Thursday, July 18, 2013

Here's the Thing: Porch Madness

Let’s just state the obvious, shall we? 

          It’s been awhile. 
If you’re still there, reader: Thank You.  Truly, I’m humbled that you’ve come back, too.

I have opened this blog almost daily these past two months, and have stared at the blinking cursor, waiting for all that’s in me to come flooding out. 
But that’s the thing: there wasn’t much in me to pour out.  Not for any reason other than inside was – quiet. 

I was – I am still – passionate about how God loves His children, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sin-affinity, failings or achievements.  I will never acquiesce to even the idea that we can thoughtfully and logically say abortion is okay.  I love God’s church, Christ’s body and bride; but I still have such a hard time with how we treat one another, both inside and outside her walls.  I know that marriage was created by God, and as such, should reflect His perfect and loving relationship within the Trinity; and I believe (scripturally) that this is an equal and sacrificial love, that should neither dominate nor diminish either person.   I continue to delight in seeing God working in and through His children in spite of ourselves.    

I needed to delineate all of this because, for a while now, I feel like I’ve gotten a bit off track.  Like I took a turn down a winding path, that wasn’t necessarily wrong, but in a very Frost-ian way has made too great a difference in what these words have become.  It was only when I stopped, looked around and listened to where I was, that I realized this wasn’t where I’d set out to go.  Thus, I felt the need to articulate my path clearly, both for myself and for anyone still reading.    
I was listening to many different voices, some living, others gone to their eternity; and I found myself trying to appease each one.  To incorporate their influence, draw from their wisdom, and respond to their views.  Again, while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it took my focus away from where it should be.   

Years ago, maybe five or six, the Officer and I decided to add a paver stone porch to our yard.  We measured. hauled sand, pounded it down, and began the tedious task of placing each square; making certain every single one was aligned and sloped away from the house at just the right angle so that water wouldn’t pool and the porch would be perfectly smooth.  The task was daunting, taking days to complete.  And because I have hidden perfectionist tendencies, I spent more time with each individual square than I should have.  I got mired down in making every single one as perfect as I could.  It wasn’t long before I found insurmountable faults with each one.  The tiniest discrepancy became something that was going to throw the entire design to ruin.   And I lost sight of the project as a whole; my vision narrowed so completely that it encompassed on the brick before me. 
Eventually, the Officer coaxed my eyes to see the entirety of our project: how far we’d come, how pretty our results were to that point, and the potential that was even more evident in light of our progress.  I needed to take my eyes of the task just before me and see a greater scope.     

I mention this story, because it’s indicative of what’s happened over the past few months.  I narrowed my focus too much, saw too many troubles before me, and lost sight of what I had set out to do in the first place:
To share the truth I have learned with any who will listen.

So in the interim, I have been slowing down, watching rainstorms and marveling at their inherent beauty.  Studying the faces of my loved ones and soaking in the God-in-them I see there.  I’ve also been doing some repenting (a lot, actually).  I’ve been doing some listening (probably not as much as I should, honestly).  And I’ve been working on re-adjusting my thinking. 
And I’m to the point now that I’m going to do what I started out doing, not what I devolved into.  I’m going to focus on a theme for a few weeks at a time, sticking close to Scripture and worship.  And because I have a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, I’ll be peppering these articles with an occasional with a segment I’m calling “Here’s the Thing,” in which I’ll comment on a topic with my unabashed personal (though one hopes Scripturally-informed) opinion, or review a book (of theological bent) I’ve read.   As always, I invite questions of all kinds and comments, so long as they are respectful and thoughtful.  I maintain sole ownership of the content here, so anything I deem rude, hurtful, or slanderous will be removed.

I hope you’ll join me. 



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