Why I Long For Nothing Or Why I Want Intangibles This Christmas

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I ache for intangibles. I am longing for a filling in of the void. I am craving, in my empty hollow pit,  change and love come down and hope cracked open. Hope poured out. A drowning out of pain. I limp like the war wounded, dragging a limb with chronic pain. I limp with a ghostly pain for Love to seep into the cracked and bleeding places. Heal as aloe on our weary souls.

I look for The Healing Balm with the eyes of my Advent Heart.

I want with a weary wanting.

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And God is good to allow the empty hollow hunger. For me. I am moved. Pushed in my spirit by the Spirit to a place of chronic pain. To seek the unseen. Covered by the fog of self. Love wide open love Divine all Love out-dwelling. Love indwelling. Love Incarnate. Wash over us. This soul ache means I am made for more. For serving man and other.

If you wrap your love, which I too will do. Whisper prayers over paper and bows. Breathe the breath of prayerful change over boxes and bags of packages wrapped in love and lovely. Look out and in. And help me look in and outward too. To find the intangibles in their walking flesh and bone. And breathe new life. To heal the hurting. Calm the storms. Be the love lived out. Hands and feet multiplied. Oh Multiplier of Mercy.

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Oh but I am in my comfort. With the companion of my ache. And I am with my passion, words. I am not there. The Liberia’s with my serving servant friend. Or Haiti. Where the others that I know are walking. I am here. Longing for nothing. But a Christmas with an overflow. From the heart. Joy jumping high like hot grease in the frying pan, cooking up the Sunday bacon. Hope cracked open like the farm fresh egg, yolk of yellow nourishment. Healing spread like the salve of a mother’s kiss on a wounded blood-soaked knee.

Great tidal waves of salty seas. Of grace. Grow feet and walk up on our shores.

And mark the world with Love come down at Christmas. Love. Unfailing Love. And leave us change. By grace. Leave us changed by Grace. Love the battle winner. Love the conqueror. Love the healer of all ache.

Amen?

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Scenes From A Day In The Life Of A Woman Longing For Christmas Joy

Titles should be short, pithy and easy to skim. Oh well. I grant myself grace in the area of this rule, this day. And I am hoping you will too. (Says the poet to herself and to her patient readers).

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The birds come to the feeder late. I know how they feel. Hunger strikes out of the shadows of the gray. And there is comfort by the window sill. I watch them feed as they befriend me on the warm side of the cool pane. I wonder if I bring them even an ounce of the comfort they bring me.

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I am unpacking boxes. They come, thrown my way like confetti. That which is left for the street cleaners at the end of a seemingly unending parade. I cannot not look. I cannot not clean. I press on. Each box a memory. A yearbook from 1944. War was. War is. Change comes. And we still hunger after peace. I open the musty navy blue leather and peek. It is all I can do. My skin and bones and flesh and soul can only feel so much of the memories I must unravel. How can I not honor the dead. How can I bear the stories that are only half way laid to rest. How can I hurry by the legacy of the buried. The dead. Pausing I nod. Pausing I acknowledge. The pages are a hiding place for more. Someone has tucked a dozen black and white photographs inside. And I must look all the way back. It is 1940 something. It is 2014 or something.

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The music plays loud. Then dolce. Then deafening. I do not dare go without. It is my mana, my sustenance, my companion. It mirrors the wait. It echos the longing. It speaks for me. It whispers, even loudly, the reminders of hope. I pluck songs out of the airstream and swallow them. Hungry for the phraseology of hymn and song and poetry of each tune. Without the music these days, I feel I may starve my soul. Hungry am I for the notes to wash over me. Hungry for Christmas in every line. Hope rides on the backs of the black and white sharps and flats. And I find comfort. While I wait for the joy.

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The books can entangle me the most. We have hidden things within the pages. We have used them as a repository for our lives. We have documented our living with their titles. There are series and seasons of titles that remind. Of craving organization and longing to steward well. Of birding and birthing and boating and raising our children. Preparing them for flight, on the other side. To the other side. Away. There are books we read. And books we never did. I grieve. And among them a book from a friend. Written in french. I look for room. I am running out. Of ideas and room. Of patience and space.

But I crack the spine and find her words written in 1978 to me. I cannot weep. For if I start, I may not stop. I am battling emotions which come and go. My heart, it longs for Christmas. It is 1970 something. I went to Paris without her. I remember it well. I cannot weep.

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I cannot escape the banging. The clamoring. The sounds of nails driving into the wood. And I remember the time, 33 years, from my creche with the baby in the manger. Until the cross. And I wonder if the people building this home, know the cost. They do. Monetarily. But every day the nails are hammered. Hundreds. And I hear nearly every one. The work. The patience. The hours. The noise. The sacrifice. Why do they need a home so grand. It looms. And is large. Maybe they, like me, have memories to house. To store. And the books. With no where to go.

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I go back to my unpacking, my music, turning up my favorite carols and hymns. They help buffer the hammers and nails. And I excavate. And unpack. And long, really hunger for Christmas. And pray that the old cravings for more subside. Pray that simplicity will invade my living space. And hope that this weary world will prepare Him room, as Heaven and nature sing.

And I trust with all that I am and all that I have, that Love will come down at Christmas.
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Joining Beth at just be beth dot com for Unforced Rythms

Living Out The Prequel

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Living Out The Prequel

If I am a story
Or a story is me
And we are turning pages
There is this unfolding
My breath is held and
I may forget to breathe

But living does not rest on whether
I remember
Or I forget

It is the mystery of baited breath
God grants me this until the end
And did God feel this way
On the days, one and two
Knowing what he knew of all that lay ahead
Knowing all he knew
About the peonies in shades of flesh and rose and the oyster with its hidden pearl
The sound of rain and rainy drops
Slowly tickling the backs
Of a parched and desert dry cracked earth

Do I know I know not what is to come

But breathing deep and breathing fast
Swallowed up by the fog of a heaviness
Expectant in the coming next
I know as any mother knows
To hold the baby to her breast and sit back
Long and languid, rest in waiting
Love

I know as the salt marsh tide knows
When to ebb and
When to flow
And in its knower
Knows that it will never stop

I know that I am walking
Through the days of prequel joy
Pregnant in expectancy
Of splitting hairs of heavy wait
Of counting stars and counting dreams
Of wondering how much joy a soul can hold

All the while entangled
In a mystery of how will it all end
And when
In the days left in the waning
Of the remaining

Until healing comes to all

Again

And the prequel gives way
To what He has in store

So I will turn the page
Savoring every word
That was
And will to come

Be still
And hear

the prequel

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A Tale Of Two Churches, A Tale of Two Holidays

A Tale of Two Holidays

It is snowing in places which don’t see much snow. And there is a white out. An indistinguishable cloaking of celebrations. Is it Thanksgiving time, is it Christmas time. They are morphing and blending into a hybrid one. She can see a blur of holiday on the horizon. It is one, no it is two.

Yesterday we bought lights. I said we can hang them but not plug them in. Preparing, but straddling. Doing something, but remaining decidedly present in a Thanksgiving mindset. I am glad we did neither. Because for our home, spiritually and physically, we slowed down for Thanksgiving. We freed up mental space, spiritual room for more of Thanksgiving.

Unless I burrow down and turn off more of the world, I will continue to hear and see early Christmas. And that is okay, because I can look to and dwell on the birth of Christ in the rooms of my heart. And prepare Him room.

But I want a Thanksgiving-tide a season focusing on everything that is. I want a little separation of heart space. To be a thanksgiving family. To be a thanksgiving mother. To focus my energy for a least a few more days on extreme gratitude. So that I can fuel up my heart for the other 364 days, to be a year-round person of thankfulness.

In just a few more days it will be Black Friday. Admittedly I want to hide, run away from all that day represents. I can choose not to participate, yes, always.

Maybe one day the day following Thanksgiving can be re-named “The Day of Residual Thanks”. Where we are so full, not of food and excess, but of gratefulness and gratitude that it spills out. Everywhere. Marking the world, telling other souls of what joy is found in living a life colored grateful. Not black. But the colors of extreme joy. For whatever we have. For just what we have. And just be. A Thanksgiving People, once again.

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A Tale Of Two Churches

She stepped off the front stoop of her little brick
home

Turned right, past the prayer labyrinth
Walked, thirty seconds
in her Alice gait, I am late for a very important date
blown by brisk winds at her back

Turned the knob of the old door, worn and gray
And entered into a sacred salty Sunday
Sanctuary, the church named for a saint

taking her seat beside him, it is now almost their pew
doing that claiming a seat thing that Protestants like to do
Wriggling in close to him to warm her soul, her body
too, touched by the cold
Her seat, worn red velvet, she thinks to herself
Frozen in time, there is nothing in this world she could possibly
Need, she is here
Saying the Nicene Creed
And the Eucharist and the Hymns
Hemmed in by him and extravagantly humble stained-glass
Blinded by beauty, familiar
She is home
Where the baby garbles a sweet uh-oh
And the gray-haired  lady,so regal and tall and very very old
Coughs and clears her aging throat
Where the sermon sings  truth where good news comes giddy
announced to the almost full pews
“we bought a water buffalo.”
Oh she is home.

But  when she stepped off the stoop
She could have turned left, too
Turned the key on the SUV
Turned left then left again on Hightway Seventeen
Driven down the four-lane road
Littered not with trash
But with splattering scenes of the sea
And salt marsh grass
Yes
She could have turned the door
Of the rather new church
Built with the reclaimed
Wood, to look old
Starred at the old rugged cross
While listening to the very new
Songs of praise

She holds a dual-citizenship
Feels a bit bilingual
As her heart lingers
Straddles two sanctuaries
And she wonders
Whose idea was it
After-all
To be forced to make a decision
About church and worship.

She may be a very long while
In this place
Of indecision, spiritual ambidextrious
Raising her hands, no, now leaving them down
Living within the body of Christ
A soul without the physical walls
Of a holy home.
Stretched, yet happy
Halved, yet whole
Wandering, yet not lost
No not at all.

A member of the body
The body of Christ,
Alone.
And she is at peace at last
At home.

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Joining Laura Boggess at Laura Boggess dot com for Playdates At The Wellspring

And Michelle DeRusha at Michelle DeRusha dot com