Thursday, November 09, 2006

A poem by Madeleine L'Engle

...Set To The Music Of The Spheres

Pain is a partner I did not request;
This is a dance I did not ask to join;
whirled in a waltz when I would stop and rest,
Jolted and jerked, I ache in bone and loin.
Pain strives to hold me close in his embrace;
If I resist and try to pull away
His grasp grows tighter; closer comes his face;
hotter his breath. If he is here to stay
Then I must learn to dance this painful dance,
Move to its rhythm, keep my lagging feet
In time with his. Thus have I a chance
To work with pain, and so may pain defeat.
Pain is my partner. If I dance with pain
Then may this wedlock be not loss but gain.

So beautifully put. Such an elegant wonderful turn of phrase. How well I know the agony of this dance.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Is there any thing too hard for me?

The sign I have put over my desk reads:

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there any thing too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

Is there any thing too hard for God? I have been thinking about this because we are in the midst of serious financial hardships. Some of it is our own foolishness, and some of it is because some of our contractors (like most general contractors) do not pay on time. If they had paid on time we would be fine, but the underlying situation which makes this extra difficult is that we need to put in better financial controls both personally and professionally. So, in the past several weeks I have been to Starbucks once. That's right, once.

The flavored creamers aren't the same as the foo-foo coffee drinks I so love, but they are cheaper and somewhat satisfy the taste buds. As I have been having a coffee instead of breakfast, I'm not ready to give it up entirely.

I wish I could say that I am able to turn my fears over to the Lord and cast them completely away and live in a state of total trust. I wish. I have an invasive cancer called fear. I have had huge areas of it cut away, and been treated with radical chemotherapy and radiation (previous trials, and scriptural medicine) but now and again, stresses come and we find new pockets of the disease that must be treated radically. Stamping out this disease so that no cells can be left alive. But still, it is not a magic pill. It is a deliberate treatment and sometimes the medication doesn't appear to be working, but with persistent application of the cure, I am confident that this newest outbreak of the cancer of fear will be irradicated. As I am learning, there may be new outbreaks, and you can never be complacent about this.

But the healing is the same. Massive doses of prayer and repentance, asking for God's healing touch, and massive doses of scripture. Or, sometimes a single dose of scripture repeated many times throughout the day. It includes meditation on what God has done in the past for others, and in my own life. It is a determination to trust. Not a feeling of trust...that comes after stepping forward. It is the determination that I will trust. With God's help. Throw myself at his feet and crying for help. It is admitting to others where I am falling down and availing myself of their assurance of God's goodness.

I will bless the Lord at all times. Ah yes, but I will tell him how I feel, and what I think. I will not pretend with the God who knows what I am in the deepest parts of me, better than I know myself.