03 April 2007


Last night sitting on the porch in rocking chairs drinking wine, we ushered in the evening and with it a slight chill. We heard birds rustling, chatted with the neighbor as she crossed the street to borrow milk for the macaroni and cheese she was cooking.

As we talked about our lives, I thought to myself: There are some things about love that you learn by holding tight and saying a prayer.

As if to answer, my friend pointed into the starlit yard:

“Look, I have surprise tulips.”

They didn’t come up last year, and there they were, all of them looking so graceful and blushing just a tad (they know they are quite striking). They were audience to good conversation.

Today, I could especially tell that it is spring. The gusting from the west, the high clouds. Throughout the park, there were bright kites tangled up in the trees. And there was the smell: this mixture of fuel and cut grass and dove soap, someone cooking on a grill, newly paved blacktop and red rubber kick balls, sunshine and dirt, the blooming of all sorts of things lingering on the wind.

I was thinking while I walked that we occasionally open the doors to the family rooms of our hearts to others. The furniture sure is shabby, but the favorite books are there, and comfortable places to sit, and a hearth to sing around. These things we all have, whether we share them or not. It is a process we are all in up to our ears. It is hard for all of us to admit—to ourselves, to others, to Him—that there are places in our lives where we have run too recklessly and fallen down, places where there is just a big mess of weeds that we pretend can produce something.

Turn on a few glowing lights. Pull up a chair. What is there to lose?

I think this is the way God must feel about us. He did, after all, invite us to come. You just never know when it’s going to hit you—the need to spill your guts in a dramatic way to the One who knows and cares.

Occasionally I find myself in one of those less composed rants: pounding the steering wheel a few times, hollering at the heavens in a dialect that sounds more like a troll than a person. Pleas for just a little bit of hope, a little bit of perspective, a little bit of faith and sanity and mercy. Pleas that I will not only be heard, but will also be answered. I make excuses: I need obvious affirmation, big hugs, loud sirens. Not gentle breezes. Can I get some handwriting on the wall or something? Can you tend these crazy weeds in my heart already? My faith is small (and shrinking as we speak, as I continue to make my self- centered demands on the Creator of the universe).

But rather than smiting me down where I stand, he humors me. And sometimes he even answers. With things like the tulips that I didn’t even know were there, dormant that whole time, which he decided to nurture and bloom. Sometimes he answers in my supposed lost causes. It is fallow places in my heart where God unexpectedly whispers:

I am the one who will never let go.


Blogger JaraBeara said...

mmm. this writing is splendid.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

I like how you use the tulip as an illustration of how God is at work, even when the ground appears barren (our lost causes).

I was thinking today that perhaps sometimes, more lasting and meaningful than the tulip is the realization about the nature of God and his care. (Though the flowers are lovely). But flowers only last a little while, and God's character is forever. This is something I can trust.

I just love surprises, and I love that God dishes them out sometimes, I think with laughter, he watches the expressions on our faces!

Thanks for your thoughts, Runt!

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ange...just wanted to say i love you. i am sitting here sobbing, listening to my U2 soul songs, feeling that ache for my husband, a little hopeless about the state of the world and reading your blog. i love your words. they make me cry but they change my tears to hope. they pull me out of self pity.
you are a gift

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Ange this is beautiful. Chills.
Heidi V.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Your post is beautiful, as usual... but today I write because I want you to know two things.

1) I wish you were coming to Omaha.
2) My favorite TV show is Arrested Development. This is the show that is more than a show... it's a cult.

I think of you every time I say "I've made a huge mistake."

8:54 PM  

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