The Color of Time

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The clock finally died. The one I got from the Spiegel catalog some 20 years ago. I thought it was so beautiful when I bought it and now, even though it’s stuck on 7:32 forever I can’t seem to get rid of it. The time piece probably costs more than it’s worth, so for now it is leaning against the wall in my bedroom.

What color is time anyway? The time that is speeding so wildly past us all. Of course it has no color for real. I guess if vapor or water has a color that would be it. But if I had to give it a color at all, it would be like looking through a stained glass window. Each color comes alive with a memory.

Every time I see purple I think of her……she owns this color now, the one to whom these sweet hands belong. I hate to think of the day she will no longer be so excited to play for hours in sand.

And sometime in the future, years from now, I will see sand and time will be that color.

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Her color………….

Treasures of value can’t be measured, they can only be held in our hearts and yet God holds each one in eternity, He knows their worth.

I pour the rich brown of the coffee in my cup and hear the voices of dear ones at my Mom’s kitchen table over the years……different faces, different friends, and the joys and sorrows attached to each cup, each memory.

Yes, time can be the color of coffee too.

The Bible says there is a time for everything under Heaven. And the Byrd’s did a song that said those very words…..Turn! Turn! Turn!

     A time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

And God holds it all……not one moment is lost to Him. And the world drags time along with it, spinning rapidly beyond my control. I click moments furiously trying to stop it all. To catch every color.

To catch time.

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As time continues to write its name in the dust, I pause it for just a moment. Here, can you see it on the shelf? I purposefully left it there for you to find. I guess when it comes down to it, that’s what blogging is:

Each one of us, writing our name in the dust of time.

What color is time for you?

Even as we are one

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I remember a time.

before all the crap, all the baggage, all the pain that gets between us all……..

when we just held hands and felt nothing but God.

With lifted hands and eyes full of joy we sang choruses, I remember.

How we loved Him.

And oh how happy we were because we ran smack dab into Heaven and,

for just a moment, we knew what You meant

when You said that You wanted us to be one as You and Your Father were.

Why can’t we do it again?

Why can’t we do it now?

Let’s do it today.

My prayer that we could open our eyes and see, really see each other.

Not just mutter adlib an answer as we walk away

Forgive me when I give your precious words of diamonds and gold

no more than a cursory glance.

Let me not admire them inattentively then cast them aside

like just another pretty stone.

Let me hold your face in my hands and look into your soul

And really see where you have been.

Let me always see Jesus in your eyes.

Then……

Let us grab hands and travel this path together.

Both of us together……

All of us together. Side by side.

Toward Heaven.

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.  John 17: 20-22

I believe that with everything going on in this world, that we need church unity more than ever before.

Let us hold each other close.

photo credit: creative commons some rights reserved: damselfly58

Riptide of love

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God caught me by surprise me this morning.

That’s how the Holy Spirit works, like the wind, you never know when He might come (it’s part of the mystery)

His Spirit washed over me like a wave. It was  unexpected and I almost couldn’t contain it.

Because how can you contain a God that even stones will cry out to?

How can I be anything less than an instrument of His praise from my first breath to my last?

Sometimes He gives me a glimpse…..just one is all it takes and I fall in love. All over again. He knows when I need assuring.

Just the fact that He does reveal Himself to me stuns me with silence but the next moment I want to pull my car over and jump up and down on the side of the road.

Our God is a shockandawe kind of God, powerful enough to calm the sea and taunt death.

He breaths fire from his nostrils and carries lambs on His shoulders and I can scarcely imagine the depths of His love and mercy.  

He calms the sea and walks through walls like some kind of Superhero God.

He tames lions and turns people into pillars of salt, stops them in their tracks.

Yet He grips me in His gentle Hand like King Kong might hold a butterfly.

He allows me to feel the glow of  His Holy fire from a distance because He knows too close would burn me like the sun.

I am blown away by the fact that He loves me and the timing He uses to let me know.

I was riding a wave, caught in the riptide of His love, I was surfing on a wave of fire.

Consuming fire and gentle whisper hung on a cross.

Satan thought He won that day, He was doing a victory dance over that one.

But he made a huge mistake by underestimating the power of love,

left out of the loop of God’s plan by his own failure to imagine what God might do to save us.  

He didn’t think God would go through with it.

But He did.

Oh happy day.

Painting by Duane Scott

The Woodpile

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It was just a little place to store wood.

It looked harmless enough, and yet when I saw it things tumbled out of my heart that I didn’t know were there.

There was the promise of the first snap of fall and the times when the leaves start floating down,

back down to rejoin the earth.

There were long nights by the fire, and conversations by the glow of embers burning low.

It was celebrations toasted and ending and new beginnings.

And all in that little stack of wood.

I saw snow falling, heard rain pelt on the window and moaning winds and creaking branches scraping on windows.

Times when it’s so cold that only your nose is peaking out of the covers.

It is camping and sadness and times that will never come again. It was remembering the time my Dad and I stacked wood and what a good time working together we had.

And how long ago that was now.

It was prying a lid of emotions that I try to keep neat and stacked just like that wood.

Somehow that little woodpile makes me wonder just how much the human heart can hold without spilling over.

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Joy and Peace in Believing

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“Saguaros Praising God”

I caught myself dancing and praising God yesterday while I was going about my chores, and then again today I felt myself not wanting to leave the car, I was so caught up in the music. Every now and again I pause in the midst of living and the magnitude of everything the Lord has brought me through and it leaves me speechless. In those times, the Spirit takes over and bubbles to the surface and I just have to express it.

I find myself wishing I went to a church where dancing was a common form of expression during worship. I feel like the guy that used to jump up and down in the choir in my old church. I always used to worry about him falling off when they stood on risers. He sure looked happy though. Maybe I need to find out what church he goes to now…….Anyway, this poem expresses very nicely what I have been feeling the past couple days. Enjoy.

Joy and Peace in Believing by William Cowper

Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing on His wings;
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation,
And find it ever new;
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
E’en let the unknown to-morrow
Bring with it what it may!

It can bring with it nothing,
But He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing,
Will clothe His people too;
Beneath the spreading heavens
No creature but is fed;
And He who feeds the ravens
Will give His children bread.

Though vine nor fig tree neither
Their wonted fruit shall bear,
Though all the field should wither,
Nor flocks nor herds be there:
Yet God the same abiding,
This praise shall tune my voice;
For, while in Him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice.

in Just-spring

By E. E. Cummings 1894–1962

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it’s
spring
and
         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

 

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When I first heard this poem by ee cummings I was so struck by the imagery of it, I never forgot it. I don’t remember what class I was sitting in or what teacher it was that made it come alive when they read it aloud but I do remember feeling like he got it just right.

I remember walking home from school in February or March after a cold spring rain, walking through puddles and seeing daffodils and tulips bowing under the weight of the water, and then how vibrant and alive the world turned when the sun came out. Each time, I would remember this poem, and the little lame balloon man. In my mind I could see him part walking, part listing from side to side with his big bunch of balloons for sale.

Good poetry, like good art or good music wakes us up, stuns us with the beauty of the world.  That’s because it is God inspired. Great music….great art…..great poetry or writing,  has the power to lift us beyond ourselves. If it is truly good, it makes us better. 

It’s why people gasp and fall silent when they first see a true Masterpiece in an art gallery. Like nature, it wiggles you down to the core……takes your breath away and makes the world stop for just a moment.

Because just for an instant you almost believe you’ve found God’s pulse.

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