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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
He showed me more and more of his beautiful promises fulfilled.
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.
You’re good, Abba. I praise you for your faithfulness. You do keep your promises.
“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.