Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On Words of Hope

So, for the past week or so, I've been clearing out a work room in the SUB that the student ministry groups use. It was a huge project, as the room was completely trashed throughout the year, but it is rewarding to see it looking so beautiful now. In sorting through a lot of the papers and Exhale supplies, though, I ran across some great messages of hope and of joy in the Lord:

Go out into the world with peace and with humility to love and serve the Lord.
May the radiance of Christ illuminate all that you learn and do.
May the God of hope fill your being with all joy and peace in believing so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
May the God of peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being - spirit, soul, and body - free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Come and sing.
Come and draw.
Come and pray.
Come and dance.
Come and... be welcome.

Don't be afraid to be silent.
Don't be afraid to speak up.
Perfect love casts out all fear.
Bring good news.

I lost everything... and it set me free...

I am so sick of this by-the-book life that everybody seems to be living!

When we open our eyes...
(What if? How could we know? Can it be that...?)
We accept that there are many brilliant forms of LIGHT in darkness.

I am designing myself to
speak only love
teach only love
breathe only love.

Do more good.

Pray with someone.

Pray for someone you would normally never think of.

Pray for someone through your art.

Do not be afraid of judgement.

Love someone.

If I come without a thing then I come with all I need.

Challenge yourself.

Random act of love.

Most of these messages were painted on cardboard, scrawling script with black paint. I tacked up a lot of this artwork around the room on various bulletin boards, hoping the students who will be working in that room throughout the year will take encouragement from these words.

It was hard, I won't hesitate to admit, to sit at the SMC desk, sorting through binders of years past, seeing all these people who have served in the position I desperately wanted to obtain. Seeing a list of next year's SMCs, so many of whom are my friends: I'm so proud of them, and so jealous that they succeeded where I fell short.

A lot [a lot] of thinking went on in that room, where I could crank up Pandora as loudly as I wanted, sitting on the floor surrounded by books, or buckets of paint, or worship lyrics on overheads. And thoughts from a confused and struggling mind:

So, I know I’m being taught a lot. And I know that all of this frustration is coming from a selfish place within my heart, and these are things I need to work out between me and God. So, how can I not be frustrated? What changes do I need to make in my life, Lord, to be listening to Your voice, to be striving toward Your will? How am I to live and breathe and speak only love? Will You teach me these lessons?

My fear is that I miss too much. That my thoughts are turned up so loudly, I cannot hear the voice of God. I need Him more than any other, and when some revelation hits me in the middle of 409-ing the desks in the storage room, I am scared that God is whispering these things in my ear all the time, every day, but I am not listening well. I am too busy playing with words, or conjuring up situations that will never happen.

I need to have the patience to wait and be still. I need to wait for him to come to me. I need to wait for Him to come to me. I have these fears, this idea that I need to hold so tightly to everything around me or else it will slip away. But when I relax and let God happen in my life, that is when the greatest things begin to occur. I need to trust Him, and know again that His love will carry me and He will not let me go. That is my hope and my joy, always, continually each day.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

On Eleanor Rigby and Other Things

Sadness that was terrifyingly overwhelming. And then... Keith? God has an absolutely amazing sense of humor. I just had to laugh, all the way down the hill, through disgustingly muggy air, to my sandy empty beach. Leaning against a sun soaked cement wall, wind spitting sand onto my page, while the shore shortens, surf crashing ever closer.

All the lonely people; where do they all come from?

These clouds are a joke, promising nothing but an obscured view of Mt. Baker. The light breeze cools my reddened cheeks, though.

I wish someone with a particular crooked smile could be in the sand right beside me, squinting across the Sound.

Time for a relocation.

Another beach, a sun bleached log behind my back, another pound of sand in these shoes. A more persistent wind, drying contacts, drying sweat. Such a depressingly empty day.

Pen cap tracing patterns in such warm sand. Words are scarce, like raindrops: painfully missed, like that all too familiar smell drifting through my open window, carried by the laundry room vent, forcing my neck to crack with the speed my head turns, finding a distressing no one in the empty welcoming door frame.

Pen cap moves to tracing words, fearlessly bold statements because of their short lifespan. One strong gust of wind and... yes, they're gone.

Pages bent and blown, hair flung back, sand cascading in the breeze. The tide is tauntingly ever creeping closer. The ferry wake utterly destroys sand creations; screams of protest echoing over the surface of the water.

Death Cab lyrics echo through my head; fingers twitch for the keys to accompany the familiar melody.

The spray is close enough to splash onto my skin, cooling the suffocating air.

More traced words. More sentiments blown away.

Close your eyes against the assaulting sand; take a walk to clear your head.

These lazy, empty, wordless days.

How can you go for days without speaking?
How can you not?
These words are not to be wasted.