March 30, 2010

A pleasant pheasant

I hadn't painted anything for a long time. But now, there's this.

(Apologies for the over-obvious rhyme in the subject line.)

existence

What is life? There is no purpose that is not found in person, and purpose for self alone - self-love - shrivels and turns to nothing. So life is a story: rich and full if anyone cares to hear it, but empty without an audience.
What good is there to do, but love? But little good does love do if it cannot be received.
How are we touched? Are we breathed into being by Love, yet still unmoved? If love is the beginning, why does it not continue? Great friction of human soul, staunching blessed contagion, halting infinite force by refusal.
Could it be that we, together, move what one sheer force could never? There is no we, only Him: love's making, love's power, letting us let it in.

March 26, 2010

My heart fell because I knew that I failed again.
And then you caught it, and brought it to where I could open and try to love.
I'm sorry for the thousand times my pride gets in the way.
Somehow amid my groping, listless returns, you lift my heart and let it beat for you.
Every beat, every breath - for you, my Lord.

March 25, 2010

"Thou answerest them only with spring"

I've been anticipating spring for so long - every chilly, windy day brimming me, warming me in hope of spring. I feel as if it's finally arrived. Today I've been resting my head on the earth's shoulder, demurely watching, listening, breathing along with it. The world caresses me today, and it is sweet and deep. I am ready to answer, eyes all a-twinkle, whenever it speaks to me. Oh world, let me take your hand and let us love, love, away and away.

March 15, 2010

Answers for now

Today I grew frustrated that I felt like I was wasting time, or that the things I was doing with my life weren't very meaningful. I wondered about using my life for good, and finding opportunities to love people, and accomplish good with them. Furthering the kingdom can seem impossible, when no one directly needs your contributions to society. But to quote Daniel Berrigan, "The good is to be done because it is good, not because it goes somewhere." And loving people can be tricky, because they don't need you constantly or always; people need you because you are a person, and partially because you are yourself, but not because you yourself can save them from anything. Or, what I'm trying to say is, I'm learning that as much as I want to own people or have them as my own, they aren't mine, and I can't count on them to need me. And that I am so grateful for; if people returned to me my selfish craving, I don't want to think what would happen. But, connected to that, I also thought about being married and what that would be like, the feeling of having someone who is yours. Back to the topic of having a useful life, I thought about creating art, and inspiring thought. I wondered what was the value in expressing the self, when there is so much expression out there already.

I guess, the conclusion to a lot of important thoughts is that I have found enough answers to know how I should live. I feel like I am able to trust that God puts me in places and makes things happen for a reason, and so I am able to be occupied by joy in what I do. I'm finding out that glorifying God can just mean.taking joy in Him, and then faithfully doing what comes next. I don't have to rush to be useful to the world, or stress out about not doing enough things: my life isn't meaningful because of how much I impact people, or even how much I make them feel loved. Where I am now, I can love people around me, face the upcoming tournament, and plan to do useful things in the future, without the pressure of needing those things to make my life worthwhile and meaningful. I feel like I can really rest, in peace, doing the next thing.

March 7, 2010

Today is a resurrection day.

I gave so many speeches at Freedom that I did not understand fully. I spoke on glory when I was not glorified myself. I spoke on depravity when I had not realized my own depravity as much as I do now. I spoke on keeping your eyes open when mine were still blinking back tears. I spoke on redemption before I had tasted what I have of it today.

I don't think there is any regret left.

I said yesterday that I was so discontent, and I was, I was. I was frustrated at myself for seeking everything but the satisfying.

Today I realized that I don't need to break. And I was filled with joy. Perhaps that's something that I should have realized earlier.... but like many other things, now I see them and now I understand, though of course I can never claim to understand fully. I feel like I was holding on too tightly to winning debate. Unspoken expectations, hopes built on things less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. After HOPE, I felt that God was humbling me, and that Freedom would be my chance for glory. I feel like I'm finally seeing that it's not a tournament that brings me glory, or contentment. It's not that God has punished me for a bad attitude by making me not break. He has not humiliated me, he has not put me to shame. Simply, because I could not, or would not, loosen my fixation on my own success, he loosened my grip for me, and gave me himself.

I was afraid of punishment for my pride and selfishness. Perhaps I have been disciplined, in a sense, but far less than I deserve. I feel like I have been held back from all the evil I could do. And more ... that God has shown me the greatness of his love. I cannot be afraid of anything: of never breaking again and losing my chance for Nationals, or of bumbling every speech. How can I be afraid to lose rounds, the world, myself, when nothing will separate me from the love of God?

....

I've been sitting here, trying to explain to you all why I feel that I have become Psyche. I don't know if I can explain redemption for myself, really. I feel I must explain that I am not trying to take away Till We Have Faces from you, only it's so much simpler to explain through a metaphor.

I can recall Hayley's insistence to me: "The palace is already there!" And... that all I need to do is believe. Well... what I see to be true is that belief is not a choice. Orual can never believe within herself; her doubt cannot create belief, it can only give way to it. Orual only has life in the spirit when the old self is put to death.

What do I mean? I tried so hard at Freedom to resolve myself, to understand. I wore faces of confusion, of doubt, of pain. I wanted to seek God but I don't know if I succeeded. In so many ways today God has shown me mercy, changed my heart. I think I have seen my own wrongness, my own hopelessness, my own death. (I didn't write it down; feeling is first) And I have not gotten justice. I have been made Psyche, finding myself in God, only finding contentment in him. And then beauty comes in, and every regret is God bringing me to Himself.

Today is a resurrection day. Thanks for listening, and letting me tell you about it. God give me grace for the redemption of all of me.