Blue-light Special

Little Miss Sweetness and I walk to the bus in the dark these late fall mornings. (She has never been afraid of the dark, adventuring out-of-doors at all hours when she was truly little – another story, for another time). But now cocooned by her backpack and raincoat, she would like to see that big leaf maple leavings are not flying insects, that the rain debris is not a snake underfoot. She is suspicious of little piles of decaying pinecones. She does not want to step on slugs…period. In my hand is a metallic blue flashlight. She’d like it to cast its beam about 24 inches in front of her two feet. Even though other wonders lie ahead, that in the daylight she impatiently loooongs to see, like deer and her friend Florie and the neighbor dog; in the dark of night, she is content to focus on the next step. This may seem like a subtle difference, but to one who watches her every day, it is a dramatic change in how she approaches these contrasting moments of life.

Afraid of the dark???? Me? Naaah. How frustrated we grow, with God shining his narrow beam of light on what stands right in front of us, in the way of growth, or healing, or further relationship with him. We are offended at the obstacles (I think I swore 4 times on the way down this morning.) We’d like the benefit of daylight shining on the distant FUTURE, so we know what to expect, how to guard our hearts, how to prepare.  We clutch our clumsy baggage, soggy raincoats, and attempt to muscle through the ‘discomfort’ toward a better dawn. But in fact, there are slippery slopes, downed power lines, things that would harm us if we don’t navigate carefully. God is patiently, presently, effecting His preparation in these moments. He wants us to know what is in the way of our knowing Him. He is subtly adjusting attitude, unravelling resentment, clarifying our knowledge of who He is; so we can learn how to do what He does.

Trudging back the lane after meeting the bus; the dark lingered, the rain continued. The quiet felt beautiful,  cocooned in the safety of in his Presence

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tuesday mornings…prayers for growth

Spring is coming early to the Northwest. One would have to squeeze her eyes tightly shut to miss the glory of God in the pristine yellow of daffodils, the pink light of dawn breaking over foothills, made majestic by their unwavering bulk alone; the constant chatter of birds at play. Momentarily, these things boost my sagging winter spirits. But what lifts them enough to catch the Spirit’s prevailing wind, is the imprints. Imprints of God’s heart, his power and strength at work in people.

Isaiah 61:11 says it this way: “For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” (1)

Thank God for spring! For his working and amending of the soil of our lives to reveal HIM. I hope that I no longer operate under the Eden lie that I should be like God. But I deeply believe that we are meant to look like him; that He is  pleased when  a single facet of his amazing being is revealed, even midst the intricacies of our individuality.

Thank God for spring!

For  growth shared on facebook: 1 year sober. There is nothing trivial about God, permission granted, taking hold of a life and transforming behavior, since we all know how easy behavior is to change… Imprint of an all-powerful God

For a college student stating in simple conversation, that she has learned that the most helpful thing in walking along side her youth group students, as they navigate yOuThful stuff like cutting, and the question of promiscuity; is listening to God for direction, and helping them to find their answers in scripture, rather than telling them what they should do. She went on to say that she does not think she can ‘fix’ their problems, but she knows who can. Distillations…of spring nectar…in a twenty-something who is not out to change the world in her own right, but to make space for God to do so. I AM print

For a young woman, excitiedly sharing that after dutiful obedience and hard work, God has lit the doorway on the next step! The gift of his orchestration appearing all over her treasure map: God knowing, KNOWING her; and along the way, her knowing Him, flowering under the Holy Spirit’s  tutelage. Imprint: glorious, cup running over, life.

For a no longer young, not yet old woman, uprooted by terrible loss; yet in its midst, hearing God speak to her of his protection, and provision. For her knowing that voice enough to trust it, and its message. I AM print

For a couple who feels old, the interweaving of their lives patterned both functionally and dys-so, like painfully tangled blackberry vines. God’s precise grafting enables them to cut out the deadwood, and retrain growth; to salvage the antioxidant benefits, and continue on to bear more fruit.  Imprint of a God of Abundant Graces

In these fresh, upturned, vulnerable faces, I see the imprint of God; both the tracings of his preparatory handiwork in the garden loam of their lives, but also his living Spirit literally breathing in them; re-aerating this ground toward the springing up of righteousness and praise. Glory to God!

Prayers for growth: You, Almighty God, are the God of growth, the one who breathes life into us, and nurtures that life with all that you are. Your word tells us that you planted in us your image, the imprint of a Holy and righteous God. Rescue us, by the blood of your Son Jesus, from the tangling suffocation of sin in our lives. Free us, we pray, to grow in righteousness and praise, and to nurture and celebrate that growth in one another, as we root ourselves in you. Thank you, for your goodness, your careful, knowing, tending of this garden, we pray…

(1) The Holy Bible, NIV. Zondervan Bible Publishers  Grand Rapids, Michigan