Sunday, February 21, 2016

go, mighty, refuge, love, live

This photography exercise has served to focus my heart and ground me as I go about my days.  So I thought I'd share a little about the words swirling around these images as I've pondered them. 

We 21 century Americans GO and we GO fast.  But where are we going and at what expense?  Production and creation and efficiency make me feel alive and useful, but am I GO-ing where I'm being led or am I trying to run ahead and blaze my own trail? 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not upon your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make your path straight."  Proverbs 3:5-6

It seems like such a small thing to hold hands and pray, but is there anything more powerful than joining hands and coming before Creator God to honor him, thank him, and request his guidance, provision, and support? 

"So own up to your sins to one another and pray for one another.  In the end, you may be healed.  Your prayers are powerful when they are rooted in a righteous life."  James 5:16, The Voice translation

In times of trouble, when I feel unsafe, afraid, or sad, do I always run to my rock and my refuge like my son runs to my arms?  I should.  He is my safe place.  

"Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress." Psalm 71:3

 I was digging in dirt, pulling up last year's dead plants and replacing them with green while thinking about this word "live."  There's something about being elbow deep in soil that makes you think about Jesus' words about reaping, sowing, abiding in the vine, harvests, bearing fruit- all of it.  He wants us to truly LIVE, to bear fruit, to be a green shoot in a dark world.  Despite our circumstances, he gives us light and joy and true life. 

"The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly!" - Jesus  (John 10:10 Tree of Life translation)

"To live is the rarest thing in the world.  Most people exist, that is all."  Oscar Wilde


This one was easy and hard all at once.  What does LOVE look like?  It looks like so many different things as it is as ubiquitous as it is loaded.  We love our Saturday morning coffee and our children's freckles and our sweethearts, but LOVE in the ultimate sense looks mostly like the cross: laying down your life and self-forgetfulness to rescue another.

An image of my son's birthday party was a bit more trite than what I was aiming for, but at the same time, laying down my Friday afternoon to scramble for a paintball birthday party (incidentally, I got a mouth full of paintball) is what you do when you love your 9-year-old.  It's a small act of love, but it's love nonetheless.  And that's another thing- we can't always be rescuing orphans from slavery, but we can love whomever is right in front of us and love them well.  Like Mother Teresa said, "Never worry about numbers.  Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you."

"No one has greater love than this:  that he lay down his life for his friends."   John 15:13

So here's to Lent and the words that keep us focused.  I'm enjoying the looking and I'm better off for it.  Onward.  

1 comment:

lifeinthevillage said...

Absolutely. I think so far love may have been the hardest one for me too. Because it contains so many things. This one word. Thanks for sharin my friend. :)