Elora, God Is Light

She has always been tall for her age, until now.  And slender.  Her hair is golden silk, reflecting light in shimmering strands.

Her nature is gentle.  Her smile reflective of her inner thoughts.  Rarely does she fuss when her plans change, ever the easy going child.  Throughout Europe and most of the United states she traveled with us, even tempered and enthusiastic to make friends anywhere we set her down.  Agreeable and charming.  Everyone who met her left enamored with the smart little wit and eager laugh she offers.

At 9 years of age, she no longer stands a head above her peers, but shoulder to shoulder with most.  Through many changes she has come, and still her even temper and eager joy charms and delights.  She has added responsibility and dependability to her many qualities now.  Nurturing and kind and empathetic.  Her tenderness is evident, her strength apparent.

Her brothers adore her and vie for her attention.  Her friends call her their “best” and wait to hear her words.  Her teacher praises her before her class, and her parents thank her Creator for the privilege of loving her.

Elora Noelle Paulson, Precious Gift of Shining Light.  Happy Birthday one more time.  

God With Us

That God is present,  longing to reveal and have received by us His unending love, His amazing grace, is an unshakable reality.

That we see God, feel His longing and receive His love unending, His grace so amazing, is a questionable endeavor.

Questionable in our tepid affinities and shallow understandings that we rely so heavily upon.  Relying to discern a path through days on end, we walk as vapors, shadows of what could be, among the brilliantly radiating reality of God.

We see such a limited view that ourselves consume it.  Our understanding framed by only what we decide is here. What we call real.  Us, we shadows of night, so regal in our fading, forgetting embodiment, call our dimly  casted reflection real.

Our dwelling places flat.  On walls and floors of the boxes we create to contain only what we can imagine and always only what is seen from behind that which blocks the Light.

Yet Light came into our shadowed dwelling, took on life as a vapor.  All blazing and brilliant glory dimmed  down into what our eyes could view without burning.  Speaking, calling, healing, touching, living and dying that we might gain life outside our flat darkened confines.

That we might allow Him inside.

That He might lead us from shapeless reflection into detailed body and into a colored world.  That we might live beyond our finite understanding.  Our backward selves, thinking the light revolves around the shadows and a human embodied God, with us, calling all dim castings of unformed images to come into flesh and bone and be in orbit around true Light.  From reflections of what is created into creation.

That we might go from clinging to what is safe, in dimly shadowed box,  to soaring in all His illuminating Glory, unknown, and not understood.  To being loved by all that God is.  All consuming.  Immovable.  Unshakable.  Real.

Becoming

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” 1 Peter 4:12

Words, deeds, misunderstanding, hurt feelings. Baggage adding up, spilling over.

Filters and lenses fogged through, emotions intense. Pressure steaming.  Exploding all over.

People living with People: Rubbing raw, stabbing deep, wearing thin.  Aching.  Lonely.  Fearfully raging.  Clashing and colliding and throbbing and slashing and hiding and blaming and hating and longing… in need.

….which comes upon you for your testing….

I remember words once spoken to me; “She needs a dart board and you are her leader.  Seems like God is asking you to break the fall for her, to be the one who catches her hurt and absorbes the mess.  Seems like maybe He’s asking you to be His skin and bones for a little while. Seems like a painfully high honor, if you ask me.  Seems like that’s what we do when we say yes to being like Him.”  

And when standing in the breaking of someone’s fall, my own heart breaks.  Shatters.  I wonder if He really wants me to say yes to being like Him.  When absorbing someone else’s mess requires painful stretching to accomodate the enormity of a life lived outside my capacity, when the swelling tears pieces of me and my resolve to be like Him cracks… In my aching my human, un-god-like, is showing.

“…Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler…”              ~1 Peter 4:15

When my human heart bites back in the searing pain of tearing and I no longer suffer stretching for the sake of Christ, but suffer under the weight of my new wounds opening old.  When I am no longer breaking someones fall, but falling right along with them, I wonder, how did I get here? When did I turn away from the Healer and become the hurting? When I am an evildoer, and troublesome and have no where to look but at my own failing pride, my own crying for comfort and relief, rather than for God’s glory. When I loose sight. Forget why I am here.  When does He come rescue us both?

“Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” ~ 1 Peter 4:19

In the midst of falling and failing in human error and stringent pride, one thing I do know: His hands stretching wide.  It is enough to remind me to land on my knees, my face to the floor.  One thing that falling does is break open the brittle shell that said, enough stretching this time!  And me, now broken, heart beating bare, each hand His covers He lifts up with care.   It is His arms that stretch mine out full. It is His strength holding them there.  In this, I am renewed.  In His embrace I gain my girth.  Together, my skin and bones and His presence, we return to absorbing hurt from the hurting. And when I lean into Him as we break their fall, I can see it.  This is how I am becoming like Him.

“Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” ~1 Peter 4:1