The lovely photographs featured here are taken with the eye and hand of photographer/poet/writer Gary Fultz.
I’m waiting for a breakthrough as Bach’s Magnificat breaks through the silence. He was just a young man when he wrote this amazing piece of music based on Mary’s Song. I find that amazing. As I close my eyes and open my heart, the music sings me into Divine depths.
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”
Into his hands I offer myself, my heart, as I open my hands, looking back on all the things I never thought I’d recover from, but did.
This week I was driving with NPR on and found myself gulping for breath in rhythm with the brother who wept out his love for his brother. Seventy days held captive, he walked into the light with his white flag and took his last breath.
In the wake of so much human tragedy, my human nature can’t help but ask how we will ever recover from such nightmare? How?
This week, too, when we came home from our evening walk with Fannie, an owl sang us up the front steps where I lifted my head as far as it would go to see the magnificent creature perched in the fragile branches at the very top of the tall, tall tree beside our house.
“But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us,” the father of the dying boy said to Jesus.
“‘If you can?’” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.”*
We don’t know what you’re doing, Lord.
We are in a lot of pain.
Please help us overcome our unbelief. …Wait
Jesus prayed, “Father, the time has come, display the bright splendor of your son, so the son in turn may show your bright splendor. You put him in charge of everything human so he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge. And this is the real and eternal life: that they know you.”*
We’re desperate, Lord!
Be still. …Wait.
“Only truth and honesty,” my wise son said.
Only what’s true, noble, right.
Whatever is pure, lovely, admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.* …Wait.
Oswald Chamber’s says that we don’t enter into the new life without going through a “white funeral”. Can we bury the old life and stop being the striving, earnest kind…?
My son reminds me how he had to let friends go that wanted him to remain in the patterns of the past, heading down the path with the many deep, deep ditches roadside. How did he become so focused?
Surrender. He surrendered the old to gain the new. I’ve seen this with my eyes.
If there has never been the “crises of death” the new life of freedom waiting for us is nothing more than a dream.
Jesus spends so much time waiting.
Love comes through waiting.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart.
With all your soul.
With all your strength.
With all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”* …Wait
Yesterday as I was walking after writing, I felt such love when I looked up, it brought tears. How can it be? I wondered. You bend your ear to me?
Sometimes I feel love so deeply I think it comes from some place far beyond myself, but that’s not true, it’s in me.
This is how I know.
This is how I am able to believe.
This is how I came to believe and to know God.
This is how I came to love an invisible, all-knowing, ever-watching and waiting God.
“By this all (men) will know that you are my disciple(s), if you love one another.”
We become one with one purpose: to live out more of God’s, sometimes, so seemingly lengthy and exasperating commandments which Jesus so kindly summed up for us: to love—
Strength, God. And our neighbors as ourselves.
With truth and honesty.
Have we come to the end of ourselves?
Have we waved the white flag?
Have we gone through the “white funeral”, buried the old life, awakened to the new?
Because we’ve seen it with our own eyes,
Those who have opened our hearts to a new song because of the way they live. My son, for me, for one. And Jesus, himself, because of the way he lived his. …Wait
What does the Son want? All of us. And it’s all there, it’s always been there waiting to be uncovered. The death clothes just have to be removed. As with Lazarus. As with the Lord of our raw, opened and exposed lives, the Lord of our tender moments–these tender days. Jesus. Buried with him…in order that…we too may live a new life.
The Master’s brushstrokes are lighter with the intricate threads of the snowflake than with the bark of the tree, so too, with the birth of new life–so pure, so right, so lovely–than with the strong stubborn soul.
“Have thine own way Lord,
Have thine own way…fill with the Spirit
‘Till all shall see
Christ only, always
Living in me.”
Pondering as I wait: Bach’s Magnificat; (Scriptures in order) Luke 1: 46-55, Mark 9: 22b-24, John 17: 1-5, Psalms 31, 5, Philipians 4:8, Luke 10:27, John 13:35, Romans 6:4; My Utmost for My Highest, January 15, Oswald Chambers. Hymn “Have Thine Own Way” by Adelaide Pollard.
Photography: Gary Fultz
No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again…John 10:18a.