Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Day in the Park

Cartwheels and handstands galore. Girls sprinting full force into this fresh Sunday afternoon breeze, their hair chasing behind in every direction. Barefoot is today's rule, no shoes necessary. It's for your own good, I tell them with my eyes. Besides, this grass is terribly inviting.

Bodies twisting, spinning, racing, resting, both together and alone as people are scattered all across the peripheral. Playfulness is today's theme, I have decided. Skaters and bikers decorate the outer edges of the park. A celebrative hug is shared between an aging father and his beloved daughter. I can sense by their lingering embrace that this marks some kind of special reunion. With even just another second of observation, I can also sense that even in the midst of all their joy, the father's dreadful day has finally arrived as he realizes his little girl has grown up too fast.

Tiny drops of sunlight collect into each leaf's palm, and together, they hold up the light that gives color to the day. And then out of pure impulsion and a hanging sense of curiosity, several leaves simultaneously dive into the sea of the wind as they drift about effortlessly, painting a moving picture of raw beauty. And they dance in complete surrender to the choreography of autumn's breath.

Fall in Nashville has officially begun.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Grace beyond Words.

All this time on my hands lately has made way for lots of reading, writing, and playing music which are probably three of my favorite things, so although it has been a slow month for me, it has been beautiful. Here is my version of one of my absolute favorite songs, and not just because it is by Sufjan Stevens. The lyrics are so incredible as they express Christ's immense love for us. Human words cannot express this undeniable love and human minds will never fully grasp it while we are here on earth.

In order to be in relationship with us, in order to be "alone with us", Christ sacrificed His innocent and blameless life so that God could know us and be our Father despite our sin.

I am telling you, once you allow yourself to be loved like this, there is nothing greater.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sometimes You Just Gotta Dance.

This was the result of a much-needed slumber party with my new friend, Naomi. After a discouraging and mentally exhausting day full of job searching and job waiting and job, I was in desperate need of a break.

It seems that with each year I gain, I feel more and more pressure from the outside world to become more "serious" , more "mature", more like a "grown-up"... whatever that means. While I am gaining wisdom and experience with my years, I feel absolutely no need to lose any sense of playfulness and spontaneity. Honestly, I don't know if it is possible.

Please, for ALL of our sanity, never lose the child within you.

Whenever I see men dressed up in business suits or women in their clickity-sounding, uncomfortably-looking heels, I can't help but wonder if they still climb trees every once in a while or run around barefoot for no apparent reason or make dance videos with friends.

I don't care how "serious" you are, you do not have it all figured out. So please stop acting like it and make a dance video.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Redefining what is Comfortable

It is amazing to me how comfortable we choose to be in our lives. Comfort is easy and accessible and encouraged in our culture. And because of this, we miss out on so much. There is so much opportunity to touch lives ALL around us.

We do not have to go overseas to find poverty. We do not have to go overseas to find single moms with not enough hands or enough time to do all that they desire for their kids. We do not have to go overseas to find a starving people- physically, intellectually, and spiritually starving.

My roommate, in describing East Nashville to me last night, explained, "There are two parts of East Nashville... there's the 'trendy, hipster, up-and-coming' part... and then there's this..."

Check it out for yourself. I hope to go visit this family soon.

And for my Tuscaloosa friends, here is another example of a couple who has become traditionally and culturally "uncomfortable" in order to taste true community.

Go visit them sometime. They are doing some amazing things.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nocturnal Romanticism

I am beginning to let go of my overbearing, belittling, and exhausting crush on this world. And honestly, I had no idea I even had one. Like an awkward pre-teen drowning in her secret obsession over Zack Effron and having it tragically exposed to the masses, haunting any hopeful chance for some self-esteem, I have now been rudely awakened to this disturbing reality.

Its grip has held me so tightly that even the strain of the infamous "Indian Burn", (a child's worst nightmare when big brothers are involved), cannot compare to its strength. And finally, finally, my X-ray Vision is being refined and I am learning to look beyond its temporary glamour.

This world, in all of its beauty, in all of its emptiness, is temporary. It is temporary, it is short-lived, it is powerless, it is cold-hearted, it is shallow, it is deceiving. And yet I, WE, fall madly in love with it. We crave its attention. We romanticize its value. We prop it up on a pedestal and become entranced by its superficial splendor. And because of this, we are blinded.

We are like the predator searching for its prey, our hearts beating wildly, uncontrollably as we wait in bitter and reluctant anticipation for our prey to make the slightest move so we can pounce. And like a bat in all of its genius, sending out sound frequencies to locate its prey, we send out anything, everything, in order to be heard, in desperate attempt to be accepted. We wait for our echo. And it comes. And we respond. Impulsively, our fast twitch muscles react to the sound as we dive full-force into the star-lit night in search of fulfillment. But just like the predator will later seek more prey once hunger strikes again, we will seek more "fulfillment". We will send out more calls, hoping for that echo. Oh please let there be an echo, we beg.

I am now beginning to understand just how broken I am. My heart is like broken glass pieces shattered all over the kitchen floor. And I hide in shame as I sweep it away, terrified that its eruptive ruin was somehow discovered.

But we must realize that all of our hearts have shattered onto the kitchen floor. All of our hearts have been broken into tiny pieces again and again and again. And yet, we still hide. We tremble at this loud explosion and the last thing we want is for our secret to be known, for the noise of its destruction to be heard. So we drown out the shattering interruptions with our unnecessarily noisy lives.

I am slowly being reintroduced to the Gospel.