In the inky darkness
a star appeared
piercing, proclaiming
"born to die"
and when the hour came,
the sun could not bear to watch
darkness reigned
hell seemed to prevail
while the eyes of the angels were glued to the middle cross
"Is this really happening?"
but the earth knew something big was hidden
shrouded in horror
and it trembled in fear and anticipation
and let go some of it's dead
oh, fitting precursor
And while Satan partied
the priests scratched their heads
what to do about this veil
so strangely, so violently torn
can't ignore it
three days time
we wait
in four Lazarus had begun to smell
this is no legend-exaggerated coma
truly dead, and Mary is overwhelmed
broken-hearted despair
His gentle call
wild hope
greatest joy she's ever tasted
this is so much bigger than we dreamed
"I have power to lay it down
and to take it up again"
death works backward
This is God! The King of Kings!
Oh death, where is your victory? Grave, where is your sting?
I know that my Redeemer lives!
This is my assurance.
If I die with Him
I will be raised
to life
with Him.
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Matthew 27 & 28, John 20:11-18, 1 Corinthians 15:55, Job 19:25, Rom 6:8-11


heaven in your eyes

today the sun shone
a little spot of robin-red popped up from brown-green grass
six-year-old voices
repeated the meaning of the Easter symbols:
"New life! new life!"
We sang of assurance
with a dying man
I looked in your eyes
I saw your soul shining bright
though your bones were too visible
and you talked of your body starving itself
the doctors say there is no healing
but you and Jenny have joy on your faces
and peace is in the air
as she looks love at you
and talks of how little time you have left
but there is content
because you put your trust in a healing the doctors don't know about
it isn't here on this earth
she will go through dark days
but she will still rejoice
in that healing
it is promised her too.
And for now
I thank you for the gift of your love
the glow of hope in your frail embrace
I feel a strength I want
and I marvel at the beauty of the two of you
a little envious of your sweet communion
but mostly, I thank you for the gift you gave -
my spirit is still, for tonight
I saw heaven in your eyes.


a few lighter moments at work

Working with kids also gives you reason to smile. I am not good at telling jokes but here are a few moments that made me smile this week:

The kids were playing outside the other day and I see the most extroverted and rather bossy girl in the SK class trying to teach the quietest, shyest boy how to twirl around standing on a hula hoop. She shows him to hold the hoop with both hands, letting it touch the ground, and is telling him repeatedly "Put your right foot on the hoop, put your right foot on the hoop - put your RIGHT foot on the hoop!" while he patiently (confusedly?) stands with his right foot on the hoop, watching her demonstrate with her left foot in the hoop.

Christopher has the most charming smile in SK. He runs up to me with his irresistible grin and tells me, "Daniella has gymnastics so Andre is coming to my house and we are going to Old Macdonalds!"

Judah is a handful, an adorable handful with a lot of energy and very interesting theories on life. In reading circle this week they read the word "stub" and the teacher was trying to explain what a stub was, so she was explaining how a small pencil would be a stub. Judah immediately wanted to know "Did someone bite it off?"
The other day while I was trying to teach him how to tie his shoelaces and I was explaining how one loop was a tree, and he needed to put the other lace around the tree, to make a hole (which as the story goes is a bunny's hole and you push the end/bunny through and pull tight to make a bow), he is sitting with his eyes glued to the boys with the ball ("Judah, are you looking at your shoelaces?" I say. "Yes Miss Luimes", his eyes never leaving the game) and offers, "There's a hole 'cause someone hit the tree so hard it broke a hole."
Once he told his mother and I that if it got to be -100 degrees there would be snow up to heaven and we could walk up to see God.

I know some of these kids you would have to know to understand why I find these moments funny, but I hope you got a smile out of this anyway. I love kids and am so thankful for my job!


Love, take me by surprise

Love, take me by surprise
let the river of healing overflow it's banks
let the music of Life shatter my windows
like a little child disconsolate
I am crying with my whole self, with all my might
runaway droplets like shimmery butterflies
take me by the hand
be my Comforter
tug my hand
I will run, like a child, to Your arms
oh I need You
how I need You
wash over me with glory
awaken my awe
oh Love, take me by surprise

There are things about working with little children that teach me about myself. I am always amazed or amused at the way kindergartners cry. Some of them cry loudly, and you can't hear anything the other children are telling you about why they are crying, and others cry silently, shaking and shedding tears profusely. All of them cry with every fibre of their body. When I was helping out with the JK the other day one of the little boys, one with a temper, hit another very hard and vehemently, the result being the naughty little boy promptly taken out of the room by the teacher and the victim dissolving into loud wails. I held him and while I attempted to comfort him, a tiny little girl darted out of her seat and clung to his back. She said nothing but stood holding him tightly, silently offering the best comfort she could. It made my day. It reminded me of how one of the grade one girls, who is a persistent friend of another girl, who is possibly autistic, is always concernedly pulling her little friend to me anytime she thinks she needs help.
Oh, to have a friend like that! Or to be one like that! I think children have a better understanding of their own inability to fix problems. I wish we didn't grow out of that. I wish we were always so quick to pull each other to the Father instead of trying to offer our own nothings first.


Refuge & Strength

I can feel the trembling in the ground under my feet.
This world is uncertain and unsteady.
On the radio I hear of radiation and evacuation and it reminds me of a story I read about Chernobyl - mutations and a toxic deserted fairground. I see a Japanese five-year-old being tested for radiation by big masked people on Reuters.
And I hear of wars and rumors thereof -
Libyan rebels desperate for power,
pleading for an air strike,
and I sigh as I feed my ever-thirsty gas tank, wishing for integrity in power, and the stability it would bring.
I think of The Economy and wonder if any of these well-known names really care, if any names printed on the ballots for May second truly desire the heavy responsibility of the office they all lie for...
Like I said, unsteady ground.

I think about my own plans. Sometimes I don't bother to make plans because it seems God is always changing them. Then I remember, hey, this is a good thing. Maybe I'd better make some more plans for God to work with. My life is on uncertain turf too, never mind the nation. Will my teacher assistant contract get renewed? If the offer is given soon will I accept right away? I never was given reason to assume this job was for more than this school year anyway... What should I do in the summer? Am I too late for the job I wanted? Should I go to school? I want to - but what about OSAP and coming up with money to do it? What about homeschool and admission for the transcriptless?
And what if I just went to CCEF? Move to Philly and learn about Biblical Counseling and then what? It's very impractical and I don't really know why I like the thought so much. Maybe because when I audited the classes I was so full of hope for change. The very halls echoed with hope. It was like knowing we need to get somewhere and then seeing a road map after you've being trying and trying to envision it. I liked that feeling. A lot. Maybe I just want to get it back. I wonder, am I a humanitarian? Do I just want to fix other people's problems instead of my own? Do I desire to help other people so I can feel good about myself, to get drunk on the wine of good works?
Why am I so restless? Big question. There is a little fluttery restlessness in my soul that never stills. Not these days. I wonder, a lot, why the only place it has stilled, and always stilled, was Okreek? Is it a sign of some sort?
I think of my future. I worry about money and I think about foster parenting. I dream of adoption and I worry that I'm idealizing it. I wonder where and when and how to become a certified foster parent; where I should do respite care and when.
Some days I decide I am sitting around waiting for love like letters in the mailbox and then I cringe and tell myself there's got to be more to this than that! And I know there is. I just don't know what.
I think about cities and try to envision living in Hamilton or Detroit or... I wonder why the USA stills feels like home and then I laugh at myself for trying to evaluate whether that could be a sign that I should go back or not. In my subconscious I have a nice little yes-no-maybe questionnaire entitled "How To Certify Something A Sign From God (Or Not)".
I wonder if my restlessness has something to do with unused equipment. Like having an exercise bike in the basement collecting dust and feeling guilty because you're not getting any exercise and you have no excuse. So you haul the thing off to the thrift store or sell it on Kijiji and you sell the guilt with it, two for one deal. Only difference is spiritual equipment can't be sold or dumped. And then when I've basically decided that's what my problem is, I realize that bit of diagnosis does nothing to tell me what to do about it.
Do I even have a clue what I'm talking about?
Do I know how to love? What is change? What does hope taste like?
I read a book that was very helpful to me a little bit ago. It's called "Blue Like Jazz". Inside the cover he explained the title by saying,
"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
After that I liked jazz music. Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
I used to not like God because God didn't resolve.
But that was before any of this happened."
I am being told, by many different voices in my life lately, that whether I believe it or not I do not need all the answers. I might even restate that to say 'I don't need answers', period.
Because that's part of who my God is. He's not about head knowledge and cold hard facts, He's a God of breathing, bleeding heart truth and relentless, unfailing love.
That's why I am not afraid of tomorrow. I will not fear "though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea... God shall help her, just at the break of dawn." (Psalm 46)
We are watchmen on the wall. We are like a tree, planted by rivers of water. The ground about my trunk may be quicksand but I can stand because my roots go deeper than the surface. They're deep in the Rock of Ages.
I want to be taught to love by Love Himself. And because I am surrounded, pursued, enfolded by this love I will close my eyes, trust, and play on.

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Sometimes I am melodramatic... Bear with me. My favorite thing is finding hope in hard places. If you enjoyed something (or not) I would love to hear from you! You can make me very happy by leaving a comment :)


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