Thursday, August 28, 2008

redemption songs

i can't believe it's the last weekend of the summer. it has flown by and been glorious. we head off today to celebrate the end of the season with friends camping on the coast.

it has been a summer of dreams and deep conversations. it feels wonderful to be dreaming again. admitting hope and rising above the terror that disappointment could and might bring can be a mighty powerful thing.

one of the dreams that i have given voice to is my deep desire to own a home again. we have moved 18 times in our marriage. i am ready for some roots. i deeply long for a home to call our own again.

when we entered ministry over a decade ago we gave up the new home we had just purchased and entered into a long time of financial difficulty and strain. i have been praying that god would restore to us what the locust have eaten. we live very simple lives and i could rent for the remainder if it was god's will. (i type that in recovery terms, not the "god's will" or my fundamental upbringing - those are two very different things to me now even though they occupy the same language).

i am ready. i long to sink deep roots into rich soil. it is fertile here and we know that this could be home forever and continue to nurture us greatly and allow us to nurture others.

some of our best friends here have gone through one of the most hellish summers i know. the beginnings of a business, a dream of restoration and creating homes for our community got quickly off course and deeply troublesome for them. the home he was flipping is being returned to the bank this week. from the outside it still looks like a spook house, but inside. oh inside. it is a house dreams are made of. the original family suffered great loss, bankruptcy and divorce. the house was left in shambles. it has begun to be restored. another family suffering great loss and difficulties that threatened the very fiber of their family, but they have made it through. we walked along side them.

the redemption in this property is palpable. it drips of restoration and redemption. i have never wanted anything this badly in my life. never. maybe i have but have never admitted it before? i don't know. but this. this i long for. this i desire. not in a broken, spoiled "give it to me or i will punish you" way, but in a 'deep desire of the heart' kind of way. the redemption story here is just too great. it is bigger than a house, it is bigger than a home. i want to tell this story of restoration. i want to live in a home that reclaims that loss.

it is just one piece of property and i know that other places have different stories to tell, and maybe my house is one of them. but i am so intimately tied into this one already, i would love to see it's fulfillment.

most of you know that liam's father passed away last spring. we had prayed that there might be some financial benefit passed to his kids. so far there is no word of that. i got an email from his stepmother this morning in my inbox, right after liam and i prayed together about this. it was the standard forward email, but i took the time to update her on our lives and felt the nudge to tell her of this dream. property values in our little town on the edge of civilization are laughable by other standards. we're talking very little money here. but i am praying that god will move her. cause her to understand how very much some small generosity on her part could have huge repercussions in our lives.

next week we have an appointment with our new financial adviser. he was the one who planted this seed of possibility in our heads at the beginning of summer. i don't know where it will lead, but i want to be done with small dreams that never disappoint. i want to reach beyond the fear and hope for something so big that it just might happen.

i long to sing my own redemption songs.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

maybe why i haven't been blogging much???

Hiddenness, a Place of Purification

One of the reasons that hiddenness is such an important aspect of the spiritual life is that it keeps us focused on God. In hiddenness we do not receive human acclamation, admiration, support, or encouragement. In hiddenness we have to go to God with our sorrows and joys and trust that God will give us what we most need.

In our society we are inclined to avoid hiddenness. We want to be seen and acknowledged. We want to be useful to others and influence the course of events. But as we become visible and popular, we quickly grow dependent on people and their responses and easily lose touch with God, the true source of our being. Hiddenness is the place of purification. In hiddenness we find our true selves.

Henri Nouwen