Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September


The morning dawns to cleanse anew and wash the world in light,
September paints the mountains gold and lingers into the night.  
The meadows wink with flowers, their stems with color hung. 
Sunflowers send,
Around the bend,
To greet the autumn’s song.  
The noontime beckons; the pines all whisper, “Come drink the cool of shade.”
Kaleidoscope of stained glass leaves, branch upon branch in wooded glade.
The daisies fresh, the bluebells deep, the paintbrush blushing fierce and bright.  
Bound together,
By grass and heather,  
Gem studded hills, roll gently in sight.  
The evening sings in sunset hues; the twilight tiptoes on dancing feet.
Softly to see the sky catch fire, bright copper and crimson the clouds to greet.  
Have you heard the song that fills the night, diamond notes of heaven’s bars?
Bells that ring,
And winking sing,
To soak the night with stars. 


The morning dawns in a silver gown, curling drape of smoke and mist.  
Tattered shreds of autumn rains, scented by chimneys, the air to kiss.  
Aspens flush on the edge of gold, sweaters warm at the break of day,
Kettles sing,
Mugs clinking ring,
To speed October on its way.  
The noontime brings its healing balm, final drops from summer’s jar,
Sunshine melts the clouds for a time, warm scale of notes on a pine branch bar.  
Corn and squash now ripe to bear, honeycomb swells the sweet of gold,
Apples full,
West winds cool,
As the flowers bend to curtsy and fold.  
The evening plays twilit duets, the music mingled of warmth and cold,
September’s bounty pours forth its last, spills amber into October’s fold.  
Hay in the loft, playing horseshoes at dusk, drinking a ruddy bonfire’s glow,
Sparks climb high
Ember fireflies,
As October arrives and September goes.  


All work subject to copyright by the author. Use by permission only.  2014.  

Images via: fineartamerica.com, style-files.com, intagme.com 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Edge of Emptiness

“I imagine the size of the universe, 
And I wonder what’s out past the edges.  
And I discover inside me a space as big 
And believe that I’m meant to be filled up with more than just questions.” (Chris Rice)    


I stand upon a precipice.  The world, a vast map unfolded and spread wide around me, the mountains marching to an ancient pace, the very drumbeat of time.  Above, the heavens stretch vast and deep, pricked with stars lighting the way into a beyond I can neither see nor begin to fathom.  But beneath me—the void.

The abyss yawns wide at my feet, darkness oozing from the brink, the great chasm filled nearly to overflowing with emptiness. I catch the vague scent of decay drifting from within this essence of nothingness.  It sets my limbs to trembling, and deep in the rock I can feel a tremor in the roots of the earth.  The chuckling rumble roars into laughter, a voice mocking me from the deep.

I stare into the void, and it stares back at me, vowing to draw all the world into itself, to consume all that I see and transform it into what it truly is, the substance of nothing.  The threat rises to a crescendo of dissonance threaded with the chaos of unmaking.

***


Meaninglessness.  This may very well be one of the greatest threats to our world today.  It boldly flies the banner of Nihilism, which states that everything possesses only the meaning we assign to it, placing the power in our hands alone.  It decries creation, claiming our vastly intricate existence as a part of a cosmic accident.  It destroys truth, calling it a relative social construct.  But ultimately, it annihilates meaning:  the meaning of life, love, purpose, order, story, consequences, relationships, war, peace, living, dying—everything.

How great is the ultimate despair of such a darkness.

The enemy is launching a series of attacks, and not all of them are as blatant as the great social conflicts that are consistently being debated in courts and over kitchen tables.  Some threats are subtle and pleasantly inviting.  Picture some of the tools of our time:  youtube, facebook, TV media, and popular music.  Inch my inch they may sap our life, causing us to whittle away our time in places that are often no deeper than a wading pool.  In the end, these often represent nothing of true substance.  We are a culture of entertainment, which rears its head when the death of a single entertainer gains more public sorrow, praise, and concern than innocents being cruelly slaughtered across the globe at the same time.


Deepness frightens us, and we often choose to look away.  It is easier to sink into a place of shallow comfort rather than to confront the existence of the deeply meaningful, where we will no longer be safe.  A wading pool requires nothing from us; it examines us not, and it only seeks to confirm what we already think we know.

But in opposition to the grand scheme of the enemy flies the banner of truth, snapping like a pennon on a lance, as it defies the void with spears of light (Daniel 2:22).  It asks, “Why is there something rather than nothing?  Why is there order rather than chaos?  Why is there light rather than darkness?  And why, if the world is such a grand universal fluke populated by animals alone, why is there music?”



We were not made to fill the gaping hole, that vast tear in our soul, with emptiness.

The Bible is a grand narrative, a story saturated with meaning, significance, and with absolute truth.  It details the life of God’s creation from Eden to the Cross and from the Cross to the redemption of this world, which is slowly progressing towards an end.  This is a story of love, compassion, betrayal, forgiveness, freedom, defeat, triumph, struggle, mercy, and pain, and it is written by the hand of the one who is on the throne.  For this reason Jesus was born and for this He came into the world, to testify to the truth, and in doing so to free God’s children from the grip of the Enemy’s lies forever (John 18:37).

We fear deepness, and we fear meaning, not only because it is uncomfortable and unsafe, but because of something far more terrifying.  Despite our denial of all stories and ultimate meaning, we can never quite forget that if we look deep enough, we may find the source of that meaning.  Within that vastness of significance, we might gaze upon the face God himself (Romans 1:20).  To know who God is, and to therefore know who we truly are, is the key to unlocking the purpose of everything else.

***


I stand upon a shore, looking out towards an endless sea.  The shallow water is warm and soothing, but my soul is far thirstier than the provision of this place.  The wading depths cannot quench what was made to be filled by deeper waters beyond the safety of the shore.

The ocean looks inviting, despite its frightening vastness, and I hear the voice beckoning me into truth, into purpose, and into a constantly deeper communion with the one who brought me here.  He offers the shore for refreshment and warmth, but always He calls me to come and dive deeper, to know Him more fully and to pour my saturated soul upon His world.


I wish to know the depth of beauty, the meaning of grace, the truth of the story, and the existence of love.  Could I sour higher into Him, like an aluminum angel breaking the sky with my relentless and fearless quest for truth?  Could I become a hunter of beauty, seeking always towards the source of all that is green and good on this earth?  Could I bear a sword and shield with which to give the enemy battle and to shatter the chains of the void that bind a weary world?  Dare I go deeper?

With my body, I cut a silver slice in the water, arms and legs pumping with the passion of my pursuit, as I swim away from shore.  And there—in the deepness, I behold His face.    


All work subject to the copyright by the author.  Use by permission only.  2014.

Images via:  Maggie Wilson, bloglovin, tumblr, victorielle.com, pictacular.co, flickr, Libbie Shaffer