Monday, September 7, 2015

Church. Life. Pain. Love. Action.

The sky here is an overwhelming shade of surreal blue that never ceases to fill me with wonder. Add in the majestic white clouds and I could spend days looking up at the sky, but then I'd miss the mountains. It's a tough problem to have.
photo courtesy of Evergreen Neighbors and Friends FB Page

Yesterday we went to church and it was in Agape Chapel, which is a lovely way of saying it was outside. We have an area carved into a small hill with rustic seating, rocks, a cross, and nature. Oh, and barking dogs since there is a doggie hotel very close by.

On Sunday, the sun was shining, but up here in the mountains the days start brisk. We start our day in autumn, spend our day in August, and end it back in October again. Perfection might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much. The sky was doing its glorious clouds on blue magic. Asher was going back and forth between Jim and I with plenty of pitstops to sift rocks through his fingers and climb on four small boulders that were just his size for "rock hike," as he put it when he saw them. Isaac and Audrey were sitting on the bench, old enough to mostly listen and engage for the entire church service. Elliot had his head in my lap, looking up at the sky. Our pastoral intern was preaching, which is pretty obvious since it's his job, but Elliot was preaching, too. He'd whisper up to me, "mama, look at the clouds." "Mama, it looks like bobcat tracks." "Now it's the ocean's waves." I'd lean down and whisper, "I see swirling sand at the beach." He grabbed my hand and put it on his head to shield the sun. Then he put it on his chest. He fiddled with my hair.
loving on Bear
Back in the day, turning 5

My cookie helper

Celebrating 7 with nana and babu

I listened to the pastor. He asked where we'd seen God in our world that week. I looked at the beautiful boy in my lap. The one who, church clothes and all, I had stand in my dry shower so I could trim his hair less than five minutes before we headed out the door to church. I thought of the clouds passing over our heads and his awareness of them and their majesty. The way nature points to God.

I thought of all the ways that the world kicked my butt this week and all the ways that God reminded me that there is beauty and good and love. Beauty, good, and love within me and around me, from me and for me.

It's not always easy to see. Good grief, is that the understatement of the century? Syria. Tumors. Job loss. Anger. Heart disease. Disappointment. Miscarriage. Loss. ISIS. Car wrecks. Rape. That list could go on and on and all too often it is on repeat in my brain. 

But the list of beauty can go on and on, too, and we can add to that list with our words, our actions, our lives. We can look up at the sky, marvel our little place in this grand world, and make this little patch of grass better. Make one person's day brighter. 

I highly recommend reading this, but more than simply reading, may we all ACT with as much love and money and compassion as we can possibly muster up. 

Will you join me in trying to brighten up your little patch of grass and one person's day? If you have ideas on how to help with the huge issues we are facing right now, Syria and ISIS come to mind first, please share in the links below. Thanks for reading and loving and acting in love.

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