Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Month: March 2004 (page 3 of 7)

evening

The sun was bright in the mountains. In the valleys a marine layer held sway, a blanket over the land, burning off in the afternoon.

A day away, in conversation, in help. Fruitful and fun, a welcomed change of pace, a welcome time with friends from different worlds. I left very early, and came home after the day was over in most places, though I think in Hawaiian time it may still have been the 21st.

I arrived home and looked up. Stars, brilliant, manifold, and beautiful covering the sky, the Ursa Major brightest, it seemed, directly overhead. It was late so I did not stop to sit and stare, though I think I might plan to do so soon. Dogs all around the neighborhood barked.

morning

It is still dark out. The blue in the east becomes a lighter shade, speaking of coming dawn, still a ways away. A single bird, the kind you hear throughout the night, chirps, its call echoing in the silence of the peaceful morn. Birds and bees which have been newly delighting in Spring are not yet awake. Not even a whisper blows. Every branch is still, every leaf without motion. A bare oak rises like smoke, its intricacy hidden in the shadows, contrasting with the blue beyond.

I awoke with a sense of elation. Odd, I know. In prayer, for others, for myself. Regaining increasingly that peace which came even as I wrote last night’s words.

There is a certain calming effect when one hears that the frustration and anxiety is not a lonesome feeling, finding out that at the same time, for the same duration, with equal intensity, others were sharing the same. In conversation last night, I heard that I felt what others were feeling. I’ve no insight beyond that, no added understanding of the ‘why?’ of the matter, only that shared feelings of this sort speak of deeper insight, whose vocabulary and grammar I am only beginning to learn.

The morning of the great Southern California fires I felt much the same, alone at the time, feeling unfocused, unfocusable, saying even to my dog, “I am wallowing in discontent.” A few hours later I learned the mountain was on fire, a siege which would not end for three weeks.

In all of this the question becomes our response, though. With my anxiety and frustration, even from an outside cause, I am still responsible for maintaining virtue and fleeing from vice. In those times, my call should be to pray, to pray intensely, knees on the ground. The monks would say genuflecting. In part I did, in part I did not. A measure of my progress, and my weakness.

But today, this morning, I awake with thoughts which try as I might would not come last night. Thoughts of stories, of fiction, of additions to this present site. I sat and stared, unable to find focus, and now awake with renewed zeal, so much so that I get up before I expected, and sit here writing when I thought I would take a pass today. I can’t write all morning, I’ve places to go. I’m just curious and excited to feel a renewed soul, after last night’s shared irritations. This is neither my doing nor my just desserts. Despite myself God is working, overcoming even me in his quest for my fullness.

In all of this I realize there may be perceived levels of psychological highs and lows, in which the more zealous would apply official labels. However, to be honest to myself, this is purely a spiritual journal. Speaking to me at a high or low would likely show little change in my outward demeanor, for I’ve been a mostly pleasant guy these last months, steady and even keeled. But, when I delve into the deeper realms, I see and hear, exposing the roots of which I write.

My prayer last night was for renewed awareness of the goal, and like I said yesterday morn, these prayers are generally answered, if distantly voiced. My elation is one of faith, for even I know I should not be feeling such emotions with so many questions looming large. It is again a taste of that which I felt in years past, in watching the Passion, in staring at bird and tree. It is that confidence which, even for a limited time, tells me that all is well, even if there is nothing more than Christ and me. It is an acceptance of this bare frame of existence, finding a taste of the fullness of Christ, with anything else being icing on the cake.

The sun rises in the east, blue becomes white, branches stir in a light warming breeze. I go to prepare for my day away.

evening

And so I was right, I had a hard time praying today. Days like this always remind me of Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, in which Danny Saunders, a Hasidic Jewish teenager must endure a father who never speaks to him, except in academic conversations, and those rarely. It is why I always have a hard time praying. Though, honestly, I don’t know if it is God who is silent or I who cannot hear.

Like I said earlier, this is not a measure of my faith concerning prayer. In times of need, in times of pressing matters, I pray with a fervent and complete faith. I have no doubt God hears me. I just miss the response, the connection which one should feel during times of prayer and meditation.

The most fruitful part of the day was the hour or so I sat outside and just stared into the trees, not hiking or diverted to other tasks, just sitting. In that I felt elation growing. Then I sought to return to tasks, and felt the anxiety return, the frustration, the condemnation of every act, and nothing brought relief. It’s too late now to go kayaking I suppose.

We read the honest writings of the greats of the faith and they too had times, sometimes years, of silence, in which even while the world congratulated them they felt it all worthless before the silent God.

Not having a regular community weighs on me tonight. But there is a caveat. I still have no desire for the words of community, being surrounded by people more lax than even I am. I want people around who stir me to faith and action, who allow me to participate in their lives as I participate in there’s, without having to always retreat to the level of milk and prefaces.

I feel the weight of time on me tonight, the weight of stillness. I feel the weight of youth, with a lifetime of journeying ahead of me before I even begin to understand and act accordingly. “Do not let restless desire overcome your resolution,” Evagrius said. A commentator adds, “This section reiterates the need to avoid the pressure of friends urging lax standards. These temptations are not even friendly advise but provocations leading to self-doubts, a weakening of the will, the entertaining alternative scenarios, and eventually to assent to giving up the solitary life.”

An earlier paragraph quotes Evagrius saying, “Do not develop a habit of associating with people who are materially minded and involved in worldly affairs.” Then the same commentator adds, “live alone or associate only with the like-minded. Worldly people (that is, anyone else, whether of worldly values or just caught up in worldly business) will subject one to social pressures, vain conversation, material desires, anger, depression, scandals. This extends to parents and relatives, who will being with them their worldly affairs.”

My restless heart yearns for restless occupation, forgetting easily the words of patience, and eagerly grasping onto words of worldly possibility. I grasp on to these temptations, and given my state and decisions they mock me more than anything else, convincing me that I live such without real spiritual merit. Like someone who fasts until they can get their hands on some food.

I feel the fraud. And yet, within this are the words of promise spoken in times past, the memory of my call, of that which led me here. So, I feel what I feel, and do distrust it. I have to play this game out until the end, there is no other way of life and hope. Tomorrow is another day, and in it I shall again forget what is behind and move forward, come what may, whether good or ill, happy or sad.

Yet, with this all in mind, I can’t escape the call of the wider world, which draws me out of my ‘cell’ tomorrow. Practical aspects of spirituality call. Maybe this is exactly what I need.

My minister side thrives on helping others, and this aspect has been starved for attention in the recent past. And so, in feeling the nuance of stirring I respond, and can only pray that all is right and good. Yet, with this whispers continue, taunting me. Realization again that such as Mother Theresa and John Wesley, among many lesser knowns, heard these same whispers does not help, but it does speak that not is all as it appears, and engages me to keep my eye not on the worldly benefit which most pursue, but rather the prize that will never fade or diminish. I do that, and everything else will come into order. I keep my eyes on the everything else, and there is nothing. If I do not have faith, as the prophet says, I shall not stand.

That is my hope and my challenge in the midst of storm and tumult.

Spring is the season for birth and rebirth, for finding life, for bare branches to bud anew. This is the first day of Spring, and so I await the life which will come, in whatever way the great Giving God decides is vital for my being. I expect all things, learn to be content with no things. That too is the challenge and hope. Keep my eye on the prize and all will be well. Even if I stumble a few steps every once in a while.

morning

Morning birds sing morning songs in bright cheery voices. Webs connect house and tree, bush and ground, balcony and branch. Small, thin, flying bugs interweaving the danger. The sky is hazy, though only slightly so, another beautiful Spring day in the Southern California mountains.

Spring came last night, officially, the sun showering down equally upon north and south. By this point, it’s preferring the north a little, a very, very little. Though the birds do not know the position of the sun relative to the earth in any precise way, they and the squirrels know the season of birth and rebirth is upon us.

On my mind this morning, from my first waking moment was and is prayer. I feel called to pray. This is a discipline for me, to be sure. While there are some who delight in focused prayer, spending hours in conversation with the divine, it has always been hard for me. I believe in prayer, fully and completely, expecting that when I pray for others God does hear. I expect him to respond in some way. For myself, I know, prayers for calm and peace, connecting and restoration are also effective. And yet, with all of this, my regular prayer life is one punctuated by forgetfulness and strained effort. Partly, I have sought to resolve this difficulty in the past by seeking out others to pray with, to enjoin together the conversation. In an evangelical church, however, prayer is too often pooh-poohed for more effective efforts like meetings and ministry. Regular daily gathered prayer is not an interest, and so I am where I began, knowing I need this, knowing also I need fellow travelers to encourage this most important of tasks.

Over the years I am more and more confident in the power and worth of prayer, knowing also that the one who wishes our destruction is likewise similarly aware, and so has effectively diminished the role of prayer.

And yet, still I struggle, easily disturbed, more easily diverted, I spend more time thinking about prayer than praying. I see it before me, and it is a barrier to another level of being. If I can embrace this, envelop myself in it, not just as regular petitioning, but as a part of my breath and soul.

I am told my people who knew him, that V. Raymond Edman, president of Wheaton College during the mid-twentieth century would pray daily for every student and staff of the college by name. He would wake up at four thirty, and not stop until he finished, with some saying that it was exhausting a process to join him. When asked why, he replied, “If God knows me by name, I should pray for others by name.” All who knew him speak with emotional words the holiness of this man.

I have a hard time praying for a few friends, and spending even an hour in focused prayer. I excuse this, at times, by saying I am always in prayer, the pattern of my life keeps me focused on God in a way which is itself a ‘prayer’ of sorts. This isn’t the same, however, for the holy among us have the latter and the former.

It is a wall to me, another rung on the ladder which I have not reached. And so, that thought in mind, I continue my day, seeking to add where I am at a loss, to gain what has been low, to strive where my nature depresses.

More than one day, however, is this pattern. It is a life, and one which will define me above all if I choose to respond to this vague yearning within me. I honestly do not know if I will. I know I can… but the enemy seeks to dull me, no more than in this area. So I shall stand, and see what happens. And… I think I will pray now.

evening

And so I did. A beautiful morning. Cirrus clouds framed in blue were painted on the calm lake. When I turned I saw the mountains rising low in the water, colorful, clear as reality. A ripple of wind made the image impressionist, scattered colors, mixing orange and reds, blues and greens together. The clouds were like wispy trees growing like roots, to the bottom.

Vultures followed me for a time.

Now, the question is whether this indeed was a solution to a spiritual issue. It was. For physical activity mixed with solitude and silence. While my arms and shoulders moved in steady rhythm, my lips and heart prayed for wisdom and peace. The outdoors, beneath the sky, breathing in natural air, listening to the variety of birds, seeing how the sand beneath the water collects in waves. This is more effective a way of turning my heart than sitting in a dark auditorium singing repetitive, though well meaning songs. For in the outside I do not participate in man made things, but envelop myself amidst that which speaks of the Creator, wrapped in his words of himself, which speak to heart and soul and being.

And in doing this, I become, once again, better able at speaking back. For having listened I can add my own words, joining in with the song that plays throughout eternity, letting my voice contribute to the rhythm and melody.

So, yes it was effective, and the balm to my earlier ill. My eyes were returned to the goal, my heart listened again to the quiet whisper of the wind. Nothing was solved, nothing was answered, only my focus was regained, and that was God’s wish for me today. Now quiet and still, I sit feeling a taste of the energy, though without the destructive anxiety.

I am closer tonight than this morning. That is all that matters. Acedia is a liar. And must be fought with faith, of course, and action, letting the body’s own resources fight the battle within. It was medicine for my soul, and I thank God for the opportunity. An odd thing, as regularly as I do this, there are special times going out takes on a spiritual meaning. For that I give thanks. All is well.

morning

Promptly at six in the morning the jays came, chattering quietly. By 6:03 they were off to other tasks. They’ll be back. For the first time in a while clouds are on the horizon, peeking out over the hills and trees to the east. I don’t mind, they add texture to the sky. A bold cheery bird sang loud this morning, its song filling the time between times. The pitter patter of a squirrel running across my roof ends with his small head peeking out over the edge, looking down at my balcony for seed, or maybe for nearby coyotes. Apparently, he does not like the menu this morning, he withdraws, though I don’t hear him running elsewhere. Maybe he is meeting a friend, and is deciding to wait outside.

I feel sloppy this morning, in soul and spirit. The word I feel like saying: “blah!” It could be the running thing I mentioned last night, though I also think this morning that it is easy to place blame, and the physical responses sometimes drain us of the commotion incited by spiritual causes, but do nothing to address the source.

Acedia creeps, as I knew it would, even with this. It asks, “Why write? For myself, for others, for some eternal prize? What is the point? It’s all meaningless, shadows, wasting time.”

The jay is back, and chattering loudly now, calling to friends.

It continues, “What is the point of praying? It’s all going to naught, isn’t it? When has God come through before? He’s playing a game, leading you and will abandon you. In fact, he already has. You’re not getting paid for this, you’re not getting paid for anything. What a waste. If God wanted you on this path he would have blessed you, kept you safe from the worries which afflict. Humble yourself, get a mindless job, the other paths just aren’t for you. God hasn’t opened doors, because he doesn’t care.

“You’ve messed up too much to make anything of. I mean just look at yourself, look at how you spent yesterday, look at how much time has gone by with nothing to show for it. Sure you have friends, but they just pity you more than anything. Think of the ones who have little to say to you anymore. They’re right. You’re going to age and realize what a bum you are and everyone is going to feel real sad for you, but say it was your fault.

“You should have joined the army after college. You should have gone to law school. You’d be happy now. What a waste it all has been. And here you are sitting still, typing useless words which no one will read. Can’t even find acceptance in a church, can’t even convince a fellow Christian you are worth anything. Just quit. God isn’t worth it, not to you. If he loved you he would show you, not lead you to pits and swamps, letting you wallow alone. It’s all a joke, and you are the victim. They’re all right you know. You are deceived, and sad to see.”

So acedia speaks to my soul, my watchfulness having collapsed and let its voice in. There is no rest under its call, there is no peace. It speaks louder than God this morning, accusing and despising me.

To acedia I reply, “Screw you, I’m going kayaking.”

evening

I feel anxious in my heart, and I don’t know why. Since earlier this afternoon I was bothered by noise, by some vibe I could not identify. My fan fell, and broke, pieces flying out while the motor still spun. It is a restlessness, an impatience, without focus. Maybe I just need to go for a long run tomorrow. A week more of another form of the same cold kept me inside, my head throbbing from sinuses overfilled. So, now that I feel better… again… my body cries out for action, for movement, for exercise. I do not know if this is it, I just know that because of my inactivity I am now unsure. If we can address the causes of distraction that narrows down the sense, crossing off the usual suspects and letting us find the real culprit. In letting things slide, even for good cause, we lose that sense.

This is why the physical meditation of the Eastern religions have much going for them. By settling the body, they seek to settle the soul. Christian life has too long been caught up in the dismissal of the body, ignoring our full selves. Wesley, of course, held very strongly to daily physical activity, it was part of his spiritual discipline. I don’t read of this in the current texts. Too much is made of the mystical acts, without regard to the simple physical responses, interacting with ourselves, pushing our bodies, letting our souls enlarge through activity.

It is a good lesson, and one which I shall certainly keep in mind. Especially in our era of little forced physicality we most go the extra length to engage the fullness of who we are. But now it is too late.

A jet flies over, the cool mountain air brings instant ease to my heart. I gaze at saplings, a crowd of them on the hill, seeking their way in this world. Some are small pines, fighting what may be a losing cause in this environment.

To be honest, there are times in which I am delighted to write, and times in which the discipline of the act kicks in, for I am more eager to sit and stare. This is one of those latter moments, when engaging these words feels awkward and empty. It is not, of course, the discipline keeping me where I need to be, helping even if it does not come out of my soul. I pray God will give me peace, and help me wade through this unsettled time, for whatever reason it may be arising, whether through confusion about or troubles within.

morning

I look to my right and see the sun rising through the trees, the bright orb now revealed to my place of work, if even for a moment. A group of jays, newly awake chatter, and bounce from branch to branch, laying shadows in the light of the low sun. Brightened by the glow, some small flies circle around the cedar, white dots in motion. It seems restful outside, peaceful.

I sit this morning in similar mood, reflecting further on my thoughts of last night, thoughts which found addressing in my reading of Cassian this morning. He spends several pages on the vice of envy and the poison it causes. I am quick to discern myself in his warning, though at the same time not condemning my being. I am not yet lost, indeed, I feel the weight of this in the moment because it is my task to find and root out the vices, replacing them with the virtues. If nothing else from this time I hope to grow in that. So in the quiet of a retreated lifestyle the noise within becomes loud — though how it compares to others I do not know.

Earlier in the year, in beginning this website, I felt struck by the reality of vainglory, its prevalence and encouragement in the wider web. So, this realization first struck me, then made me watchful. I am a sailor caught in many storms. After a while training and experience help to weather what once would have destroyed. Having been shipwrecked at times on the rocks of my own sins, I know am better at reading the signs, at responding with the appropriate measure. So too the warning of yesterday was like red skies in the morning. Trouble was afoot, and I must keep my wits about me.

At this moment the brush beneath my balcony rustles with exploded movement, I turn my eyes. A squirrel runs furiously up a tree, a coyote in pursuit close behind. The squirrel stops in a branch halfway up, the coyote goes to our steps, stands and looks at the squirrel, seemingly nonchalant. It is a smaller coyote, young or female. I go outside the front door, it is gone. The squirrel is on the edge of a limb, chattering in nervousness, having barely escaped with its life, tapping its paw on the limb, warning other squirrels there is danger about. It continues to chatter.

Like I was saying, in Cassian I read, “I shall not be able to be troubled by anyone, however malicious he may be, if I do not fight against myself with a turbulent heart. But if I am hurt, it is not the fault of another’s attack but of my own impatience.” A truth so clearly shown by Christ on his way to the cross, showing patience and love in the midst of evil against him.

He also wrote a little earlier… “Virtues, however, are begotten not by hiding one’s vices but by fighting them.” Not to indulge anymore… but it’s nice to read in a master something similar to what I wrote. Makes me feel like I am in fact learning something.

In all of this is the realization that no one is responsible for my sin or vice other than me. A perfect heart is unimpeded by sin all around, and only weakness allows in disturbances. This can be true for all the vices, from envy to lust. So quick are we to blame others for our failings we become mired together in a tar pit. My only real enemy is within. I win this fight, with the power and grace of God in me, and nothing can overthrow my virtues. That is the challenge of course, and why like a boxer we train by sparring. Our sensibilities want us to avoid these frightful realities, and yet our life and wholeness depend not on fleeing but in overcoming at each step, until the slightest bit of impurity has been washed away, and we can then be lights to this world, as Christ was and as he calls us to be.

The root of bitterness which is within has taken a firm hold on parts of my being. I’ve fed it at times, starved it at others, knowing it lurks underneath. Though difficult, I must face it down, and come to terms with those people and incidents which gave cause. Had I been stronger then I would not have allowed it in. In my burgeoning strength now I face the harder task of disposing of it. This is though a task I must fulfill if I am to find myself further along the Way. A good lesson, and a reminder that I am a man in training. For what I don’t know, I only know what God expects of me. To him be the glory and honor.

evening thoughts

Something squeaks in the distance, I can’t tell if bird or beast, and unusual sound, only heard because of the absence of any other noise. The night sky is clear, with the planets arrayed to the west and east, passing over this house through the night. Flying things which I have been seeing must be already in bed, nothing stirs. For some reason I notice the bit of brown patches in the cedar nearby, it is fully alive, unlike the pines, and yet it has some stress which causes branches to die. Not many, but they stand out in the bold green of those that live.

I like to be challenged, to have my positions set against, for in these cases we see what is underneath, whether wisdom, or sin, or folly, or courage. Usually there is a blend of these, interacting within a single decision. We can see our good sides come out even as our bad reveals itself. That was part of a conversation I had today, in which my decision to leave my old church, and stay away, was questioned.

What I noticed in the conversation was that I know all was and is in God’s hands. And yet… with all of this is the mixture of pride and pain. I did a lot of interesting things there, that others are carrying forward. I suggested a lot of ideas, which then were rejected and now are being taken up, by others. I miss being able to contribute, and I find it difficult to hear of how others are finding success where I found walls. I fought the battles, and they reap the rewards. In some ways. This is not the noble side of me, this is that side that wrestles with pride and vainglory. “I did that,” I want to say, “look at me, not these other folks.” Which, of course, denies my claim that God is the one who should get all credit. And yet I hold this belief firmly as well.

If I was a catalyst, a part of a the process and did my part as God willed, using my skills and insights during a key time then was moved out, I should be pleased to have done what I should. But, within that lingers resentment that I wasn’t able to be fulfilled, that I wasn’t able to really stretch and reach out the way I knew I could, expressing and growing in a way which would be marvelous. I wasn’t recognized by some key folks, and I felt alienated by others. Not that I didn’t have affirmation… maybe I had too much. But, it didn’t work out, and now in conversations I feel conflict within, wanting the church to be a success, but feeling bitter that my role in this was cut short, with others who had better politics gaining the joy of seeing progress. Some of these also benefit from a different timing to be sure, nothing less than God’s hand working in their lives. But others… I don’t know. Which is what bothers me, and it bothers me it bothers me.

It’s all about wanting to prove myself, to show that I am capable, to impress this world with my gifts and talents so that people would say what a fine fellow I am. That is, of course, the definition of vainglory in my mind. That’s where my faith crumbles at times. I get jealous of how other people seem to move forward, when walls come up in my life. Simple connections never seemed to make it, while others tell me of stories of serendipitous meetings.

In this is develops a denial of God in my life, a wishing that he worked in the way he works in others, thus becoming dissatisfied with his plan for my life. I don’t think it’s coveting. I’m happy they have what they have, I just want my own versions… whether its success in relationship, in ministry, in anything really. I don’t wish their downfall, I just wish for my going up. And seeing people standing on the heights that I gaze at makes me wistful, and sad. I know in my heart this is not right, and yet it stands.

Because at my core I say many words of explanation but I simply have no idea why life has not worked in the same way for me as it has for others. God’s hand is strong, and sometimes I wish he would lift it for a moment and give me some peace. I can dawdle along for a long time without such thoughts, but when exposed to those places I want to be, seeing others enjoy the favor of God, I lose sight of my goal and end and role. Not as bad as I used to, but still enough to puncture my joy.

Maybe this is why I’m whiled away in some ways. Isolation is important for seasons such as this, because then we do not see those things which cause us pain, leaving us to focus only on our story, keeping our purview only on what God is doing with our particular role. When we compare our lives with others, with others who have what we wish for ourselves, we lose our way. This is especially difficult if ours is a lonely, unique road that no one shares. We can’t dance our dance while watching how others are dancing. Especially if we are still learning the movement and rhythm.

So, it seems right to want to flee from this, but that is fleeing from our own embedded vice. Thankfulness is the virtue which fills this hole, a thankfulness for past and present and future of God’s work in our lives. That is what I need to develop at this moment. More than convincing myself of this I need to find it for real. There are many reasons for me to be thankful, and to have faith.

I know this and yet I do not. That is the spiritual battle I face at this moment. Maybe sleep will clean out the system. That’s the next task ahead of me. So to that I go.

morning

When I first awoke it was very quiet out. My wind sock rustled in the wind, though I could barely see it. Not much can be seen or heard at 2:30 in the morning. I woke with an urge to pray for various friends, and to read some Cassian and even a text on salvation – another friend has been asked questions about God and salvation and the wider world, so I thought it would be good to brush up. I know the questions I ask, but the other questions which I have not asked in a while force me to go into the mental files and bookshelves. I didn’t stay awake very long, some more cold medicine put me back to sleep about two hours later.

Now, roofers are doing their job at a house nearby, while a chickadee chirps sweetly in a nearby tree. It is another Spring like day in the mountains, and if not completely devoid of human noise, it is thoroughly beautiful out.

I feel like I’ve done my part with the website design, having given two days to its management and arrangement. Now, I can focus on my regular updates, without worrying about particulars of look or navigation. I do not know if there are many of us around, but I have a strong feeling that this website is part of my spiritual disciplines, urging me forward, keeping me accountable, and maybe, just maybe, helping me interact with a wider community, whose names I mostly do not know. The Spirit surely does, so all I can do is my part.

I’ve found myself reading the great texts again, spurred by the ability to respond. That is what I notice about myself, I have a hard time doing for the sake of doing. I want to interact, to see my efforts go to something constructive, even if it is what is now a hidden little spot in a wider web world. I love ministry, to be honest, to provide resources and thoughts spurring others on. Given my hermit like status these days the opportunities are limited for such a passion. Though through all of this I can at least feel like I am doing a part. Who knows what God will make of anything I do? All I know is to do those tasks before me at each moment, not worrying about the bigger picture. He provides the daily bread. And I can rest in him, doing what he asks, however peculiar or different. It’s how we learn to ride the waves of the Spirit in our lives, and such a ride has no comparison in this life.

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