This photo was taken at Wing Haven in 2006.
That is Daniel's well-clad foot.
That is a much loved prayer of mine.
1. It's raining here in Charlotte. It has been raining since yesterday afternoon.
A slow, steady soaking rain. Thanks be to God.
2. I have felt surrounded by love and challenged by love in these past few days. Your words and prayers are appreciated and evident in my heart and soul.
3. A week or so ago, I browsed the shelves of my personal library and made two piles of books I have bought over the years but have never read. In doing so, I rediscovered one volume I'd bought ages ago. It was on the shelf closest to my desk, but my eyes had stopped seeing it. (Does that happen to anyone else?)
The book in question was written/compiled by Sabrina Ward Harrison, and is titled, The True and The Questions. Essentially it is a journal with various questions, quotes, and writing prompts. Thick paper to write on with fat markers. Lots of room for stickers and ephemera, stories and prayers.
I pulled it out last weekend and started filling its pages with random thoughts, lists, hopes, dreams, disappointments, and the like. I already keep a journal that has lined pages, and I love it. I continue to fill those pages. But this book is different. It's colorful. It's messy and sticky and I don't have to fill the pages in order. It's a place where the mystery and the mess of my life can spill without fear of messing anything up or crossing any pre-determined and well-established lines. What a timely re-discovery for me - perfect for my current state of mind and spirit.
4. The title itself is perfect for me right now too:
The True and The Questions.
I know what is true: God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. I know that I am not alone. I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I know that all my needs have always been provided; I have never missed a meal or lacked anything I have needed. I know that I am surrounded by and filled with love. I know the truth.
But still... there are the questions. Some of them, many of them, are answered with all that I know is True. It's just that sometimes I forget the truth. It's just that sometimes my questions do not have simple answers. Sometimes the answers I receive do not seem adequate. Sometimes there do not appear to be any answers at all. And all of that is okay. I must remember and cling to the truth.
I know the verse: "You shall know The Truth, and The Truth shall set you free."
I guess I have to ask myself how well I know the truth.
Why I so often forget it.
Why I so often listen to, believe, and live as though
all the lies
about fear, weakness, and hopelessness
anger, violence, and war,
emptiness, insufficiency, and inadequacy,
5. When I focus on that which is true, the questions subside - temporarily.
When I lose perspective on what is true again (I repeat this cycle often), I can come always back to it. I don't have to remain adrift on the sea of questions and fear and doubt indefinitely. Sometimes I need to relax and let the rip tides of life pull me away from the beach - and rest in the knowledge that when my flailing finally ceases, I will be carried back to shore. On the life-saving truth of The Word, on the backs of other travelers who willingly bear me up, and escort me back to where I can stand on my own again. (See #2.)
6. I have some awesome friends. Some of my dearest friends live hours and hours away. Some of these fabulous friends I have never met face-to-face, but the depth of their love and concern for me, the strength of their commitment to me is greater than many people I see regularly.
7. I am loved.
8. My daughter makes an awesome trail mix: nuts, raisins, M&Ms, sesame sticks, and other goodies.
9. Yerba mate tea, hot and sweet, is a great way to start the day.
10. It's okay to drink more than one cup of yerba mate.
11. Although my bones are stiffening with age and my skin is wrinkling,
I do not yawn at my life.
My life, with all its twists, turns,
unexpected riptides, and strong undercurrents
is not boring. It never has been.
Thanks be to God.