Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Stirring up my stew with bits of broken bread.

The Lord's will stands fast forever, and the designs of His heart from age to age. Psalm 33:11

A Cherokee or Ojibwa chief is said to have asked his young braves, "Why do you spend your time in brooding? Don't you know you are being driven by great winds across the sky?" Don't you know you're part of a much bigger pattern? But you're not in control of it, any more than you would be of great winds. You and I are a small part of a much bigger mystery.

Authentic faith leads you to a place that you initially know nothing about. Like Habakkuk the prophet, you have to be picked up by your hair and set where you need to be (Daniel 14:36). Once you know what you need to know, there is no other explanation except that there must be another Power at work in this world. It's not believing doctrines; it's having an experience of being changed or moved to a new place, almost in spite of yourself. Sometimes no one is more surprised than you. All you can do is offer thanks. –Richard Rohr

This certainly has been the word that the Spirit has been pulsing into my thoughts and soul and spirit all week.

I AM God and you are not. Rest in Me.

And yeah, my life has been one massive checklist as I tick off finishing the last day of school, welcoming Miss Simone Rose, and dropping off Nicole at the Phoenix Airport as she begins yet another Journey of a Lifetime to Mozambique, Uganda and South Sudan before riding her bicycle to Amsterdam.  Yeah, a big very long and complicated checklist full of minutia: writing metaphoric thank you notes to each of the staff members, researching the best and yet cheapest international health care insurance, finding Roma’s Import store so I could buy the new parents their favorite dinner of roasted artichoke lasagna, getting that tooth filled, giving blood one last time, the list beats on.

And even though in my head I feel chill and peaceful and check, check, check, I have developed a nervous tic over my right eye for the first time in my life.

And yet none of it matters. Or it all matters in odd little ways that I do not know or understand. Josie and I marveled once again over the mysteries of time and God Is Not Bound and He Is At Work to His Good Purposes and as we drove back past a blistering Picacho Peak and I told her yet another story, this one about dragging 150 middle school students up the back path without any water. And God was our shield and protector big time.

And yesterday Rohr reminded me of the need of brokenness. Powerlessness. TO DO lists will never save us. Well, we are indeed broken, but sometimes we carry one otherwise, trying to juggle all of the bits and pieces like parts of a middle school long-division math problem. Distracting ourselves with the splinters in the other’s eye so that I don’t notice the log blocking my own vision. And the journey starts at that point where I fall down on my knees before My God and Maker and confess my utter need.

But what a journey.

I can so totally relate to old Habakkuk when the angel of the LORD took him by the crown of his head and carried him by his hair; with the speed of the wind he set him down in Babylon, right over the lions’ den with Daniel in it. And he arrived, clutching his stew with pieces of broken bread in it, the stew he had made for the reapers working in the fields. But God had other plans.  

And deniz just sent a possible itinerary for the next week… the week after this one with my checklists full of travel-size sunscreen and straightening up all of my random retirement funds and helping my mom find someone to water her plants and it goes something like this… Mosques / churches and historic district (Sultanahmet) - two full days at a leisurely pace; Turkish Bath - one morning; Bosphorus Cruise and Ortaköy district visit - one afternoon; Grand Bazaar - one day; Visit to the open air (veggie etc.) market - short trip Saturday morning; Turkish breakfasts - as often as you want! Cihangir and Karaköy Districts - one day; Visit to the Princes Islands - one day; Visit to Balat neighborhood - one morning or afternoon; Istiklal Street nightlife excursion - one evening not too late :)

God is doing His thing. There is no other explanation for it.

Thank you, Poppa.

And as we all cradle sweet Simone, sweet utterly helpless Simone who is so very loved and protected it is a very tangible moment once again of what it means to be a child, a child of God.

Thank you, Poppa.