To you, O Lord, I call,
for fire has devoured the open
and flames have burned up all the
trees of the field.
Even the wild animals pant for you;
the streams of water have dried up
and fire has devoured the open
pastures. ~Joel 1:19-20
Every morning now, the intertwinings of the robins’ songs grow louder and the earth is waking up to this music. How many times have I passed under the plum tree, deaf to the symphony ringing from its branches? Yet, now, amidst a season of darkness, the song lifts and carries light.
I open the windows, despite the cool spring air, and let it flood through the kitchen; drift down the hall and into my busy preparation for the day. Lords and ladies have never had such a retinue and I am royalty as I wipe crumbs from the table, fold laundry into neat piles.
Without the darkness the light is easy to overlook.
We are on the road to Jerusalem; Sunday we wave the palms. And I have been asking myself, “Will I embrace the praise, the Hosannas, the raucous, doting crowd and not the cross?” The prophet Joel speaks of thirst, of even wild animals panting after God—but is it not the fire that brings us to this place of want?
Last night, Jeff and I went to Mountain Stage, a local musical performance that features various artists. One of my favorite bands was there and my husband gifted me a date for my birthday. What we love about Mountain Stage is the quality of the artists. We almost always discover a new favorite when we attend. This time it was a female trio named Red Molly. As one of the singers crooned a song about feeling homesick, I slipped my hand in his and leaned on his shoulder.
And the first cracks of light slipped under the door of this dark night.
The way the light bumps up against shadow in this life reveals beauty in the most mysterious ways. This morning I notice that the book of Joel is written like a poem, with unusual line breaks and striking language that stirs the imagination.
… Key words, alliteration and refrains hint at its effective oral communication. Similes and metaphors are encountered throughout the book, indicating that a merely literal interpretation may not unravel the profound revelation that Joel is attempting to communicate. Poetry has always been an efficient means of communicating not only important truths, but the emotions and insights of the writer as well. In this way, the whole being of the reader or listener is stirred up to respond to the truth.” (Lena Lee, The Structure of the Book of Joel)
Yes. Poetry and music. Paintings, film, all works of art … they bring light. I am opening the window to the song, letting light fall over shadow. And it is all the more lovely for the play of each off the other. This is the beauty of a life hidden in Christ. That we die with him, are raised with him, and are covered by his light.
Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us: