Thursday, August 15, 2013

captain

couldn’t you just leave a bread crumb trail
a sudden directive of where to be
it need not be seen by many
it could only be known to me

because a shelved portion of myself
is suffocating from the unknowing
is drowning in the blurry, uncertain certainty
that i should be rooted instead of going.

are You just trying to tell me
that, for the chapter i now am in,
i need to embrace blindness
in order for me to end and You to begin?

but this feels like shards, fragments.
(the tighter my grasp, the deeper the pain)
and somehow i just can’t release them
so the pieces in my palm remain.

did i grasp the map too tightly?
because it's all dissolved to ash
making me feel ashamed, foolish
making my dreams into a wounding lash

despite advise and reasonable thinking
in the small secret part of my heart
i feel that i am not where You would have me be
but also am just fearful to let You start.

while i float on seas of confusion
while I drift in this ocean of haze
i’ll cling to the belief that this anxiety
is a necessary part of a phase.

because none of this is what i imagined
no part of this was exactly as i planned
but in the waiting you are molding me
and i desire to be under Your command

Monday, August 12, 2013

art

this past week, the small group i am part of was presented with an assignment for our sunday night meeting: bring in a piece of art (whatever that means to you) that makes you think of God.  i thought it a meaningful exercise, one that not only made me think about how God truly is in all (good) things, but also about how God communicates uniquely and personally to each individual.

what we ultimately took away is that the fact that we are able to recognize and respond to beauty (art) says that art points back to the Creator.  when we respond to beauty, take pause to take it in, we are in return responding to the glory of God.

so i thought i'd share what those in our group contributed, and their commentary on what it meant to them/how it reminds them about God...hopefully it inspires you to do something similar amongst your friends someday too.

toccata and fugue in d minor - johann sebastian bach
"in my opinion, this is the best piece of music ever written.  it touches me in my soul, and makes me think about life...and since God is life...well it makes me think about God too.  listening to it, especially it's medieval-sounding beginning, is like being in the Old Testament (fire & brimstone, if you will).  much of it is evil sounding, but it is sprinkled with lighter sounds, which to me represents hope.  i especially get lost in the fugue sections, i get lost in the chords...the way they call and answer each other.  i find it rather moving, and what is even more impressive is how it is all done mathematically, with intention.  the whole piece has a lot of "up and down" (the playing goes from the right hand to the left and from the feet to the hands on the organ; sounds go from dark/evil to light)...and this is very much how the journey of life is to me, an oscillation between failures and success, steps forward and steps back."

myself
"i didn't bring myself as an example of my favorite piece of art, but because i feel more connected to God through people in my life than through anything else.  procreation is the God-given ability to have a taste of what creation feels like - we get to partake in the smallest slice of God's ability to create life.  and by doing so, we get to understand a whole new type of Love that we could never know with our relative (similarly-aged) others in our life.  all creativity flows from God, and all we do in a creative spirit is done in mimicry of the ultimate Creator - our Father in Heaven."


empty frame
"the blank frame on the wall represents the potential of art, the creator could put anything into that frame, add a title and it becomes "art."  at the original moment of intention, that is where the art happens.  in my own artistic endeavors, the end product does not matter as much to me as the time and effort of the looking and recording...that is the value of art to me, the journey to the final product.  the potential and creative process makes me think of God because it forces me to notice details I wouldn't otherwise.  for example, in the sierras (mountains) when i pull out my sketch book, i start to notice fractures in rocks, and how the rocks form part of mountains, and it is all the little things i record while sketching that becomes a derivation of my understanding of God."

light
"i have always been enamored with light: how it affects me, how it brings on emotion in me.  the other day in the back yard a beam of light was playing on a leaf, i felt like i could almost hear music coming form that image of the interaction between light and leaf.  i wanted to capture it, put it in a box, but you can't.  you have to saver it in that one brief moment.  it makes me think of God because it, like God, is intricate in the details and infinitely beautiful."


winter sun / sonata arctica
"metal can be a dark genre, and is often written off as such.  but the music from these two bands is how i imagine the moment you enter Heaven will sound.  the album art, for me, is how i imagine (and hope) the landscape of Heaven will look...anything that resembles a finland landscape in general." 


"a forest hymn" - william cullen bryant
"worship in music has never been the primary experience of worship for me.  i am a words-person so i have connected with God through writing and reading. but i also connect very strongly with God in nature.  i connect to God most strongly, and get in the most creative spirit, when i am in nature, specifically in forests.  the first time i went to the sierras (mountains) was the first time i felt whole, the first time i experienced complete silence and felt completely connected with God. it was by seeing God's finger prints in nature, the variety and detail of creation that far exceeds human ability.  so, this poem represents that feeling, that inexpressible experience...at least in vague illusions."

art of healing
"as a nurse, it is amazing for me to see my patients get better, to see the process they go through.  not just a literal/physical healing of their ailment, but the transformation of their spirit that occurs in the process.  the witnessing of this speaks to God as a healer and protector, more than the physical healing does.  it is the intangible healing that takes place in our hearts."

the thief - brooke fraser
"music, both Christian-stamped and secular, has always spoke to me of God.  this song in particular reminds me of my relationship with God in ways that is hard to describe.  but the lyrics, especially the line "playing chords in me nobody knew how to play,"  illustrates to me the ways that God opens sides of us that no human could open.  the song is sad because it is often painful and a hard process to get to the point where you lay down your defenses and let God in."

end scene of city lights  (*spoiler alert if you haven't seen this film)
"it is the things cause me to pause, hit me in the soul, that i consider art...and that remind me of God.  the end scene of city lights did just that, it overwhelms you, and you respond to the beauty and sentiment you see in it."

relationships with others
"i don't like small talk, and never will.  when i meet someone or any time i talk to anyone, i want to know who they are, what makes them tick.  knowing others makes me feel more connected to God than anything else, and ultimately the evolving process of relationships is creative."


 
 




Friday, August 9, 2013

sara


some friends remain walking by you
through seasons of rough road
gladly shouldering part of your load
until the path comes to an end.

some friends bide extra laps with you
work off the sting of failure by your side
running miles and miles as your patient guide
until your heart can at last mend

some friends remind you
that you are a work of the Creator’s mark
help you remember that whether in light or dark
you were made to reflect He On High

some friends embody to you
that God’s grace is tangible, real
that His hand is always open to heal
and His ears ignore no cry.

some friends are steadfast by you
through flames, wind, and ice
always compassionate, always ready with advice
never expecting the same in return.

some friends become a role model to you
a convicting motivation to grow
a greater encourager than they’ll ever know
their words a salve to the deepest wound or burn.

some friends give a shove to you
to redirect you when you’ve gone astray
to stabilize you, becoming your mainstay
an anchor to your proper Center.

some friends unleash to you
reveal the beauty of vulnerable truth
accept you, even when you are selfish or uncouth
and through the journey become your mentor.

some friends preach the Gospel to you
in actions, not just in talk
are always there for you around the clock
they know so little of their treasured worth.

some friends are all these things to you
a few, the rarest sort of breed
become that taste of Heaven that you need
to weather your time on Earth.