Sunday, March 31, 2013

Because He Lives

Late Saturday night, the day before Easter, I was about to climb into my childhood bed when my mom came to the bedroom door with light in her eyes.

"Guess what we need to do?" she asked me and my little sister, who was spending the night

"It's tradition!" she said, "And this is our last chance to do it before Aaron moves."

My mom has always tried to cultivate a culture of celebration in our house by creating traditions.  Our Easter tradition is one of my favorites.

Every Easter when we were kids my mom taught us about trees. Sturdy trees, slight trees, blossoming trees, and a forbidden tree.

She explained that long before the pine trees stood erect on the distant horizon, or the willow trees bowed beneath the blue sky, God existed, all by himself.

He didn't need people, or planets, or atoms to exist, but he wanted to create people and planets made of atoms, so he used words to make things appear from nowhere.

His life-breath spread stars across the sky, coaxed trees from the ground, and kissed life into man.

He loved the things he spoke into existence, but he was especially fond of the man and woman he created, my mom explained.

He showed them his love in many ways.  He gave them special names, Adam and Eve, and he let them live in a verdant paradise teeming with magnificent animals. It was cool, lush, and full of trees laden with fruit popping with color and exploding with flavor.

He also gave man and woman souls, created in His image.  Their souls were marvelous; they could create, and imagine, and recognize beauty, goodness, and truth.  But most marvelous of all was their ability to love.  

They could choose to love and enjoy God's goodness, truth, and beauty, if they wanted, but God would never force them to love him.

Love never forces others to reciprocate.  

And Love is most delighted when the people he loves choose to love him back.

So he gave them an opportunity to choose Him.

He created a tree loaded with fruit that he asked Adam and Eve not to eat.  He hoped that they would love him enough to trust and obey him.  

But Adam and Eve decided their ideas were better than God’s, and so they chose to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree.  

Their love for self became the thing that motivated them, rather than a love for God, and when their focus became inward they turned their backs to God.  

Anyone who rejects God is shunning the source of life and goodness, and choosing death and badness, my mom explained.

That's why eating the fruit from the forbidden tree changed everything.

Death, badness, ugliness, and lies—all the opposite of God—infected all humans and the earth they lived on.

It grieved God's loving heart.

Humans chose death and separation from God, and God's justice demanded they got what they chose.  

But God’s mercy drove him to make plans involving another tree. He would die in our place on this tree in order to satisfy God's justice, making it possible for humans to enjoy God's life and love forever, once again.

My mom wanted us to remember how Jesus hung on the hard, splintery wood of the tree, his broken body food—Bread—for us; Bread that, if we choose it, gives us life and restored relationship with God.

And so every January we would cut the branches off our Christmas tree, and then saw the trunk in half. As our tiny fingers stripped the tree of its branches we would remember the day Jesus put on skin and came to earth so he could give us Life, Himself. 

We would store the trunk’s pieces in our garage until the day before Easter when we would fashion the two pieces of the trunk into the shape of a cross, and stick it in a bucket full of dirt and rocks.


My favorite job was placing flowers in the bucket at the base of the cross, a reminder that neither of the death-bearing trees had the last word.  The Bread of Life gives us new life-that-conquers-death.

Then we would fasten a sign to the cross declaring "He is Risen!"  


And we would put the cross in our front yard.


Early the next morning the Easter sun would spill over the tips of the pine trees and cut through the darkness, 


an announcement to the world that darkness and death are no longer the victors, 

because He Lives.

Reposted from the archives

© by scj

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Letters to my life: seven

Dear Diary,

Last weekend I went out of town and forgot to bring my hand sanitizer. After breathing into a paper bag for approximately 57 seconds, I decided to use my grimy hands to eat my poolside chips and guac anyway. And you know what?

I didn't get sick.

Next trip I'll consider leaving my paper bag at home, too.

Love,

Yeah-that's-right Sarah



Dear Immune System,

If I could, I'd give you a fist pump that explodes into a shower of finger-flailing fireworks. Because you're alright, you know it? I'm thankful for all your hard work keeping me cold and flu-free his winter.

Love,

Hardy Sarah





Dear Palm Springs,

You are so good to me.

Love,

Sarah




Dear God,

I'm glad you made me a girl.

Love,

SJ



Dear Friends,

I have a secret talent I've never revealed to you before:


It's called  the "relax your full stomach into a four-month prego belly" talent. 

I'm trying to figure out how I can make some money off it.

Love,

NOT-pregnant Sarah





Dear God,

Thanks for giving me toes.

Love,

Smiling Sarah


P.S.



Thanks for giving me eyes, too.


© by scj

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Confession


I recently read a poem entitled "Confession" that inspired this, the second poem of my adult career.


I am a smudged windowpane full of morning sky and honeyed light.

I read fairy tales when I want to be reminded that the world is wondrous, and I am desirable.

My thoughts have a habit of multiplying like rabbits and then scattering like stray cats. For years I devoted my life to trying to herd them all, before realizing I’d much rather be gardening. Now my patio is bedecked with blossoms of every color.

I am courageous: I have learned to tell my story with my whole heart. On the days I forget this, my courageous friends remind me.

Unfortunately, I sometimes find myself laughing in the face of criticism, as if to say, “your cutting words can’t penetrate my carefree exterior,” when what I really mean is, “your words have pierced my pulpy heart.”



© by scj

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Letters to my life: Spring Chicken


Dear Trader Joe's,

The last two times I've bought wine from you I haven't been carded. This is a travesty. You should consider hiring new cashiers. Preferably ones who can see I *clearly* don't look a day over 21. . .

Love,

Obviously-still-a-spring-chicken Sarah



Dear March Monday Mornings,

You seem to be conspiring against me. If I'm not spilling tea on a silk blouse during your weekly visit, then I'm dropping sunglasses in the toilet. Thank goodness for Tuesdays, which, by all appearances, seem to be void of conspiracies. 

Love,

Is-this-part-of-getting-older? Sarah




Dear Family,

You make me happy.

Love,

Missin'-you Sarah



Dear St. Patrick's Day,

You mark the day I turned 28 1/2. Which means that today I am closer to 29 than 28. Which is really perplexing to me because it was just a few months ago that I turned 26. *Gulp*

Love,

Time's-flyin'-too-fast Sarah



Dear 2013,

You're turning out to be a banner year. Health, friendships, hiking, beach trips, running, weekend getaways, live music, fancy dinners, picnics, family visits, sunshine, satisfying work, new job opportunities — I kinda want to keep you around for awhile.

Love,

Now-if-I-could-just-figure-out-how-to-slow-you-down Sarah



Dear Carl,

I would like to give a shout-out to you on here. Although I am positive you don't read my blog.

You are one of the best leads I've ever danced with. And dancing with a good lead is one of life's most delightful experiences — comparable to zip lining through the jungle, white water rafting down a waterfall, and hiking Half Dome. Seriously. What I'm trying to tell you is that dancing with you made my week. So thanks.

Love,

Love-to-twirl Sarah



Dear Readers,

My little brother Marc made the New York Times Sports page:



He's kind of a big deal. ;)

Love,

Yeeeeah-baby Sarah



Dear Men whom I date,

It turns out you can learn a lot about someone's character whilst gettin' groovy on the dance floor. More, even, than a rousing discussion over dinner, or a day spent in the great outdoors. So what are you waiting for? Polish yo dance shoes, and leeesssssss do this!

Love,

Lacin'-up-them-shoes-now Sarah



Dear Sister,

I miss you. Please come visit again soon.

Love,

I-love-you-mucho-grande Sarah



© by scj

Monday, March 18, 2013

A world that works like magic

Posted simultaneously at Sturdy Answers.
Every once in awhile I get a little too caught up in the books I read.
About 50 pages into a good book, I become the main characters. My adrenaline pumps when they're in danger. I cry when they experience growth or grace. I find myself praying for them when they're in dire need of divine intervention. But these tendencies are not the problem.
The problem is that sometimes I finish a book series, go about my day, and have moments when I  forget I'm not the main character in the book anymore.
Case in point: Not too long ago I finished re-reading the Harry Potter series. For ten glorious days I was immersed in the world of Hogwarts. I went to sleep under an enchanted starry ceiling, and woke up to House Elves bustling about to prepare my breakfast. I used my magic wand to fetch distant objects and make nearby objects invisible. I was Harry Potter fighting dementors one day, and Hermione Granger outsmarting Death Eaters the next. I was swept up in something bigger than myself. No big deal.
But then, I finished the series and had to return to work. It was a particularly wet and gloomy day, and in the middle of teaching college freshmen I got a hankering for a steaming cup of tea. But the coffee cart was miles away, and class wouldn't be over for another hour. So what did I do? I reached for the magic wand I had stashed in my robe. Naturally, I planned to summon a cup of tea. And then I remembered that I wasn't Harry Potter. Or Hermione Granger. Or Ron Weasely.
My disappointment got me thinking. Wouldn't it have been lovely if God had made a world full of magic, like Narnia, or Hogwarts, or the Shire?!
Then, several days later, while on a walk, I saw this:
A magic wand. Long and slender, sturdy at the base and narrow at the tip, surrounded by dozens of other magic wands.
And magic of all magic, something was shooting out of its tip. Something unexpected. Something so different from the wand's soft, sappy core, you'd have to see it to believe it:
Leaves. Waxy, vibrant, and green.
And blossoms. Fragrant and delicate, in shades of pink, white, and yellow.
What makes this magic?
I'll tell you, but you won't believe me.
It's light. And water. And air. They are stirred together in the great blue sky cauldron, and they make wooden wands shoot out magic:

Berries.

Pods.

Prickle balls.

And cotton ball clusters.

All wooden wands, all imbibing the same sky-cauldron's potion, each wand's magic just a little different.
J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis couldn't have dreamt up this kind of magic. A stick absorbs sun, air, and water, making leaves sprout, followed by buds. The buds unfold into blossoms and the blossoms turn into fruit. Juicy, tart fruit with seeds. Smooth, fleshy fruit with pits. Vitamin-packed fruit in shades of brilliant orange, green, yellow, red, blue, purple — all the colors of the sun's magical light.
How can it be that the fruit from these magic wands powers our dusty bodies to produce millions of cells daily, and keeps blood pumping through our 60,000 miles of blood vessels?!
Magic for us to see. Magic for us to smell. Magic for us to touch. Magic for us to taste.
Magic to teach us at winter's end that death does not have the last word. For light, air and water are mixed together and make a barren tree sprout life.
These magic wands make it easy for me to believe in the magic the ancients taught. An apple is eaten and life with God is lost. A stick hits a rock and water gushes out. Trumpets are blown and city walls tumble. A leper bathes in the river and he is healed. God's son dies on a cross, and takes our sin upon himself. Three days pass, and he teaches us that death will not have the last word.
Magic.
Life-giving, fruit-growing magic.



Revised and reposted from the archives.

© by scj

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sister's visit, day 2: Till death do us part

I've spent the morning corralling the snails I just plucked out of my potted plants. I can't bring myself to kill them, and I can't bring myself to set them free into someone else's yard. So I'm trying to keep them in one place until I figure out what to do with them. And boy, those little suckers are surprisingly fast. Corralling them whilst weeding, pruning, and fertilizing has proven to be unexpectedly tiring work, let me tell you.

Which is why I'm taking a welcome break from my snail exploits to tell you about the hummingbird escapade my sister and I experienced this weekend. Hopefully my snail corralling story hasn't over-taxed your adrenal glands thus far. Because this hummingbird tale is packed with gripping twists and turns.

What can I say, wild adventure follows me everywhere I go.

It all started the morning after our toast to God's goodness. Rebecca and I headed to south Orange County, to my friend J's house, where we met up with a group for an afternoon hike.

While we waited for everyone to arrive, J, my sister, and I chatted, enjoying the cool, morning breeze that wafted through the open front door.

"This morning I was driving with the windows down," J said, "And I found myself thinking about how random it would be if a bird flew into the car while I was driving."

I opened my mouth to agree that yes, it would be random, but was interrupted by the whir of a hummingbird's wings, as he zipped in the open front door and into the living room.

Life, I tell ya. It is such a practical jokester.

"Arghh!" I yelled, as I flew off the couch and sprinted to the next room, where a sturdy wall could protect me from the sharpest, fastest-moving beak in the animal kingdom. Sister remained in the living room to face the killer beak.

After a few moments, I cautiously peered around the corner and watched while J tried to corner the little bugger.


But he wouldn't be cornered. He was determined to find his own way back to the great outdoors. Up and down he darted, flying full force into the window (that has got to be a metaphor for something), until he finally flew to the skylight at the highest point of the vaulted ceiling.

We were flummoxed, but still determined; this was a quandary that wouldn't get the better of us. J recognized this hummingbird as one he's watched grow from an egg in the back yard to a speedy, curious teenager, and we would save him, yes we would.

So the boys got up on high ledges and waved brooms around. They balanced honey a bowl of honey on a light affixed to the wall. They called the bird, whistled, and waved their arms frantically.



And then, just when things were looking hopeless, my friend, K, charged into the kitchen on a mission, and did what no problem-solving man in a hummingbird crisis has ever done before: he poured taco seasoning into a bowl of water, pulled saran wrap loosely over the water, put honey water on top of the saran wrap, and set the bowl on the floor under the skylight.


"The plan," he said, "is for the hummingbird to look down, see the bright spices on the bottom of the bowl, think it's a flower, and come down for honey water."


At that point, we had plumbed the creative depths of hummingbird rescue techniques, and there was nothing left to be done. So we showered hopeful wishes upon the bowl of taco seasoning, and left for our hike.

It was a glorious hike. The rain the day before had scoured the air, the breeze carried the smell of moist earth and orange blossoms, and the ocean sparkled like the eastern sea at Cair Paravel.



But still, we couldn't forget about the hummingbird whom we'd decided to call Harold. And so it was with anxiety that we returned from our post-hike dinner, and rushed inside, hoping to see Harold calming drinking honey water from his taco seasoning flower.

But instead we found him laying on the floor, cold and still. In the end, his fixation with the skylight was his demise. Which is also a metaphor for something; although we were too sorrowful to figure out for what. No doubt it is a very macabre metaphor. Edgar Allen Poe would know what to do with it.

What we did know, was that there was only thing left to do for poor Harold: give him a funeral fit for a curious, speedy, light-loving, teenage hummingbird.

So we carried Harry in a candlelight procession to the rose garden, with "Quatre petites prières de Saint François d'Assise" playing on J's iphone:


While the music droned, we solemnly dug Harry a small grave, and dropped little tokens of our care for him into it.


Once the grave was covered, we had a moment of silence, after which J's iphone began to play "My Girl." And although Harold was named Harold, there is a good chance Harold was a girl, so we sang the song for her.

You were our sunshine on a cloudy day
when you got trapped, you went awaaay...
 ...forever

Or something like that.


And then, just as the song crescendoed into the chorus, we got back in our line, and danced into the house, like the California Raisins at the end of their Christmas special. 

Harry would have been proud of the funeral we gave him, I think. And if his family was hiding in the bushes watching, I think they would have been touched.

So it was with confidence that we went dancing later that night, and spun and dipped our sorrows away.

And that, my friends, is how my sister and I spent day two of our sisters' weekend.


© by scj

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sister's visit, day 1: In sickness and in health

I'd like to start this post off with some plain, old fashioned bragging.

If you were to hug me right now you'd probably think to yourself, "My, but the shirt Sarah's wearing is so soft. I imagine it's also quite lightweight and breathable — a real must for this glorious SoCal sunshine."

Then you'd probably step back to take a good look at my soft, lightweight, and breathable shirt. You'd no doubt notice it's a Nike women's tennis shirt that's super cute. So cute, in fact, that, if you're a girl, it's likely you'd decide to take up tennis then and there, just so you could start wearing cute shirts like the one I'm wearing.

If you're a guy, then I have no idea what you'd think upon seeing the shirt I'm wearing. I imagine you'd also be tempted to take up tennis. The shirt is generally inspiring.

[This photo of me wearing said shirt has been temporarily removed; I will repost it soon. In the meantime, please use your imagination.] 

Isn't it cute? My sister produced it. She's the reason you just signed up for tennis lessons.

Anyway, my sister just flew back to Oregon after a weekend visit with me, and I'm missing her already. So I'm wearing the shirt she recently gave me, and smiling while I blog about what a talented product creation-ist she is.

I have lots of other stuff to blog about, too. So I'll break our sister's weekend up into a couple of posts. Mostly because we had a funeral for a hummingbird on Saturday that deserves its own post. But I'll get to that later. First, day one (and a half) of our sister's weekend:

I picked my sister up on Thursday afternoon, and first things first, we went shopping.

We were so excited to see each other, and so engrossed in catching up and tackling our shopping list, that we only took one picture. But you can imagine the evening was full of sisterly chatter, cute clothes, and funky jewelry.


On Friday, we did what sisters do when they haven't seen each other in a few months: we lounged in our pj's, watched T.V., did coconut oil hair masks, and snacked. It was good for our souls. And our hair.

One bag of chips, 1/2 a bag of cashews, and a few fistfuls of raisins later, we rolled off the couch, put on our Friday night finery, and joined some of my closest girlfriends for an event I'd planned a few weeks back: a "Toast to God's Goodness."


Do you remember in the book of Exodus, shortly after God splits the Red sea in half, when Miriam leads the Israelites in song? She pulls out her tambourine, and I imagine she spins and laughs, her hair flying in the wind, as she and her people sing praise to a good God.

Together, they remember the good things he'd done for them — how he'd rescued them from slavery, and thrown their enemies into the sea. And then they looked forward to the promised land God would surely give them. They were certain of the good things God would do, because of the good things he'd already done.

Our experience of God's goodness should buoy our faith in a good, gift-filled future.


And so I've made it a practice to occasionally raise my glass, instead of my tambourine (mostly because I don't own one), in remembrance of the ways I've experienced God's goodness.

My first toast to God's goodness was with my roommates, 3 1/2 years ago.

The first ceremonial toast, with my roomies




At the time, the Holy Spirit had begun to talk to me more clearly and frequently than he ever had. He'd told me to quit my job, move, and do lots of other risky, unpredictable things. And gosh, things started a changin'.

It was one of the most exciting periods of my life. I felt like I was flying down a river, swept up in a current that was leading me somewhere wild and divine. I couldn't wait to see where God was taking me. But I also had bouts of anxiety about where, exactly, this winding river was running. What if it led somewhere. . . scary?


So I resolved to rest, and trust in the current by pressing into God's goodness. The toast with my roommates was an occasion to choose trust — to look back at the good things God had done, and look forward to the good, unknown gifts he'd give in the future.

Sisters

And boy, did adventurous things happen that year. I moved to a new city, and got a new job. And a year after my first toast to God's goodness, I toasted to God's goodness again, this time with my fiance on our engagement day. Together, we looked back at God's good, guiding hand in our lives, and looked toward a good future of serving him together. I can't remember ever feeling so full in my 25 years of living.

And then, in the ensuing months, I contracted what turned out to be chronic illness, and I broke off my engagement. And, for years, I cried myself to sleep, and wished the ground would swallow me whole before I awoke the next morning.

But the ground never swallowed me whole, and each morning I'd have to bravely face the day. And I'm swallowing hard and blinking fast, even as I type, because I remember how, during that first year of illness, I'd wake up every morning and feel the Spirit of God hovering over my bed, tenderly watching me.

I remember how it would take every last ounce of energy to roll out of bed and eat breakfast, and how I'd sense Jesus sitting next to me while I ate, so I'd never be alone. I remember how I learned to talk to him during that time more intimately than I'd ever talked to anyone. I'd tell him I hated where the river had led, and how felt like my heart was bleeding, and my body dying.

Over and over again, he'd listen, and draw close, and if he talked, he'd remind me he was the Lover of my soul. And in those moments, I learned he was good. More good than I'd ever dreamed, back when my life looked the way I wanted it to.


And now, as I'm feeling strong and healthy, I've wanted to look back, surrounded by my friends and sister, and thank God for the good things he did, and is doing, through my illness and broken engagement. I've wanted to thank him for the ways I saw him preparing my life for illness 3 1/2 years ago — for prompting me to quit my old job, move, and shuffle grad programs, so that my work, school, and finances would accommodate the years of illness I couldn't foresee.

My girls
I've wanted to thank him, surrounded by some of my community, for using the sharp scalpel of suffering to do renovative surgery on my soul. I've wanted to thank him for teaching me the certainty of his tender, relentless love. I've wanted to thank him for his financial and medical provisions over the years. I've wanted to thank him for my family, who walked this journey with me. I've wanted to thank him for teaching my soul to rest. I've wanted to thank him for recently renewed health.

I've wanted to toast to his goodness that will, no doubt, touch every part of my future.

So here's to a God who is always good — in sickness, and in health; in loss, and in gain; in life, and in death. And here's to my illness, because it gave me clearest glimmers of how wide, deep, and high is God's goodness — a goodness that makes me want to spin and shake a tambourine, my hair flying in the wind.

*Cheers*


© by scj

Monday, March 4, 2013

The post I've been waiting to write for 2 1/2 years


Boy oh boy, it's been a banner month.

Lots of you know I've been inching my way toward health for the last year, which, in doctor's terms, is semi-hopeful. In Sarah terms, however, it is a doozy of a deal. I don't like inching.  I'd much rather run balls to the wall toward an obstacle, and then sprint over it, leaving it far behind me.

But sickness has a way of breaking bodies and turning personalities inside out. So I've been feebly inching and occasionally hoping that one day I'd remember again what it feels like to be me.

Along the way, I've been trying to practice gratitude by celebrating my small health victories, on my blog. So if you've been reading for awhile, then you know that, over the last 2 1/2 years, I've gone from indescribable fatigue, muscle aches, clouded thinking, and general incapacitation —essentially functioning at about 20% of my "normal"—, to eventually functioning at about 50% of normal, with energy for occasional walks, or a rare outing with friends or a date.

Then, this fall and early winter (post-tonsillectomy), I felt like I was functioning at about 70% of normal, which means I experienced occasional bouts of 'normalcy,' but still had to cautiously ration out my energy, and was generally limited in what I could do.

And then the February skies dawned bright with winter light, and something in my body drastically and gloriously changed.

Not an inching along change, but a 100-meter sprint change. And the change hasn't just been physical, because, as I've learned, we are so marvelously integrated that a person can't have a broken body without experiencing significant emotional and mental changes.

So now, the only aching I feel is the ache to somehow put this miraculous experience to words, so the people I love can enter this renewed and glorious place with me.

But rarely in my life have I been confronted by the limitations of words like I have this month. So I stumble and search for the perfect words to explain how it feels to go from dying to living, and I sing, and I laugh, and I dance, and I run really, really fast, and I keep searching for words.

Maybe one day I'll be able to string together enough syllables to aptly communicate the thrill of returning to my old self, and the delight of seeing more clearly the extent to which God has used my suffering to renovate my heart, so that I'm more fully my true self than I've ever been.

In the meantime, I'm hoping a photographic tour of the last month will act as a trumpet fanfare for the good work God is doing in my body and soul:


The first week of February some friends and I went on a last minute weekend getaway to San Diego. Normally, I'd be nervous that I wouldn't be able to make it through the weekend's activities without landing in bed, but it's amazing how a strong body'll give a girl confidence.



It was a lovely weekend. We went out for dinner, and then danced late into the night. And I, the girl who's needed an average of 12 hours of sleep a night for the last 2 1/2 years, slept 3 hours that first night. And I was fine. 




I had energy to enjoy the city the next day, and then go to work the day after that. And I didn't have to spend days recovering from the trip like I would have three months ago, nor did I get sick. I just slipped back into my routine, just like that.

And that's when I knew Action Jackson was back in action.

So I've run, and hiked, and gone on sunset strolls along the boardwalk.







I've hit the beach, splashed in the [freezing cold] waves, and gone on more hikes.




My friend, L, and I found some caves to explore.
No cave exploration is complete without a "Circle of Life" reenactment. It turns out my African chanting could use some work.

Last weekend, I went on another mini vacay to a ranch in Hemet with my cousins, where we spent the whole weekend on quads.




We tore across miles of brush, raced around old dirt bike trails, and hit jumps with gusto.



And I noticed that the paralyzing fear I'd been fighting the last two years was gone. I was no longer inhibited by the fear of mishaps, injury, and loss. I was the Sarah who loved a challenge, and sought adrenaline-inducing adventure.

And when my cousin's girlfriend turned to me after a day on the quads and said, "You.are.intense!" I wanted to do a jig, because I felt free and known, and it's never felt so good to be me.

I'm also loving exploring where I live for the first time since I moved here three years ago. This last weekend some girlfriends and I explored the high seas: we went whale watching.





And, of course, no perfect month is complete without loads of dancing. I'd forgotten how much I love to dance. It's such a fun blend of athleticism and musicality, and I love love love that God gave us bodies that can sway, and spin, and get low, loow, looow, looooow.

Gettin' ready for a little line dancin'




My line dancin' partna

And life just keeps getting better and better, folks, because my sister is coming to town this weekend. And then I'm heading to Palm Springs later this month with my girlfriends.

And the thought of all this LIFE makes my soul swell so big it's threatening to explode out of this small, healthy body of mine.

So I keep singing, and laughing, and dancing, and running, and searching for the perfect words, and I think I finally understand why the angels in the book of Revelation don't stop singing, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!"

They don't stop singing because they can't not sing.

They are so full of joy they've got to let it out somehow — they've got to sing praise to the One who heals our souls and our bodies, turns loss into gain, and breaths resurrection life into the dry, dying places.

And oh! I think the healing I've experienced this month is just a flickering foreshadowing of that glorious day when Jesus will give me a new body, and I'll fall at his feet singing, and he'll take my new hands in his scarred hands, and say,

"Let's dance, shall we?"



© by scj