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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer of Truth, Beauty and Goodness

I've wrestled around in my head and tried to come up with several different ways to begin this post but the problem I'm having is that I'm trying to start a conversation that already began a couple of weeks ago. So, I'm really just throwing things out there that may not have any reference point for you. I'm not going to give a boatload of background to try and catch you would take too long. Suffice it to say that in the ways of family and parenting and children and seasons of life we are undergoing a major change. It came to our attention, really Rob's, that things in our house were out of line...and just like a broken bone that needs to be set you don't just gently dance around and tug it back into place. You get a good grip and yank it back into place where it belongs.
It hurts.
But it also sets the bone so that it can heal and be whole again.
Too leave it, to ignore the break until it has had time to meld together in it's misshapen deformity, is to actually cause more pain and a worse process of re-breaking to begin the healing process.
It does hurt. But the pain isn't as bad as it could be or would be if we left things the way they are.
So, we are in what we affectionately term 'boot camp'.  Everyone of us.
The kids.
Oh, my goodness am I in boot camp. How did I get so lax in having the children tow the line? When did I get so lax in towing the line?
There are moments when Rob is correcting the child for the wrong response to me because I have forgotten to correct them for their wrong response to me. Why do I tell them to do something and end with "Okay?" and when I want an unprompted "Yes, ma'am"?
Sweetly my husband has had to gently remind me not to intervene when he is dealing with one of not interject so that I'm softening their disobedience or giving room to their sin.
To let go and step back. To let him be their father. To correct and love them.
He's calling it the summer of truth, beauty and goodness.
The truth is that we are called to live differently. We are different parents, different siblings, different spouses because we serve a different God than the world. He is our God and we are His people and as such He tells us how we are to live.
But where is the grace?
I'm so weary of hearing this question from Christians, of reading it on every blog or article.
The grace is found in that truth is even revealed to us. The grace is found in the calling out to be different. The grace is being shown a standard and given the means to live in it.
It's not being taken off the's not making room for sin.
Do we need forgiveness? Absolutely.
Do we need mercy to reach down and help us to our feet when we fail and we're lying in a repentant heap on the ground? A resounding yes.
Do we need grace to find the path when we've wandered? Yes, and the grace is in the correcting and in being a ferocious enemy to each other's sin.
And, when we do it that way, His way, it's beautiful.
A family made up of people looking to serve one another, to love one another and work for the good of each other is beautiful. A family living out a rightly ordered life is beautiful.
From truth flows beauty and from beauty flows the goodness of a life lived in joyful submission to the King.