Friday, March 22, 2013

Contemplating a Corpse

I've watched people fight losing battles, perplexed by their blindness, but I fight failure tooth and nail. Becoming angry at anyone or anything that contributes to my failure or even perceived failure. Not much of a winning chance for a totally a depraved human.

Just when you think you're doin' pretty good, you forget an important meeting, make a bad decision or let some spitfire seep out between your consecrated lips. Other times we steal, cheat and murder. Some people don't blink twice before jumping up in their half-full cup of chances and moving forward, never to look back. Others, flop limp into the sea of despair, replaying their fall over and over. Wasting thoughts on what should have been, then searching frantically for the names and faces of those that could possible relieve the guilt by playing the scape-goat. Sometimes I wonder if I enjoy the pity party. 

Why is it so hard to BE human? I can know that I fail, accept the words that I mess up all the time, but what about that 30 minutes, or 30 years immediately following the hard truth? Do I fight the inevitable or do I humbly accept the cup that Jesus offers for freedom? Stop naval gazing and turn my focus toward His nail scarred hands, reaching to pick me up, brush me off and move me forward. I might as well spend life searching for pastel eggs, chocolate and bunnies if I refuse the power of the cross and resurrection.

Moments before the cross miracle, Peter...the Rock...failed his best friend and teacher...3 times...and announced by the piercing rooster call. The angelic message sent to the disciples, by the seeking, mourning women was this:

"But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'" Mark 16:7 
(italics mine)

He is not unfeeling toward our regret of failure...
He speaks directly to our guilt...
He longs to comfort us...
and to restore us.

He goes ahead of us into Galilee, expecting that we will delay because of fear, but expecting us to follow. There He is, in front of me. With all of my future failures standing between us. If I stand stuck I will miss out on His awesomeness in exchange for ugly reflections of a dead past. Why do I choose to stay in the dark, putrid, cold tomb, contemplating a corpse when there is light, life and the scent of victory offered ahead?
I must choose to have Easter. Where else can I trade death for life? Bury failures with the rest of the dead and let them rot. Walk on.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Snapping Cheese

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."
Psalm 100:4

I'm not much of a photographer. My hands are more at home conducting a symphony of hues, wet and  palpable, on a quiet canvas. I haven't discovered the beauty in using technology yet, but I LOVE what it produces. Photography, especially macro-photography is a whole other world of art. I am inspired to paint from many snapshots I discover online. Many of my paintings are simple, up-close and personal type images, rather than a busy, detailed masterpiece. I like simple. Two of my favorite photographers are my sister Tracy and my friend Nancy, whose blog is a breath of fresh air for my eyes...and an opportunity to quiz my French language knowledge at the same time ( Although I love what I see in macro photography, I've never thought much about why...until the other day while  I read  One Thousand Gifts

The author, Ann Voskamp, describes thankfulness in her photographs. As a busy homeschooling mother of 6, she takes the time to snap photos of the little things. The overlooked things. The things we miss most of the time because we are too busy with the big things. She is making dinner and grabs her camera, on macro setting, leans over a plate of shredded mozzarella in the sunlight and chronicles with her camera. Taking a moment to appreciate and be thankful...and to remember the little things we love. I get it now. I love cheese too. The photos freeze a beautiful moment in time. They make us slow down, even stop and bask in the beauty hidden, right there in plain sight. I've often been seized by a vast field and sunset that leaves no room for overlooking, but a plate of cheese? 

My life is filled with little tiny scenes of beauty. Beauty unappreciated, but now realized. I'm not about to take up photography, but I am going to slow down and scan my little world for the small masterpieces right under my nose. I will stop and be thankful for any little thing that can bring joy into my heart in that moment. In everything, give thanks.