Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Audacity!

There I am, backed into a corner.
By my weakness.
My track record.
My sin.

It’s not the first time, either.

My heart pounds.

What is going on?

But then through the darkness of another failure kept fresh by my enemy’s brazen taunts, I remember:
I do not for one second believe that the power of darkness is greater than the power of Grace.

Not for one second.

Greater than me, yes.

But Grace abounds...

The audacity!
Audacity of Grace...

The Kingdom belongs to those who believe in the power of God’s dreams.

And keep believing
Especially in dark corners.


“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again...” Pro 24:16

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It Seemed So Far Away...

Just a few days ago, it seemed so far away.

I know the smoke is making eyes water in Iowa, 1,000 miles away. And I know that the flames have left blackness half the size of the state of Rhode Island, (and counting fast) where last week were the most beautiful forests to be found a day’s drive in any direction. 
It makes me sick.
But it still seemed far away.

Even two days ago as I stood in uniform with a stethoscope around my neck, eyes and throat burning in acrid smoke and blowing dust, watching 10 trucks and two dozen men battle 300 acres of flames while 4 other fires burned simultaneously in our district with less attention (from one brief dry thunder storm)-- even then, I could look past the crest of Arizona’s third tallest mountain where the aspens put on their show right after the first frost, and see the smoke... 

But distant is changing.

My lungs are on carbon overload. 
Ash falls like snow from time to time.

All day we listen to the radio call signs of people we know by first name, in gear for the inevitable.

A fire that started 70 miles away is now barely 30.
And most of the time it is too horrendously windy to use the 20 helicopters and 8 slurry bombers at the disposal of the thousands of brave men trying to fight it.

The Nebbletts flew over the fire themselves tonight. (thanks, Google Earth) and then over to the place they call home, and then back again.

And then they fell serious.

And in a moment, it was as if everything around me came into focus.
--Like all at once I could see things I wasn't able to, when the fire seemed far away...

Treasure. Simple. Things.

Treasure the frying pan you’ve scrubbed so many, many times. I looked at ours long and hard when I pulled it out of the suds this evening. There are plenty of people that left home this week wishing they had room in their car to take theirs as they fled. 
Treasure the worn corners of the cozy rugs that testify of life lived in your house.
Treasure the dandelions that audaciously grow in the gravel of your driveway.

Dandelions are better than ashes.

Treasure the steaming bowl of soup.
Treasure the down in your pillow.
Treasure the eye’s twinkle.
Treasure the blue sky.
Treasure life.

Treasure life.

Tomorrow it might not be here.
Or at the very least, it might be very very different...

and if you think about it, please pray for rain...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lean Harder

"Lean harder..."

The ground dropped away before them, a steep rocky slope covered by an unstable mat of pine needles.

"My footing will be better with both your weight and mine."

I watched their feet; the two strong ones on the outside and the weaker in the midst.

Suddenly there was a solidity of step, as the weight on the shuffling feet was trusted to stronger ones downhill.

. . . . . . 

Hours later I thought:

God is like that.

He needs all of my weight for optimum footing in my life. 
I can insist on using my lame feet when the slope is particularly scary, 
but I put myself at risk for a fall...

Jesus, help me remember.

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