There Is A Right Time For Everything On The Earth

I don’t know exactly why I stood and stared up at the clock at Union Station.

And found it to be so magical.

So filled with beauty and elegance. Dignity and strength.

But when I arrived at the very busy hub of humanity with the cavernous sense of wide openness mixed with a stirred up bunch of folks from everywhere, I slipped into a trance.

Almost like stirring up a wasp’s nest these travelers rush in and out, on a mission which is their life. On missions which are their lives.

And we were rushing, my group of four. We had so little time. Trying to see D.C. in hours. No way to do it justice. To invest in her beauty. But Time was not to be negotiated with. There was no stretching or extending or borrowing.

But now that I am home and I have time to process, to think back on almost a split second or two of hurriedly passing through Union Station, I have more clarity.

On why I wanted to stand and stare. The marbled elegance drew me in. Her architecture was strong and noble and proud.

But the picture I was determined to snap on the run tells me a story even now days later.

It speaks to me of the delicate nature of holding on to the minutes and moments which are our very days. Of capturing the seconds that tick past. Of holding hard to the time that we have. Cherishing and relishing the all of them.

When I study the photograph I have a sense of calm at the big strong clock face and the steel hands. They seem bold and sure. They have confidence in their telling of the exact time. And I now know exactly when I was there. They are marked these minutes and moments when I was rushing through the station.

They tell me when I stopped and clicked and when I was in awe of her telling. Her showing me time.

I now  wrestle with her, with Time.

Where to invest mine. Where to pour into what He gives me.

How to use my gifts with the Time I have left. When to go and when to stop. How to say yes and when to say no. She looks a little different to me now, Time.

He increases my awareness of the moments and minutes and days. Each measurement of a day is placed under the magnifying glass now. They look bigger and grander. They are more important than even before. The magnifying glass is a gift with which to see. And to gauge.  And then measure.

I am a steward of these grains, these particles, these fleeting fleeing moments of time which are my life.

My stewardship of His precious gift is important. The spending of it. The holding of it. And the loosing of it. The releasing it back to Him. The investing for Him. The seeking ways to serve Him.

I will not kill it, or hoard it. Time. I will not waste it. But rather  I will seek to  spend it wisely. To use it well. But in my own strength and with my own power I am powerless to steward well. It is only in seeking His strength and His wisdom that I can hope for even an ounce of discernment with which to spend it rightly.

So I seek Him to guide. Look to Him to lead. Ask Him to show what to do with the gift He has given. This one of my life, my time, my constantly shaping story.

I have come back home to  a problem which weighs heavy on my soul. It wants to joy-rob and time-steal. It seeks to take my eyes off of investing in the beautiful.

So I release it back to the Giver of all Good Gifts. And lay it down. Seeking His Mercy and His Wisdom. Asking Him to help number and order my days in a way that brings Him glory.

And I do not think He would mind, not even one little bit, if I dreamed of going back to Union Station to stand in awe. To rest. To stare. To wonder in amazement at the big bold beautiful representation of Time there mounted  nobly on the wall.

Looking out and looking forth.

She looks like a picture of Time and she looks beautiful to me.




Through A Daughter’s Eyes-The Call And Reflection

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life”.–Mary Oliver

Why I Am On The Art Bus”–by my sixteen year old daughter

When I first heard about this journey I was so not sure if I wanted to go or not. I was thinking I would have just gotten out of school so why would I want to get back on a bus again the first week of summer? I know, so selfish and so not the right state of mind.

So then I began to pray and pray about it. I felt the Lord was calling me to go. There I would be the youngest on the bus with not much experience. However there is nothing that I love more than art, children, and Jesus Christ. The more I thought about it the more excited I began to get. This was my calling and the Lord was telling me to go.

Telling people about Christ and having an art studio on wheels is just so amazing. Watching people love on this bus just brings so much joy to my heart. The fact that we can bless others as well as the Lord with the bus is just so incredible.

I have learned lots of thing while along this journey. Number one, patience is key. Trust God no matter what happens. This brings me to one of my favorite verses…”Be cheerful no matter what happens.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19. Throughout the trip I was reminded that He has a plan for us and the bus and even if we were not able to see it, He can.

I can’t believe I ever doubted being apart of this team. This again is where I will thank God. He let me see that He wanted me to be apart of this and I thank Him again for giving me the ability to be able to listen and to obey Him. I was blessed with many new friendships on this trip that I wouldn’t trade for the world I thank God for that, also.

I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for it/us when we bring it back home. It can’t be anything but good. This has been one amazing journey and I am so glad I was called to hop on board!

 

Pay Attention On The Road

Instructions for living a life.

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

( Mary Oliver)




The Road

Pay attention to the road.

And the traffic.

The directions too.

You may get lost.

Wander off on a path, into the unknown.

Where Discovery waits.

To greet your heart.

Bust it wide open, into the light. Into the world. Into the bright.

Pay attention to the mom with the pain. The one on black top blank stare, hurting insides.

Pay attention to one on the platform, as the rat runs by.

The one with the words looking for a place to light, to land, to rest.

Pay attention to the the one wearing ink for clothing with sadness oozing out and over and into your arms.

Pay attention to the all, the one, the single soul with a hole to fill to make them whole.

And your words may touch and your presence may help. Might even heal. A bit. A place.

He did it well. He paid attention. To the woman at the well.

To the prostitute. To the leper.

Pay attention to even one, to the least.

Discover the joy.

In discovering the moment.

Connect with the one, the child, the mom, the man on his commute.

Let Mercy pierce your heart.And Love spill from your lips.

And stumble down that path.

The one marked well for you.

The Big Yellow Metaphor

{This post is part of an ongoing series reflecting on  my experiences on a wild and wonderful journey. A big colorful artful adventure, one  from New York to South Carolina as part of a team on The Art Bus Project roadtrip.}

Audrey. And others. They were my teachers.

I just went to summer school. And my classroom was a big yellow school bus.

The bus, my classroom screams loudly the lessons over the din of heavy black tires on I-95. Yells out over hot highway with her yellow zippered lines marking the lessons. Shouts Truth over the swoosh of passing eighteen wheelers in the fast lane and the screech of breaks on near missed turns. Through tolls and toils she lays out the lesson plan to her student held captive within the yellow walls.

My team members on The Art Bus Project, part of the teaching staff. I a student, a sponge soaking in the lessons. Some hard. All good. Life teaches well along the way. In the messy living.

The old, big, gas-guzzling, loud and sometimes hot classroom is a good teacher too.

When God calls us into ministry He is good to change us. And challenge us.And He is wise to teach those he taps . To instruct those whom he woos to come along for the ride. Moving us from Point A to Point B, never leaving us where we were found by Him. Transforming lives with Grace. Mercy moving us along. Increments of Truth and more of Him, measurements of movement.

And He is a gentle teacher. Loving His children and wisely never leaving His rag tag band, His co-laborers, His students of Grace unchanged. He lovingly shapes. He gingerly molds. We show up in a place carrying the now of what we know on our backs like a Patagonian hiker ready for a trek. He adds whats important, filling the pack with more of Him.  The weight of the important strengthens the sojourner’s back. Shoulders stronger, legs less wobbly, back braced for carrying the significant.

We show up ill-prepared. He refines the red clay of the soul on the spinning potter’s wheel.

And He uses His people in a beautiful way. There is no circumstance on the journey that He has not known. There are no combinations of facts or missing pieces which leave Him caught off guard or suprised.

So when I say yes and I show up He tilts the lense and sharpens the perspective. Divine fingers wipe the fog, remove the smudge on the window to the world. And over the shoulder on the looking back, He speaks. In the ear of the rewinding mind, He teachess.

And He takes one little, two little , three little travellers and more and binds them together over the bumps, through the wrong turns, past the monuments, through the dark tunnels, past the missed stops, and onward  on the road of learning.

The one about Him. And the one about us. And the one about the others along the way. The ones with the hurt and the pain. The ones with no one to listen and no one to care.

The weary woman on the way home, eyes blurred from hours in the office. The mom with a whispering heart, bruised by circumstances. The tender recovering soul who in her young life as a mother to two is now a widow and hurting. But aren’t we all.  And who doesn’t.

The eager child with the can of spray paint, eager to find a place to write and express. His name,his identity on the black asphalt, on the sides of the yellow walls. He teaches to listen and look for signs. They have a voice. They want to speak. They want to shout.

They all have a story to tell.

And we would do well to listen.

And we would be more like Him if we did.

{Counting gifts today with Ann over at A Holy Experience dot com. And linking up here at the Extraordinary Ordinary and here with Michelle and also with these two ladies here and here}

* the gift, possibly a first and a last, but hoping not, a mission trip with my daughter

*watching her serve, use her gifts and leave childish ways behind….way behind

*watching my daughter grow more and more into the woman God has purposed her to be

*meeting a freight container full of new friends this week, well I am prone to hyperbole

*seeing new places, exploring new corners, falling in love with the art of discovery all over again.

*regaining my sense of adventure and inquiry

* Asking and accepting the privilege to pray for two women, God grant me faithfulness to pray faithfully and diligently for their circumstances

*Eight new puppies in my world

*Watching my son care for the furry babies and seeing how nurturing He truly is

*getting  a text from my son at camp that he is homesick.  An unexplainable gift.

*counting down the days until we trek up to our beloved mountain home, where memory lives, and story waits to tell us more of the past, the present, and lend hope to the future

* new inspiration from new twitter folks, a welcome surprise. Reading tweet after tweet of words pointing toward the Father