Metamorphosed

 

The point of preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God has never been to make bigger, fatter caterpillars.

butterfly pastel

 Now all of us, with our faces unveiled,

reflect the glory of the Lord as if we are mirrors;

and so we are being transformed,

metamorphosed,

into His same image from one radiance of glory to another,

just as the Spirit of the Lord accomplishes it.

(2 Corinthians 3:18)

And I would write 500 blogs

The Desk
The Station Master’s Desk

Wow! The little counter over on the left says this is my 500th blog entry. And I was worried I would have nothing to say after the first month.

I never knew, when I dared to overcome my technophobia to find an outlet for my poems, paintings, photos and musings, that God would have so much more to teach me than overcoming fear of computerese. I sometimes questioned the wisdom of writing about events of this annus horibilis before there was any evidence of it becoming annus mirabilis. And who knew it was going to be an annus horibilis anyway?

What if things don’t work out? What if I die of ovarian cancer? What if the depression comes back? What if our miracle grandbaby doesn’t make it to term? What if our son-in-love dies of necrotizing fasciitis? What if our son and his family never recover losses from the flood? Maybe I should wait before I write about them, to make sure God answers our prayers.

Then it occurred to me that I am not in charge of God’s P.R.. This is what it is like to walk in faith, not knowing how the cliff-hanger ends. (And honestly I did not make this stuff up. It has been a horrible time -and a miraculous time.) I have also noted that my anxious questions starting with “what if” seldom come in God’s tender voice.

So to celebrate 500 posts I have chosen not the five most popular blogs but five with the most meaning to me -some of them written in blood and some of them written in tears of joy. Five, because the number 5 is symbolic of grace, and Charis, my chosen name, means grace in Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament. (Psallo means song, and since I have lived a life full of songs it seemed appropriate.)

Right off the bat I’m going to cheat on my own rules because these two posts are part of one story that cannot be separated (and I can do that -my blog, my rules, and my bending of rules) This is about how God took something utterly horrible and turned it into something miraculously wonderful. These were written during the time many excellent doctors expected our son-in-love to die from multiple overwhelming complications after contracting an extremely severe case of flesh-eating disease. He has been restored to full health and the story is just too too too good not to tell over and over -so it goes first. Love is Louder and Love is Louder part II

Love is Louder

Love is Louder part II

For the second I am going back into history. After spending decades drowning in soul-crushing depressive mental illness, I was raised up out of the depths. Bluer than Blue

Bluer than Blue

One of the hardest parts in co-operating with Jesus’ healing work and recovering from the prison of the past is the struggle with forgiveness. Letting Go is a poem about stepping away from practised anger and entrenched bitterness.

Letting Go

Red Button, Yellow Button is one of my favourites because the older I get the more I appreciate the insightful wisdom of children before we educate it out of them.

Red Button, Yellow Button

Finally, Night Vision, because Jesus Christ is the Lover of my soul and my greatest desire is to know him and live in his presence.

Night Vision

So now the beautiful, sorrowful, joyful, frustrating, exhilarating journey continues.

Trail, acrylic on canvas
Trail, acrylic on canvas

To borrow from The Proclaimers I would like to make a proclamation of my own:

But I would write 500 blogs

And I would write 500 more

Just to be the one who wrote 1000 blogs

To tell you God is good.

And yes, He will restore.

Like a Rushing Stream

Tam O'shanter Creek Kootenay Lake British Columbia

Truth is lacking,

and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

 

The Lord saw it, and it displeased him

that there was no justice.

He saw that there was no man,

and wondered that there was no one to intercede;

then his own arm brought him salvation,

and his righteousness upheld him.

 

So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west,

and his glory from the rising of the sun;

for he will come like a rushing stream,

which the wind of the Lord drives.

(Isaiah 59:15, 16, 19)

IMG_0319 tos splash

But because Jesus lives forever,

his priesthood lasts forever.  

Therefore he is able, once and forever,

to save those who come to God through him.

He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

(Hebrews 7: 24, 25)

Like!

orange lily

Tonight as I gave approval to a friend’s pithy observation, it dawned on me that clicking on LIKE on Facebook or on blog posts is the modern equivalent of saying “Amen.”

I looked it up to make sure it meant what I thought it did.

amen

Expression of agreement or confirmation used in worship by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The word derives from a Semitic root meaning “fixed” or “sure.” The Greek Old Testament usually translates it as “so be it”; in the English Bible it is often translated as “verily” or “truly.” By the 4th century BC, it was a common response to a doxology or other prayer in the Jewish temple liturgy. By the 2nd century AD, Christians had adopted it in the liturgy of the Eucharist, and in Christian worship a final amen now often sums up and confirms a prayer or hymn. Though less common in Islam, it is used after reading of the first sura. (Concise Encylopedia)

So instead of amen we Canadians could correctly say, “For sure, eh?” or click on LIKE.

Campanula
Campanula

Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete. ( 1 Corinthians 1:20-22 The Message)

God’s promises come with a yes. To which the response is (altogether now) Yes! or Oh yeah! or Right on! or I solemnly affirm or —--LIKE!

lavatera flowers

This evening I was asking the Lord the rather useless question, “How long?” (Useless because “soon” to him seldom seems like soon to me when we’re talking about seeing promises fulfilled.) In my frustration I dropped my work and went for a walk around the neighbourhood.

As I was taking photos of flowers I remembered a post I made on April 14, about how God always keeps his promise, that spring was coming even though, at the time, we couldn’t see it and the robins were sitting in a snow-filled tree. It was like He said, “Did I not keep my promise?”

He did indeed. Spring has turned to summer. The flowers bloom and the fruit is beginning to ripen.

raspberry

Aster
Aster

 

He showed me more and more of his beautiful promises fulfilled.

Portulaca
Portulaca
Plum Promise
Plum Promise
Lavatera
Lavatera
Over the Fence
Over the Fence
Cosmos
Cosmos
Cosmos and Bee
Cosmos and Bee

 

And as a special gift -a robin in a big old pine tree. When I looked at my photos I saw the heart shape the branches made.

Robin
Robin

You’re good, Abba. I praise you for your faithfulness. You do keep your promises.

And I give you great big LIKE.

Related post: Are We There Yet? https://charispsallo.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/springter/

There Will Come a Day

There Will Come a Day
There Will Come a Day

“It is not for us to predict the day – but the day will come – when people will once more be called to speak the word of God in such a way that the world is changed and renewed. It will be a new language, perhaps quite non-religious language, but liberating and redeeming—like Jesus’ language; so that people will be alarmed and yet overcome by its power – the language of a new righteousness and truth, a language proclaiming that God makes peace with humankind and that God’s kingdom is drawing near. Till then the Christian cause will be a silent and hidden affair, but there will be those who pray and do right and wait for God’s own time.”

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Thoughts on the Day of Baptism, Letters and papers from prison.