Thursday, April 24, 2014


You've probably heard that the eyes are the "windows of the soul." That a look into them will reveal, at least in part, what the inner man is made of.


It occurs to me that windows are more than that however...
They're for looking in, and looking out. 

And of course, that the soul looks out on the world through the eyes has all manner of familiar implications. (Oh be careful little eyes...) But that's not my point at present either.

You've heard that the preaching of the gospel "is to them that perish, foolishness..."* and that the invisible things of God are seen by some, missed by others?

It's this way-- the eyes inform the heart; the heart reforms the eyes.

The soul will love what the eyes seek. Until the eyes can only see what the soul loves.

*1 Cor 1:18

Friday, April 18, 2014

This Much

Sometimes it's the things I've known longest, the things most taken for granted, that break me widest open...

Like there, opening arms as if to a long-lost friend, pausing with abandon-joy to savor the song that is the sea-- the crashing sound of surf, the salt on the breeze, the endless blue.

His words come out of nowhere, His tone utterly casual. But His eyes twinkle.

So, you know how much I love you?

No, how much?

This much.

Standing on the edge of this expanse as endless the circumference of a circle, my heart gives way, before a truth I already know.
He loves me, this much.

And the salt in my eyes then doesn't come from the sea.
Or does it?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Love and Hate [Marks of a Pure Man]

Or woman. 

Verse 9 of Psalm 19 reels me in, as it were, silently gesturing for attention. I pause before words I’ve known for always, wait. I roll the list over. 

"Law, Testimony, Statutes, Commandment, Fear, Judgments; Law, Testimony, Statutes…"

And I realize fear stands alone. 
The sole emotion. 

Fitting. For a God relation to Whom is not governed or driven by emotion, but is certainly incomplete without it. 

But emotion, you know, is volatile, and classically resists regulations. Which means a proper emotional response to God must needs have its fair share of counterfeits. 
Yet, this response is called “clean,” “the beginning of wisdom,” “fountain of life,” “instruction of wisdom,” one which “tendeth to life”…

It’s Proverbs 8 that arrests my attention though, with its use of the same word for “fear.” 

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” (Pro 8:13)

Another strong emotion. 
Fitting again, I suppose, to define one strong emotion with another. 

But both love and hate come easy. (Emotions after all.) Too easy to stand alone as a measuring mark for wisdom… Even if you only count the love for what is beautiful, and hatred for what is not. 

Every sane person loves the pure, and despises pedophilia. 

Nope. Not true. 

Actually, most sane people despise pedophiles.

The pure man (the "Fearing" man) loves right, hates sin. 

The rest lust after the beauty that results from right, 
and hate sinners. 

Herein lies the regulation.

It’s not love or hate. It’s who or what.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Too Many Options [Lessons on Pruning]

I tell you, sometimes it doesn’t take an expert... 
I hadn’t the foggiest clue how to make it right, but I certainly knew something was wrong.

This chaos of twigs and buds, of bark and branches. 

I stop on my tour through the arbor— this little haven brother and I baby like a pet. He’s tending to the turf today, I’ll address the apples. 

Here we are, spring upon us, leaving again in a day, and these trees each look like a teenage boy with a bed-head. Something needed to be done yesterday, by someone. And if that someone isn’t me, it won’t be anybody. 

So I watch a string of pruning tutorials on YouTube over lunch break. 

Afterwards, armed with clippers, I chop into the fray until trees never before trimmed look something like the ones in the tutorial. I work down the row, and slowly the motley crew starts looking almost like a brotherhood. And something like trees again. (Instead of bushes.) 

Then down the mulched trail I bungle, bundling branches until I’ve got almost all my arms can handle. From 8 little trees. 

When I toss them down on the little burn pile, I pause to finger fuzzy little bud starts, built last year. And suddenly, it strikes me. 

These branches I just lopped, they were viable, every one of them. Each would have had leaves and flowers this year, maybe even fruit. In fact, there was nothing in the world wrong with them, just… there were too many. Too many viable options.

So, once a year we go through and observe, reassess, mark the best, and get rid of the rest. Not the dead rest, the promising rest… 
That’s how we make the best stronger. 

I wonder would could be, if once in a while I set out to have God do the same for me?

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