Friday, July 30, 2010

The Aroma of Christ

"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life."  2 Corinthians 2: 15-16

73. I love to meet people who exude the love of Christ from within.  It's neat that, when in the company of those who love Christ and share that love with others, I can feel a kindred spirit with them upon first meeting--kind of like a taste of Home.  Today I'm thankful to have met others who are the aroma of Christ, whom the fragrance of life spills from their souls.  How encouraging to know that one day we will all be Home full of the love and life that reflects from each other now, and ever so bright.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Giving Thanks

67. making it safely with friends and children to Chattanooga
68. being surprised by a full night sleep in the hotel.
69. my two year old saying "Chattanooga, Tennessee, YAY!"
70. an awesome breakfast included with our room.
71. finally finding a Barnes N' Noble with a train table.
72. blog writers who are gifted with communicating God's grace in their lives and are willing to share it.  My personal favorite is A Holy Experience

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A light burden?

I have always been somewhat bewildered by Matthew 11:28-30.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Bewildered, yet impacted greatly.  Come to Jesus and give him my burdens in exchange for rest.  Okay, no problem there, I'll gladly rid myself of those.  But what comes next, "Take my yoke upon you,"  Christ's burdens?  How could this be a fun exchange?  I thought that I was exchanging these burdens for rest, now I see I am to take His yoke, to suffer?  But wait, the yoke is "easy" and his "burden is light"?  Now that just doesn't seem to make sense, from my perspective of course.  The One who suffered death for me, His yoke is "easy"?  And how in the world is any burden light?

I think that I will always be intrigued by this.  Though I do have some understanding, it still remains such a great mystery at the same time.  A hopeful and comforting mystery.

How can His burden be light?  His work was to do the will of His Father, the Creator of all things, God Himself.  Unlike us who so often work for ourselves and a lot of times against God, He worked for God.  From the beginning He teamed with the greatest most powerful Victor who promises to bring a great victory.  And now, "It is finished."  The victory is won. He has completed the work He came to do.  Now we wait.  We hope.  We look forward to His coming back once and for all.  

How can His yoke be easy?  Well, if we came to Him, then it's not really us that is carrying the yoke.  A yoke is used to bind together two oxen so that they share a workload.  If we have come to Him, we are bound to Him in the carrying of the yoke.  We are not carrying the load, He is.  We have the great honor of walking beside Him, learning from Him, talking with Him, and He carries the yoke through us.  AMAZING.

Earlier in the same chapter John asks if Jesus is the One they have been expecting and waiting for, "Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Mt 11:2-6

I think the miracle in our hearts of Christ taking our burdens on Himself and exchanging them for fellowship with Him in His work and making the burden light might just be just as powerful as the miracles He was identified with in the previous passage.  Just the same, He should be identified clearly in us as others see this miracle in our lives.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

more thanks

62.  A chance to get out of the house and hang out at Starbucks with a friend until closing time.
63.  Decaf Caramel Frappacinnos
64.  My son's personality that continues to show itself more and more every day.
65.  Believers who have gone before me and written to pass their wisdom on.
66.  Used books I have collected that I can pull off of my shelf at the most opportune time of need.

Language of praise

I've been thinking a lot the past few days. I'm not sure that this will be a very cohesive post as I don't 
fully grasp these concepts myself. But maybe writing about it will help me to process. :)

As I started to "put off" things like complaining and wallowing, I began to see that I don't have much of a vocabulary for praise. I found myself in awe of  
God many times and all I could say was, "amazing"or "awesome". Two great words, but there has to be much more to say about God and to God in the 
ways of praise. So, I want to be taught how to praise God beyond one word exclamations. I pray that 
He would cultivate in me a heart of praise that overflows with thanksgiving to Him in all circumstances. I want to be able to truly rejoice in Him at all times.

I've started reading 31 days of praise to help get me in the habit of praying
and praising God:

Here are some passages that I have been reading:

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
(Colossians 4:6 ESV)

Praise in Heaven:

[Isaiah's Vision of the Lord]
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:      

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

  And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
(Isaiah 6:1-7 ESV)

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.
(Revelation 4:6-7; Revelation 4:8-11 ESV) And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”

  And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
 (Revelation 4:6-7; Revelation 4:8-11 ESV)

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
  and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”

  Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
(Revelation 5:6-14 ESV)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beauty Will Rise

While I don't have a lot to write right now,  I wanted to share this song.  A friend posted it on the Pray Date blog.  An awesome song by SCC written out of his grief, I thought I'd pass it along to you!

Pray Date

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Clothes

Believe it or not, shopping used to be one of my favorite activities.  I would love to find new, bright clothes to replace worn out clothes that I had gotten bored of wearing.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I often would pull them out in the car on the way home in admiration as I  looked forward to wearing them.

Well, today I went shopping.  Thankfully I had time to myself to get out of the house and look for some much needed maternity wear.  The gift card that paid for the majority of my purchases made this day of shopping even more enjoyable.  I'm grateful for a few new items to add variety to my wardrobe.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about clothing and how I present myself.  Shifting gears from the tangible to the intangible, I believe we are to be "clothed" a certain way if we follow Christ.   Paul tells us to "... put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV).  He says this in a manner as if to say, "Take off the old, worn out, stained outfit and put on the new, bright, clean and beautiful one."  I think that this happens once and for all the moment Christ comes into our hearts.  I also think this is a daily process of "being renewed in the spirit of our minds" and growing more and more like Christ.

Just as it had been a while for me to do much shopping for new clothes, until recently it had been a while  since I had put off the old and put on the new.   I found myself not joyfully displaying the new self, but wallowing in the old.  My faith had become worn out, faint, and dull.  I felt like I was walking around with my clothes on inside out, displaying pain and suffering rather than the hope and joy that God gives me.  God continues to work in me to change this habit and teach me how to rejoice in Him at all times.

I'm finding more and more Scripture that talks about the concept of clothing and of "putting on".  Here are a few passages that stand out to me followed by a thought or two.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
  to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
  to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
 (Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV)

What hope we have!  God's comfort to us shown in this passage and later carried out in the life of Christ leaves me without words.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 
(Colossians 3:12-17 ESV)

She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
 (Proverbs 31:17 ESV)
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
 (Proverbs 31:25 ESV)

The Proverbs 31 woman.  What an example for us in so many ways!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV)

While talking to my pastor the other day about spiritual warfare, he said that he wished we actually had to dress ourselves in armor at the start of the day.  He argued that we don't take the battle seriously enough because we can't see it.  I agreed.  The armor that God provides us is essential in standing firm in His ways and following Him.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A good fight?

"Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." (1 Timothy 6:12)

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. "
(Philippians 2:12-13 ESV) 

God continues to be at work in me as I strive to live out these two verses. 

What is the main force in our lives?  What drives us or compels us to do certain things?  Is there a driving force that dominates us?  While I think that there are a number of answers for these questions, I am beginning to see that there may be only one thing that should truly compel us in the way that we live.

Lately I have had a lot of loss in my life.  It's fair to say that I am in an intense season of grieving.  From the loss of my grandmothers, my dad, my unborn baby, and one of my dear friends, it's no wonder life is painful.  Pain had begun to dominate me.  While there is purpose in the pain, pain is not the purpose and is not what should be my driving force.  So God is at work in me to change my perspective to see beyond the pain.  No where in the Bible does God say that we will be without pain (this side of heaven).  In fact, Jesus pretty much tells us that we will have pain, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 
(John 16:33 ESV).  

I don't want the pain to be dominant anymore.  I want the driving force in me to be the Love who redeemed me from this life of sin and pain.  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:15-19 ESV)  This is what I'm fighting for.  I'm fighting to know in the truth of God's love and the leading of His Spirit in the deepest, most painful parts of my heart so that I would not be driven by pain, but by the Spirit of God within me.  And that the result would be a fruitful life filled with joy (and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit) in His presence.

The awesome thing about all of this is that God is faithful and He will do this great work!!!  Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ESV)

Helpful resources:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thankfulness continues

57.  Time to visit with a dear friend from my New Orleans days.
58.  The squeals of two year old boys as they chase each other around the house.
59.  The simple fun of a $5 wading pool filled with water.
60.  Boys splashing, jumping, and stomping resulting in an empty $5 pool.
61.  An exhausted little boy after a day filled with fun in the simple things.

There is a Reason

Great Song by Caedman's Call "There is a Reason"

late at night I wonder why
sometimes I wonder why
sometimes I’m so tired
I don’t even try
seems everything around me fails
but I hold on to the promise
that there is a reason

late at night, the darkness makes it hard to see
the history of the saints who’ve gone in front of me
through famine, plague and disbelief
His hand was still upon them
cause there is a reason
there is a reason

he makes all things good
he makes all things good
there’s a time to live and a time to die
a time for wonder and to wonder why
cause there is a reason
there is a reason

I believe in a God who sent His only son
to walk upon this world and give His life for us
with blood and tears on a long, dark night
we know that He believed
that there is a reason
there is a reason

for the lonely nights
and broken hearts
the widow's mite
in the rich man's hand
and the continent
whose blood becomes a traitor

for the child afraid to close their eyes
the prayers that seem unanswered
there is a reason
there is a reason

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. "
(Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fighting for joy

        "My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
  When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
  Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
  My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
  Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
  I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
  I cling to your testimonies, O LORD;
let me not be put to shame!
  I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!"
                                        (Psalm 119:25-32 ESV)

I'm having a hard time expressing how much I can relate to this passage.  From verse 25, "my soul clings to the dust", I find that so true.  Why does my very being cling so tightly to darkness and despair?  When so much hope is set before me, why do I often retreat?  Then the psalmist cries out and God answers.  He knows that only God can lift his head, because his heart is so bent towards the darkness.  He prays, he examines and asks the Lord to examine his heart, he meditates on God's wondrous works.  Yet sorrow still overcomes his soul.  So he prays and waits more.  He never loses hope on the One who has the power to revive him.  I love the last line, because it's such a great hope of deliverance from our darkest times.  "I will RUN" replaces "I cling to the dust".  He anticipates with excitement the day when his strength will be greater than ever for him to follow and serve God and he knows that it will be because God has "enlarged his heart".

Oh how I want this too.  I get so lost in the pain of so many things that I to cling to the dust.  I cry out and I chose His ways.  I battle to rejoice.  However, seemingly the sorrow still gets the best of me and I retreat again to the darkness.  BUT I know God remains faithful.  He will cleanse me of all of the things that keep me from running to Him, and He will enlarge my heart.  I will run with great joy in the paths He sets before me.

To help me in the battle for joy in God, I am reading a couple of great books.  Both are by John Piper.  

Saturday, July 10, 2010


The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water,
but a man of understanding will draw it out.
  Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
but a faithful man who can find?
 (Proverbs 20:5-6 ESV)

Motives.  What drives me to do the things I do?  What is the motive of my heart behind my actions, my thoughts, and what breaks my heart?  I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  I still don't have a lot of words to say, because I still don't quite understand what God is doing in me.  However, I know He is at work in the depths of my heart.  I pray that He will give me understanding to what is there and that He will change all that is in me that is not from Him.  I pray that He would grow within me a genuine love for Him.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 
(Colossians 3:1-4 ESV)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Faith Like a Child

54. The highlight of my week happened last night as we were putting Andrew, our 2 year old son, to bed.  Daddy led Andrew in our bedtime prayer.  I can't quite capture how endearing it was to hear him repeat Daddy's words as Andrew prayed for the first time ever.  Such joy!  I pray he knows the love of Christ very early and that last night was just the beginning of his prayer life.

55.  I'm thankful for so many resources and Godly examples of how to raise my children in the faith.  I'd like to point you to a great resource that my friend has started on her blog.  I know that I am enriched by her example and her knowledge of the resources out there.  Her posts on this subject can be found under the "Teach Me Jesus" tab.


56.  It's amazing to me that Jesus called us to be like little children.  I'm thankful that He is trustworthy enough for us to have a simple faith as a child and trust Him for our every need.  This truth humbles and challenges me.
" At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them  and said, 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'" Matthew 18:1-4

Darkness vs. Light

"Jesus once described his coming like this: 'The light has come 
into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because
their deeds were evil' (John 3:19). Here the issue of salvation is loving
or hating the light. Love darkness, or love light. That’s the crisis of the
soul. But what is love for darkness? It’s preferring darkness, liking darkness,
wanting darkness, running to darkness, being glad with darkness.
But all of that is what Jesus demands for himself: 'Prefer my light, like
my fellowship, want my wisdom, run to my refuge, be glad in my grace.
Above all, delight in me as a person.' Look around on all that the world
can give; then say with the apostle Paul, 'My desire is to depart and be
with Christ, for that is far better' (Phil. 1:23). That is what it means to
love Christ. And to have no love for him is to be accursed.
Surely, then, this is worth fighting for. It may feel strange at first, but
when we see what is at stake, no battle will seem more important.
Loving Christ involves delight in his Person. Without this love no one
goes to heaven. Therefore there is no more important struggle in the universe
than the struggle to see and savor Christ above all things—the
struggle for joy."
John Piper in When I Don't Desire God

"If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."  C. S. Lewis

Right now, I don't have many words of my own to say.  Who really needs them anyways when we have people like Piper and Lewis to clarify deeper truths to us?  I have less answers than I do questions these days.  I have been convicted of how much I retreat to the darkness, how I find some sort of strange comfort in it, and how far short this way of living falls from living in Christ. I'm praying for a change of pattern in the way I live.  God can do this in my heart and glorify Himself in me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

More Gratitude

49.  My husband's love for me and our son.  Last week I left Adam for a few days with Andrew.  They had a great time together and bonded well. I'm so thankful to be married to such a great daddy!  It's awesome to see the love between father and son.

50.  A surprise date.  Adam set up plans for a date without any prodding by me.  I loved that he was so thoughtful to come up with this idea and put everything into place.

51. Loving family who care for Andrew so we can go on dates.

52. Running into good friends and making our date a "double date" :)

53. A husband who folds our laundry and makes me go do something else.

Thankfulness 44-48

44.  My son's cute voice.  He has been learning and saying all kinds of cute phrases.  He says, "Oh my goodness!"  and tonight with the fireworks going off everywhere as we drove home he kept saying, "Fireworks, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!"  I also love the way he narrates his day when I ask him what he has done today.

45.  Fourth of July spent with friends.  Love it.

46.  Quiet in the middle of the night.  Often I can't sleep well for at least some portion of the night.  While it can be frustrating, I do enjoy having a time when everyone else is asleep and it's quiet for me to reflect and pray.

47.  Lunch with friends after church.  Food, Fun, and Fellowship. Enough said. :)

48.  Midnight snacks for my growing belly. :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010


if i could  be the friend I meant to be
would that change the course of destiny?
would you have known a deeper love
to give you power to rise above?

all things may have ended up the same
but still I wish I'd called your name
let you know that I still cared
that I would always be right there

for one more day of friendship with you
to share your joys and your pains too.
I'd give so much to have it all back
as your friend I would not slack

I meant to call I meant to write
but now I spend these long dark nights
remembering you and what might have been
if we could start all over again

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A second chance?

If you've kept up with my posts or my FB, then you know that I lost a close friend last week.   Her death and the circumstances surrounding it has been devastating to me.  We were very close in college and had since lost touch.  We had been meaning to get together, but never quite got our schedules lined up.  Now I know that if I could do it again I would make it a top priority.  One line in the song "Treasure of the Broken Land" says "Nobody gets the second chance to be the friend they meant to be."  I, along with most of my friends that knew Julie in college, feel a tremendous regret for not being more there for her.  I know that I'll always regret not knowing her in the more recent years.

While I don't get a second chance with Julie, I do feel like it's a wake up call to be a better friend to others God brings across my path.  There are many people, myself included, who could use deeper friendships.  Also, I can stay better in touch with the friends who I have been close to in my past.  I am praying that though I have regret about Julie, God will make me "the friend I meant to be" for present and future friendships.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lift up Thy Heart by Amy Carmichael

Lift Up Thy Heart
The child lay dying, and I looked and saw
Through the open nursery window, pale blue hills
In quiet folds beyond the garden wall.
And as I looked, I thought: If I could see
God’s angels standing on those blue hillsides,
With faces turned in welcome towards the child,
And hands outstretched to take her, would I toil
So hard to keep her from them? Would I not
Loose her and let her go? And then this song awoke:
“If we could see all the surrounding spaces,
Blue hills or gardens, or the common street,
Bright with the heavenly people’s welcoming faces,
Say, would we still entreat
In desperate prayer
For sojourn in the broken house of clay?
Oh, could we hear the music in the air,
Would we then toil or pray
For long imprisonment?
“If we could see the quickened powers awaken,
Each from its sheath, like buds newborn on earth,
And the free spirit, wind-swept, overtaken
By racing waves of mirth,
Jubilant spray,
Breast the great breakers of its happiness,
Would we not rise up and quietly say,
‘My God, I acquiesce;
Yea, I am well content.’”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
O thou bereaved and not comforted,
Lift up thy heart, lift up thy eyes and look
And see the things that are. A singing land
Lies there above the clouds and the grey rain:
Sighing and tears have never found the way
That leads from earth to it–nor pain, nor sin;
Baffled, they fall back on the troubled world
And walk about down here. Dost thou love rivers?
A river flows through all that goodly land.
Dost love the sunshine, and the shade of trees?
There is no night there; but lest any heat
Should hurt, the light comes filtered through the leaves
Of the immortal Tree. The flowers there,
Coloured with happiness, forget to fade;
Each fern uncurls in individual joy;
The very mosses and the lichens paint
The rocks with conscious pleasure; and the birds–
Oh, they are eagerer than even ours
To pour live joy into the air, an air
That seems alive, instinct with joy of life.
And the earth underfoot laughs softly, buds;
And the dear, shy buds smile. The children, see,
Gayer at games they are than even here,
Keener at work; for, look, the Wonder Schools
Open their secrets to them, secrets shut
Fast from us mortals. And the men and maids
Do nobler deeds than ever they had dared
To dream in limited days; for never bar
Is set to high endeavour; but to think–
So pure their thoughts–is gloriously to do,
And with swift ease. For the city is not paved
With wasted powers; no lost or futile loves
Lie like fair fallen petals on the walks
Of its great gardens; else the word that calls
Him blessed whom God, choosing out, receives
And satisfies with the pleasure of His house,
Were dust and ashes. And it never was God’s way
To feed the soul He made on vanity.
Therefore, I take it to be verity
That these things are, yea, tenfold better things,
And that our own enjoy them, they being still
Our own, not stranger folk of alien mind,
Removed, aloof. The love we knew is there,
The cheerfulness, the courage, faithfulness
To duty, and forgetfulness of self–
But perfected in holiness. And they,
Living their stainless lives in joyousness,
Are still themselves, and wait to hear thy step
(Their hearts will know it, thought a thousand thronged
Together at the door); yet they, having seen
The end of the Lord, are well content to wait.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
My soul, wait thou as they. Though silence holds
The space between us, ‘tis but for today.
Tomorrow’s near; wait thy tomorrow, my soul.
~Amy Carmichael, from Made in the Pans and Mountain Breezes
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