Saturday, December 16, 2017

Veni, veni.

Each and every one
To You belong all nations.
Yes, Emmanuel.

Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
Do justice and maintain the rights of the afflicted and destitute.

Rescue the weak and needy;
Rescue them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4

Who is there upon earth that has no poor, miserable, sick, erring ones around him? Why does he not exercise his love to those? Why does he not do to them as Christ has done to him? –Martin Luther

My Saturday prayer: … LORD please make me ever aware of Your Spirit, moment by moment wisdom, quicken my spirit to immediate, full-of-faith obedience.  Cause me to be thankful…this obedience results in a joy that brings glory to you.  I pray that that I will hear Your voice and follow it.


Friday, December 15, 2017

And I type my new TUSD password dozens of times a day: ItIsW3ll.

The sunrise is gold
For a breath of a moment
A new day dawning

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms

I no longer shiver, take a deep breath and dive into the sunrise.
Rather, I now tighten my helmet, strap on the gloves, and pedal madly east, into the light.

And each morning as I settle my foot onto the pedal, all is billowy and golden and gleaming hope.
But it quickly fades into dull grey and the weight of pushy vehicles and deeply rutted roads and just missed lights settles down around the morning joy.

Let it not be so.

Let me O Lord watch this day for Your light,
Your light reflecting
With the friendly wave from the cross walk guard in the bright orange vest
In the red and green blinking light and tinsel front office Christmas madness
Through each cheery smile as I walk down the hall
About each upturned first grade face as they settle around me for today’s lesson
Across each weary but kind soul celebrating payday at Kon Tiki Bar at the day’s end
And tonight, around the sweet face of Michele, Wen’s newborn child for whom she will pay a great price of sacrificial love

I have never taught phonics in my life.
A first time for everything.

But I am, obviously, going to introduce the fourth grade teachers to Wanda Phillips and Easy Grammar and her lists of prepositions.

Prepositions are all about relationship.

A new day dawning.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cameron always kicked off his shoes before he led us into worship.

Shake loose all that binds and chokes
Fly free, O my soul.

For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in Him.  Psalm 62:6

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded, For with blessing is His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth, Our full homage to demand.

The soul that is attached to anything, however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the liberty of divine union. For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast, for until the cord be broken, the bird cannot fly.  -John of the Cross

Today in the silence as I sift through the Eucharist-always-precedes-the-miracle lists, what I am reminded of again and again is that there is no random thread with the Master Weaver.

Tuesday we had a “Make and Take” meeting in the Bonillas library, complete with hot chocolate and warm cookies. The plan was to provide parents with a dozen activities to do with the kiddos over the holidays, and it was more or less successful.

One of the projects was weaving a God’s Eye from yarn and popsicle sticks. And the art teacher and I had sort of forgotten exactly how to do this blast-from-the-past relic that hangs from so many Christmas trees. So there was some awkward twisting and winding and pretty much I was the only one in the room who could knot the ends of yarn, but when each eye was flipped over, it all made beautiful sense and the backside bumps did not matter at all.

And Dustin wrote another piece today reflecting on the year of journey.
That said, we visited the caves and pagodas of Danang’s Marble Mountains yesterday and DUUUUUDDDEEE it was incredible. We wandered up polished steps to a temple, scrambled through caves to reach mountaintop views of the humidity-drenched city, and saw a ton of Buddha statues. Everette immediately noticed Korean women removing their shoes, approaching a statue, and repeatedly bowing before Mr. Buddha (astute observer that she is) and so she immediately also began reverently removing her knock-off Crocs and lying prostrate on the marble floors herself. 

And that is something that the all His peoples get, the need to prostrate fall. I remember Cameron always kicking off his shoes before he led us into worship.

When my chimes went off last night and Dre asked about them, I did not do a good job articulating my intent. A reminder to exhale deeply all of me, and breathe in deeply all of Him.

May I too kick off my figurative Crocs.

Again and again, if need be.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New mercies

New mercies

You are not hidden
Lurking in doubtfull shadows
Breathe in, out, and see.

By awesome deeds You answer us with righteousness,
    O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas;
the one who by His strength established the mountains,
    being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples. Psalm 65:5-7

The Church Fathers were not fools. They knew a thing or two about herding their flock of easily distracted sheep. As I wandered ancient streets last summer, again and again my heart and mind were drawn back to His great faithfulness, whether it be yet one more carved outstretched arms of love lifted high or the church bells ringing out throughout the dark alleys and wide valleys.

So last night the ladies decided that we would all set our iPhones to the hours. Liz said that it was a helpful practice. To call our attentiveness back to our Hope.

A little goofy, perhaps. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

…Who stills the tumult of the peoples.