Between Earth and Heaven

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Sometimes, there is a slice taken out of time that lets you see just a little view. Something bigger than the here and now. This afternoon it was a song that rent the sky and let a sliver of light down right in the midst of my day. I was absently thinking why I don’t cry much anymore. It’s not really for lack of things to cry about because everyone I know is going through hard things. I guess it’s because there remain so many things to be thankful for……joy is much more rewarding than the sadness that seems to spring out from every corner these days. There are times to cry, but then you get up and go on. So this afternoon when I heard the lines of the song, it was as if I was hearing an old familiar tune from long ago. Or something I knew all along but needed to be reminded of. Or how I imagine it will be when my folks pass on and I hear a song they loved. That’s what brought the tears. And it wasn’t a bad feeling, it was just the Holy Spirit reminding me He was and is still here. That’s when I heard the words from the song “Shoulders” by For King and Country”

My help comes from You You’re right here, pulling me through You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders Your shoulders My help comes from You You are my rest, my rescue I don’t have to see to believe that You’re lifting me up on Your shoulders Your shoulders……

Sometimes we just need to be reminded where our help comes from, even though we know it in our hearts and minds and everywhere in between. I felt such a burden right then for everyone I saw around me. As I wheeled my shopping cart down the aisles I saw people just living life picking out items, cereal, bananas, beer, anything and everything that makes their world go round. And as I smiled at the lady in front of me at checkout I noticed that she did smile but it was almost like it pained her. More like a grimace. I wondered what burdens she carried along with her to the store.

Enough ruminating. But the whole experience changed my afternoon and evening. It was touched with Merton, I guess you could say. He said this:

By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.
Just when I had this all captured after I got home, I hit a key on WordPress and immediately my whole post disappeared. So I gave up and went outside to sit with the mourning doves out on the deck. One of them, we have been watching has made her nest on top of the block wall. We hope and pray they will be hatched before the infernal heat hits.
I sat as the gray clouds whirled around me and the mosquitoes came out. Tapping out my letters I heard the whirl of hummingbird wings and didn’t dare turn my head, but only my eyes. He went to each section, every side. I scarcely breathed sitting still as a stone. It was another slice of Heaven, a miracle unlooked-for.
A reward at the end of the day. That, is really what we have. Each and every day if we can only see it. And give thanks.

When confusion’s my companion And despair holds me for ransom I will feel no fear I know that You are near When I’m caught deep in the valley With chaos for my company I’ll find my comfort here ‘Cause I know that You are near

You mend what once was shattered And You turn my tears to laughter Your forgiveness is my fortress Oh Your mercy is relentless My help is from You Don’t have to see it to believe it My help is from you Don’t have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it’s true

“Shoulders”

for King and Country

How to hope after the unthinkable happens

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I saw her as I strolled on the back-forty of my brothers yard a couple of weeks ago in the early morning light. A flash of orange, she (or he) landed first on the fence, then fluttered down to hop among the grass, probably looking for breakfast among the dew. A robin sighting is always hope for me. I snapped her several different times before Tyler managed to scare her away. I couldn’t blame him, his enthusiasm was infectious as he ran to and fro, nose to the ground, seeming to thank me with a glance and wag of his tail every now and then.

Sometimes we need to cling to signs of hope however small when news comes to rock our world. I believe God created birds with a special role, that of singing out hope even when ours has run dry.

I draw back a memory of a time when my world was painted black. The morning after the call came that pulled the curtain down on life as we all knew it, my Mom looked out to see a robin on the grass. He was her little thread of hope and she clung to it. She also remembers thinking that she couldn’t believe the birds were still singing. The audacity of it all. How could they?

The other day as I was praying in the car, a dove came to sit on the lip of my sunroof. He perched there looking at me for a moment, I think we both surprised one another…..then he flew off. I could tell you many more stories than this. Of other times God has sent birds.

Yesterday I got a call that something unthinkable had happened to a family member. From then on my day kind of went on pause mode. I hadn’t seen them in years but we all grew up together as kids. It’s a bond forged by memories and stories and for many years our lives intertwined and we were close. My heart breaks for them, but they’ve always been a strong family. Even now, their house is filled and they are surrounded on all sides with love. For that I am grateful.

There is nothing I could tell them right now that could take away the awful sorrow, and I wouldn’t even pretend to try. If I could I would hold them close and share their tears. I called and left a message on their phone and for the longest time the beep didn’t come to leave a message, so I started talking anyway.

I don’t even remember what I said, I just wanted them to know that they were in my heart. Later, I got a text message from him thanking me for thinking of them. Something he said in his message makes me wonder how it’s possible for someone to not know they are loved despite all the evidence surrounding them? How can we be assured that they know it, and that they love themselves enough to accept it?

And today, when I got up, the doves were cooing, and the birds were singing again, just as if they didn’t know what was going on. They can’t help it, they know the way out of sorrow is to keep singing no matter what, it’s what God created them to do. They know that there is something still worth singing about even if we don’t.

In my heart is a prayer that they will get through this even stronger and that once again hope will be theirs; that they will find a way out of the sorrow with the love they have for one another.

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