Wednesday, May 17, 2017

And on Sunday, Heather reminded us all that He makes beautiful things out of dust.

Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.  Psalm 86:8-10

As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:15

One other thing stirs me when I look back at my youthful days, viz the fact that so many people gave me something or were something to me without knowing it. Much that I should otherwise not have felt so clearly or done so effectively was felt or one as it was, because I stand, as it were, under the sway of these people. Hence I always think that we all live, spiritually, but what others have given us in the significant hours of our life. These significant hours do not announce themselves as coming, but arrive unexpectedly. Nor do they make a great show of themselves; they pass almost unperceived. Often, indeed, their significance comes home to us first as we look back, just as the beauty of a piece of music or of a landscape often strikes us first in our recollection of it. –Albert Schweitzer

Today we pray for the courage to dig ourselves deep, to hold fast, so that Your word my take root in us and bring forth fruit.

The ends of many seasons are piled pell-mell higher and higher, overflowing cardboard box after heaped up cardboard box. And stacks of furs and leathers and paints and feathers are neatly arranged on three of those Calvary Missionary Press tables up against the wall as Nicole digs deep into crafting twenty-five, more or less, viking-native-apocalyptic-greekgods sorts of costumes.  And last night, Heather and Dustin received word that the sale of their house went through which is a good thing because they are flying out of LA for Barcelona on June 4 but there are a few boxes between then and now and a lot of saying gut-wrenching goodbyes. And the letter in the morning from a lawyer underscoring my need to move some other boxes and the word NOW was typed in all caps. And sixteen of us gathered in Momma’s new place for its first family dinner amid even more cardboard boxes and stacks of unhung pictures although she and Jenny and Alene and Scott have done a masterful job of creating home and beauty in pretty short order.

My little plastic IN boxes are crammed stuffed with not only multi-genre research papers and final drafts of business formatted letters to a politician of their choice and design proposals for constructing a theoretical guest house on a secluded hill hidden in Saguaro National Forest east and journals detailing twenty-one days of reducing energy consumption, but there are textbooks to count, laptops to scrape clean, and btw I just found out that I am responsible for putting together the entire middle school section of the yearbook before I leave for graduation.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.

Another thing on my plate is creating an “award” for each of my students to be read aloud at graduation in a week. So my thoughts ramble about, mulling over specific and detailed affirmation points in the midst of Please sit down in your chair and Please spit out your gum into the trashcan and Please remember to retake your genetics quiz. Oh yeah, and I have a goodbye speech for graduation to at least think about. Gotta do that too.

And today after the flag-raising ceremony and shouting Happy Birthday to this week’s celebrants, I am packing eighth grade onto a city bus and heading off for a (long) day of bumper boats and laser-tag. Except for that rather long list of kiddos who are going to spend today in the library with the rather long lists I generated of missing work.
And especially now I am so very aware of Schweitzer’s observed truth. You just never know. Yesterday there was a little orange note in my staff mailbox to Dear Mrs. Voelkel you will never know the impact you have had on my life slid between the permission note forms and a reminder that the server is going to be down for a few hours.

And yesterday afternoon there was a request that pulled me away from my google.classroom docs. I needed to make a phone call in Spanish to a high schooler’s mother about an essay she wrote in class that day, an essay about wanting to sneak into her dad’s closet and use his handgun to splatter all of her problems to bits. And the older sister was an addict that got thrown out of the house and lived on the streets until she got tossed into jail. And this youngest of four sisters, this babecita, is all that the parents have left. And in all their thirty-four years of marriage they never fought in front of the kids but always went into another room. It was a long phone call.

This morning I woke up way early. Way too early. I thought about Jesus waking up to pray while it was still dark.  I wondered if His prayers went upward, sparks rising up towards the starry sky marveling in worship or outward, casting a thoughtful eye into the oh-so-many-conversations of the day, for He cares for us. Or inward. Settling into Presence.

Holy Spirit, You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence LORD

Breathe in.
Breathe out.