Monday, March 12, 2012

A Beacon

In the middle of the spotted sleep I tend to get every night, I am often inspired. Random thoughts here, random thoughts there...but rarely am I ever driven to actually get up (at 2:30 a.m.) and write it down...Last night I was, but I didn't get up. As a result, I could not sleep a WINK because I was overwhelmed with a vision...and the feeling that I needed to write this out has not left me all I'm heeding to the 'call' to get this on 'paper'... Follow me.

Here is what I remember:

It was night time - the pitch black kind. No stars in the sky. The wind was as relentless as my worry. I was waiting - watching - unsure for whom or what. I can't remember if it was raining or if what I felt was a spray from the stormy sea. There was a HUGE cliff to the left of me, it's jagged silhouette murderously cutting the waves; being sure to assert it's dominance over the fierceness of the ocean. I stood on wet sand - it was firm beneath my feet. The shells showed no mercy as the wind had her way with them. I was cold, and full of anticipation. I remember the angry smell of the ocean - turned inside out and upside down; as unsettled as my thoughts. I was completely alone. No car behind me. No people beside me. Alone.

Luckily enough, there was a lighthouse built on rock right in front of me. The stack of rocks that it was built on was high enough that not even the acerbic waves could reach it. I found myself concentrating in the dark to see if I could tell if the beacon was moving.

As though my thoughts themselves were pushing the light around in the lantern room, I felt assured that the beacon would find me soon - even though my impatience caused time to slow to a snails pace. I thought about pacing the short shoreline because I thought that perhaps if I moved, time would also...but I was firmly planted. I remember clasping my hands together and holding tight to the hope I knew was coming.

In the way that only 'dreams' can, the next part happened in slow-motion, fast-forward. The beacon light was getting ready to pass 1:00 when suddenly it started to move faster and faster like it had gained momentum because it was heading down hill. As it passed through the pitch black, I saw people. Some of the people were crowded together, others were individually placed, ALL of them I knew.

I remember being able to know each one by name - even the ones in the crowd. I saw people I love now, people I've loved before, and people who have left me and moved to the place where Love has been fully revealed to them. I felt SO comforted by this...I knew that even though it seemed I was alone all along, I truly wasn't. I had these people who were WITH me, who were and ARE a part of me, who have become a piece of the fabric that has stitched up my quilted heart. The flood of hope that this brought my soul was indescribable. To know that a little light could reveal a changeable truth.

When the beacon rounded the next corner, it stopped on me. My logical mind felt as though I had to shade my eyes because a light that can steer a ship into safe harbor would most certainly NOT be a light that my mortal eyes could see. But I was wrong. This light was beauty - it was all colors and none. It was a symphony with a resounding chorus, and a moment in the back of a church where a widow mourns in silence. It was my past, my present, and my future. As this light rested on me, I felt possibility, peace, and immeasurable gratitude.

When I 'awoke,' I remembered a scripture: Isaiah 42:6-7 " I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will guard and support you, for I have given you to my people as the personal confirmation of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide all nations to me. You will open the eyes of the blind and free the captives from prison. You will release those who sit in dark dungeons." It dawned on me - this vision I had was a LITERAL interpretation of this scripture!!!

I stood in the spot I was placed. I stood in waiting. And my 'awake' self would have been scared to even be where I was in my 'vision,' but my unconscious self stood there, guarded and supported by the people who were there, but who were not revealed to me until I was ready to flee. These people - my friends and family - were a personal confirmation of love and support in a dark and anxious time. Then the light came and it WAS the light that guides the nations --> the nation was the league of friends and family that were there. I know, I know...this all sounds crazy...and I wish that I were better at explaining this part... but I know that I know that I know that this came NOW for a reason...although I am unsure what the reason is at this very moment...

If you've read this far, you deserve a round of applause!!! Thank you ... and for my faithful friends (old and new!) and family, thank you for everything.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In Which I Call Myself Out. . . .#embarrassed

I've been thinking...

As a few of you may know, I am currently fasting Facebook...and I talk about it. Often. Truth be told, I miss it. Desperately. I want nothing more than to log in and see what everyone is doing. I feel like a little kid who is told to go to bed but REALLY wants to stay up because the ordinary can turn to extraordinary at any given second.

My original reason was to fast the FB because I wanted to prepare my heart for Easter. I figured I would use the 'extra' time I had to get in the word more, or pray more, or do 'good.' (And yes, if you're wondering, I just admitted that I spend THAT much time on FB that giving it up translates to extra time in my day...). Like most of my good intentions, I have failed. Epically (<-- is that even a word?)

This scripture keeps coming up, around, and through me...Matthew 6:16-18  16"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."  Up. Around. Through. I knew about this scripture - have for a while. When I am fasting in other ways, I follow this - no one would ever know... but for some (dumb) reason, I have exempt myself from this for FB. Ewwww... Gone against the words of Jesus (this IS a gospel message...) for Facebook? What the HECK?

Ashamed and disgusted are probably the first two words that come to mind. Not only have I NOT spent any additional time in the word or prayer, but I have also presented myself as a hypocrite??!? Trust  me when I tell you this is NOT a 'woe is me' post...but more its a post where myself is calling myself OUT on this whole thing...even though my 'self' is acutely aware.

So what is the point of fasting something when you are not fulfilling the INTENTION  of the fast? What is the point? So in my case, spending more time playing games on my iPad OR blogging is ok, but FB is not? Isn't that just this for that?

Ashamed and disgusted...yet here I am, blogging away...

My Pastor is starting a course on Thursday night "40 days in the Word" and when I first found out about it, I was SUPEREXCITED!! I have been desperate for something like this - something structured and 'tutorial.' Not that I can't/don't know how to read my bible, but if you know me, you know this is RIGHT up my alley. In hindsight, the reason I am so excited about it is because by doing it and following it, I am actually DOING what I intended on doing in the first place during this sacred season...My prayer is that this 'study' will truly take over my lack-of-FB-made-up-for-via-iPad-games balderdash. So if I don't post much, know I am fulfilling my promise to 'get ready' for Easter - because if there is ANYONE and ANY time to get ready for, it is Him and now.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Words . . .

Sometimes they are just words. Words that make sound to fill the silence of the space between insignificant thoughts. Words that run into each other to try and cover up nervous butterflies. Words that have no meaning when linked together - like pink shine & thunderous  (or do they ... ;)  )  Words can sometimes JUST be words.

But words can sometimes JUST be MORE than words themselves. They can speak life, they can speak truth, they can speak hatred and spite.  They can build up and empower...or they can break down and belittle. Words, my friends, are powerful in and of themselves. Words have the power to motivate...or destroy.

If I say to you "worthy" you MAY agree you are, or you may shake your head and quiet the whisper in your heart that says you're not. It may have filled you with hope or longing. It may have revealed a truth to you - to a part of you that has been camouflaged but ready to break free.

If I say to you "no" you MAY agree that was the right thing to say given the circumstances you are in. You may be upset I said it to you. You may feel relieved because I gave you permission to NOT do something you were hesitant about doing. Perhaps indifference is the response because my opinion doesn't matter anyway ...

In my life, words have been a very powerful thing. I write them. I say them. I wish I could take them back at times. I regret them. I love them. I appreciate them. I am grateful for them. I don't have them - and sometimes I do. Most often though, I think I take them for granted.

In conversation today, someone quoted something I said to them. Something, that at the time seemed appropriate - but irrelevant. In fact, I forgot I even said these words until they were brought back to the surface. In hindsight, I realize how powerful these words were. How they spoke truth in his life. How they encouraged him when he was in an incorrigible place. At the time, I didn't understand the power these specific words held. Now, I am beholden to their authenticity in a life changing moment.

My most favorite thing of all about words is the simple complexity that they hold. The simplest thing can cause a cascade of complex thoughts - each person having those thoughts explore different perspectives, reaching a different conclusion depending on the path their hearts took.

My prayer for you today is that you will always remember how powerful words can be. Remember that the intention behind the word is just as strong. Remember that some words are double-edged swords that can cause irreparable damage. Remember that most words spoken come from your heart - and they will reflect the attitude that resides there.

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12