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.

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