" Nine weeks ago we arrived. Nine weeks ago (2 months ago yesterday – the 28th) the Red Sox won the World Series – seems a lifetime ago…
I just finished The Longing for Home by Buechner. I will definitely have to return to more than a few of those chapters in the future – deep wells of wisdom. Lord, thank you that you answer prayer. Thank you.
I jotted a brief note to Britt yesterday. In it I mentioned that while I could not describe or explain it, after reading Buechner (and Lewis) these past few days my feet feel a bit lighter. Lord, Thank you.
… Buechner encourages preachers to preach out of their own stories. This does not mean to make the sermon about themselves, rather to speak of love, grace, faith, and hope in ways that reveal a tangible encounter with those things – an encounter beyond a book or an idea. Sometimes we (I) tend to speak of God as if God was and did, and we (I) forget to speak of how God is – today! Maybe that’s why Puritans placed so much emphasis on personal testimony and witnessing time. We must link our stories with those of the past in order to become a part of the tapestry of faith. Yet, how can we add our names to the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ listed in Hebrews? By Grace! We are able to add our names to the list of Abraham & Sarah, Moses, David and others not because of our perfection or stellar stories yet because God has acted in our lives and wants for us to join in with the Story somehow and someway.
So, Buechner’s implied questions to me in chapters 12-14 are these: How have I experienced Grace? Why do I have “faith”? How do I have hope? How have I experienced God’s grace, love, joy and peace?
When people ask, "How do you know that God loves you?" I answer that often I don’t know what God’s love feels like – and that is true to the extent that I can’t capture it, quantify it, and explain it. Yet neither can I do that with Courtney’s love for me. However, I catch glimpses of it in a smile or a wink or feel it in a hug or when she offers me a warm cup of tea. Likewise, in a sunset or snowflake, mountain expanse or sea of clouds or provision for rent… Some people will chalk these things up to coincidence or to karma (however I don’t know how well I would fare if someone would place my thoughts, words, and deeds on a scale…) or to other peoples’ kind hearted, generous natures. Yet for me, I name these instances as God’s love.
Writing that makes me think of the sunset I saw from the plane heading back to
How alert the eyes of my heart and spirit seemed in
And those memories bring me to now. Recently, Courtney and I had a boiling over, not with each other, yet with our time here in
While the true joie de vivre (joy of life) that Buechner refers to remains regardless of circumstances because its source is the very Creator of both Joy and Life themselves, there remain moments when our steps bounce with a spring because we have experienced a glimpse of something beyond ourselves. And so, for those times when I have the eyes to see more keenly, Lord, I thank you. And for those times when I struggle to see beyond the end of my own nose, Lord, I thank you, for you remain present, persistent, and help to refocus my vision. Lord, thank you.