Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Real laughter is expensive.

I stumbled upon this after a night with the group of guys I meet with to do work. It was a particularly demanding night, experiencing a friend's return and reconciliation to the group, the clearing of the air in some broken relationships, and the hope of an initiation experience for a friend's teenage son.

My eyes ran like leaky faucets for 3 hours. Hard and true words were shared between all. And at the end, someone said the perfect thing at the right moment, and we ALL fell out laughing. It was a laughter from the belly. Down to the toes. Involving the entire body.

My friend Ahna commented on this idea, and I agree whole-heartedly, that to understand a true joy, in Hannah Hurnard fashion, it must hold hands with, or find equal balance of sorrow, too. This is where I am today, and it has brought me great gratitude.

Everything matters.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

God speaks to Gene Kelly, etc.

I’m feeling a sense of home that I haven’t had in some time. Some of that is to do with the plain and simple fact of being home more. But that said, there seems more to that feeling than a physical space.

It’s presented an opportunity to advance, I believe. I’m not working off my back foot right now. For whatever reason, I’ll call it God’s goodness, I’m leaning into my hope. Some of it came from a rather intense meeting with my band of brothers. I arrived angry, and I didn’t fully know why.

Uncharacteristically, we broke off from the work we usually engaged in to pray for some things that weighed heavily on many hearts in the room. My prayer was not like I’ve prayed before. My prayer was the work I needed to do. It amounted to this:

God, I don’t believe You have anything to say to me right now. And I don’t understand why. I’m alone in ways I never thought I’d be before, and I expected to hear from You in this state. And I don’t. And it makes me ache. I look around and see those in my life aching. Going off the deep end. Hurting, with no indication of a move to make. The obvious moves mean more loss. Have mercy, would You? Have mercy on my friends. Have mercy on me, God. I want to know You hear me. I want to know this matters.

The rest of the story isn’t blogable, but I want to say that I left that night knowing it matters. And that was a good gift to me.

My heart, my mind and my body are in the fight today. Fighting against the fear, the reasons not to try, fighting for the tears and goodness on the other side of this work. When I go a couple of years back in this blog, I see that the best of me was found in those seasons where I fought. Fought to stay awake and present. Every little change was hard-fought ground. And it didn’t really feel all that much better. But it was full of so much life, and that’s what I want more of today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wisdom from 1983...

"...nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight --
Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

This is life. Not just vacation.

So, I'm having a crazy time in Orlando with the E team. It's been a full day. I just found a stickie note that Evan had up on the wall next to his futon. It said "I LOVE this DAY!"

I was so excited to see that, I wanted to tell. His gratitude just sent me over the moon in the best way. For all the work it is to having a "working holiday," it could have come at no better time. This is a great gift to all of us. I love this day, too...especially because he loves it.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Ok, you.

I'm not ready for you, and yet I'm pining for you to advance. You're full of a longing ache that can't be stopped. You're like a painful medicine that has to run deep down to fully take.

I'm afraid of the what you are going to ask of me. I want novocaine for my heart, because it hurts to even look too long at you. When I do, I see how unqualified I am for the job. I don't have what it takes. I'm not enough. There I stay fixated. On me. That's what fear of you does to me. Turns me inside. Over-analysis. Self-obsession.

Then someone tells me the truth. You're also full of promise, full of hope. A hard word is brought from a brother. Someone shines a light. I look around the room of my life, in the faces of those I love, and I see it's gonna be alright. There's hope that abides in all of this. And I can't expect to know that on my own, all the time, about you. I've got to trust community. And I've to hope that the things I give up now, and the things my life has lost, will be graced.

So, ask what you will of me, and I'll work up to the task. I'm going to fall short, curl up, choose exactly what I don't need, but it will be redeemed. What you ask doesn't require perfection, just life. So as I live, I aim to be present with you throughout. It's what I have right now to give.

And hopefully, as I say goodbye to you and welcome the next year, I'll see love, hope, and forgiveness had won, 2008. Now, geez. Start already, wouldja?

"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us." Henry David Thoreau

Thanks, Ang.