Monthly Archives: February 2013
If you are feeling any kind of homeless today–whether you’ve just moved 10,000 miles away or your life is just looking very unfamiliar at the moment–God will create a home for you. And he’ll do it out of the most unlikely materials, I promise. Most often, he brings us shelter through the arms of each other. As Maya puts it . . .Lying, thinking
Last night How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody, But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Now if you listen closely I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
Can make it out here alone.
Let’s stick together. Let’s stick to each other. Let’s allow each other in. Let’s turn toward each other. This is how we will get through. This is how we will find a home. The mud and thatch and brick and mortar of each other.
This post marks my last writing from Bahrain. Soon we will be on our way westward, back to San Diego, after right about 20 months of adventure in the Middle East.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. Both a physical journey of miles, and an emotional journey of making amends with myself. Thank you for entering into this adventure with me and for being a companion to me when I was in a foreign place.
If I could—yet again—beat one drum in our collective ear, it would be this rhythm: We don’t always know what God is doing from beginning to end. AND YET, he is making all things beautiful in its time. This is the crux of my faith. This is the essence of my hope. That God has loved me enough to take me on a journey—deeper into the world, deeper into myself, deeper into Him—and He has walked with me through a mysterious unfolding. One that I don’t always understand or agree with. AND YET, looking back, I can always see a certain kind of beauty that unfolded against all odds.
Emily Dickinson wrote that “the truth must dazzle gradually/ Or every man be blind.” This is the profound and subtle work of God. A gradual dazzling. We do not see all the beauty all at once and up front (it would blind us if it came to us that way). We are gradually dazzled—one tiny faith-step at a time.
This is found art. Not necessarily gorgeous on first glance. A gradual dazzling. A subtle mystery. Beauty-in-the-making.
I want faith large enough to always believe that the beauty is around the next bend, and—even—here in the mess, too.
I want to believe that bougainvillea can grow from the dumpster. Free. Wild. Alive. Because beauty is always that much more beautiful when it’s growing despite the garbage.
I believe in your capacity and my capacity to discover such truth. To live in it and out of it and through it. To bank on God and his broad grace. I believe in our capacity to begin again. I believe in our capacity to heal and breathe and become. I believe in our capacity to find beauty, even when it seems beauty has left for good.
So, I invite you to join me in this next chapter. Undoubtedly, it will be rocky. Re-entry is a strange beast. And I will have to walk through it. No short cuts. We’ll talk through it together, and we’ll meet on the common road of needing-God-in-our-humanity. Most of all, we’ll help each other scout the beauty.
All my love,
Some days we need to sit down and rest. Some days we need to get up and fight!
“The only easy day was yesterday” is a slogan used in the SEAL teams, one that helps the guys get through their training. A powerful sentiment . . . especially if we are prone to self-pity instead of showing up. Self-pity can be a paralyzing emotion that keeps us from participating in our own lives.
As I consider the next couple of weeks—full of eternal plane rides and lots of change for me personally and our brood collectively—I am meditating on the following: Might this be the time to channel my inner Navy SEAL?
The toxic voices can subtly encourage us to abdicate our roles and responsibilities, convincing us to let someone else—someone who is much more productive or efficient or attractive or articulate or whatever—handle it. We avoid stepping into the fray of life for fear of failure. We let anxiety convince us that we can’t manage difficult things. We choose to numb instead of engage. Soon we begin believing we’re not capable of handling the challenges life brings.
We learn to believe in ourselves again when we face challenges with courage. We will not conquer everything in our path. We may not have perfect abs while going into battle, but we can still fight. We can still push up against life a bit. We can still show up. We can still arise and put on our war paint!
Hey, life, I’m here. I’m not going to let you beat me. I’m not going to drift out to sea. Period. Even if the only easy day was yesterday. Bring. It. On.
And if it all goes to hell (because it will, at some point), I will take a nap or a hot shower and then I will come for you again. I will begin again. I will put the war paint on . . . again. Hear me roar.
Here’s to channeling your inner Navy SEAL. Sometimes in life the only easy day was yesterday. And yet, I believe we can honor ourselves by showing up instead of slinking away.