March 17, 2010

What's it gonna take to slow us let the silence spin us around..? -Switchfoot

Last week I was in beautiful, cherry blossoms blooming, crayon colour vibrant green, mountainous Oregon. Having found a really great ticket sale I went to visit Angela, one of my dearest friends from tour. I told her that what I really wanted to do together was hike a mountain. So much of our time was spent outside at the top of a mountain, overlooking a lake, atop green hills, beside waterfalls, looking out on the world. Most days we shared sitting together on the outskirts of life, looking down from a mountaintop view on the business of life in miniature scale. I love the same view from the plane- where the cars looks like only toys on a play mat, the houses small dollhouses that could be picked up between your fingers, and all the stresses, arguements, noise, and business of people completely quieted and hidden in simpleness.

"I love to be on what seems to be the outside of the world looking in. I imagine that's how God sees us, from a place where everything is quiet and peaceful and He can control life or stop a car crash with the flick of a finger." (Ang)

It must be how God sees the world. The author of 'The Shack' drew a simply lovely illustration of how God sees the people of the world. He imagined that God sees each person as a soul of glowing white. Each personality and unique make up of that person's character is a glow of a different hue. I imagine green being kindness, red pure of heart, yellow as strength and so on... It is so easy to get caught up in the noise of life, and make noise to mask the problems we don't want to face and the insecurities we don't want to work through in ourselves. I hope the words don't sound cliche or overdone, but how much more beautiful the world we live in would be if we could see the people around us in the colours of their positive character. Maybe then would the streetlights dim, the sound of our anger and pride die down, and so much of the tension from our selfishness and sleepwalking through the fast pace of life slow down to a point of mountaintop peace.

8. Always live in community

As I engage and re-engage with solitude I rediscover my essential connection and desire to be in community with others. Walking into church a couple Sundays ago a sense of warmth rushed over me from entering the door into a community of people. Less and less I try to unveil the mystery of God's will for my future with worry.There is a story to live by an author where by my His radiance my own imagination pales in comparison. I am allowing my heart to be stirred with the excitement that comes in confirmation that He wants me to be serving at the church I am trying to make home. "Make thoughtful decisions" I once read, "but don't consume so much time thinking over a choice over how to help and where to do so when you could just be out there serving." Serving is for a lifetime, the process of discerning just where and how isn't. On Sunday confirmation to being here came in the Pastor's words, "God sent Laura to our church", when introducing me to the children I am running a children's choir for now. The workings of God seem to become more real when someone else sees you as divinely sent to them. The experience is so different from that of my time rehearsing the choir, the children I have now cannot really stay on key or match a pitch or tune- but more importantly than that is what these children need...and that is to be needed. It is more important that they gain the confidence and see for themselves that they can lead a church in worship, and that bridges of song connect these younger ones to the church body.

I love children and their child-like faith...with that thought come two stories, the first being a prayer by one of the little boys in the choir.

"Dear God help us learn this music for Easter. We do not have a lot of time to know the songs and we have never sung a song for the church. And so God can I be honest with you? I'm scared God because it is new. But in the Bible you say that you will always be with us and you will never leave us. So I know that we are going to be good. Amen"

The second one comes from one of the most energetic girls in the group. She comes to me today saying that her family volunteered to clean the church on Friday and she snuck off to the practice room to where all the words for our songs are posted on the board to practice. "I'm so ready for Sunday. But don't worry, I practiced lots so I am better and I didn't sing for my parents yet...I want it to be a suprise on Easter!" She glowed with confidence and then cocked her head at me, smiled, and gave my a huge hug.

Today I added "always live in community with people" on my list of lifetime goals. I don't know the future from here, but God has showed me where to be for the now- and may that be all I need.