Playdates with God: the Long Drive

The sky keeps her secret well and the white skins of the sycamores glisten under the soft yellow-green of unfolding leaves. Tiny yellow blooms lace the floor of the forest out my window and the hills up ahead kiss the dewy softness of the white sky. The rain will come later but this anticipation of it…it awakens all the dry places inside.
We drive.
It’s one of our favorite things—this sitting side-by-side, watching the world go by. Motoring to a new place, an old place—an old-new place—this unravels all the strings that bind. And the feeling of freedom is all the sweeter because we are together.
He puts in some new music and we don’t need to talk…just listen. And I look out the window at the beauty of my Father’s world and try on words in my head. There is no glamour in the long drive, no big places or adrenaline rush moments. Just this…quiet joy.  
And when he takes my hand, twines his fingers around mine…there is no place I would rather be.
How do you embrace the God-joy? 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:

the Playdates button:

 

Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

On In Around button

Playdates with God: When Old Love is New

I curled my hair and put on that red blouse. They weren’t real pearls, but their lustrous sheen in the light of my kitchen glowed translucent against their ivory frame. It was more than the situation called for, more than expected. And to a girl who’s always felt…less than, this was a new skin.
This can be our Valentine’s dinner, I whispered in his ear.
It was a crowded affair with hardly room to pirouette. I didn’t try. Frocked tables and men in hats bumped together in narrow passageways. At dinner, we sat with dear friends and made new ones. The clink of glass and murmur of steady conversation were the music of the evening. I leaned into his song—listened, rapt, to the voice I know so well become new again.
And when his fingers found mine under that white tablecloth I felt beautiful. I felt loved.
How do you embrace the God-joy? 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:
The Playdates button:

 

Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

On In Around button

Playdates With God: Happy Feet

“There’s something about sitting on the front porch eating a Bomb Pop that makes it feel like anything is possible,” I say to him as I study that sweet miracle that is the red-white-and blue pop. The red is sweating, just a little, and promising just the right refreshment on this hot summer evening.

He nods, but doesn’t elaborate, and I wonder when the last time was he has felt that way.

Anything is possible.

“Your toes look funny,” he says, and when I look, I see that they do.

We have this ongoing foot thing—he teases me about mine because I like to pick things up with them. His? Useless. They just stand there. But the first time I saw them bared? That’s when I fell in love with him. One of my friends even wrote a poem about it.

This is what we do. When he gets back from an evening run, we sit on the porch and eat a Bomb Pop. Sometimes the boys join us. Sometimes the dog. But lately, it’s just been the two of us.

And it feels right. Because, you know—where two or more gather? And things are changing…what with boys that grow. I have a feeling that it’s going to be just the two of us a lot.

It’s a good thing I like him. And his feet.

How about you? How do you embrace the God-joy? 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. And come tell us about it.

Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:


Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also:

On In Around button

Looking for a good summer read? Join us over at The High Calling for our new book club–which starts today–on Luci Shaw’s Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination, and Spirit: Reflections on Creativity and Faith

How to Reach Across the Quiet

We love to drive together, so we do—a four hour journey of side-by-side and music and leaving things behind. Earth carries us on her hip and I watch the tops of the evergreens wave us by through miles and miles of naked trees. A hawk catches an updraft for pure joy—dark wings spread wide against pale sky. The arching arms of sycamores stand out like old bones against washed out winter oaks and maples—fair sister in midst of wrinkled rough bark and fragile leaves holding on until the last.
I am happy and I tell him all my thoughts—about this beautiful life crowned by this amazing community—these word-lovers I am longing to see.
He grows quiet.
How to touch that empty place—the tender space where two branches meet and grow up and away from each other? They begin as one—climb up from the root and push through the loam of earth together…but one leafy hand reaches for light this way and the other stretches up that way and grows away…
Away.
I sing the words to the music soft.
We arrive and I go chase words and he walks streets and stops in a pub to taste some Belgian ale. He watches people–the man who sits beside him, the people at the bus stop, two Orthodox Jews—young men, in black dress with long locks framing faces.
I text him during breaks and he is resting and the quiet in the space between grows louder.
At dinner I press my cheek against the window and look out at the streets glistening in the night—all dressed up for a night on the town. In that moment, I am held.
On Sunday, my pastor preached the story of David and Goliath.
It’s a familiar story, she said. But don’t let that keep you from listening. Don’t let that keep you from hearing.
She read the story and I listened with new ears.
The Israelite warriors looked at Goliath and quaked with fear. They looked at Goliath and saw a giant. David looked at Goliath and saw a giant target—one he couldn’t miss.
And Saul took David in his tent and dressed him in his armor. And David couldn’t move…David only needed one kind of armor to defeat Goliath…
But isn’t that what we do? She said. We put on the armor of a giant and go out to fight the big guy. When really, only one thing is needed…Oh, Lord, when we pray, you come to us and enter our lives and make us strong…
This doesn’t feel like a giant. Love bridges most any chasm. But I feel the growing pains and I know what this requires.
…come to me, Lord. Enter my life and make me strong…
The giant target I cannot miss is love. But I must take off the armor first. When I do, my heart is left bare and I feel small, frightened, vulnerable. One arrow might pierce these tender places. I reach a branchy arm across the quiet space and dig through the earth to touch the root of me, curl into him.
We grow this way—following light but always turning back to one another, braided together in love.
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You Are Fully Known

He left without saying goodbye this morning and I was devastated.

I cried a little. God filled His wineskin as the fullness of the past few days washed over me.
There hasn’t been time to breathe.
On my way home from work the other day, I realized I was holding my breath–my entire body locked up, tense and waiting. In ancient days, this stress response prepared one for whatever was necessary. Fight or flight they call it. But there I was, in rush hour traffic, flooded with stress hormones–poised for anything but going nowhere.
I forced air in and out of my lungs, deep and slow.
This isn’t living well, I thought.
Then there is this in my reading this morning: …I am fully known.
Paul said it.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
I thought of Caleb’s canvas and tried to muster some trust.
But I am just tired.
And I wonder to myself, how can You? How can You fully know and still be silent?
When the misunderstanding happened this morning, he didn’t know what the voices in my head were saying. He only knew in part.
We are as close as two people can be, yet…he does not fully know me.
And I do not fully know him.
But there is One who knows.
I chastise myself, tell me to be patient, pray for more faith…
But he left without saying goodbye this morning.
And I know something must change.
I am Jonah, crying out from the belly of the fish. I know this is a strange sort of rescuing, but it’s cold and dark and it stinks in here.
Jonah had issues, but from the belly of that fish, he offered up Psalms of praise to God.
Will I do the same?
I am fully known.
Do I trust these words? Do I trust the One who knows?

You are fully known.

There is so much pain in this crazy world. And I can’t even make it through the morning today. All that I know is I never want him to leave without kissing me goodbye again.
I never want it to be okay. Never want to be okay with that sort of thing.
So this is me. Crying out. Rescue, Lord. Rescue.
I’m singing this song, Lord. Forgive me.

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