Friday, September 14, 2012

The Stones Would Cry Out

I can sympathize with George Bailey ("It's a Wonderful Life") when he says he wishes he'd never been born.  I realize how saturated with self-pity the statement is, and yet, it is me.  I thank the people who make movies & stories like that, "A Christmas Carol," "Groundhog Day," etc. for teaching me again and again to snap out of it.  But sooner or later I generally fall back in.

I love to mow the lawn.  I think it's because I'm a Daddy's girl. Back in the day, dads weren't around all that much, or at least my dad wasn't.  The sound of a ballgame on TV, or a lawnmower, the smell of fresh-cut grass...that just brings a vision of my dad in a short-sleeve button-down plaid shirt.  It meant Dad was there, he was home.  The world was just a way brighter better place when Dad was around.  It is true in my home now, too.  My husband is Dad here, and he is the sunshine.

A funny thing happens though, every time I cut the grass.  While the motor is on, I swear I can hear cicadas buzzing right along with it. But when I cut the power, they are quiet.  The mower is so loud I tell myself it is a trick my ears are playing on me; but I really don't think so.  You know how cicadas do, they buzz in a long pattern--then another tree starts up in an overlapping song.  They go back and forth like that and I wonder if they are doing that with the lawnmower.  Or maybe I am just hearing things.

Sometimes when I play piano with the windows open, the birds do join in and sing along.  I am not imagining it, it really happens.  They are more enthusiastic if they really like the song.  It is a very wonderful thing to me.  A friend of mine was telling how in her small town they have an annual worship service where all the churches get together.  The only place there is room for everyone, she said, is outdoors, at the cemetery.  She said that this year whenever they began to sing a hymn, all the birds started singing out really loud.  I had to smile.

"As he (Jesus) was drawing near--already on the way down the Mount of Olives--the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, 'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!'  And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, 'Teacher, rebuke your disciples.' He answered,'I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.'"--Luke 19:37-40    

Well, I do think that the birds, the cicadas, the skies, indeed all of creation is pouring out praise to God, constantly:
 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."--Psalm 19:1-3

 I was thinking on that this morning in my prayer time.  Actually I was thinking of how incredible and amazing God is.  Like when I watch stuff on TV about subatomic particles and then I think of the expanse of the universe, and how fantastic and beautiful and ordered it all is.  And then to think of my little son, his little face and hands, and the relationship we have. Tenderness and humor and art...sometimes it just freaks me out how intensely brilliant people can be, or attractive, or can be like it's supernatural!  And then I realized, that it is.

God has made every thing beautiful.  I look at my wood floor.  Every time a board is cut from a tree, it has a different lovely pattern. Or cut open a carrot, or look at metal, crystals...all this crazy stuff.  We make it into a stove, or a car, or a city, or an instrument. We make music and express our hearts.  We are made in God's image...

I know that I am sinning when I wish I were never born.  I know God already knows that I think this way, and I was hoping that I could somehow get an attitude adjustment without shock therapy that would make it easier for me to finish up this life.  And here's what I thought, it might not be right, but...this morning as I was praying--that is discussing this whole issue with my Maker (!)  I thought, God spoke everything into existence. (See Genesis) That makes me an expression of God. Wow.  Did that make me feel incredibly special!!!  But not in my own right, the value is in Him.  He is the One who spoke me into existence.  He thought me up.  That idea made me so much more valuable in my mind.  

And here's the thing:  If I wish I'd never been born, I'm kind of telling Almighty God to just be quiet. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Well, that was quick.  School is back in.  Still struggling though, mostly with death.  I know, I feel like Woody Allen.  And yet, I wonder, how can anybody not struggle with it?  It just gets close enough to think about, I guess, at a certain age.  Or a certain level of tiredness.  Or maybe it's that a lot of people and things that were important in my life aren't here anymore, and it diminishes my connection with this world.

It is weird to have a limited amount of time left here and yet to be squandering hours away.  Well, not really weird, more like scary.  My oldest son is on his way back to Afghanistan.  The last time he was there God gave me such a peace the entire time; it can only be explained in those terms.  This time I am sad, because he leaves behind a wife and two kids.  They have a great attitude about it.  I know he is only doing what he signed up to do.  I'm just proud that he signed up to do it at all.

My other son is finally getting his art career off the ground, I think. And I am proud of that too.  I knew he had the talent to do it, but it takes risk and persistence as well.  He was here for several weeks this summer.  Unfortunately it was the hottest most miserable summer I remember, literally, in all my life. It was good for him to spend time with his little brothers.  It was good for them too.  I got to reconnect, at least from my point of view, with my son who had become such a stranger.  I love him too much.

I love them all too much.  I am a spoiler mom. Not proud of that.

We have been looking into moving.  Spending money on the prospect too.  I hate wasting money.  Funny that I do it all the time.  I am really not clear on our future.  I had been feeling rather depressed.  But yesterday for some reason I got on YouTube and was listening to Andy Griffith singing "I'll Fly Away."  It made me smile, because he did recently do so.  And then I listened to Alison Krauss singing the same, which led me via sidebars to her version of "Beulah Land," a song I never before understood.

The hopelessness of this life has been leading me to nothing but dead-ends...Even though I have EVERYTHING a person could want on this earth...

"I'm kind of homesick for a country
To which I've never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
for time won't matter anymore.

Beulah Land, I'm longing for you
and some day on thee I'll stand.
There my home shall be eternal.
Beulah Land -- Sweet Beulah Land"

And I realized where I need to be looking, on what horizon, and it awakened joy in my soul, like sunlight slipping through a cracking door.