Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Breathing

It's a funny thing, breathing. 


The other night I was sitting on the sofa, and I could hear Amber breathing as she sat beside me, reading a book. I realized I was breathing, too.  Our dog was laying beside us, and she was breathing heavily too because she was deep in sleep. We were all sitting there, inhaling the invisible air around us, and exhaling it back out.

It's one of those thousand and one things we stop noticing. Our focus narrows onto the smallest tasks in front of us: paying a bill, answering a text message, watching a TV show. 

Meanwhile we're sitting on a giant twirling ball, rotating silently through space, with just a thin garment of air covering the surface of our planet. And we breathe that gas in, and out, that perfect balance of oxygen and nitrogen.  Decade after decade our lungs open and close like bellows, delicately collecting the invisible gas around us that we depend on moment by moment to stay conscious, to keep our eyes open, to move our bodies.

'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
                              -Paul of Tarsus, Acts 17:28


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

No Mind Has Imagined

"There never was any world but mine," said the Witch.

... Puddleglum was fighting hard...."We'll never see it again, I shouldn't wonder. You may have blotted it out and turned it dark like this, for all I know. Nothing more likely. But I know I was there once. I've seen the sky full of stars. I've seen the sun coming up out of the sea of a morning and sinking behind the mountains at night. And I've seen him up in the midday sky when I couldn't look at him for brightness."
               -The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis

Christians have had those moments when we knew the warmth and incredible glory of the Son of God shining on us.  But for now we still live in Plato's Cave, a world full of shadows.

In a cold, dank, cave it is sometimes easy to wonder if we've dreamed up this whole belief we have in the resurrection of the dead, in God, in all things made right and Zion, the size of Brazil, coming down one day like a bride to earth where God will make his home with humans in brightness and joy. 

But on a morning like this morning, with the tender chill of spring, and the squawking and chirping of birds, and new flowers everywhere, it is a just a little easier.

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."                                                                     -1 Corinthians 2:9

Monday, March 23, 2015

One reason we can be patient with a small child who is screaming or kicking the wall or "going through a phase" is that we believe one day he or she will become a mature, lovely adult, who will look back on their childhood and roll their eyes as they raise children of their own.  We know that this small hellion will one day be a saint who has suffered, grown wise and gentle and kind. So we put up with their childishness with hope and patience.

It's my belief that's one factor in God's patience for us. Sure, he sees us screaming at others in our hearts and kicking at the walls we find around us and "going through a phase."  But he knows what we will one day become.

"Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
                                                                                                                      - 1 John 3:2