|||||like a bursting waterballoon||]|
|||||susan ashton:stimulating countryfolksy sound like heartybarley soup for the soul||]|
clay on the wheel, jar in the kiln,
cotton on the loom, sari in the sewing room,
rosewood under the carving knife, walnut under the sandpaper,
worn leaking bucket in the well, new sprouting rice in the flooded field,
still pool between the generous, swollen waterfall and the thirsty, turbulent stream
sometimes the stream
sometimes the rock sunk to the bottom
sometimes the turtle sticking its head in the sand on the banks
sometimes the paint-splotched balloon escaping on the wind
sometimes the malabar whistle-thrush warbling overhead
sometimes the skater-bugs gliding on the surface of the pool
sometimes the scum on the boulders sticking out of the stagnant pool
remember when: the swimmer immersed in the invigorating pool
mmm the pool. be still my soul. be strong my body. be sound my mind.
i'm all over the place, in all kinds of stages of shaping and weaving and mending and cutting and dipping and filling and pouring and rooting and growing and colour-altering and patching and sinking and hiding and gathering-up and puffing-out and bubble-popping and balancing and diving and mucking-about and mossing-over and floating and flying and lighting-in (oh did you mean enlightening? did i?)
but mostly i just long for sleep. for deep, body-mind-soul-quenching rest. i keep succumbing to the urge to shut out the world by either curling up on my couch in the middle of writing a paper, which is irresponsible, or by sitting aimlessly absorbed in my computer screen all day, which is antisocial. both reactions probably stem from the fact that i am not fully resting in God's infinitely capable and caring hands...oh yeah, sure, he's got the whole world in his hands, but ME? but i need to be, need to realize that the work he offers me may not be easy but it will fit perfectly and he will be beside me walking through it all...i need a forceful reminder of romans 12:1-2, which says in the Message paraphrase:
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
or in a more familiar translation: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
susan ashton's song 'Body and Soul' gently rustles the stupor-steeped reeds of my scattered, relative reality right now:
once i was lost, hurting inside, dangling over the edge, but the history of pain barely remains. once i was blind, but could it be that the excess of light was shading the weary past with the shadow it cast. and as sin gives way to atoning blood, and a debt is paid with the riches of love, there's a hope that i see, there's a freedom in me, there's a comfort in death and in life, knowing that i belong to the savior who's making me whole, body and soul. now i can feel a sense of resolve, choosing a new point of view, going against the grain, breaking the chain. and the shackles fall on the road to peace, and i lose them all as i find my release, coz there's a hope that i see, there's a freedom in me, there's a comfort in death and in life, knowing that i belong to the savior who's making me whole, body and soul. and hope eternal springs in me, and freedom seems to willingly carry me through a world of fears i've stored inside of me; Lord, abide in me...body and soul...
it's too easy here, sometimes, where my commitment and love for the Lord is communally shared and so not necessarily challenged each day by my classmates, and not contradicted by what i'm taught each hour in the classroom...too easy to lose sight of the adventurous, sweep-us-off-our-feet journey this quest after veritas is supposed to be. (currently reading: Finding God Beyond Harvard by Kelly Monroe Kullberg) but it's exciting to know that there are those in the most hard-core halls of academia who have found hope and love profound, and faithfully been following the call of Christ who is light and truth, lux et veritas, in the midst of all kinds of study-pursuits (www.veritas.org). of course it has always been happening, people testifying to the existence and personal experience of the God who is Love, of Jesus Christ (on whose name and truth most of the major universities of this country were founded!) and living out their faith in whatever their profession or walk of life they are meant to be in. but it's encouraging that more of these people are coming out of the woodwork (or, more typical of a university landscape, the brickwork) and joining together in communities to share life, love, joy, hopes, doubts, fears, and all kinds of questions, and to open up those conversations to anyone with questions about life and how God relates to it all and who God is anyway. or whether there is one. that takes a lot of faith to believe, too. but it's exciting to hear of so many distinguished scholars, scientists, and other thinkers standing up and speaking out in love to let people know how our Christian faith really does integrate with reason, with intellectual integrity as well as inspired creativity. and it's a wake-up call to me as an undergrad music and TESOL student as i've become increasingly slow and slacking, that i really should re-dedicate myself to doing my work with excellence--not perfection, that's dangerous and impossible, but simply nod my head yes to doing my best instead of flirting with the borderlines of failure and broken trust. *head shakes/eyes roll* at how easy it is to lose sight of the most basic life preservation principles. *spine shivers/delicious face scrunch* at how brilliantly the mind of Jesus speaks to everything we need to be healthy, fully alive human beings in every way possible. in that confidence i can, with a rejuvenated and intellectually challenged mind, repeat the words that were sung at my baptism as my body went under the waters to show that my soul would be anchored in my savior Lord:
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.