Archive for December, 2010

Songbird

I can picture the Sabbath quite vividly.

I was 18, still in the dreamy phase of picturing the perfect husband, the perfect children, the perfect little cabin in the woods where we’d raise a garden, some chickens, our children. Everything was open, possible still.

Those dreams, back then, were very real.

To me, at least.

I was Anne. I spoke with the wood nymphs and the tall trees were my sisters. I’d stood on the edge of a cliff of a tall mountain and sang to God across the abyss.

I lived in this perfect dream world and nothing had yet broken in to change any of my dreams or ideals.

I hadn’t lived life yet.

I sat in an orange pew, listening to the adult SS class and as always, kept my thoughts tightly closed up within myself.

I could have gone to the youth class.

But that’s where the boys were.

Our boys.

So I sat in silence while the conversation turned to marriage. My ears pricked up. I liked talk of marriage. I was going to get married someday and just as soon as I possibly could, at that!

Someone brought up the verse in Luke where Jesus says that those who make it to heaven will neither marry nor be given in marriage. Several in the class spoke up about how galling this thought was to them, that the spouse of their youth would no longer be such. They couldn’t understand how this sentiment could be brought forth from the same God who said, “the two shall become ONE.”

I didn’t understand, either. Even though I wasn’t married and at the moment had no immediate prospects, I still felt the sting of knowing the perfection of my future marriage would be torn apart the second we reached heaven.

Oh, what a horrid thought!

Fast forward 15 years.

Not many ideals have been left untouched by the realities, the trials, the creeping cynicism I’ve come to know.

Except one.

That my husband and I are One. Come hell, high water, the devil or anyone else.

I still felt a little sting at the thought that someday this would no longer be so.

And then it hit me. All this time, as is typical, I was thinking of myself, thinking about how this would possibly affect ME.

I wasn’t thinking beyond the tip of my own ugly nose.

In the quiet one morning, He came and whispered, “It’s not about YOU.”

I’d never thought of those whose lives here on earth have been made into dungeons by the one who was supposed to be their other half. They sought pieces to join with theirs to make a whole, and ended up with swiss cheese instead.

Not long ago there was a story in the news about a young arab woman whose husband had cut off her nose because she had somehow brought shame to him. She was beautiful. And then she was broken. In his mind he had done no wrong, for she was his possession.

Possession: n. “a territory subject to foreign control”.  Possess: v. “to gain control over. to dominate”.

Hope.

Though Luke records the words of Jesus, I believe there is another story written somewhere in the record books of heaven. I believe there was someone listening that day to the great Master, and in those words found the hope necessary to live. Hope of freedom, hope of life everlasting without being chained to someone incapable of loving, hope of being whole without “the other half”.

I don’t think I’ve ever found more compelling evidence that God is not a chauvinist.

The same knowledge of freedom was needed for our lives today, thousands of years later. He knew.

Freedom! Free to soar above the plains with the eagles, to climb the mountains and laugh as you run without growing weary. Freedom to go. Freedom to stay. Freedom to worship, to sing, to play. Freedom to speak words without fear.

He wants to be our other half. He desires for each of us to find the missing pieces buried within His grace. He wants us not to be joined together with someone who hurts us, NOR to be joined with someone who completely takes away the feeling of need that draws us to Him. His hope for us is to neither be devastated by the lack of love or to be so pacified by it that we put another being on the pedestal only He belongs on.

Hope.

There is no life without hope.

I don’t need to worry about how it will all work out for me and my own. When I get there, I’ll understand. In the meantime, I’m thankful not only to live in a society where women are not possessions to live and to die at the hand of their masters, I’m also thankful to serve a God who loves each soul equally.

 

 

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Grandma

Today my Grandma turns 90.  It’s hard to believe; she always had so much energy when we were kids that it seemed we had a grandma the same age as all the rest of the grandmas out there. In actuality, she was a few years older than average. She didn’t even start her family until the age of 31. All four of her kids were born in her 30’s!  The youngest was born when Grandma was 39!

Of course, I’d like to say that because she waited to get married that she found Prince Charming, but we all know that’s not the case. She was college-educated, had a career, a strong SDA family and parents that were like the very foundation of the local church with their 10 children. Somehow, though, there’s their second-born Angeline, an “old maid” falling in love with some young 21 year old guy with a questionable family history, not SDA at all, and they elope.  Her life with him wasn’t easy, but I think she thought he was her last chance to get married and have a family.

Anyway, wish I could be there to give her a hug today and help her celebrate a little. Show her my littlest, take a few pictures. She’s the only grandma I’ve ever known, and I do miss her!

If I were Brave

Well, if I were brave when naming my children anyway, I would have done this:

 

#1 would have been…. Joshua. He was always a Joshua.

#2 would have been… Eden. Because I think she’d make a beautiful Eden.

#3 would have been… Penelope. Because I just think it fits her! lol.

#4 would have been… Avignon. I’d call her Avi for short and everyone in her life would slaughter her name for YEARS and she’d probably hate it. But it would be different and uncommon and beautiful when someone actually said it right. Ahh-veen-yon. Said with a french accent because it’s a french word.