Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"I see you."

Paul and I went to see Avatar the other night. I went kicking and screaming I have to admit. I detest the whole “capitalism kills your soul” routine. My views on capitalism are not communistic by a long shot. Although I do think capitalists must have social responsibility. In the end I was won by the lure of special effects. Ok, they were really good!

I noticed immediately that the natives all have large eyes and mild features making them seem like the good guys. And who doesn’t love a story of good versus evil even if the evil is us humans? The humans are the bad guys, inflicting pain on the harmless aliens, disrupting their lifestyles, etc. We’ve heard it all before.

The most significant thing for me was the intimacy among the natives. Jack learns to link his Avatar tail with other beings to communicate, but not with words, with his mind. That was clever, it strikes a primal chord – language has many forms as we know. And then, the greeting of intimacy, I see you.

High impact, those three monosyllabic words. I see you. It started me down a path of many thoughts. What if we saw each other the way God sees us? I know 90% of the population will cringe because they think God sees us as wicked sinners needing a savior. Yes and no. My impressions of God, since I was a very young child, have been that God sees us as his children needing a father. We’ve been orphaned on planet earth and held against our will to sin. He sent the posse, the prophets, and then sent his son to pay the jailer. Now, it’s a matter of time before we are completely redeemed after living out the rest of this earth sentence, like Jack having to live out his earthly lesser life while playing alien.

How many marriages would thrive if we simply said I see you? How many would fall apart? Some require honesty to survive and others need anonymity don’t they? How many teens long to hear those words from their parents and how many do not? Some lose their hearts to others who claim to see them while others hide all they can from those who see them and want to see them more. Children demand that we see them, no problem there, and if somehow we don’t, they wail until we do – they have it right, that yearning to be seen, to be noticed. How many a child’s heart would be quieted by those simple words, I see you. I see the drawing, I see your smile, I see your tears. Is it any wonder the small boy runs to his mother breathlessly interrupting her, risking her wrath, to exclaim, “Mom, did you SEE me?!” The little girl twirls in front of her father while he watches TV, knowing he will get annoyed, calling out to him to watch her; not to be rude, but to be seen.

The wicked say in their hearts that God is blind. The condemned say he sees and they fear. Those who answer his call rest in his forgiveness and look up to meet his gaze. God, who is always naked, says to his naked man in the garden, I see you, as he tromps around the place with his favorite couple. And isn’t that what God says to us outside the garden? I see you through those clothes you have on, covering your soul, hiding from the hand that made you, trying to fix it yourself… let me do that.

I see you, and then he adds, I want you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Providence Strikes Again

I needed the car one day last week so I got up with Paul at 5:00 am to drive him to work. We were supposed to get up by 4:00 to shovel, so we booted to the mini-van in record time.

I love driving through Blue Hills on the way. Residential Boston ends and trees surround you. The stars are brilliant as city lights fade the deeper into the forest you go. It’s deer country so I plead with them to stay off the road while I’m there. A few times I’ve seen them and eagles as well. Going through one way was easy, the return trip was a bit tricky...

After dropping Paul off at work on the other side of the Hills, the roads were still quiet. I drove slowly through the ice on the reservoir road. The salt restrictions make it slippery there. I wondered what would happen if I veered off and decided to pull back down to 20 so I didn’t find out; it would be at least another hour before anyone discovered me if I ditched. The streets were fine that were salted but then I wondered about the Hills. I hadn’t really considered it before and thought of little deer feet making crunchy salt footprints everywhere; more than likely they don’t salt for that reason.

I turned into the Hills noticing I was very much alone. By daylight that is a treasured thing, but in the frosty pre-dawn, it was a little scary. I careened down a side road and quickly looking both ways saw no on-comers so I didn’t bother stopping for the sign. I’m not sure I could have anyway, the road wasn’t safe, my traction disappeared a few times. The vehicle that came up fast behind me was a snow plow. Good, if I wrecked, he’d help. If I’d waited at the stop sign, he would have been in front of me and perhaps wouldn’t have noticed if I suddenly wasn’t there. It was wisdom to blow the stop sign, it was better with him behind me.


We caravanned through the hills with his lights bright in my rear view. I almost turned the little knob on the mirror to lessen the glare but we were moving into civilization so I didn’t bother. I’d change lanes in a few minutes and let him pass. His headlights beamed harshly in the rear view waiting at the light because he was closer and they were forcing me to wake up more, nooooo!

The light turned green and I gunned it into the second lane ahead, certain he’d claim the first lane to pass me.

When I moved through the intersection I didn’t see any flash of light in my rearview or side mirrors nor did I hear any truck motor. I checked everywhere slowing down. He couldn’t have turned, I would have caught that in my mirrors. I stopped the van and searched the empty intersection, listening to the tiny clicks of changing signals overhead. No cars, no trucks, one van, only mine.

A truck angel, I think he was a truck angel which means the roads were a lot worse than I knew, either that or I drove through the icy hills in my sleep, dreaming about obnoxious head lights… whichever was true, it was a miracle. Way to go, God!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

This Wild Valentine

Why is it when we fall in love we are happy, thrilled and walking on air? When I fall in love, I can do anything, I know it, I feel it and there is nothing that stands in my way. As a friend said, it puts a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

Cleopatra risked her crown for love in spite of how politically calculated her escapades began. The kings of this world are known by their love affairs; we call them all by their first names.

Yes, love makes the world go round. Wars are waged, won and lost on romance. The greater the love affair, the greater the sacrifice. She gave up everything to join him overseas. He left his kingdom to live in exile with her. And the stories go on and on.

Why isn’t it money or fame? Anyone with either or both would trade it all for love, wouldn’t they.

Romance carries the soul into the realm of the supernatural. A place where one is treasured not for the things they bring to the table, whether beauty or dowry, but the heart. We are searching constantly to know and be known but for what? I know lots of people and I am known by many yet still my heart yearns for romance. Those who know me do not quench my thirst. This is why we have endless seminars on marriage, because the romance disappears and we want it back, don’t we? A small taste was not nearly enough and we will do anything to get it.

After many years of seeking this hidden grail, I have discovered the elixir is right before my eyes, a bit of the Divine. It’s the Divine that takes our breath away, that is too good to be true and that we are so unworthy of so that when it romances us we are at once taken, intoxicated and fearful that it will leave when it finds us to be less than who we wish ourselves to be. The most romantic words in the universe are spoken by the Divine all the time. I will never leave you nor forsake you. That is the basis of this Divine valentine, the promise of being together no matter what. It’s the echo of Jesus’ heart in the voice of my beloved that keeps me coming back again and again. I’m the one he dares enough to reveal it to, the passion that God reflects in him, untamable beneath the glossy coating of please and thank you’s.

In all of our romantic quests, we are searching for that hint of the Divine shining through another. When two become one, it is us and Him that makes us more than conquerors; that gives us that edge on life. Religion tames the Divine and dictates we must find him and conform to his ways and strive to be good enough. Romance speaks to our hearts, calling us gently to his side saying his ways are past finding out and we don’t have to be good to receive; this is the one who is ever pursuing us, not just our hearts but everything about us saying we are worth his life to him. His passion is furious.

We hide because we fear we may be consumed yet in the fire of his heart we find the truth about ourselves. He has loved us with an everlasting love. He has made us and he is providing for us. He is romancing our souls for this short time on earth and he yearns for his wedding day when water will be turned into wine at his reception. That is when our hearts will become fountains of wine, made richer, stronger, thicker as we change to eternity in the wake of our vows. He’s waiting, tapping his foot, checking his watch and smoothing his tux. Are you ready?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

There's No Place Like Dad

By Wednesday I am known to my children as the Wicked Witch of the West… that’s because they tire easily of the constant drone. Get out of bed… Get your school work started… Eat breakfast… Some days it’s not pretty, folks. Ah well, it’s a mother’s job and someone’s gotta do it. Never mind they may ignore me in my golden years or need therapy before 30… and I am mild, really I am!

Tonight is History Night in our homeschool group. Each child does a presentation on their current fave historical figure in costume. Fun! But last night I was no longer Mom but WWW… What’s a mother to do but call in the Principal, right? It went something like this… “I am getting nowhere quick, AGAIN. Do you think you can help them on this assignment before I confiscate electronics and threaten them with life imprisonment, AGAIN?” through clenched teeth, of course, with current read in hand ready to retreat to my room for some R & R.

Dad to the rescue, thank God.

After ten minutes there were two teen smiling faces (my husband deals in the miraculous, obviously) and he had taken their angst fueled apathy and turned their reports into the easiest thing in the world, even I was taking notes.

They are excited, thrilled, exultant even, (well almost…) to share their cool stories with their homeschool pals. They are animated and practicing, studying rigorously on the net, smiling confidently since they no longer have to spend all day today to prepare last minute…. And I get to help with outfits and play dress up, you know, the easy stuff.

Did I say my husband deals in the miraculous?

Whew. It should be a good night. I’ll have my darling Dorothy bow and ruby slippers back on by Monday. Thanks, Paul!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Sprint in the Proverbial Park

This week has gotten by me… There was much to do, of course, but I am better at eeking out reflection time than this. I ran and ran and ran and found myself so winded I had to sit for a long time. What am I doing? Why do I do it? What can I do instead? Is this really necessary?

We honed our schedule this week and are moving into greater productivity in our homeschool. But we'll burn out unless I schedule time to sit alone, quiet, thinking, not thinking, processing, knowing or unknowingly.

Then I saw the mirrors… It’s like the hall of mirrors at the amusement park. In front of you is a mirror and behind you is another and to your side it looks like a path and you stare at your reflection wondering if your eyes are playing tricks on you.

I am lost in my own personal hall of mirrors.

How do I get out? (The physical one is a walk in the park by comparison.)

I turn to God and bleakly ask for help.

In moments I’m transported above it looking down on the silly maze and see the path so clearly.

The answer isn’t in avoiding the maze but being able to duck in and out as necessary to accomplish whatever I need to and then jump out. The problem comes when I stay in mirror land and the only reflection is mine.

We all do it. It’s life. But there are secret doors in that maze, I tell you. Here’s to looking down from His heavenly view point.