See the girl as her own new world
Though her home is on the surface she is still a universe
-Jason Mraz (yep, I went there)
stark little story left out unexpected
and then soaked to the core unpleasant
cold to the bone of a winter rain unprepared
the dark yielding questions and confusion unsought
everything tender and needing attention undivided
instead, to a corner, hiding.
little child hands emptied of everything open
and then blanketed in the contrast of stepping out into expanse
because the tiniest sliver of light exposes
dark is nothing, nothing, nothing in that sliver, gone
and words spill on pages of a stark little story
because light spilled on them to live by, and it spills over, abiding.
the Light of men,
ohtherediscovery, endless, hope.full
love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear:
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star
-ee cummings, who is my favorite poet, via Parker Fitzgerald, who inspires me.
One of the things I love about God is that believing him means that every story is a redemption story. That means that all the broken fragments of life may be just that, but though they feel
they will not remain so forever. Sometimes that’s hard to see, but this has everything to do with who God is. It has everything to do with the value he placed on humanity (and the world he called good) by infusing us with love. That said, choices, good and bad, come with consequences attached, good and bad. And sometimes the bad is really, really bad.
I love redemption stories, though, because the way redemption takes place- by the hand of a God who is love personified- transforms not just the life of the one being redeemed but the lives of everyone around the one too. I think about that from time to time and am grateful for the hand of God in my story. And I get excited about who he is in the world.
Sometimes I forget to remember that. Sometimes, though, there are nights like tonight, when I catch a glimpse and have a memory and the combination is sureness of love and eager (a hungry kind of wonderful eager) hope. That we get to live life with this as our story? Goodness overflows.
”Faith, then, is the long parenthesis between the undeniable appearances of God’s glory.”
the whisper, “like this,”
as steady hands guided wobbly steps
until a pounding heart
resolved faith as recourse for fumbling around in the dark
each “like this” not an eradication of fear
rather a revision of focus guided by hope of historic proportion
funneled into feeble efforts until
these wobbly steps pound a steady rhythm,
a tune familiar hummed is trustworthy
hummed, it leads somewhere, like this
response always, ever heard prayer
“All is grace.”
-St. Therese of Lisieux
When I called Montana and Ontario home, the coming of fall meant bright summer days yielded to warm fall colors, sandals found themselves abandoned in the closet, exchanged for boots. I left a sweater and socks beside my bed at night and pulled them on before stumbling to the kitchen for coffee, as cold mornings and I do not get along. I dreaded the impending shift to winter while being utterly captivated by fall.
In Texas fall sneaks in with noticeably less grandeur, as the heat only cools to warm. Texas as home, though, has only changed the way I love fall. Fall means running shifts from nearly intolerable to enjoyable, and the miles s t r e t c h easily under my feet. I run the whole year to be ready for running in the fall.
Fall means travel North to see several sets of friends who have become like family to me as I’ve been privileged to document their changing lives photographically.
Fall means things get crazy with photography, weekends stacked on weekends of meeting clients and sharing their lives and helping them remember right now tomorrow. And then Thanksgiving comes, and Thanksgiving is the best day to be a kid in my family. We love Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for.
I guess I am writing all these words to say I am anticipating fall. It’s been quite a year. So much changed in the first half of the year that the summer passed in a blur of trips that provided time to sort out what life looks like now. It’s always seems like revelation to realize the steady Presence of grace occurs as rhythmically as the coming and going of the seasons, and each year wraps back around to fall time and again and it’s a time of year to be utterly captivated by life and all that it has to offer. That anticipation of the return of fall, I guess, is a hope and prayer- one part knowing and one part mystery- that all is grace.