Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Overriding Wave

I've been reading through Jeremiah at night, entering again into covenantal drama, of basic things:  God, people, relationship, promise, behavior.  Ideally, they should all align like the planets in a solar system and produce the same:  harmony, order, beauty, life.  In truth, they often work as well as third grade science projects.   The variable is invariably the people.  Us.  We.  

While God remains faithful and steady, we teeter and lean, jump into speculation, run away from covenant, and seek the gods of security and power.  The lesser gods.  The lifeless gods.  And they fail us.

Papers and websites are teeming with reminders:  devastated beach front property, eight figure CEO's cutting bail-out deals, the Dow in decline, political pleadings.

And in the midst of this, I am drawn to two lines of lyrics:

"Was a long and dark December when banks became cathedrals." - Coldplay, Violet Hill

"I’m so bored of little gods
While standing on the edge of
Something large
While standing here, so close to You
We could be consumed" - David Crowder Band, How Great


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Come Along

Let it come into you:
this loss,
four hours of decimation
undoing two centuries of work,
this destruction of a thousand broken pieces
laid dying and bare at your feet.
A hundred piles of wood,
the harsh sacrifice of accounts due,
See to it that you notice it, that it irritates you,
that you stand over the wreckage
unnerved, distraught and taxed.

Nothing can make up the healing now
but time and work.
It will take much.  Much was extracted.

So it is in love and all things worth keeping.
It will be three generations now before it is as was.  
It may never be.
But know this:  you are bound to it.  
The loss, the land:  it's all yours, given to be tended 
and husbanded.

I know your desire.  To forsake, to move on.  To wash your hands of mess and life.
To that I say, take a saw and a rake.
Clear the ground of your hurt,
see the agony and affliction.
discard the worthless.
Take up a shovel and plunge your hands back into the earth;
say again and again,
"This I will rebuild."

Not the whole world.  Not at once.  But, in some way, come along.
Let this plot, this land be cared for;
live into the promise and curse.
Let yourself be bent, humbly, to this earth - 
nurturing the soil,
your soul -
as it forces more out of you than you thought you had to give,
the sweat,
the reserved and untapped cistern of emotions,
the exhaustion and frustration.
Let it become for you as it was:
the garden of your salvation.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Curious Case of Toddlerhood

I just came home after a great day, and Anna tells me we've had another first:  the first child to fall out of bed.  It was Wyatt.  Thank goodness it wasn't a bunk bed.  Anna's best guess is that Wyatt was reaching for a football that was on the floor and tumbled head-long towards the ground.  What made matters worse for Wyatt was the constriction of the three blankets wrapped mummy-style around his body.  That's his latest thing:  wanting us to tuck him in with not one blanket (keep in mind that it's like 150 degrees outside right now and a cool 95 in our house), but three blankets.  Usually, he looks like a Turk in a steam room after about five minutes.

Anna did manage to coax Wyatt to give up one of the blankets, he climbed his way back into bed to "sleep it off."  

This is on top of my trip with Wyatt to a baseball game yesterday.  It was Labor Day and all, and I know Wyatt loves to watch sports - especially live ones, so I figured, "hey, who cares if it feels like molten lava could easily descend from the sky at any moment and consume my fatiguing body, it's a great day for some baseball."  

Well, we get there, and I fork over a small fortune for a bratwurst and a regular RC Cola and head into the stadium.  Wyatt is so excited.  I'm feeling like super dad.  Things are good.  

Now, remember this:  since I'm holding brat and cola in respective hands, I can't hold onto Wyatt's hand.  So, I'm telling him to walk this way and that, to stop lingering, to stay close by.  And, he's doing fairly well, trailing me like a little puppy.  Next thing I know, though, he goes berserk, yelling "Da ... da ... da," while also seemingly hyperventilating.  He makes his way over behind my friend to take shelter while still crying out my name.  About then, I realize what is happening:  Evan the Otter - the local misfit mascot - has appeared at the top of the steps like some horrible golem from the Ohio River.  The poor guy in the suit absolutely froze, uncertain whether to come closer or to flee the scene.  I maneuvered my way over to Wyatt, knelt beside my friend and tried to explain to Wyatt that this was just some guy in a suit, which I now know is probably not the easiest concept to explain to a two and a half year old child.  

In the end, I don't think Wyatt saw more three at bats in the game.  That dang otter.  Every time Evan would come out to cheer up the crowd, Wyatt would scream bloody murder and bury his head into my chest.  

Anyhow, if you see this otter, please make all necessary precautions with your children: