Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tip toes.

We finally got the rain showers that I have been hoping for ever since I moved into an apartment with a 4th floor bay window. All I have wanted to do is sit with some tea and watch it all fall down. Sadly though, or so I thought, the rain fell down while I was still at my friend's apartment (though, I must say that her bay window is quite cozy, too). For a split second I wanted to call a car to drive what would be a ten minute walk. Then I realized the ridiculousness of that thought and hiked up my jeans, borrowed some flip flops and headed out the door to frolic home. However. There is a difference between a frolicking rain and a tip-toeing rain that I just learned today. The nightime downpour had created these miniature rivers that overflowed onto corners and gutters that were surprisingly beautiful with the first of fall's leaves stuck between the grates. As I walked down the brownstone lined streets, the lamps cast a glow that made me feel like I was intruding on a poetic moment...but had somehow been granted permission. Permission to smell the stones of the church buildings wet with the rain and their red doors being pounded on by the drops perhaps in incessant, urgent prayer. The delicate piano music of the Credits (yes, Pride and Prejudice soundtrack--is there really any other one worthy?) slowed my pace to the point where the music and the rain created this certain silence that wasn't quiet. The intermittent thunder was welcomed and contradictorily beautiful and beckoning. So now I'm sitting at my own bay window, sad that I should probably drift off to sleep soon. I don't really want to miss out on the storm.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Let Not Men Triumph.

The fact that beauty is so fleeting literally causes my heart to ache. It frustrates me that I cannot bottle it and wear it around my neck or hold it in a closed fist without it seeping through my fingers. I listen to music that is indescribably beautiful...but it is constantly moving. It isn't possibe to place a moment on repeat, because it builds and falls. So I watch the sunset out my window, or if I'm lucky enough behind a cornfield somewhere and want to freeze it so that the evening light can hold and the tones of the color can just seep into my being, but it seeps into night all the while. So I look at a painting, these incredible partially impressionistic landscapes, and even though it is still and unfading it still doesn't fully capture what I'm looking for.

But it's the impressionism that caught me tonight...and the beauty in it's imperfection. It is not the *real* thing; but somehow it almost is better than the real thing...it hints that perhaps there is even more depth and beauty than what I ever imagined. And I suppose that all of these things that capture my heart are the same way. It is imperfect beauty that speaks volumes to me.

Let me get to the point of how this changed me tonight. I am a micromanager of my own life. I feel as though I have a pile of post it notes stacked in my rib cage and I'm unable to cross off enough items to even make a dent of progress. This entire week I have felt in bondage to my inability to keep up, my inability to please everyone, my inability to love people the way I want to, my inability to...well, you get the picture. In the same way that there is an indescribable beauty in things that I cannot tangibly hold onto, there is an indescribable beauty in the way that Jesus' power is made perfect in my weakness.

I constantly want to clench everything...to hold on so tightly that all my muscles begin to ache, literally, in my attempts to control. But there is a beauty that can free me from that...Jesus who calls me to cast my cares upon him--and in the ultimate miracle of existence actually takes them. He promises freedom from captivity to the world and he promises freedom eternally where grace abounds and shackles are nonexistent. Once I begin to see this as the most beautiful thing on earth, the desire to control so much of my life will wane. I think it is the challenge of my life to actually trust in grace and *actively* believe in His Truth. The prayer my heart must constantly remember is Be still and know that I am God. He is God. He is God.

The verses that popped out most to me today are typically my prayer when I get nervous about the state of the world. But they were transformed into something more personal tonight, after I had to take an hour to stretch and pray and breathe deeply because I felt so overwhelmed...

Arise, O Lord, let not men triumph...Let the nations know they are but men. Psalm 9:19,20

Besides the fact that it reminds me of something that some fantastical hero in literature might say, evenmore so, it is my literal Savior in everyway telling me that I am not God. I am a daughter. I need to let the beauty in front of me point me to the one who is the Lord of Life...and let that familiar ache send me straight into prayer and praise that one day it will last forever, and the fact that it aches to begin with is just a sign of the Life that is Truly Life that is to come.