Friday, November 22

In Which I Become New and Present

When the snow came, I could feel the revolution.  Walking through the neighborhood, camera in hand, I was looking for my final moment.  And what I entered was an experience.

Everything was new.

Beneath the white sky, the contrast faded, the comparison dimmed and I could see myself outside the shadows. Sleek, impartial snow covered everything.  All sound -- nonsense and truth -- was muffled.  Every neighbor had to push it aside without exception.  We all began again from the same place.  And I discovered that even my heart at last had equal footing.

The wonderful thing about change is that it happens to us before we're aware of it.  It arrives before we can name it, like a baby born a month early, new and wonderful and so surprising.

The first new sounds came from my heart, "I'm entering this season with joy." There in the snow and frigid cold it was so obvious that this was just how it was going to be.  And I was glad to have that declarative statement signed and done.  Glad that there would be no more in-between.  The success of this season is not tied to the last. This season is new.  "Move into it."

It was like God put his great thumb down on the swirling and questioning and said, "Be still."
And I was.


Spiritual disciplines are those rhythms we create in order to conform more closely to image of Christ.  When we sense that we're a bit far from what God has designed us to be, we submit to a practice that forms our character and informs our spirit.  We combine the domains of life so that they aren't all segregated like some elementary school, but integrated so that the physical act can affect the spiritual becoming and the relationship can shape the faith.

When I began this practice three weeks ago Autumn's brightness woke me from my sadness.  I needed to cease from bringing the past into my present.  I didn't need to answer every question, just pry my fingers from the crank that churned the questions out.

This discipline of the present has brought me to that place of feeling whole and hopeful.  Breathing in more of God's design.  Living with open hands.  Ready to receive good gifts.  I want to see and smell and taste the days and know that whatever form they take, they are for me when I am present and pure.


We sat in the living room, mugs of coffee and tea, listening to the story of my friend who amazes me with her ability to see the ends of God.  It hasn't been without work.  It hasn't been without pushing hard into the promises of God and testing them to see if they will hold fast and true.  He thinks she's beautiful and covered and so desirable. She knows that now.  Her bones can live.

And all the friends who've said, "We'll go with you into this new wholeness," drank from their mugs and nodded and said, "This is the kind of church we're going to be."  My friend, my season, my church, my wholeness: I was sitting in the middle of all things new.  It was fully formed and breathing before I could call it by name.

He is making all things new.  He's begun, already, with me.


If you want to follow my journey through the Discipline of the Present here are the links to each post:
October 30  The Life I've Been Missing
October 31  Following a Nudge
November 1 Courage to Risk
November 2  Marginality
November 3 The Discipline of Presence
November 4  The Table of Loss and Profit
November 5  When Cookies Come Running
November 7  What's Saving Your Life
November 8  A Closing Ode
November 9  IKEA and the Kingdom of God
November 10  He Gives Himself
November 12  Trying
November 13  When Sinking
November 14  Take Risks
November 15  The Success of Love
November 17  Inquiry
November 18  Keeping Score
November 19  The Practice of the Eyes
November 20  Being the Gift