28 May 2008

Sing to Me, Cricket

I flipped the switch to the copy machine, and heard an unusual noise. I didn't know machines could make noises like that. I stood back a bit, eying the old Minolta.

The sound came again, and this time I realized it was not from the copy machine itself, but from behind a nearby cabinet. Try as I might, I could not spot the source. Boss number one joined the search, both of us without success and both pleased with the natural sound, unnatural as it seemed inside the office.

Boss number two suggested putting out some water for the little fellow, as her mother-in-law used to do in the winter for the crickets who came to live inside her house.

He sang to us all afternoon, off and on. I have yet to hear him today, but his tiny water dish sits next to the cabinet, in hopes that he fares well.

21 May 2008

Life's Little Highlights

Some recent highlights from my gift list:

133. Walking time with a friend
136. Small gift from a small friend
143. Friends praying over me
147. Warmish rain
151. Scripture
158. Preparation day: to-do list entirely done
160. Walk delights: 'possum, moon behind pink clouds
161. Lunch with like-minded friends, deep hours of conversation
162. Garden time
166. Church board meeting
169. Rest
171. Contact lenses
175. High electric bill, leading to double-checking the meter reading for the power company, leading to a significantly reduced bill

15 May 2008

To Eat of Faith

I can't escape this yearning for green growth. My eyes glow (and blink) as I drive through great clouds of dust that signal the farmers' plowing and planting.

Farming is an act of faith. No human eye can look ahead over the summer months and predict the rain showers or know without a doubt that the seeds will have enough water to sprout and produce the next seeds. Farmers are the greatest optimists of the earth, and by their faith, we eat.

Who, I wonder, eats by my faith?

08 May 2008

Desert Places

At times, I have felt the dryness of desert places--those places God takes me to train me in new ways and stretch my trust in Him before leading me into fresh arenas of faith. The more comfortable I get with God (the more I trust Him), the more comfortable I get with desert places. In fact, my times in the desert have been so precious to me that I almost desire to stay in them, just to know my Savior always as intimately as I do in the desert.

Yet God did not create me, or any of us, for deserts. I was made for gardens (or gardens were made for me). There comes a moment in every desert when God says, "It's time! Come out!"

Remember the children of Israel? After they had come out of Egypt, God led them through the desert and finally called them into the Promised Land. But they refused to go. It was too hard; there were too many giants. God took them back out to the desert, where He continued to shield, guide, and protect them, but how much better it would have been if they had followed Him into the abundance of Canaan!

Centuries later, at the end of their seventy years in Babylon, some of the Israelites were permitted to return to their homes. Many of them, however, chose to stay rather than go to all the work of restoring their land, even though God promised to go with them. Again, He brought them out later when it became clearer to them why they should leave.

Oh, Father, grant me the courage to leave the deserts when you call, to strive for garden living instead of desert wandering.

07 May 2008

Girded with Strength

Last week, I traveled to my parents' house to help them move away from it. My three-hour drive passed quite pleasantly, with one hour of memorized hymns (99) and two of lovely classical music on the radio (100). Before I reached them, my parents and my brother who sings to me on the phone (57), I passed by the one remaining old shack on the country dirt road (130).

Just the week before, my new eye doctor (73) had told me my vision was still more than perfect with my corrective lenses, and the evening light was perfectly beautiful as I made my familiar approach.

The day before, I had held new-born butterflies on my finger (89). I threw out my schedule to do it, leaving dishes in the sink and a lot of packing to do before I left. But they were worth it, and my mind visited their beauty and tranquility more than once as I packed my parents' store room and painted their walls, as a little girl and boy gave me hugs and giggles of delight in the midst of chaos (101).

My friends opened their house to me after my bed traveled from my parents' home, and their house, surrounded by fields of Grass Widows (109), as well as their company (122) girded my soul and body with strength (115). God Himself, amidst my many friends and inspirations, has renewed His peace in my heart (126).

06 May 2008

Thank you, Emily Rose! I will have to be thinking about who I can pass this on to next...

Irrevocable Realities

This weekend, I had the privilage of joining my fellow high school alumni for a Choraliers reunion. Having attended a private Christian high school, most of the music we sang was sacred. As we gathered together again, we sang several pieces for a worship service.

It amazed me how easily the pieces I had sung years ago in high school still make up part of the fibers of my brain. It didn't take much practice time to be singing them again from memory, difficult and intricate though they are, with every breath mark and each articulation demanded by my conductor as automatic and natural as could be. The things I sang in choir are to me irrevocable realities, never to be exchanged.

How fortunate I am that many of my high school weekends were spent singing praise to God all over my home state, that somehow I heard and followed His leading and selected such positive potentialities to become my actualities.