To Be Amazed Again

How easy it is to become lulled into apathy by the day-to-day happenings of life, steadily succumbing to the rhythms of routine. It’s astonishing, really, how readily I am rocked to sleep, nodding off to the wonder that surrounds.

Until I remember…

Until I purposely take just a few moments to step away from the ordinary and open my eyes and my heart to the spectacular, seeping from every nook and cranny of creation.

Until I pause from my hectic frantic long enough to notice the beauty flitting beside me in things as simple yet profound as a butterfly’s wings or to tune my ears to the intensity of joy bubbling from my grandson’s full belly giggles.

Sometimes the only way to be amazed again is to slow down.

To embrace the wonder is to command my mind to cease and desist from hurrying toward the next thing on its to-do list. Instead of rushing to complete that “one more thing,” I must choose to meander through the memories, retracing steps over pathways of grace.

The other day I unhurriedly (unhurriedly being the key word here) opened my Bible to the very first pages of Genesis. While I’ve read these first chapters numerous times and have taught and retaught the Creation account to children in various Vacation Bible School and Sunday school classes throughout the years, this day I purposely slowed down with the intent of recapturing the wonder of God at work. For myself. And guess what? I caught a bit of it again. I’m hoping that, if you have been a soulmate in losing sight of amazement, then perhaps you can reclaim a bit of its territory with me:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth… and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Can you envision it? The Spirit of the timeless, omnipotent Ancient of Days moving and brooding, hovering in anticipation of what He was about to do. Can you imagine the divine power just waiting to be released? The over-the-top excitement stirring up the Trinity?

God spoke, and creation came into being. Light shattered the darkness, separating day from night. The heavens expanded, spilling across galaxies beyond human comprehension or reach. The earth took shape, and planets and stars and moons went spinning into solar systems. Waters tore away from land, filling crevices miles deep below the surface. Land splintered into valleys, and rocks rushed into mountains as high as Everest. Flora and fauna filled the oceans and the soil with all manner of creatures — orchids and coral, whales and rabbits, rhinos and ospreys erupted from the waters of the deep to the blue of the sky to the grasslands of Earth.

Then God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

It was God’s touch and breath that separated man from all creation, and in that touch and breath was life and honor, a “set-apartness” that drew us to our Creator like no other.

The fingers of God reached down from celestial dwelling to scoop a handful of ordinary dirt and fashion it into His most precious creation. Master Potter molding and framing with purpose, intently squeezing into perfect shape the desire of His heart. Man.

Set apart from all else, honored beyond merely a spoken word, and graced with not just touch, but with Holy Spirit breath.

The breath of the living God Most High.

This breath resonated throughout the chambers of man’s heart and soul initiating the first Pentecost experience. Imagine the power manifesting itself through dust particles, squeezing Divine image from the chemical elements of ordinary dirt. Heavenly inspiration unleashed — vital signs come into being, a soul stirs from shifting soil, and man rises to join his Creator for the very first time.

Sweet communion birthed by the breath of God sweeping through each atom, bringing life. Presence filling every molecule; forming, shaping, piece by piece, framing the network of systems and organs. A patchwork of precision carried out in the joy of the Godhead celebrating its final crescendo of creation’s symphony.

God breathes… and His plan comes into fulfillment.

This is LIFE with the ability to feel and to reason, with personality and intellect and the capacity to converse and to love. Characteristics yet flawless, unmarred by sin. A perfect innocence set apart to connect with God in complete trust and awe. A soul created to dwell in the presence of Yahweh as naturally as the heart was created to beat and to sustain life.

This is AMAZING! This is the beginning of us as designed and desired by God Himself.

No matter how much we are swayed toward spiritual amnesia through the daily happenings of “life as we know it,” the reminders of grace are active and moving. The story is far from over. WE are the continuation of this sweet communion tale, and God’s touch and breath are still available to us, despite the fact that Eden’s perfect garden is long overgrown with sin’s tangled deceptions.

So what say we shake the twisted vines of monotony’s temptation and return to our roots? The AMAZING roots of God in us. Here and now. Right in the middle of our ordinary. Smack dab in the midst of our too-full schedules crammed with carpools and time clocks and home repairs that seemingly never end.

Let’s revisit the pages of our creation and invite God’s touch and breath to bring to life our purpose once again, though it may feel as lifeless as dust.

After all, creating destiny from dirt is Father’s specialty.

Let the masterpiece arise…

 

 

 

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In Spaces of Universes and of Souls

in the beginning
in the empty and quiet
in the space and in the chaos
He comes with invitation
descends with life begetting life
spoken and done

stretching space to cradle creation
speaking into the silence
embracing empty with full
hovering with Spirit breath
holding humanity to His heart
while releasing it wild and free

glory descending for a visit
with eternal implications
for all who will believe
surrendered yet held captive
by a love of limitless dimensions
spilling into spaces of universes and of souls

light

In the beginning, God was.

He was there, present in the darkness. In the chaos. In the empty. In the nothing.

He brought forth light, separating it from the darkness, and the goodness of this simple separation continues and remains to this day. It’s a separation from what once was, shaping into what would be. Light overwhelming. Finding its way in the universe. In souls.

God making space in order to give birth to life.

This open expanse nestled within the depths of humanity. Exposing a vulnerability. Creating space to create. This calling to birth something new is present within all of us. Here in the bare.

In these soul spaces where empty weighs heavy.

Some days my soul feels at odds with My Creator. Some days I am tempted to forget that God not just was, but is. I see this struggle in the lives around me, as well. This longing in the eyes of people I meet in the grocery store or at gas stations or wherever I encounter another individual treading upon terra firma. A hidden desire to be something other than what we are. A choked hope wrestling to break free of this routine of day in and day out with no end in sight. No inkling that these empty spaces within are meant to be filled with God. No thought of each day holding the potential to be welcomed with joyful expectancy, not just seen as another day of duty and obligations and endless to-do lists.

Can you feel it, too? This sense of yearning while passing by a complete stranger? This weariness of a life drained of living? I feel the heavy of longing emitting from my fellow sojourner. Space reaching for filling. Stretched expanse yearning. Bending. Groaning for wonders.

And my heart groans along with theirs.

“Lord God, come,” I pray.

Come overtake this barren longing steeped within humanity. Soothe this ache to behold a beauty as yet unknown, yet fully desired. Breathe life upon these earthen vessels, and beget hope again. Call forth Your creation to be created anew, so we can all marvel at the goodness being birthed and say with one voice, Our God is!”

Come brood and hover over us, releasing love in new and ancient ways. All beautiful. Expand potential within the hearts of spacious souls, and reveal a future yet unveiling before eyes opened by Spirit’s breath. Bend near to hear the pleading of hearts long silenced by sin’s burdens. Release the miracle of seeing good again. And again. And for forever, as we embrace this continuing newness with welcome and with wonder.

Come and create Your masterpiece of goodness as You separate us from what once was and shape us into what will be. Light overwhelming, finding its way… here in this space of universes and of souls.

 


Holding His Greatness in Spite of Our Smallness

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit Him?
– Psalm 8:3-4

In comparison to the vastness of the universe, mankind is small potatoes, indeed. What is the significance of one life when taken beside the glorious display of the Northern Lights or the rings of Saturn, the thundering of ocean depths or the magnificent power of sunrise lighting up entire planet?

And yet, God treasures man above all else – giving him the place of honor over all created things; crowning him with splendor in spite of his smallness; favoring man with holiness that comes from within the Godhead Himself.

The beauty of holiness is the crowning of God’s creation, breathed into the dust of humanity and raised to life that beholds His image in ways that nothing else in all creation has been gifted to do.

All because God sees us in our smallness, and chooses to visit us still.

Wrapping His hands around our hearts and releasing His holiness and righteousness into the emptiness of our souls.

Drawing us to life and relationship with the Divine.

Writing His signature upon human form.

More than simply being aware of mankind, our Father deliberately turns His thoughts in our direction and purposefully steps in to the making of us. Visiting us with His presence. Making Himself known up close and personal. Caring for us in ways that no other can.

Bridging eternity’s story with the finiteness of humankind, God walks among the pages of our lives, dusting our hearts with traces of His glory, scattering letters of grace and holy into the wording of us.

When I look at the heavens and all God has made, then turn my gaze upon the bleeding and broken mass of humanity surrounding me, I cannot help but join with the psalmist in wondering: What is man that You are mindful of him?

I unite in the amazement of being cared for so deeply.

Loved with such fierce devotion.

Forgiven so freely time and again.

Given the honor of bearing the image of Creator God, of holding the greatness of His Holy Spirit within the smallness of me.

Today, I rejoice in the greatness of my smallness, and I pray you join me in this. I hope you allow yourself a time for pondering the truth that one seemingly small life means more to our Creator than all the marvelous works the heavens contain.

Your small life  is significant in the most beautiful of ways because God has deemed it to be so.

May you embrace and declare the goodness of this truth today.

Ps8_3BlogSize

Once Upon a Shattering…

Contrary to what the fairytales would have us believe, all stories do not begin with the fabled words, “Once upon a time…”

No, all stories begin with a shattering.

The breaking of a set pattern, an ideal of what life is supposed to be, a turning from the norm as we have thus far known or experienced it.

In the beginning, God spoke the words, “Let there be light,” and effectively shattered the empty darkness. With the power of His word, He obliterated the heavy blackness, piercing it with the brightness of day.

He shattered nothingness to bring about marvelous works of His glory never before revealed. Constellations and planets flung into space; sun, moon, and stars hurled across the galaxies, coming to rest in precise position to provide a perfect balance of light and darkness for the new earth He was creating.

With the brooding of His Spirit, He shattered the calm of the deep, bursting through the surface to bring to life a vast array of fishes and dolphins and whales of all shapes and sizes. Oceans teeming with life and motion and breaking tides upon the shorelines.

Earthen crust was shattered with the creeping of roots taking form, rising into stalwart trees and life-giving plants to sustain the wonders of this world in the making. Flocks of winged birds hovered in their branches, shattering the quiet with their songs of praise before lifting in unrestrained flight, wings outstretched and soaring. Herds of gazelle broke across the open fields with pounding hooves turned loose to run with graceful abandon, joining the conglomeration of creatures now filling the barrenness.

Most miraculous of all, the breath of life exhaled upon hardened clay, shattering dusty particles to form a work of wonder called man. Image created by hands of the Divine daring to soil themselves to bring forth this most treasured creation.

Molding, breaking, and molding again. A perpetual work in progress through the ages as generation after generation rises from dust into life, then flows back into dust only to rise to life once more. Shattering the belief that this world is our eternal home.

Like the earth in which I live, so too, a shattering marks the beginnings of me.

God created a form in the darkness of a womb where no form was. He shaped and molded and grew me into His likeness, then expelled me from the confines of that darkness with a breaking of water and a shattering of the protective covering in which I had dwelt for months. New life, born through the shattering of all that had been known to me, would continue to be made known to me year after year as I followed the path stretched out by His hand.

Through the growth and maturing of days morphing into years, there are a myriad of shatterings that mark our paths.  A constant breaking from the patterns of life. A pull to move beyond the confining expectations thrust upon us by others, and those held firmly by ourselves.

It’s easy to look at the moments of life – each with its own joys or trials – and deem one worthy and the other somehow lacking. But grace is everywhere, really. Even in the shatterings. Perhaps, especially there… if we would only live with eyes open to see it.

Every bit of our days plays into something. Something yet unknown. Something large. Something hidden from the whole.

Somewhere in it all, there’s a pattern of shattering aching to birth new life. A beautiful array of roses and thorns and leaves and stems, all reaching to consume and contain a beauty we ache to grasp. To breathe it; hold it closely; crush it tightly. And release it lavishly into the shattered world in which we live. Every. Lovely. Hurting. Moment.

All of it matters.

All is necessary to produce the purpose of the whole beyond the fragments. Every seemingly disjointed, unnoticed, unworthy piece.

Every broken.

Every shattered.

It’s all the making of me.

Every moment a page in the story of creation, and it’s worth the read.

Once upon a shattering… God turned an empty nothingness into a creation of wonder.

Once upon a shattering… you were spoken into being.

Once upon a shattering... you were redeemed and called into your purpose as Light-bearer.

Once upon a shattering… death was conquered in victory.

Once upon a shattering… God will speak yet again.

Once upon a shattering… every broken thing will be raised into newness and life.

Once upon a shattering…  the old will be obliterated by the timeless splintering of HOPE.

For all eternity.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus… let the shattering begin.

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