Sunday, July 31, 2011

bearing fruit//lessons in remaining

You've felt it - surely you have. Three and a half years have passed, words have been said, changes have been made, still other needed changes will never be made (or so it seems), many have moved on, and even fewer have remained.

Remain in me; I will remain in you. (from John, chapter 15)

How can we hang on? How can we keep going? How did You do it?

But today, with an armful of greens and oranges and "hill country reds", I saw what three and a half years can mean - three and a half years of digging and hoping and preparing and turning over and watching new life spring up only for the disappointment of fruitlessness to be the end result.

Remain in me; I will remain in you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

poem: though the streets may beckon...

remember yesterday

it's not so far away
streets and smells and the looks they gave
easy money
with pain you paid
and your children left to another

remember yesterday
shouting matches
fight for life
this life is hard; it's true
but a chance, you've been given
could it be the last?
we cannot know

remember yesterday
but live for today
give grace, speak truth, seek Jesus
because many yesterdays ago
Someone dreamed you up
gave flesh, and bone, and life
this Someone, Creator, has gone to great lengths
for you, for me, for us
give grace, speak truth, seek Jesus

[written on July 13, 2011 // you've come this far...]

[[suggested soundtrack: "Painting Pictures of Egypt" by Sara Groves]]

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

it's a full house

These are the faces of the folks living at 554 Malcomb Street...

And these are a mere few reasons why it's so dang good...

>> late-evening living room prayer
>> homemade peach crisp
>> lots o' laughter
>> mock chicken patties that taste so much better than you think
>> surprise guests on air mattresses... who speak fluent Mandarin
>> someone to help hang towels out on the clothesline
>> porch concerts
>> red bell peppers, fresh from the garden
>> end-of-day talks that help us all sleep better
>> workin' it out

Not every day is easy, but many days are better than you expected they might be...

Monday, July 4, 2011

an appropriate patriotism: [Independence Day]

As we are here, watching sparkles of light over New York City, I confessed to my family, "I need to learn how to have an appropriate kind of patriotism."

"What do you mean?" my mom asked.

"I mean that I need a patriotism that is thankful for and loves my country, but not with the hatred for other nationalities that seems to come with most folks' patriotism [read: most Southern Mississippi patriotism]."

Because I would be dishonest if I didn't say that I am thankful for where I live; there are many things about the United States of America - job opportunities, absence of war and bombs, freedoms that truly are freedoms - that I am thankful for. And I can and will still acknowledge the injustices and imperfections that are present here in the USA. It is no secret to any of us that no matter our nationalities, we live in countries with flawed citizens, led by flawed [and often desperately inadequate] leadership, with flawed laws.

So today, I pray for an appropriate patriotism, never rising above my neighbors all over the world, and never, ever above my allegiance to the Kingdom of God [on earth, as it is in heaven].