To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Isolation II

I struggle with words...twisted and tangled on my tongue...the desire to be slow to speak...slow to anger...so I wrestle through emotion...seeking a response and not a reaction...and as I still my thoughts and settle my heart I realize how prone I am to shy away...to push against pain.
On the one hand this is good...this instinct is what keeps us from putting our hand to the flame...
but sometimes...
Sometimes I am too quick to reject suffering...

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

He suffered...He took pain greater than I can imagine or will ever have to bear...

And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?

Can I not hurt just a little bit? Can I not know suffering for His sake? Can I not trust that on the other side of this struggle...this hard thing...is joy in a measure I haven't known before?

The beauty of a pearl is clearly seen in it's luminescent color and round smoothness wrought by time. But on its own the splendor is limited by isolation. Taken in hand by a master jeweler it can be fitted and joined to other pearls, becoming a treasured gift.

We're like that...as believers...as the church. We have a certain value...not because of ourselves but because of the glory of the One who dwells within our hearts. But He doesn't leave it there...He joins us together...He places us in families with the unseen silk thread of community woven into our souls...forming a glorious strand of mercy and compassion...joy and faith...a graceful necklace of reconciliation.
I spend a lot of time lately talking and thinking of what it is to be in community. To be honest I don't have it figured out by half...parts feel good...and parts are painful...uncomfortable and convicting...sin pushes to separate and divide...but there is One who answers back that life is in the suffering...in the risking of self...because He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows...
So I learn to accept the struggle and not fight against it...knowing that His work is perfect, for all
His ways are justice.

1 comments:

Lisa notes... said...

Very poetically written and from the heart. What does it mean to be in community? I'm still learning, too. I'm blessed to be part of this one today...