Sunday, November 18, 2012

If You Only Knew

I do cry a lot but, "If you only knew," and that's what I say as I lay my face in kleenex.  Telling the story.

I twist the brightly beaded rings on my fingers and focus my mind on the women in Tanzania, Africa who made them. As I turn them over and over again on my white (!) hands, I imagine strong black ones, and I am comforted.  I wonder what the hands are doing now, that strung these beads?   What are the struggles of a woman in Africa? I wonder what the life of a Massai woman is like, and if she would say to me, "If you only knew."  

The story tumbles out, and I am spent.  I study my rings with intimate fascination and think about Jesus.  I think about His hands too, PIERCED, and the disciples all scared, all hiding, all asking, "Why?"   And Jesus likely saying...

"If you only knew."


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Courtney's Lace

I read her words,, on a night that found me sleepless; the holes in my soul aching clean through.

I sat in the old rocker with my jaw hanging loose and gasping out loud.


Her words wrote my heart line for line, and it looked like maybe she'd gotten into my head somehow.


I left a small note in her comment box.

She came to visit me here over and over and over again.  Always leaving the fragrance of encouragement and love.  Knowing the cost.  Understanding.  Holding my hand.

And when it really seemed like I couldn't draw one more breath,  I received a gift in the real, actual mail.

A knitted lace shawl tumbled out like a wide ribbon of laughter, and blue joy ruffles rippled all around the outside edge.  (How did she know that I love ruffles?)  I held it up to a grey sky, and azure flowers danced on low clouds.  I wrapped it around my shoulders.  Sat down hard.  Cried and cried and cried.

Her hands made this for me.

They held my life in them for months, and I imagine her fingers flying over delicate skeins, knitting this blue, and stitching my heart together by holding it in hers. What kind of woman does that?  What kind of love is that?  We've never-ever met!  Her gorgeous lace crowns my shoulders with heaven, and makes me look like a queen.  (How did she know that's just what I needed?)  I want so to kiss the hands that have brought me such a gift, at such a time, with such love.  This blue, the exact color of my dreams, and all its beauty takes my breath.  I won't take it off, and it's a few days before I notice it... the lace.  

It's     got     holes     clean     through,     see?


Friday, November 16, 2012

Pain and Praise

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."  Romans 8:18

After it's all talked out, we marvel at the power of God.  Because even though everything is still a mess, we've rendered our hearts to Him, and there is nothing left.  Nothing left to do now but worship Him.

In so doing, she learns something new, and I learn again that we can trust this...

The answer is worship.  

The answer is to push through the agony and worship Jesus.

In all that is pressure and heartache and pain.

Praise Him,


Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Strength of Weakness

She and I sit crying and asking the hard questions.  This daughter become friend.  This young woman once womb-held who understands suffering.  Understands me.  We wonder what being saved really means when we walk the Prince of Darkness' sacred burial ground.  When the only light we see is the grey dimness of the shadow lands.  Destruction all around us.  The stench of death in our nostrils and tears the only stream.

Our hearts sorrow and spill for this brother.  Our warrior-poet in the fire.  His heart crying out to God, "Why have you turned your face from me, Lord?"  And all the reaching and all the prayers of his women-folk are  nothing more than printed verses on pretty paper hanging banners over his bed of suffering.  Small.

We cry out all our weakness together.  The weaker vessels.  Getting crushed sometimes, and wondering where our strength lies.  Where is the power of God in women who are longing to be of help to their wounded warriors?  Where, when the battle weary brush off our condolences because we know nothing of what it is to of God?  How can the folds of a skirt cleanse the blood on a sword?  How can we help, really?

We pour our questions out to God.  Offering Him all our weakness.  All our womanliness.

And after all the tears have been shed, and she tosses a whole mess of kleenex, she loads the worship music and looks up verses in her Bible.  We do what only we can, and we find our true strength for our men.  We turn our faces to Jesus.

And worship the Son.