Monday, March 25, 2013

Life-Giving Monuments

Trees are monuments of intentional creation and beauty. Tilting my head back and soaking in the color, texture, and shape of such a creation through my mixed brown eyes has been a more astonishing experience lately. Existing in another part of the world can mean a change in climate where tree varieties are much different. Except for the Jasmine bush in the corner of the campus at Bangla Hope, Bangladesh was full of exotic varieties: banana, coconut, mango, papaya, mahogany, and many shade trees which were almost always covered in a layer of dust.

Coming home to the lush Pacific Northwest I am captivated by the juxtaposing in my mind between my two homes and their native greenery. Standing on a steep hillside in Washington at the foot of a wide jagged wall of rough rock I turned South and drank deep of nature.

A carpet of fingered ferns bowed in reverence to the majestic splendor of the uniformed fir trees as they stood guard on the hillside against the white-capped waters of the broad Columbia River. A beautiful spray of sunlight speckled the bowed foliage through the thick branches above.

Trees are life-giving! They are an intentional creations of service! All of creation is breathing out carbon dioxide and trees are soaking it in and giving us life in oxygen. Life-giving monuments to the
Creator who takes our bad and breathes life into the lowest of places.

 "There was no doubt which was more like Love Himself. Divine Love is Gift-love. The Father gives all He is to the Son. The Son gives Himself back to the Father, and gives Himself to the world, and for the world to the Father, and thus gives the world (in Himself) back to the Father too."
 (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves) 

And the tree stands strong and firm pointing up, always up reminding all of creation where beauty had its start and where Love reigns.

May I drink in nature as an act of worship to the One who gives life and may I in turn be a creation of intentional growth towards Jesus, pointing to Jesus, always up.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Brown-Cheeked Wonders

Here I sit in my carpeted room, but most of the time I'm still there where tile covers everything and dust longs for water and where little brown fingers cling to my arms and wrists. I remember the feeling of my visionary wheels turning in my brain, searching every corner for a glimpse of sound choice, but there was none than the one in front of me. My standard 30-day visa application had been declined and in it's place I sat holding my passport, opening and closing it again and reading over and over their response: an exit visa. Four days to be on a plane headed anywhere but where I was sitting.

And oh I heard it! It was difficult to define between the flurry of thoughts swirling in my head, but I heard it and it was the same response I heard when I had decided to even come to where little hands grasped mine: "Go and I will teach." And all of a sudden the flurrying stopped and peace reigned and I knew definitively the journey I had to take. So, I stood with a strength and muscle I knew not of my own, but of Someone and I walked. And the hope of Heaven never looked so beautiful.

Kissing each of the 128 brown-cheeked wonders sweet dreams as I walked away from this dreamland I had lived in and hoped with all of my heart that Love was the lasting impression left and not just the tears dripped behind. This dreamland of struggle, heart ache, and raw beauty.

Lifting my head I look forward and walk and a renewed hope of Heaven lives within, a longing to be with brown-cheeked children and a Father who knows no condition of love.