I’m observing the passing of the year with a properly raised Spock’s eyebrow. It just hasn’t been logical. And I want to side with the Vulcans and say it all lines up nice and tidy, but I’m only an emotional human. Life has taught me differently. Life has a logic that defines the human senses. Only He knows. Upside down, contradiction, servant not master.
This is the year that I let go and let God. I don’t mean that in the trite cliche it smacks of. It’s just that you can cling to things so tightly, knuckles white, that you don’t realize that those things have fractured and shattered, and your hands are bloody and torn, and the only way to stop the pain is to let go.
Fast away the old year passes…
Time moves differently now. It used to seem lockstep, forward march, onwards, go! to me. I was always facing backwards. Mourning a past I could not fix, gazing over the blackness. Not realizing that the reason I couldn’t see was because I was gazing at a path that no longer existed. God’s time, the kronos, kairos- they seemed other-worldy. I could never grab them, wrap my mind around it. Pain tempers that desire. Time is a river. We ease into it. Sometimes we hold on a Rock in the middle of the rapids, sometimes we float on His love. But we are always in time, never apart from it. To try to hold time in place- I think that’s the call of the dark one, to be frank. Only the Lord can hold time. He is time. Weird how claims like that no longer bother me.
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses…
I won’t ever pretend I know what it’s like to come back from physical war, the death you see, the pain you endure. But I can tell you what spiritual warfare is like, and the thing is, from all I’ve seen and read, the two aren’t much different in the end. I’ve been walking away from the battlefield a while now, and still, looking across the horizon, I can feel the thing, just over that far hill. My memories are filled with the losses. It is a scar that will always be with me.
It make me regard the new with a bit more awe. That each day, we rise again, take a breath, move and have being. It is a grace and a gift we often fail to regard. I don’t want to forget that feeling anytime soon. In fact, learning eucharisteo makes walking every foot of that battlefield worth it. I am less, and He is more. It is as it should be. It’s taken my whole life to finally begin drinking that into my soul. I begin to wonder that it will always be a new discovery, each morning. That first YHWY breath of conciousness as the sun tips the sky each day.
Sing we joyous all together…
The song on my heart as I greet the new year: wild grace. Steadfast mercy. Everlasting compassion. And faith. Faith in the Mystery. In the Things Unseen. In the God I cannot see but Whose imprint is everywhere if I have eyes to see.
I was thinking about the culture that defined me this year, the things that surrounded my thoughts. I’ve long since realized that culture is a powerful thing. For good. For ill. When I think about the culture that cried out to me this year, I think the thing that strikes me the most is that they are all a cry for the Light. I’m not one to stick with overtly Christian things simply because they are labeled such- my favorite band still remains The Dave Matthews Band. (And yes, I realize I have just shown my age.) But this year, everything I loved happened to be labeled Christian. I look more for art. Beauty. Truth. I am so thankful that the Christian community is finally stepping up with some real meaty substance for a change, not watered down. I know it goes in cycles, but I’m so thankful for the change right now. I needed the strong stuff.
The books: Refractions by Makoto Fujimura. Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessie Thompson. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
The music: Far and away had to be Josh Garrel’s Love & War & The Sea in Between. It is still on repeat. Close second was Gungor’s second album, Ghosts Upon the Earth. Both seem to be imbibing what Micheal Card has been saying for years- excellence matters. Art matters. Faith matters. Forget the label. Play your heart, speak to Christ the longings of your heart, and the rest of us’ll get it. Don’t make the next top 40 hit. Speak Christ.
The movies: I’m about four years behind. I’m always watching stuff after the fact. The entire Harry Potter series (both books and movies) are definitely the defining point for media for me this year. Jeffery Overstreet has made powerful contentions that all stories that point back to the Story are worthy of reading. And I tell ya, this dark series was one of the serious catalysts for pointing me back to the Light. Of course, I advise discernment. (Shouldn’t we always advise our dearests to discernment in all things, labeled Christian or no? Shouldn’t it all be weighed against the Truth, the Word made Flesh?)
And here, the miracle of another year is upon us. A chance to breathe new. Whether they will be labored breaths, or shouts of joy…