Monday, August 22, 2011

Uncommon Grace

You might be a clutz if you trip over the carpet. The industrial flat kind.
You might be a clutz if you get bruises and don't recall where they came from.
If you occasionally run into doorframes, you might be a clutz.
You might be a clutz if you have poured your own water in your lap because you tip the glass too early.
And if you automatically extend your arms for balance every time you walk down a hill.
You might be a clutz if the combination of tile floors and high heels cause you to chant Psalm 121.
And lastly, (drumroll) you might be a clutz if your name is Kimberly Buckner!
It's true. I have done every one of those things. I have very little natural grace. I have cultured the amount I do have, which usually lasts for a finite period before I trip over...nothing. I can be poised, but that requires a combination of great focus and attention to the placement of my appendages to ensure none of them goes flying into a wall or object or other person. And dancing? Let's just say the world is a better place since I rarely bust a move outside of my apartment. Well, except for the occasional dance party in Dirk the Blue Impala.
And, it may be my very lack of grace that makes me appreciate it so much when I see it in others. One of my favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance, had their season finale recently. Ten shock-and-awe young talents performed the best dances of a season filled with great dances. I'm telling you, I felt my scalp tingle, my jaw unhinge and a little drool gather in the corner of my lip. I nearly poked my eye out trying to wipe it away. Just kidding...ahem.
I definitely love words. But even the finest crafted combination of words can only go to my heart. And I hate it that, especially in English, I can say I love cheese and I love God. Both are true but in vastly different ways.
But when you take well crafted words and set them to a soul-wrenching melody...then I feel the meaning, feel the depth, feel the emotion that the words convey. And if you add to that two incredible dancers who express through physical movement the effect of those brought tears to my eyes. And I am not not not a cryer.
Man, it made me so grateful that God knew that one medium of expression would never be enough to express the deepest things. And grateful that he made us in such a way that we can experience deep things. I'm grateful for the killer abilities and uncommon grace he's given some dancers and choreographers and musicians and song writers.
And I'm grateful for Hulu.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


My apartment has three rooms total, counting the bathroom. Between those, I had four light bulbs out. For someone who loves to have all the lights on, this is a problem. Today a nice maintenance man came and replaced them! So, I'm currently enjoying twice the foot-candles I was yesterday.
Not long ago, the power went out and I lit a half dozen candles and prayed for God's power to come upon my laptop battery. Being in the dark like that made me realize anew how much I love the light.
The analogy is not complex here. The dark times are hard. They can feel heavy and oppressive. But when a light shines in the darkness, that is something to see. It is the dark moments that make the joy so precious. Some famous person said once that without pain there is no joy.
Today I'm not grateful for the darkness. I am grateful for the light. For the new bulbs that are shining overhead, and for the souls who shine brightly in dark times.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


You know how you learn a word with a simple definition, and then with a new experience, the meaning of that word evolves? For instance, a donut is a round bready thing with sprinkles. And then you have a Krispy Kreme and a donut becomes a warm, crispy-soft bite of sweet joy that melts on your tongue.
Or the ocean is the blue part on the map. Until you go to the beach, and the ocean becomes an entire foreign realm of which we can only know the shallowest bit.
Well, over the past summer, my vocabulary grew in depth like this. Namely, my experiential understanding of the word hot changed. It used to mean pitting out, getting thirsty, and feeling the tingle of heat on your skin. Now, having experienced 114 degrees, it means the feeling of the skin melting off your face, the taste of your own medium-rare tongue, and the sound of sweat boiling the minute it pops up on your forehead.
It's not fun. Hot is a four letter word. Which made this morning so incredibly blessed.
Where I live there are all these big trees and I love it when the wind blows because their long limbs sway and writhe and contort. It makes this heady sound and they look like they're having a good ol' time. It makes me think of a praise service at one of those churches where women still wear hats and hose.
Well, I was sitting here on the couch trying desperately to fight of the glummies and start my day with God in a good spirit. And out of nowhere, the morning sky dimmed and the trees began to undulate in waves. Great gusts of wind whipped through stirring them into a frenzy, carrying individual leaves high into the air like confetti. Thunder ate the sky and the clouds frothed until the sky grew so dark that the trees were vibrant black silhouettes dancing in front of the barest edge of bright blue sky still visible along the horizon.
I stood on my patio and let the wind finger my hair and the leaves gather at my feet as fat drops plonked on the pavement. A charge wove through even the air.
I got hot-cold goosebumps at that moment. I love nature and in it I see me. Us. I saw the trees caught in the wind, their limber arms pushed about but their trunks unbending because they're grounded. I saw the sudden change of circumstances, the clouds that roiled in an instant. The way the promise of blue sky was visible, but just barely. And I felt the raw power in it all.
It probably sounds silly, but I felt God in that. In a moment I saw His massive power. I saw how when I look up and am surrounded by naught but gray, when I am pulled in a hundred directions, and I stretch towards heaven anyway, the storm often brings what I most desperately need. And through it all and above it all, the deep, powerful voice of the Most High--who I call my own. My own!--can be heard if I will listen.
I will not try to describe the effect of that moment other than to say that the glummies lost. It was a beautiful gift. One of many my sweet Lord has offered special to me in a hard moment when they are so treasured.
My God, may I never forget who you are, or who I am to you. I love that you know what I need before and better than I do. I love that you are a God of beauty and symbolism and might and grace and power and gentleness. I love it when we have special moments, when an experience with you deepens my understanding of you. Thank you for this one. All my love.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The apple of my eye.

Just to my left, beyond my notes and computer, sits a shiny fuji apple. A portable, refreshing snack. And right now I'm glad for it.
It's one of those days when the apple feels like about the only readily available blessing. I know it's not true, but hey. Sometimes a girl has an "at-least-I-have-an-apple" day.
I owe a lot to the apple...not this one, but the population as whole. Not only was the apple industry responsible for funding my years as a dependent (shoutout to TreeTop - world's best apple juice, and available in your local Starbucks so its cool too) but it also provided a job for me my first summer in college. Have you ever invented a juice flavor, like, oh...Pasionfruit Orange Papaya? I have. It's wicked cool to see your flavor in Costco. Believe it or not, I never would have had that highlight if not for the humble apple.
And now that my salad is gone, this little baseball-sized fruit will make a crunchy treat.
It's also called Nature's toothbrush, so I imagine when I'm finished, my teeth will do that thing like TV characters, when the light glints off my pearly whites in a diamond shape.
I'm not really sure what it means to be the apple of one's eye, but I know it has good connotations. And in Psalms 17:8 among other places God says we're his: Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Note that He chose apple, not the candy bar of his eye. Even if candy bars existed when the Bible was written, I bet he'd still pick apples. They taste good and when I eat one I feel all healthy and empowered. Like I could run a mile if I wanted. A big if right now, but at least I could. You could enjoy three crisp, tart, juicy apples for the calories in a candy bar--makes you think. So as the apple of God's eye, I'm invigorating, and bring joy and sweetness to Him.
Aww, shucks.
So, thank you, God, for apples. Well, for all the fruits, but especially the apple. Amen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Baubles, bands, and, uh, bpolish

So, there are certain times when all the aspects of your person cooperate. Hair falls in delicious waves, nails grow strong and crack-free, skin is soft as a baby's tush, eyes sparkle and lips pout. It all
This is not one of those times for me. It's a season of causing babies to cry and dogs to bark.
I'm having a bad hair month, and the rest of me isn't being particularly cooperative either.
It is times like this that I'm so grateful for earrings. Big ones.
So what if I scare myself in the morning? I have these lovely earrings, so just look at those. They hang at least three inches and swing a little. Since the human eye tracks motion they make a great diversion. They're shiny and intricate, pretty without trying.
And my hair...what hair? See this beautiful ribbon headband? Focus on that and ignore the mass of broom straw knotted at the back of my head. That's what I do.
I'm pretty sure the first magician was a woman who thought, "Hey, this misdirection thing is pretty cool. I bet it would work for other stuff, too."
I don't know if anyone consciously thought up the concept of accessories. Probably Eve just picked a flower, stuck it in her hair and waited for Adam to notice and comment. But, however the trend was started, I'm grateful it did.
Thank you, Jesus, for big earrings, headbands, necklaces, and nail polish. And that you aren't repelled, even on the "eek" days.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I had a conversation a few weeks ago with some folks who were trying to tell me about the mother god. According to them, God the Father/Son/Spirit is less Trinity than three names for a unity. And there is a single verse buried in the end of Revelation that refers to the Bride of Christ, only this time it's not the church, its a mother god.
So we had a rousing conversation about various passages in Scripture. I don't think I convinced them that there is one true God and politely declined to attend their Bible study.
It broke my heart. And overflowed it.
It is agonizing to talk with souls and know they're led astray. I don't often have conversations with people of other faiths about what I believe--I share that as a confession. So this interaction, seeing two closed minds and one baffled heart, just tore open a yearning in me to help them see this great and wonderful God we serve.
That's the part that overflowed my heart. I didn't understand how someone could read the Bible, the Bible, and come away so dissatisfied with God that they had to invent another deity just to feel religiously mollified. I think they must not really have ever experienced God at all.
To know God is to be overcome. Overwhelmed. Awed. Wonderstruck. He is the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End. He is Creator, Physician, Provider, Redeemer.
A God who made man in His image. And when man wasn't content with that and strove to obtain more power, more knowledge, my God let us...and then SAVED us. He takes all the ugly that evil would smear across His children and from that, He draws glory.
That is unnatural. That is supernatural.
That is too big for a finite mind to contain.
Talking with people who are so woefully blind to God that they must invent new beings...I yearn for them to see Him. Really see Him.
And I yearn for the same thing for myself. Even though I know my Lord and He is dear to me, how often do I quit seeing Him? How often is His infinite glory just "not enough?" How often do I put idols of pleasure or distraction, or even my pitiful self in front of Him?
My God, I am reminded of you. I see you. I long for you. Thank you for stirring my heart, for letting me know you, for hearing me and letting me hear you. For using this wee little life for your glory. Oh, Lord, let me not squander it. Draw me near to you. Thank you for the wake up call. Please draw the three hearts who came to my house to you. And may I long for you more tomorrow than ever before.