Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fifteen Fahrenheit

I sat on the worn porch steps, alone in the peaceful dark of winter. The blue-black sky was pierced with stars, studded in the familiar patterns of the season, and the quarter moon floated silently, a white boat sailing westward through the night.

Not only the moon was silent. The world held its breath, too frozen to speak. I celebrated the cold, lifting my face to the moon's glow, closing my eyes, inhaling deeply, reaching with my spirit to take it all in. When I looked again, the cloud of my exhaling danced and dissolved before my eyes.

How can I explain the joy I felt as the chill settled into exposed skin and began working through my layers of clothing? Exhilaration, titillation, freedom, praise. 

I breathe in, I breathe out. The Spirit flows with me. His breath gives me life. The chill is His touch, reminding me I am alive. Life is beautiful.

The penetrating quiet fills me with wonder. As far as my hearing can reach, not a creature is stirring, not a branch creaking, not a leaf whispering to its neighbor. After the fierce winds of yesterday, this soundless landscape is a welcome relief, but there is more. Who is this God who can shake a world or make it still at His whim? He can shout in a tempest, call from the flames, but more often He waits for me to be quiet and listen in stillness. In smallness. In infinitesimal infinity. As I grow more and more aware of my smallness and His greatness, I feel more and more aware of His power in me, for me, through me. This is the wonder of the silent night - it is holy, full of His presence, even as my senses tell me it is empty and lifeless.

Thank you, Holy Father, for the boundless creativity of Your creation. Thank you tonight for cold, clear, dry, silent nights. Such nights as this remind me You are holy, wholly other, pure and lovely. Thank you that every place can be a sacred space when I pay attention to You. Alleluia! Amen.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I Just Want to Say

I guess I want to say today, this first day of a new year, that even when life doesn't make sense, I still believe in God.

I guess I want to write this down, mark this, that despite my lack of understanding, I believe God's understanding is greater than mine, and in His mind, my sometimes-confusing life makes perfect sense.

I guess I want to note that even when I can't figure out which way to go, I believe He watches over all my ways.

I want to remember that when I feel lost, He has no trouble finding me.

I want to proclaim that when disappointments and delays and disturbances come, singly or in massive walls that seem insurmountable, I am free to celebrate the joy of relationship with a God Who is able to work all things for good.

I guess I want to say today, this first day of a new year, that nothing, nothing at all, can separate us from God's love, His care, His watchfulness. I guess I sorta want to write it on my forehead, maybe backwards, so I'll read it in the mirror when I look to see how I'm doing. I kinda want to mark it on my forearms so I'll see and remember when my hands are busy working at tedious tasks. I think I want to turn it into a song so it will pop up randomly in my head and remind me of the truth sometimes when I'm slogging through and slipping into forgetfulness.

I guess that's a good enough start for a year. I just wanted to say it.