A Quiet Wood

A Quiet Wood

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lament...Or Not

"It's that time of year..." unfortunately not when the world falls in love. It's mid-October, and striding jauntily along with an evil glint in his eye is Mr. Stress. He has successfully weaseled his way into the lives of most of my girls during this season of mid-terms, school activities, boyfriend problems (or the lack thereof), etc. In the last few days, my office has been full of the sounds of weeping and woe. Fortunately, at this point at least, I am not the one supplying this excess of lamentation. I am simply the one who is there, the one who listens, the one who comes alongside. Along with the normal, run of the mill college stress, I have also encountered some heartbreaking sagas as well; broken hearts, crushed spirits, deep sadness, true woe. In the face of this grief, it is a blessing to know that I don't have to know all the answers, fix all the problems, offer the sagest advice. I just have to be there, and together my girls and I can go to Jesus. What a privilege! What a comfort! Not quick solutions and pasted together remedies but the person of Jesus. He offers us Himself, and it is enough.

So, I'm sitting at the computer waxing eloquent about grief when my world shifts on its axis ever so slightly. THERE'S A GAS LEAK IN THE DORM! CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT! EVACUATE THE BUILDING! THE GAS COMPANY SAYS THE NUMBERS SAY WE'RE IN DANGER OF AN EXPLOSION! QUICK! MOVE! NO, YOU CAN'T GO BACK INTO THE DORM TO GET YOUR HOMEWORK TO DO WHILE YOU'RE WAITING! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! OK, slight overkill, but it was fun to read, wasn't it? We did have a gas leak, and the fire department did come - as evidenced by these grainy cell phone pictures. It's actually kind of cool to post grainy cell phone pictures. Those are usually the ones posted in the tabloids. You can't really tell what's happening, but you're sure it has to be bad. Anyway, here are two for the tabloids.

This is the truck from the gas company with various firemen being helpful by setting up a large fan to blow out the fumes and generally just being there in case the aforementioned explosion decided to become a reality.

Here we have the fearless firemen ACTUALLY ENTERING THE BUILDING. *shudder* Oh, wait, some of them are leaving. THAT MEANS THEY WERE IN THE BUILDING! *second appreciative shudder*

I do praise God for keeping us safe. The gas was leaking into the building for several hours, and we could have had a major catastrophe.

I guess I will skip my lamenting for now. I had a good lament planned. I was going to pronounce woes on a great many things, but now I just don't want to anymore. So...I won't.

Have a stupendous day, and if you smell natural gas CALL THE GAS COMPANY AND GET OUT OF THE BUILDING!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

All I Ask...

I do not ask that I may steer
My peaceful bark by peaceful shores alone,
Nor that I linger, harbor-bound,
And sail no stormy seas unknown;
I only ask this boon of Thee:
Be ever in the ship with me.

I do not ask that I may dwell
From din of battle far removed,
Nor ever feel temptation's force,
Nor ever know mine armor proved;
I only ask, through Life's long fight,
Grant me the power of Thy might.

I do not ask, that I may walk
Only on smoothly trodden grass,
Nor ever climb the mountain's height
And trembling, through its dangers pass;
I only ask, on rocks or sand,
The sure upholding of Thy hand.

I dare not pray for any gift
Upon my pilgrim path to Heaven;
I only ask one thing of Thee:
Give Thou Thyself and all is given.
I am not strong not brave nor wise;
Be Thou with me - it shall suffice.

-Annie Johnson Flint

Borrowed from the blog Holy Experience which has been blessing my life lately. Would especially recommend her Sept. 28th entry entitled "Cup" - a worthy read! (Thanks, Linda, for the recommendation.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thoughts and Thanks

This weekend I had some extra musing time, as it were. A trip I had planned came to a screeching halt when I had some symptoms that were very suspiciously cardiac in nature. For those of you who lie awake at night worrying about my cardiac health, everything seems to be fine now, but this weekend I wasn't so sure. (Thanks for your concern, but you really should get some sleep.) But I digress. As I was saying, I had some extra time to think. Shaping my thoughts was a passage that I came to in my devotional reading - I Peter 1. What an amazing chapter! What incredible timing! (You should go read it. Right now. Well...OK, I'll give you a bit of it here.)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls." (vv. 3-9, NASB)

I was blessed this weekend by the reminder that my "comfort", so to speak, is not God's primary concern for me. Obviously, I knew that, but it was good to be reminded that He is so much more interested in the genuineness of my faith. He wants it to be robust; able to stand the twists and turns that life will inevitably send my way. I, a great fan of comfort, need desperately to be reminded of this from time to time. I need to remember that all of this is temporary. It's only a shadow of the reality to come. *Shameless borrowing from C.S. Lewis* Anyway, those were a few of the many thoughts that raced through my pointy little head this weekend. Thanks for bearing with me.

Abrupt change of subject. This last week I made a fruit pizza for my D-group, who set upon it like ravening wolves. That, however, is not what I wanted to tell you. It turned out kind of pretty, and it made my eyes happy. So, since I have no offspring about which to post, I shall post a picture of my fruit pizza in all its glory.

Well, there you have it - the fruit of my labor. Literally.

Blessings on your week!!