I love waking up to white, seeing the snow upon piles of wood, a thin blanket over the hillside. It is not a deep snow, and a few hours of sun will melt it. For now, though it is a delight. The snow speaks of winter, a winter which did not deliver as it should, our precipitation many inches below normal. Yet here it is again, still reaching out, telling us that Spring is not yet here, Summer is not yet near. Spring does reveal itself in the sounds of the birds, the activity and songs of chickadees in distant trees, the strident calls of steller’s jays landing on the balcony. The world is bright now, even in the dull dawning light, dark forest greens and vibrant snowy white mingle together, an intricate pattern of great beauty and infinite complexity. Why does it dazzle and soothe? Because it taps into senses deeper than we know, that awareness which inspires art, which allowed humanity to survive when comfort was not an expected right. I am entranced, for I know and do not know how much what I see speaks in a language my very soul cries out to hear at all times. The language, the touch, the majesty of the creator.
All is not full of peace in the outside world, even nearby. I think of the baby birds cold in their nest, the parents having to both feed and warm them in this deep chill. God, we are told in Scripture itself, watches over these birds, over the trees, over all the world, coming not to save just sinful humanity but to indeed save all the world from the insidious influences which corrupt. So, I should not worry. The salvation of the whole world is beyond my ken and strength. There is only to do my part, that which I’ve been called to do at this moment in space and time. More than a cog, to be sure, though not that much more. It is a restful thought. All I have to do is that which is laid before me today, just those things which are included in my calling. I do not live to prove my worth, to show God or man how much I deserve fruit and love. I am loved already by the Creator of all I see, who watches over the birds in their nests, and over me as I sit. It is just my task to become, to attune myself increasingly to the ways of God in and outside of Time, so that when the call comes for action I will be ready.
It was a cold night, a three blanket night, and I slept well, renewed for the tasks of the day. The frustrations reveal again my delight in writing, my focus restored by just those few words I added here last night. Writing, I find, is not an onerous task, rather it renews my soul like little else does. Watching a sunset, staring at stars, feeling the grooves and rough texture of an old cedar, listening to the sounds of songbirds singing with morning cheer, and writing. For what reason, I do not know.
That is the only drawback. There lies in my heart a need for justification, not before God, but before people. Revealed in praise, and something that pays. I delve deep into my soul and find this is my lack, my only pause in embracing the fullness of the present. I do not know whether this spurs me on or holds me back. It is right and not right all at the same time.
In this moment, staring out at a windsock lifted in the cold air, a small celtic symbol of the Trinity made in green stained glass twisting, a small icicle hanging off, the cut and uncut logs draped in a white sheet, green needles drooping with weight and bursting with life, all that which is just before me without moving from where I wake, I feel a measure of peace and content. All the world may drift away, but if I keep my eyes on the One who calls, who creates, whose artistic mastery I see outside, all will be well, whether in death or life.
That is the call of beauty and truth on my heart, why I will forsake all in order to grasp these in the measure they are offered. Having taken hold of Christ, whenever this happens, will bring ease to everything else. Seeking after divergent goals will never bring peace, though satisfaction they might contain. A gentle reminder for me this morning, inspired by white on green, brown interspersed, dawning light and singing birds.
With a borrowed computer I sit in a different room, with a different view than usual. Thin clouds cover the sky, keeping the view from being to majestic, and only the near reaching branches of a large cedar are seen in the shadows. One light shines in the sky, Jupiter alone rides the arc. On the other side of the house, from my balcony, I see the Big Dipper, perfectly fitting between an oak and a cedar, framed in crossing branches.
The chill in the air remains, the snow on the ground does not. By one today it was all melted away, steam and drips constant throughout the morning.
Another day of mindless tasks, of reforming what was lost, attempting to discover how to replace that which is not recoverable. I much prefer to write or run, getting my body moving to sitting around. However, there are benefits, and maybe even future joy in what was done today.
We walk paths for reasons which are not always the real reasons God is wanting us to journey. They are the reasons which make us move, for God knows us better than we think. So, the games he seems to play are not games at all, just his way of taking who we are at one point and leading us to where we need to be. In doing this he sometimes lets us think as we want, the reasons not near as important as the destination.
So, at the end, or middle, or beginning, of all of this I won’t be surprised if the outcome is different than my initial goals. My only goal is Christ, hard as that may be, and whatever this leads into is where I desire to go. I hold onto nothing tightly anymore, even myself.
We want to have reasons for our faith, proof for our hope, endless bounty for our worship. Where is the honor in this? We forgive our enemies, turn the other cheek, pray when we cannot feel, trust when all is dark. That is the call. For we walk in a world much wider than what we see, and in acting as we are called, as though we do see, is drawing us into an eternal perspective which someday we will see.
How nice it will be to see as it all is, and to find one has been walking rightly. This isn’t an issue of salvation, more of duty and honor. To hear the words, ‘well done’.
I miss those things which I could grasp if only I was more practical and willing to waste myself. Those things will come, in time, and much more wonderfully if only I stay the course.
I am tired in mind and soul tonight, the efforts of the day not inspiring. Even in these God is with me, I know. At least I want to know this, and tell myself I know this. I wonder if asserting faith is the same as having it?