Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sapphire Steps

My feet are paused, looking to start down this path of
Another last semester book end
One year brings changes I could never imagine
Perhaps dreams I never allow myself to think about
Or myself as completely different, a present for next New Year's Eve

They are unsure, my toes
Of where to lead my legs
I wish I were no longer in bed with hesitation
But Your simple, undergirding love never changes.
Grace is always enough.
How can is be that every step You take transforms the ground to Sapphire?
My heart longs to see such clarity and beauty,
such steps of purpose as when Your feet
hit the dust of planet earth.
God I N T E R R U p T I N G

People wait a lifetime for one glimpse of You
But seem to miss You in everyday
Your Sapphire steps are just enough promise of redemption
The transformation of clay and darkness
You have given me loving gazes

This life with You: Such a risk
I would not be anywhere else
In fact, Heaven could flow everywhere
At any moment
Busting through the cracks
Help me to see Sapphire steps
Because mine are shaky enough

Day 7,614: Stuck on the Side of a Mountain

Even though my dad had his pedal to the metal, Ophelia the 1987 Honda Accord was decelerating up the mountain. We pulled over to the side of the road and sighed. I sat in the front seat, making GRE root word flash cards with the remaining sunlight of the day. My mom and grandma sat in the back to provide a mattress for our sleeping dachshund. The trunk was packed with opened Christmas presents. 

"We just need to wait for the car to cool down," my dad said.

Half an hour later, Ophelia still would not budge. Ski traffic started building up and the sun set as my dad popped the hood to investigate. A melted cap or something was his consensus. Car lingo is usually lost on me. Then, we all took out cell phones, only to discover that no one had service. Finally, I got the insurance company to come through. But after 20 minutes of dropped calls, my mom dialed 911 and they contacted a State Trooper. 

He came with flashing lights and all, just as cousin frost was painting a design on my window that looked like it should have been on a T-Shirt from Urban Outfitters. Because there were four of us and a dog, the towing man who arrived told us to stay in the car. He wore a green beanie and icy blue eyes, as well as a beard that would put any experienced ORU grad to shame. He chained us onto the truck bed. I felt as if we were clanking up a slow roller coaster, except of our car had rolled down the hill, no tracks or hidden cameras would have caught us, only SUV's racing on the highway to get back to Denver. 

"This is true faith," my mom said. "We can't see out the window, and we don't know this towing man from Adam."

Fifteen minutes later we arrived at the towing shop in Silverthorne. The towing man was nice enough to cart all of us around town in search of lodging, even when my dog kept barking at him. Hotel after hotel was stuffed to the gills. New Year's ski trips, you know? Dear Life: Would you please let up a little?

"Maybe we could find a stable," my mom said. "There's no room in the inn." 

"I hope this means you aren't pregnant," I said.

"Well, I had you 20 years ago," she laughed.

We did find one room. The last suite in town, priced at $350.00 with only one bed. We settled on the towing man taking us all the way back to Longmont, 100 miles from the breakdown site. 

"What is your name, towing man?" I asked.

"Adam," he said.

On the ride home, we discussed extreme winter sports, what it was like to sleep on the side of a mountain, the dangers of drinking tap water and the conspiracy of drug makers to kill everyone. Wheat grass was also a predominant topic in our traveling conversation. He also made me try the water he collected himself from a fresh spring above Breckenridge. It was delicious, and pork is evil, we concluded.

My toes are still kind of cold. But we made it home. And again, Ophelia sits dead to the world. WAKE UP CALL!!! It's time for a new car. 


Moon shadows are stolen evenings
A sliver of time God forgot to tuck away
The earth should never have witnessed
Such quiet begging to be listened to

Any time you chance upon a moon shadow
It is written in the book of "How to Live Life Right"
That you must dance on a frozen lake
And watch your breath float away like fairy dust
Or crunch in slippery cold shoes
Across snow that is six days old

The constellation I always find is Orion
He often sits by the moon, ready to shoot an arrow
Through the star orchestra reflecting
Heavenly singings of angels recorded in long ago light year history

Moon shadows will turn a tongue to bluntness
And reveal the cold hard truth
Or, they will make the ordinary a moment never to be forgotten
Like cinnamon rolls eaten in 25 seconds flat
Interrupting life conversations about worship and Nintendo

I would chase moon shadows with you.
To the end of the earth, perhaps
Or even your back yard

Life of Living Hope

I have a philosophical corner in my room. I sit there and think about the deep meanings of life while listening to an inspiring play list on my Itunes. Or, as many of you know, I am philosophical all of the time. So much so, that when roommate date came around for my floor, Amber jokingly told me not to talk about the cosmos with my date. When I made up a list of possible topics to bring up, they included communion, the answer to the question (42), drug trafficking and the meaning of art. 

Sometimes such beautiful thinking does a great work inside of me.

 Today I wandered into 1 Peter 1:3-9. This chapter is about the continuous power of redemption and love. 
Kept by that power of God, salvation is secure, a living breathing force of transformation. And even though I do not see Him with my eyes, I believe. Through His resurrection, a life of living hope has been given to me. May that hope be continuously my motivation. 
Genuine faith, when tested by fire, is found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus. Just knowing Him should be enough. Beyond fringe benefits, following in His footsteps is leaving everything else behind.

I have just started coming through a season of questioning. What is the motivation of the church? What is my motivation? 

The shocking realization: Jesus. 
If there was nothing else, would I be willing to stick things out with Him? 
Such faith creates a purity of heart like none other.
 Because I can't give up.
 Not when I have tasted and seen real life- that dream within a dream, those peculiar people who sit around His throne, complete in His life giving. 

And the salvation groaned for in the hearts of people and the very fabric of the world?
 It is fully here and fully at work in my life, if I allow myself to be convicted by the anointing and accountability of the Holy Spirit.

 Because it is His anointing that breaks every chain. Only when I have submitted myself to this process will I be able to exude the freedom desperately needed to minister. He will make a way.
 He will help me to fight for my future. 
I belong in His Kingdom because He has fashioned a place for me there with His grace.

 We are a people who have seemingly lost so much. Really, we have gained everything. 
I rest my hope fully on His grace. 
I exist in a life of living hope. 

Pieces- By Red


I tried so hard

Thought I could do this on my own

I've lost so much along the way 

I've come undone 

You make sense of who I am

I see your face, 
I know I am finally yours 

I find every thing 
I thought I had lost before 

You call my name 
I come to You in pieces

So You can make me whole

 I tried so hard

Recovering Evangelical

The past couple of months have been some of the hardest I have gone through yet. For the first time in my life, I am realizing that all I had planned for my future from my elementary days at Aurora 7 is coming to an end. I never really thought beyond college, other than ambiguous plans of wanting to be wonder woman and eventually have a family. But it seems I am now unraveled at every point. 

So many questions are rising up inside of me, centering around a discontent with how my life has been lived and a philosophical shift from all my misconceptions. The lawsuit happening at ORU set something off inside of me. Beyond all of the mud slinging and God siding, I see an issue of people. Valuable time is being wasted. How sad is it that we would go down this road yet again, integrity called into question and effort spent on issues other than love? My heart breaks for the state of the church and longs for the real meaning of life, waiting breathlessly for what it means to live in His Kingdom.

Most of all, I long to feel the inward collision of the old life with the new. The slave of the American dream is not enough to live for. In evaluating my intentions and aspirations over the last couple of years, I can see my self inching towards emptiness. Comfortable life. Passionless loneliness, afraid to take the high road because of the risk involved in giving myself to others. People use and take and usually don't know how to give back or appreciate your heart being put on the line. But ultimately, not giving results in life suffocating breaths. May I never be found in such a position.

What does it mean to live richly? To see beyond big projects and actually care for people? I have to confess that my heart has not been in the right place. Too easily I am concerned about finances, being taken care of in the future or making a statement with my life. In fact, the most comfortable thing to me in the world would be to live a life of church affluence and housewifery. My tendency is to not fight for my community when the road gets hard, when sacrificing means laying down everything within me. Or when the ideal does not measure up.

What does it mean to build community? Caring for people should flow out of being in community. I long to see the church be the skin of Christ, more than a one hour weekly pit stop and masked smiling session. Breathing redemption and exuding the life of Christ happens when servant hood launches into friendship, authority stands as a beacon of hope and holistic community operates on a daily rhythm, not just a one time trip of selflessness.

As money comes more and more into play, may I be known as a recovering evangelical. As the temptation to stay comfortable becomes more and more enticing, may I run even harder. Yes, His Bride is still alive. Now I just need to find how that translates into my everyday life. 

Oh, that I would love God daily, never giving up. Never ceasing to trust in His future by setting out with the sunrise to be the healer of the blind, deaf and imprisoned. 
"But that doesn't mean community is easy. For everything in this worlds tries to pull us away from community, pushes us to choose ourselves over others, to choose independence over interdependence, to choose great things over small things, to choose going fast alone over going far together. The simple way is not the easy. No one ever promised us that community or Christian discipleship would be easy."
Shane Claiborne, The Irresistable Revolution

On Finding my Song and the Goth Momma

On Friday night, my mother and I set up the TV room for our hair dying ritual that occurs every time I come home for a break. We use the same plastic tarps and trash bags to cover all of the furniture and the floor. Then we burn this candle that smells like Boulder and melts into massage oil. We turn on a chick flick, this time it was "Mistress of Spices," a rather odd Bollywood movie that I am not sure if I liked or not. 

This time I picked up some natural hair dye from Vitamin Cottage. I have used the brand once before and enjoyed it. When it was time to rinse out the dye, both of us were a little nervous. Things looked a little darker then expected. Needless to say, I got a drastic hair change…and as for momma Muncy, well, things were a little out of control.

(Sound effect: Hair Dryer on High Setting)
Momma Muncy looks wide-eyed and mystified.
"Well, nearly black isn't too bad," I said. "I think it will wash out pretty fast. Should we call Jamie?" 
Momma Muncy stares blankly. 

Then we started laughing. Kind of a nervous laugh. And I felt really bad, because I had picked out the color. And my hair didn't turn out as dark as midnight like her hair did. 

I have been nervously laughing on a regular basis. I haven't quite known how to handle everything that has been happening, or how to give when running on empty. Honestly, I was kind of scared to face this week at home. I had a lot of time on my hands. Kind of a forced sorting through of the dark places I have been avoiding. 

I hate running on autopilot. I hate silence. 

But I heard something today. In an interview I did this past week for my senior project, a worship leader from Denver told me this simple statement:

Sometimes, God does not speak to us in the ways He always has. 

I have not known how to run back to the Healer of the broken. Stalled out, I haven't known how to pick up the shattered pieces. Or how to even feel. How could I not feel Him anymore? Especially when so many around me look to find Him in me. 

I think I have not wanted to be continually broken. I placed a time schedule on when I should be resilient again. Well, that train has not come in on time. 

Only God can teach me to trust again. Only God can really put a future together for me. But those words have been empty to me. Perhaps I need to learn to sing again, one note at a time. Slowly He will erase the nervous laughter. Slowly He will restore all of the broken pieces. 

I need You so much closer. Because I don't know how to just be myself again.

I am no longer afraid of the song that the broken sing. Because it is a song of hope and future redemption. When I feel left behind, shut out and unable to move, You meet me there. And You show me what it means to live again. Even when half of me was given away and then returned, mismatched and a little rough for the wear. 

Someday I will be absolutely strong again. And worth discovering.

For now, momma Muncy, I am proud of you, black hair and all. Just in time for Halloween. You are always beautiful to me.