Friday, August 28, 2009

Love

These have been full days as summer draws to a close. There was a weekend filled with family visiting from across the world with sweet new baby toes to kiss, afternoons spent swimming in the river under an 100 year-old covered bridge, a precious wedding to witness through a camera lens, evenings readying for school with lists and books for mama to sort, and then...sick.

No more errands or playdates or to-do lists. Just sick...long nights, piles of sheets in the wash, fever. And the reminder that I find in James 4:13-14, "You say, 'Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year...' How do you know what will happen tomorrow? Your life is like a morning fog; it's here a little while, then it's gone." This reminder of my life as quickly vanishing fog -- this is perspective, and I have been asking for it.

Perspective is what I have been learning in the last two weeks. It began with reading a quote by John Wesley about Christians and poverty, his thoughts that "any Christian who takes for himself anything more than the plain necessities of life lives in open, habitual denial of the Lord." As I shared that with a friend, she asked, "Do you believe that?" And I began to wonder...


And then, on a blog I occasionally peruse, a woman posted her "bucket list," and I thought back to our first year of marriage, Alex and I dreaming of our life together, praying over our goals and hopes. And suddenly, I realized -- this is it. Thirteen years later, we have two strong sons and a beautiful daughter, a home, and a job that Alex enjoys and allows me to stay home to raise and teach our children. I wondered yet...this is it?


A day later I began listening to a book that a dear friend kept encouraging me toward, Francis Chan's, Crazy Love, and I was reminded that I call myself a follower of Jesus, but do I follow in His footsteps? I am in relationship with Him, and this is what love looks like? Complacently cozying into my nest with my chicks, my quiet days blending into each other with my biggest anxieties being things like sick children, how often to do handwriting lessons with a second grader and what color to paint the front porch steps?
I know in my heart that there is something else. I know that love should look less like a Valentine and more like sacrifice. Because I know, too, that life is short, and that God has a plan for these ever shortening days of mine. I know that this settled routine, this rhythm of my days, that this is not what true love with the God of the universe looks like. He longs for all of me, just as I am once again longing for all of Him and an understanding of what this life is supposed to look like.

My heart is feeling pulled and opened at passages like Isaiah 58, "This is the kind of fast day I am after [says the Lord]: to break the chains of injustice...free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I am interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad..." (Read the whole passage and
be very, very challenged.) And I look too at the New Testament with fresh eyes and see Christ's passion for the orphan and the widow, the prisoner and the sick, wealth only a hindrance, and I ask Him to continue to show me His perspective. I wonder what I am doing to fill these morning-fog days to the fullest with what is closest to His heart...

And wondering, I will dream again, seeking His perspective, His vision. Just as in the first days of our love, Alex and I will be prayerful and purposeful in this, and I will seek that Love that was first of all.

Seek with me...

5 comments:

mom said...

so good, so true. we are missing all of you across the wide expanse of river. wishing you all wellness. with so much love, mom

Anonymous said...

so thankful for your post...i have been missing your blog....and you! it couldn't have come at a better time, though earlier would've saved me some money in Portland:) no, truly, it is such a good reminder to me as i enter this week ahead. He is good. ALL the time.
Ab

Anonymous said...

Wow.
That's all I got.
So so thankful for your words.

Susan

Anonymous said...

I am on the same pursuit....seeking, seeking, what does He want?? Thanks for your thoughts...will look for the book.
Christie in Cali

Ann said...

Awesome post. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and remind me of the importance of keeping life in perspective.

Hope you are all well soon.

Ann