Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lend an Ear.

OK so I was reading recently about ears.. I know, so normal... and I thought about my favorite sounds. Here is a start to that list...

Favorite Sounds-
  • Elizabeth Olmstead's laugh (she'll probably never read this, so I can say that...)
  • My church body (Midtown) singing on a Sunday morning, especially the words, "Christ is risen from the dead. We are one with Him again. Come awake, come awake. Come and rise up from the grave." sooo good to my soul. love it.
  • A "nothing but net" freethrow shot in basketball.
  • A horse's hooves galloping up a hill (reminds me of my days with Rocky Raccoon racing my friends on their horses in the pasture)
  • My back door opening to tell me one of my roommates is home
  • Kicking a pile of leaves at the start of fall
  • Rain on a tin roof (I know, so cliche but it specifically reminds me of Camp McDowell during Rest Hour growing up. Loved that time. We never rested. We just sat on each other's beds and told stories for an hour.)
  • At a track meet when the gun shoots and then like lightning, feet burst out of the blocks and pound into a rubber track for the 4x100 race. Ahh... miss those days.
  • Orange Juice fizzling over crushed ice on a blazing hot summer day in Alabama.
  • Fingers typing "mmargrandall" and my password (No, I will not share that with you..) into my gmail account. I am a pretty fast typer, what can I say? I like the sound of my own speed. :)
  • I could make 500 of these lists for music alone, but I decided to just say one of my all-time favorite instruments, (for your sake and mine), the violin.
  • The breeze whistling through my ears at 9,000 feet up in the air while I'm skydiving over the Talladega Race Course in Alabama. Good times. Call me crazy, but I still remember that sound.
  • Ok one more musical reference- The Afro American Gospel Choir at The University of Alabama
  • The Tennessee State University Step Team... or I should say, any step team. They are just the most recent that I saw perform.
  • A sincere "Thank You" or "I'm sorry"
  • An African student at work calling me "Ms. M&M"- this might be my favorite sound of all
  • My name in Spanish, Maria Margarita. I don't know, I just love the sound of the r's as d's. It's so fun to say.
  • Sneakers on a basketball court... makes me want to go to a college basketball game ASAP.
  • A spoken word artist that has mastered the skill of articulation
  • My phone vibrating announcing an anticipated text.. I know, such a jr. high statement but you have to admit... it does bring a smile.
  • Close friends of mine meeting for the first time.
  • Fire burning on Christmas morning

Ok now you do it and send them to me! (if you want... no pressure)

Monday, November 21, 2011

empty gestures

In the words of Henri Nouwen...

"In the morning, long before dawn, He got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there (Mk. 1:35). In the middle of sentences loaded with action-- healing suffering people, casting out devils, responding to impatient disciples, traveling from town to town and preaching from synagogue to synagogue-- we find these quiet words: 'In the morning, long before dawn, He got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.' In the center of breathless activities we hear a restful breathing. Surrounded by hours of moving we find a moment of quiet stillness. In the heart of much involvement there are words of withdrawal. In the midst of action there is contemplation. And after much togetherness there is solitude...

In the lonely place Jesus finds the courage to follow God's will and not His own; to speak God's words and not His own; to do God's work and not His own... It is in the lonely place, where Jesus enters into intimacy with the Father, that His ministry is born.

Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our lives are in danger. Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure. Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures.

The careful balance between silence and words, withdrawal and involvement, distance and closeness, solitude and community forms the basis of the Christian life and should therefore be the subject of our most personal attention."

-Introduction, Out of Solitude

(If you haven't read any Henri Nouwen, go pick up something from him now. Please.)