Saturday, February 26, 2011

image

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
~Genesis 1:27~

that God has made us in His image is something i have long heard in church and read about...but today, when speaking about the idea passingly at my small group, it hit me anew. that i could reflect a portion of our Creator simply blows my mind. what an incredible blessing to be so closely associated with Him, and what a great responsibility. certainly convicts and encourages me more to seek ways in which my actions, thoughts, and words would reflect His image more and more. the idea, also, that each person we see is made to reflect God instills in me a new way to look at people, to see them from our Father's perspective, to see them as reflections of God. i have also long felt that each person i meet encapsulates a piece of the reflection of God, and taken as a composite, the Body acts as a composite which gives a shadow of the image of God. He still far surpasses our conception, His glory is far more beautiful and humbling than our human perception could stand, but as an artist Himself, with us made in His image, taken together, His followers are transformed into His impressionistic self portrait.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

gloom

the offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil water-way leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky - seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.
~joseph conrad~

i have always known there was something...err...a bit off with me. i am sincerely filled with joy when i wake up, look outside and find a sky full of gray and disgruntled to find a window full of sunshine. i prefer autumn and winter to summer and spring, much due to the weather that typifies those seasons and for the type of melancholy lighting that characterizes the first two. i love rain, even if it catches me by surprise and i have damp denim the rest of the day and brown-stained feet for a week from rain-soaked rainbows [sandals]. i get a child-like excitement at the sound of thunder and sudden flash of lightening or at the rattle of hail on a roof [tin or metal roofs being most preferable]. i feel more creative and productive when gloom prevails...compelled to write due to the overflow of words and potential poetry emerging from my gray-stained musings. but a perfectly clear and sunny day...rather a disappointment to me and almost never improves my spirits. when someone comments "nice day today, huh?" or "it's beautiful out!" reflecting on the pristine sunshine, i always feel a bit conflicted on how to respond because to me "nice" and "beautiful" weather mean something quite different altogether. but i rarely [if ever] admit to harboring such definitions, because there is no sense in putting on damper on the joyful sentiments of others just to for the sake of being perfectly open and honest about your own reflections on the weather.

i fully recognize this as abnormal behavior and i can't really explain my preference adequately to myself, let alone others. trying to explain this to others usually receives questioning looks and even i end up thinking i sound crazy...such are the symptoms of melancholy soul. but it got me to wondering: why is it the norm to prefer sunshine and clear skies over gloom and gray hues? how have golden tinted days become the symbol of joy and weather-perfection? it is considered bad luck, and a down right catastrophe, to almost every american to have it rain on your wedding day...but to me it adds an aesthetic element that cannot be achieved in any other matrimonial detail. sadly, suicide rates are known to be higher in areas that experience periods of increased and consistent gloomy weather. in other words, most seem on the same page of dark skies and gray conditions being foreboding and generally bad news... but it just doesn't translate into my personal soul-speak. perhaps part of why i prefer the gray because it is so little preferred and, like the "unlucky" 13, it must have something of value for someone...


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

autograph

autographs are something i've never thought twice about, but earlier this week it struck me that they are...well...a bit of a mystery. when we meet someone famous, the thing that we ask for (besides, perhaps a photo with them) is their autograph. why? why do we care about having their name written on some scrap of paper we found in our pocket, a book they authored, or the back of our shirt? why is it an item to be coveted and how does it obtain such value in society? When you boil it down, it is just a name, written by the hand of another...yet it has greater significance, for many-a-fan, it becomes a treasure.

my thoughts then flew to musing over the idea of a signature. our name is perhaps the only thing we ever write in cursive these days, or write with pen-and-paper at all in this era. we type, text, and post everything else we think and feel...the art of handwriting is being lost...but that is another topic entirely. the signature, however, becomes a microcosm of a person...it seems to symbolize them in some fashion. it is almost as if the type of curl an individual gives to their "g"s and the position they place their dot over their "i"s somehow reveals something of their personality and character. it is a stamp of authority, a bond and word of honor...all encapsulated in a single first & last (perhaps with a middle initial or middle name thrown in for good measure) name

whether celebrity-status or average-joe, each John-Handcock is full of symbolic meaning and socially-created levels of value

what's in a name? i'd say quite a bit more than we think

Thursday, February 10, 2011

prayer

prayer in its purest understanding (at least i believe) is having a conversation with God. what i find interesting about prayer is that one's voice and manner of speaking (outwardly or internally) changes. i started to notice this in communal prayer at the bible study i attend. when i or other in our group pray out loud...something in the manner of our voice morphs into something soft, the cadence something perfected as if the sound of all such elements combined, encapsulated in our words directed at our Father, is at last that which He created it to be. it is similar when one reads the Bible out loud...it isn't like reading poetry or Shakeasphere...something instinutual in us acts without us ordering it to...aknowledges that these are the Words of God and only our prayer voice will suffice while speaking it aloud. it is with this transformed voice, this prayer voice, the the body feels communal, connected, and as one. i have noticed that when praying in a small group there is something in the core of my being that feels drawn to the others around me as if i feel part of them and they part of me, their prayer is mine and mine their's...it is impossible to describe in words really...but it is in those moments of prayer, surrounded with the sounds of individual prayer voices taking their turn to share their bits of conversation with God, that i get an inkling of what it truly means to be part of the Body...with the Spirit morphing our voices such that we all speak the same language with the same lovely resonance, adding harmony to the melody of other Brothers and Sisters around us.