(23) longing

The blind man is sitting, begging, alongside the road. Someone tells him that Jesus is in the crowd passing by and he begins to shout, “Jesus, have mercy on me!” Initially everyone tells him to shut up. But he yells louder and “Jesus [stops] in his tracks.” (Mark 10:49 MSG) Jesus comes to him and asks directly, “What can I do for you?” or as my mom paraphrased it,

what are you longing for?

Bartimaeus knows exactly what his answer to this question will be: “Lord, I want to see.” When I cry out and Jesus asks, “What are you longing for?”, what is my answer?

I long for connection. Unbroken fellowship and communion with the human beings surrounding me. A long, long table with laughter, children, tears, bread, wine, telling and listening and understanding. To be known as I am and to know another. To be wholly connected within myself  — bone, muscle, tissue, marrow, soul, spirit, mind, emotions — accepting and accepted, welcoming and welcomed. To share moment after treasured moment, day after  grubby day, through whispered secrets across pillows, triumphant exclamations of praise and joy, a hug, two hands holding, music and words and light woven together into meaning, boots stamping in puddles, short messages, and long walks.

I long to be purposeful. To know what I am meant to do and then have the courage to do it. To catch a glimpse of the direction in which I am walking. To bravely search my heart and discover something unique that I have to offer.

I long to see. To see that the dishwasher unloaded is an act of love. To see hope intermingled with the rain. To see hymn titles in the numbers on the alarm clock. To see love in the grace and patience of everyday things. To see Jesus.

Jesus said, “What can I do for you?”
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“On your way,” said Jesus. “Your faith has saved and healed you.”
In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road.

(Mark 10 MSG)


(11) catching up

“…Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of experience.” (C. S. Lewis)

Camping trip with the family last week. The women only outnumbered the men 5 to 4, if you don’t count the little daughter/granddaughter/niece still in utero (counting her, it was 6 to 4). That kind of almost-even ratio is a first in our family and it was more of a delight and a blessing than I had ever anticipated. Guys are so different, you know. Conversations took different turns, the days’ activities looked different, more food was consumed (well, probably not that much more, we girls are still notorious eaters in my family)…

We celebrated victory, listened to stories, laughed at funny jokes, accents, and general silliness. We touched my sister’s belly and whispered love through the greenhouse walls where the newest member of the family is preparing to burst forth into our lives. We walked long trails, rowed around the lake, caught fish and ate them as our ancestors probably did for centuries before we learned to shop the frozen section. The campfires were smoky. Our collection of ice chests and tents was laughable, but delightful. We came together as family, as friends, to feed each other and share life together, even if only for a few nights.

I am not generous with perfection. (A couple of my sisters are much more open-minded about beauty and perfection, and I would do well to learn from them). But this was perfect, every moment.

(4) delight


I’ve been thinking a lot about delight ever since a friend posted the question on Facebook: where have you encountered delight today? In the moment, I couldn’t think of anything, not a single glimpse of delight in that day.

Since then, I’ve been on the lookout. Surely I’m just missing the moments. Maybe I’m too caught up in my thoughts, many worries, long to-do lists, anxious conversations, and all of this is distracting from the moments of joy. Or am I just not taking time to indulge my soul?

But I captured a soul moment yesterday and met delight in the process of creating and enjoying beautiful food. The joyful wonder of slicing up plump tomatoes, the lemony finger-smell of thyme, tarragon, turnip greens chopped, the spicy fragrance of garlic in oil, all tossed together, beautiful and nourishing.