Let it Shine

I am now listening to the shrill song of what I believe is a baby cardinal. I read somewhere that it is a high pitched cry.

I imagine the bird being the baby of the mama and daddy red birds that greeted me through the morning kitchen window.

The grass there is green already.

So pretty, their red wings against it. They have returned and their legacy of flying by to cause thoughts of others will continue in the little bird up high crying now.

Yesterday, I couldn’t calm the baby. We sang every song in our regular rocking slow cantata.

She was in rhythm with me, a sweet low sort of melodic hum.

She listened as I sang “Deep and Wide” on repeat and the one I’d never sang before.

“This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, no. I’m gonna let it shine.”

Today I hurriedly read about the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. The way he was tempted when starving, the way he was rejected because people who knew His parents didn’t think His miracles could be true.

He continued though. He continued and history records those who saw Him as human and then Savior.

History records for the benefit of me, of us. Storytellers and those rescued.

History and present. Firsthand phenomenally personal and compelling because of His love, His Spirit, our steadfast and settled believing He is Jesus.

“And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:37‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Believing and continuing.

Let it shine. Your personal essay, a report of Jesus.

Day Fulls

I miss random writing. I do.

I store up stories for later like today my granddaughter sitting at my feet, letting her play in the dirt she dug up, cool and moist from recent rain.

That was beautiful. Her little pink ruffled butt in the ground sprouting open for new Spring grass.

She held up her tiny hand and offered me dirt and I held it. I watched her return to the work of discovering.

But, painting, I’ve been painting.

I’m satisfied with this one, the middle of three “girls”, a commissioned triptych.

More stories to come.

Surely Goodness

I’m standing in the kitchen and thinking go snap another picture.

Instead I settle on the view, a room filled with tall windows and panorama, a telephone doesn’t suffice, for the glory and purpose of me saying to me.

You are here.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:2-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

You get to experience this time.

This place. This grace.

This momentary hand of God that tells you, stop rushing. Stop trying to capture any more clearly than what I’m revealing gradually. The sunrise in the country with clouds sweeping up to the places you can’t see.

But you know are there.

Eternity is possible for those who believe. Life is more than earth and heaven more beautiful than we can conceive.

Stand still. Let that heart of yours rest easy. Now, the baby is rising. Open wide eyes and smile and exploration of every single crevice of her sweet life and pretty place.

Ready yourself! Life is worth discovering! You get to be an observer!

Now the grand sky has changed to pink. The window above the plant, the cookbook, the big letter of their last name offers me peace.

The color of love and peace.

I look down, look away and well, I could go on forever.

I’ll stop lest I start telling you about the birds, the trees, the wide open field shifting from brown to green.

The geese that are communicating.

Wherever you are today, I hope something captures your attention, something you can’t really capture, only believe.

Bible as Memoir

It occurred to me just now as I decided I love the Book of James, the gospels are essentially memoir, perspectives provided of what the writers knew and know of Jesus.

Hmmm, just like us. Our life stories left in piles of journals thought to be too personal for the perusal of others. Lord knows my journals tell all kinds of stories, my life stories. Some admittedly hard to reread, the coming to terms with life events, questions, agonizing hashing out of major decisions.

Thankfully, truly really, those days are over; they’re over because I finally learned to filter my days through the lens of redemption, not regret.

Still authentic, still honest but more gentle, more wise.

This is why the Book of James is calling my name. James, the brother of Jesus wasn’t quite sure of the truth of Him until He saw for himself the death, the resurrection. It became real then and the Book that bears the name of James is worth reading and reading again.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I love this so much, my faith life being forced into the open showing I’ve endured some struggle and I’ve kept on believing.

Life is just that, continuous belief and knowing that faith is our preserver, our kind companion, our rescue in every storm.

The display of our many colors.

What’s your life looking like today? It’s cold and rainy outside my window. My house has me home alone and quiet. I’ll take my time reading, a half hour maybe and read the Book of James. Remembering, at one time it was believed he was uncertain.

RememberIng in words I especially love that he knew enduring, believing and not doubting wasn’t a given. Still, James reminds us that this is the way to sacred and true living.

We all stumble in many ways. We all get beat up and tossed around in life’s storms. (James 3:-4)

But, we hold on tight to what we believe is ours for the asking in faith.

We continue and believe. Our colors are beginning to show.

I’m linking up with others at Five Minute Friday here: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2020/01/30/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-life-guest-post-by-heather-gerwing/

Enduring

I don’t keep track of when I began. I know I should. I just don’t know a whole whole lot about numbers.

I lose my “umph” when I get wrapped up with who’s reading, who’s buying a painting…who follows me, who’s interested! I wrote about this in this month’s Newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/23b2252f56aa/believing-in-a-lasting-way

But, people are reading. People are seeing.

I am shipping art to a gallery in Greenville, SC called Me’lange.

I have an article in the current issue of Fathom Magazine. https://www.fathommag.com/stories/i-would-say-jesus?fbclid=IwAR3mruDC0Zb0FP_px_LxDto0i1PVDtBqUYdEMXYyovf_QYi9fhKen-5GiKA

My art was here in 2018.

Still, I know me and can’t let this be big. I am much more comfortable with small…doing small things and letting my God be big.

Here’s the end of a quote I’m loving.

“Do not be so eager in your vain desires, do not even be so eager in avoiding eagerness; go quietly in your own path … it is a good path.” St. Francis de Sales

Go and Keep Going

I walked although I didn’t feel okay, not okay enough to walk and believe it’d make it all okay.

Strange how a thought can be powerful and then have no truth at all, none.

On the way to church this morning, I decided I was strong back then, I just didn’t know it.

I decided I oughta be able to rewrite some things told me, a common trauma therapist response.

Meant to let the one bound by past trauma be excused, let off the hook…you couldn’t leave because you didn’t know you could.

“You weren’t equipped…you weren’t equipped to seek help. You weren’t equipped to leave.”

Strange how sure I was in my conviction that such a thing should never be spoken to one kept captive by abuse, medicated and numbed incapable.

Sure enough I decided that bit of therapeutic prescription should never be used, that instead we should be saying.

You are capable of change, have deep down inside a reserve of ability to run and not return, that you do have choices and at any given time you can strike out towards safety, towards love and your very own freedom.

But, something shifted, put me back in that beaten place, caused me to doubt my significance and for whatever reason I couldn’t shake it and I didn’t believe walking would help.

But, I walked anyway. I walked at an easy pace. I felt the ache of heavy legs, knees getting old and instead of being mad about it, I slowed.

I walked slowly.

The clouds, the sky, the dusk all spoke.

You are able. You are equipped.

Why did I suddenly out of the blue stop my believing in possibility?

And then believe again.

No telling.

No telling really.

Other than the sky saying it’s all okay and you’re right, you were right in your thoughts about strength and freedom and choice.

You are equipped. You always have been.

So, I walked into the dusk buffeted by clouds like bird feathers, swept up like open hands toward heaven.

Made me think of hope.

Caused me to know I am able.

Free now although not free then.

Free.

Continue and believe.

If I could say anything to one trapped by abuse or manipulation or addiction forced upon them at the hands of a possessive, abusive partner, I’d say with all assurance, “You are equipped, you are able, you do have a choice…now, go and keep going.”

This I believe and it’s making all the difference for me.

I believe now, I was equipped. I was able.

Still am.

I’m certain of it.