first painting a background for what will come next. At times there is a faint golden glow, perhaps tinted with pale orange changing to vibrant pink. At first it may seem that most of the sky is vacant of any clouds, but as the direction of the light changes there are many layers of different types of clouds, first one, then the other catch the gleam of the light as if just then being painted on top of the layers that were in place before. At times there are unusual formations that seem to pop up out of nowhere, catching the wind at a certain altitude and then sail across the heavens to somewhere beyond this viewpoint. When tall columns mix with shelf clouds and intermix with thin wispy layers, I am spellbound watching for the light to escape the hidden confines and burst forth in bright streams. At times there are brilliant golden tints to the clouds contrasting with blue shadows. Then when the sun reaches a certain point shades of coral and pink appear as if a watercolor wash moves slowly along painting them with glorious joy. It seems as if it is a symphony of light just for my eyes alone. But it is there for all to see; it is for all who would lift their eyes in delightful witness of the magnificence of God's creation. Our lives reflect something of the same glorious joy through the years when we stop to listen as the silence sings its own beautiful song of praise to the almighty power of God. We may not know from where the light comes at a particular time of life, but in looking back through the lens of the heart tuned to the harmony of all of creation, it comes together with a connectivity that illumines the understanding of scripture. We are touched by storms, warmed by a campfire, cooled by fragile snowflakes as they brush against our cheek. Joy is rekindled when we think of friends who have brought golden light to shine into our lives. All of the paintings we have watched being created, whether in relationships or gifts, or the overflowing joy of worshiping the Lord that connects us to eternity along with the cloud of witnesses whose faith has enabled them to persevere, we are caught up in the glorious delight of the ages, beginning even before time began. That same melody is in harmony with what we are given to witness both in the heavenly realm and all the ways God confirms His love for us in this present walk. Take time to listen. Listen deeply and allow your soul to connect with God through what He makes known. This is abundant life. Praise to the One Who reigns over all things. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Seeing Through the Light Thus Given

The weeks flow along with increasing awareness of the journey to this point.  It seems that we used to measure time in multiples of five or ten; reunions, birthdays and anniversaries were given extra notice when we reached one of those milestones. Do you wonder why we have set that precident? Why do we set such goals for our present journey? How much joy do we miss along the way when we wait for those milestone moments before allowing ourselves to treasure cherished memories accrued on a more frequent basis? Now that our high school class has celebrated the "BIG" 50th reunion everyone seems to desire to meet yearly... and keep in touch more often inbetween. In fact, one of my long time friends, one with whom I started to school in the first grade, spoke up at the last reunion just this past year and encouraged us to meet again this year. She is gone. She had appreciated those connections that were made so many years ago, and valued each person who had crossed her path along the way.  The mother of a friend who was in my Bible Study group last year had been fighting a battle with cancer for several years, and during that time she continued to write and teach and speak to others of her faith. As her health got worse her delight in the Lord shown more brightly. It brought her great comfort to go back through the things she had written, the tapes of times she spoke to others, of special family occasions. It came to me that there is purpose for what God asks of each of us, purpose beyond the moment. Scripture tells us to write, to remember and to tell others of what we have seen of God's faithfulness. However, I am seeing further purpose than I had understood.  To have those poems, those teachings, and the photos and videos that we have written to the praise of His glory, those treasured moments with family and dear friends is to have a bit of treasure in heaven it seems. This treasure comforts us when times are challenging. This treasure fills us with joy when perhaps we might otherwise feel empty and helpless. These jeweled moments confirm Christ's love for us in every situation. Each time we sing the words of beloved hymns that are filled, with scripture the words become even more precious, causing us to overflow with even more joy.

It is not about the number of days we are given to live out God's plan for our lives. Each day is of such value that much can be accomplished if we listen and respond to the opportunities along the way. A most beautiful example of this truth flows magnificantly from the short life of our friend's grandson who lived just 87 days due to spinal muscular atrophy. Yes, it has been a great time of grief and seeking of understanding. Each of those days was given to loving him and and sharing delight of each day with many friends and family. At the same time much light has shown through this life that was so short in our understanding of time. Each day has value that makes that life worth living.  A foundation as been set up to do many worthwhile projects in his name, projects that will help others with similar challenges and to give hope to children in many life situations. It is beyond belief to see the ways little Miller touched the lives of others and now continues to spread hope as waves upon the sea, taking that hope to far places. When we give our tears to God He will take those precious tears and as He holds them for us, He will do more than we could have imagined to make much of our meager offerings.

Each life has potential of which we are unaware. We are to take one step at a time and to listen in stillness for that small voice to tell us which way to go. He will provide all that is needed to accomplish that which aligns with His will for our lives. So let us treasure our moments, for each moment is a gift beyond our understanding. Just about ten years ago I responded to the compelling urge to pick up my pen and begin to write. I was the most surprised of anyone at the progression of the flow of words and the continuing inspiration and delight in allowing the words to paint images of what God had placed in my heart. Recently, I have been taking time to read again some of those first poems and I am still amazed at the faithfulness of the Lord in making possible words to comfort and uplift others along the way; and I am blessed repeatedly as I read those words of life again and again; He does love me and care for me.  Nothing can take His love from me for it is the very gift of His love to me with which I sing His praises every day. As I look back through the lens of light thus given, I am assured of even more glorious things to come. This following poem is one of the first few poems in that first year of discovering that this gift of praise comes from above. To read these thoughts again fills me with exceeding joy, for the heart of it rings with the same truth He continues to teach me day after day.
Yes, I think this is perhaps treasure in Heaven.

Oh Lord, the beauty of life when we live it in You
Is an amazing day to day delight.
A taste of Your loving kindness in all You do
Is beyond anything that exists without your light.
You teach us more each passing day,
You fill us with Your love and joy, and encourage us to pray;
Lord, You alone are worthy of praise,
Thank you for Your faithfulness and protection for our days.
You open Your arms to catch us when we fall,
You change our hearts to know Your voice when You call.
You make it possible for us to desire to obey,
Then make sure we hear beautiful words You have to say.
You alone Lord are due the glory for the gifts we receive,
All You ask in return is for us to believe....
And to give You alone the glory You are due.
Lord, we bow down in total reverence to you.
We are Your creation, the objects of Your gracious kindness,
We worship You humbly and pray You will continue to bless.
You put in our hearts the sublime songs of joy
We will sing them back to You in affirmation of Your glory.
We will sing all our earthly days, and then...
Trust in Your promises for eternity. Amen!

IMP 5/10/02