25 March 2008

Eternal Spring

I didn't even have to stick my nose up into the tree to smell its flowers--the breeze brought the sweet scent right to my senses, where I could not ignore its beauty. As if I would want to ignore it.

There are lawns in my neighborhood filled with purple and white violets, and I dearly wish for the same to happen in my lawn--it may take several years, but they're getting a start.

I wonder if I am getting younger every spring. Each time it comes, my eagerness swells beyond the point of return and I greet each flower as though it is both the first I have seen and the last I will ever see.

If that is my experience for all eternity, I dare not miss even a moment of it.

24 March 2008

Free: White Irises

What grand fortune is mine! While out for an evening stroll, a friend and I came upon some irises on the curb, next to a sign that said, "Free: white irises". Being lovers of flowers, we snatched up a few for transplanting.

I can think of no better color for them to be, under the circumstances--white, the color of forgiveness and fresh starts; the definite, solid, and changeless color of Christ's righteousness.

21 March 2008

Snowy Blossoms

Flowers in abundance--the mere extravagance of it! How little we deserve the luxuries of spring, yet our Creator showers them on us anyway.

Words fail me at the sight, so I use someone else's: Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him, all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen.

20 March 2008

Gold After Gray

Looking out my kitchen window in early spring, I eagerly await the blooming forsythia, more than a block away. I relish it as long as it lasts, thankful that its bright yellow is the first thing to come out after a long, gray winter. Our heavenly Father knew that our first glimpse of warmer weather needed to be a bright one!
It reminds me of a favorite hymn, one my father and I play together--he on the recorder, and I on the piano.
"As water to the thirsty, as beauty to the eyes,
as strength that follows weakness, as truth instead of lies,
as songtime, and springtime, and summertime to be,
so is my Lord, my living Lord, so is my Lord to me.
"Like calm instead of clamor, like peace that follows pain,
like meeting after parting, like sunshine after rain,
like moonlight and starlight and sunlight on the sea,
so is my Lord, my living Lord, so is my Lord to me.
"As sleep that follows fever, as gold instead of grey,
as freedom after bondage, as sunshine to the day,
as home to the traveler, and all he longs to see,
so is my Lord, my living Lord, so is my Lord to me."

19 March 2008

A New Heart

Last evening, I buckled down to the solemn truth that my faithful, once-cream-colored plastic shower curtain liner needed either a good bath or a trip to the dump. I've been contemplating a preferred cleaning method for weeks, without gaining a single idea that would make the task less onerous or even guarantee a spotless outcome.

Should I clean it? Or should I spend money and just get a new one?

On the way to Shopko, a new bout of road construction sent me through a bit of a maze. I, however, was not to be deterred. I had a decided on a new shower curtain, and a new shower curtain I would have, that very day.

I took some deal of pleasure in the realization that the price of the liner that struck my fancy was actually less than I make per hour. Some of you will understand this right away. Not only would I avoid the hour it could (hypothetically) take me to clean the old one, and therefore save the hour, but I would also spend fewer dollars than the hour is monetarily worth.

My pleasure has by no means worn out. I smiled to myself this morning as I rinsed my hair and as I scrubbed my foot. You see, it's a charming liner (above). Something about the drops of clear water on the clear liner makes me happy, and brings to mind a vague feeling that I have loved the drops on clear platsic before, perhaps on a childhood umbrella.

My heart is dirty, too--so dirty that God Himself does not dare to clean the old one, but defies every bit of road construction and every price tag to secure for me a brand new one. Spotless. A clear one through which you can see His face.

12 March 2008

Danger in the Meadow

I have no pictures for you today, as the scenes I am about to describe exist only in my mind--and the minds of two friends who were with me when I saw them.

One Sabbath* afternoon in the spring, we loaded the car with our selves and our picnic, heading for the hills. We needed a quiet get-away to nature and the chance to breathe in the beauty of God's creation. The time was just about right for wild flowers of some kind or other to be in bloom.

"Shall we turn here?" I would ask. "No, let's keep going."

The road of choice presented itself at last, and we followed it, turning aside only when a suitable dirt road called from our right.

Father, please reveal to us a precious Sabbath blessing today, I prayed as we walked along.

Just then, a creek's babbling voice made itself heard off in the distance. Of course we could not ignore its beckoning, and off we went to find it in all its charm.

Thank You, I said.

From there we found some flowers, and another brook which met the first farther down the line. We traipsed along, mindful of all the beauties in their detail, and came to some logs where we sat, breathless, to take in the view. Seeing a meadow full of purple flowers in the distance, we thought to find it with our feet and eat our supper there.

Upon arriving in the meadow, we saw that its pleasantries far surpassed what we had imagined it to be. Only one thing marred our delight: a near-by growling noise.

We made haste back to the car, where we ate our supper and eyed a deer who was eying us.

I recall the day as one of supreme Sabbath blessings. Beauties beheld and heard seemed marred by our fear of danger, until we realized that the danger evaded only deepened our longing for the perfect world to come.

*As a Seventh-day Adventist, I observe the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

11 March 2008

The Ladder, again

In the morning I woke, utterly unconvinced that I was ready for a new day.

Lord, will You give me the strength to persevere until nightfall?

As He sometimes does, He planted a song in my mind: "As Jacob with travel was weary one day..."

"Up the ladder one step at a time, my child," He seemed to say. "Climbing this ladder increases your strength, instead of sapping it."

04 March 2008


It takes a certain discipline
to keep myself a-practicin'.
Of scales and exercises grand,
there never is an end.
I find the work is worth my time,
for fingers sure and notes sublime
do clear the cobwebs from my mind.
But when the sunshine fair appears,
my eyes will thrill to meet its rays--
against the light within my ears,
it takes a certain discipline
to keep myself from practicin'.

03 March 2008

The Eye Doctor, Part 2

"Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshipped Him." Mark 15:19

"So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything." Mark 8:23

If anyone has the right to spit on my eyes and heal my sight, You do.