Friday, January 20, 2017

Though (Because) it is fleeting

Today is the day. When the next four years begins. When Trump becomes president.

I was trying to find a poem to post, someone wiser than me who spoke truth and life straight to my soul. And I found only this:
“Resistance is the protest of those who hope, and hope is the feast of those who resist.” (Jurgen Moltman)

For me, this day at least, resistance means taking middle school girls from my neighborhood to see Hidden Figures. It means praying with my daughter and together opening our eyes to the hurting around us on both sides of every issue. It means always standing for truth and goodness, for welcoming the stranger even as leaders build walls to keep them out. It means actively working against greed; and it means moving down the ladder as often as we can, gently placing our feet alongside those we love who don’t look like us. Because the Jesus we love always works mightily in the soil of oppression and fear, moving His people towards justice and peace in ways unseen and powerful, right there on the margins and at the bottom. Because we do not fear the powers and principalities of this world, but rest in the knowledge that the one who holds all our futures will sustain and carry us through even the most frightening political climates and careers. We will choose not to despair, to believe God has lost control or the world is going to “hell in a hand basket,” but to actively remember the ways that God’s people are fighting for what is good and true. We will believe in goodness and in what is right, and we will march towards it no matter what happens today.

I remember today, as I flick off the news, that the days are fleeting. I only have to look at my children to understand how quickly four years can pass. I know too that in the midst of long nights rocking babies who won't sleep, this time-warp seems difficult to fathom. And when we lose sight of the long arc of the universe, we can forget our role to be bridge builders and ones who stand always in the gap. We will do our best today and tonight and tomorrow and the next day to bend the arc towards justice, even a little. To resist the empire and stand for love, always love.

A week or two ago (I can't know exactly because like I said, time moves quickly), Atlanta was threatened with an ice storm. Like good southerners, we bought out all the bread and milk from the store. Instead of a few inches of snow, however, we only ended up with a world encased in a fragile layer of ice. Not enough ice to last under the warmth of the sun, not enough to stop dripping and soaking Caden’s boots straight through, not enough to skate on or stick your tongue to tiny icicles; just enough to glitter for a moment, showcasing the beauty and encapsulating all the sun in brilliance for a few hours one morning. Quickly though, the boys stripped off their heavy coats to shoot hoops in the backyard, and the little ones dropped their gloves into mud puddles left behind as the ice reversed its way back through the states of matter.

Time will always fly, I suppose, and it will provide brilliant moments of light and glitter, followed by mud puddles and cold drizzle. Whatever the next four years brings, we will hold fast to the beautiful pieces and always stand rooted for the causes of justice and hope, even when the ice melts and the glitter fades.
Love and hope and resistance always, 

Monday, January 2, 2017

When the Christmas Cactus Needs a Little Light

We took down all our Christmas decorations today. Ashton was appalled that we were doing it so soon, even as we pointed out the droopy Christmas tree limbs showering the carpet with brown needles. Adam took the Christmas cactus off the mantle, and when I went to lay blessedly on the bed for a few minutes, I noticed he had put it on the windowsill where it could soak in the light. Because even on a cold and gray first day of 2017, we all night to find a little light to help us grow. To perk up our tired branches and breath life into the parts that seem dead. This year, I'm determined to find the light and park myself in front of it. To soak in the presence and words of the Lord who offers light and life to even the parts of myself that I am uncertain can live again.

I took a picture 324 out of 365 days in 2016, mostly with my actual camera and not just my phone. Admittedly, I might have cheated a time or two and used pictures from a different day, because whatever man.
But my goal for 2017 is less perfect pictures. More grain and blur and all-the-mess because life leans chaotic rather than perfect, and I'd rather capture it exactly as it is rather than how I think it should be. A wise friend reminded me via email today that Jesus isn't waiting for me to be better; that He is quite content with me right now. So my goal for my photo-a-day project in 2017 is just to capture the right-now. The way things really are, sometimes too dark, often blurry and out-of-focus; but somehow beautiful nevertheless.

Ashton also told me today that I should write every day this year. That he thinks I should write a book, and that my goal this year should be to write a page a day. I laughed, while Adam nudged me in agreement. So perhaps this year I'll make my writing goal the same as my photo-a-day goal. To write even when things seem hopelessly dark and tearful. To put words on the page that capture life exactly how it is, rather than how I think it should be. Because I don't always (or rarely) know best anyways, and sometimes a Christmas cactus grows less in a pretty mantle display than perched on a windowsill where no one but me will ever see it.


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