I’m convinced that there is no more beautiful spot on earth on the first of June than Cherry Lane. It runs just south of my back yard. When the afternoon spills its light just before dusk, brilliant and lavish, the field grasses on the hillside seem lit from within, topped with flames of white fire. It’s holy. * There’s a stand of a half dozen aged poplar trees on the west side of the lane growing near a small culvert and behind a low, stone wall. The stones cracked free from some ancient lava flow, and now they rest one atop the other covered in lichen and last year’s moss. The poplar leaves rustle in the slightest breeze and always make the sound of a rushing mountain creek. The wet, pungent scent of poplar and the small watery roar instantly pulls me back to when I was a little girl. Dad would drive the old camper truck off onto random forest service roads in Colorado and while mom cooked lunch on the propane stove, we’d …
We held a small memorial for a little creature whose ability to receive love taught us all a big lesson: to love is to name is to care is to keep. It is to mourn and to cry, too; and it is to continue to create and care about the living and the dying and the not-yet-born.
One does not need to do anything remarkable to be an object of love. One only needs to be that which it is – cat, boy, mom, dad, human, alive.
Come into the wonderful light in which you were called and live brave, big, quiet, joyous, different than you ever thought possible. Hold tight onto Jesus’ wounded hand, remembering this:
“If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name (4:16).”
How much energy do we spend battling our doubts and disappointments rather than focusing our aim and finishing the race, the task of testifying the good news of God’s grace? Do we ignore that the enemy’s goal, as C.S. Lewis’ character, Wormwood, declared in The Screwtape Letters is this, “Do remember you are there to fuddle him”.
Oh, I was fuddled.
Have you been there, too? Muddled and fuddled and stuck in the puddling thoughts of your own making?
Yeshua. The name slipped like a sigh into the darkness. Yeshua, the Lord Saves. Yahweh is Salvation. His face scrunched into a pout, eyes squeezed tight and his tiny mouth opened in a hungry wail, bottom lip quivering. Yeshua. Hungry boy, naked babe, wrapped in soft flax and wool and hearing his mother’s voice whispered into the air, over his head, into his little, curled ear: the Lord Saves. He heard this name called sharply when he toddled too close to the cooking fire, heard it frantically called through the temple, heard it every night as he grew up, “Goodnight, Yeshua.” Sleep well, the Lord Saves.