Monday, July 17, 2017

And the swamp cooler just clicked on once again, and that is refreshing as well.

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever. Psalm 89:1

And God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it. And when he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived. Judges 15:18

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love–
Leading onward, leading homeward,
To that glorious rest above!

Googling Lehi does not make it seem like a place of rest and restoration. Its nickname is Jawbone Hill for very obvious reasons, thus a Zionish paramilitary group also took it as its name.

Who would have thought from the newspaper headlines that Erbil, Iraq, would have been a place of deep springs and gentle revival? It is a place of early morning routines, a second cup of coffee before the morning stroll through the neighborhood. It is a place of just-as-the-sun-sets wanders over to the neighborhood shawarma shop for shaved lamb and a yogurt drink. It is a place of gathering around the tables with hot tea and date cookies and discussing such things as essential understandings and formative assessment with inquisitive souls determined to achieve excellence.  

And overhead we can hear the occasional army helicopter ferrying some important someone somewhere. But other than that reminder of outward circumstances, there is a very real awareness that underneath the crashing waves there is a deep, deep current of His love.

And yesterday I heard teacher stories of a bride who three days before her wedding with a thousand invited guests was forced at gunpoint to leave her home and she was separated from the groom for many anxious days, no word if he was dead or alive. And wedding feasts are a super huge deal here, and she will never have one, because they when they at last found each other they had only a simple ceremony in front of a priest. And another teacher told of how she fretted about which outfit to wear, and because she assumed that it was only a forced evacuation for two or three days, she left all of her dresses neatly laid out on her bed and has never returned. And yet another, as the gunmen drew closer, lay down on her dead cousin and tried to rub the blood all over herself so that they would think that she was also dead.

And yet we sit at small student desks and they take careful notes on scaffolding strategies and creating effective rubrics.

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.