"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harvest Moon Blessing

Last night marked something that hasn't occurred since Sept. 23, 1991 and won't happen again until 2029 -- a Super Harvest Moon. For the first time in almost 20 years, autumn began on the night of a full moon. As the sun sank in the west, bringing to close a very hot summer, the full Harvest Moon rose in the east, heralding the beginning of fall.

Just as it implies, the Harvest Moon is an agrarian term. Before electricity, farmers depended on the brightness of the moon to extend their workday beyond sunset. It also obviously gave lovers a chance to "spoon" a little longer as evidenced by the words to that old song -- the one which I've hummed all day:

Shine on, shine on harvest moon, up in the sky.
I ain't had no lovin' since January, February, June or July.
Snow time ain't no time to stay out-doors and spoon,
So shine on, shine on harvest moon, for me and my gal.

But something about the moon has always wooed me. I can remember as a very small girl reciting with both my mother and grandmother as we sat in the swing on that extended front porch those words that still warm my heart today:

I see the moon; the moon sees me;
The moon sees the one that I want to see.
God bless the moon; God bless me;
God bless the one that I want to see.

Yes, that's it. The moon gives me connection. In some strange way, it ties me with those who have gone before me. That beacon that shines through my window even now as I sit here in my "garden enclosed" was the same source of light that surely gave comfort to my great-great-grandfather as he walked home from Virginia to Georgia when the Civil War finally ended. And no telling how many times my grandmother watched it rise as she sat in her rocker on that front porch of her farm house after a hard day of labor. But even long before that, this same moon lit Abraham's path as he walked from Ur to that land yet to be seen. It's the same moon which inspired the shepherd David to sing and the one which cast a glow upon a bather as an older David walked on his rooftop. And no doubt, it was this same moon that lit up the face of Jesus -- by, for and through whom it was created -- as He cried out to His Father, "Take this cup from Me."

But tonight I am drawn back to the present and to those upon whom its light is cast this warm September evening. I disengage the alarm system and walk out into the middle of the yard where this Harvest Moon slips its rays between the branches of the oak and the pine. But this time I don't sing. I just softly recite the prayerful wish:

I see the moon; the moon sees me;
The moon sees the one that I want to see.
God bless the moon; God bless me;
God bless the one that I want to see.

Receive your blessing, dear reader.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever ... who by His understanding made the heavens; His love endures forever .... the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever... Psalm 136:1,5,9

Just an ordinary moment...

Early Morning Prayer

I awoke early this morning and saw my husband off to work while it was still dark outside. Instead of turning on my little lamp in my "garden enclosed," I opened a window and sat in the dark with my Parisian Lights black tea warming my hands. It was a special time of just Him and me. No book was open on my lap; no music; not even any birds at this moment. Just the sound of a cicada yearning to free itself.

Somewhere in the process of just "being," I began to lift the names of those who had been brought to my attention lately -- those who needed or had asked for prayer. Debra and her mother ... Christi ... Ken ... Kathy .... Erin ... a little boy named Jay who has an inoperable brain tumor and his dad who is about to be deployed ... Dawn's mother ... Tonya ... Don ... Debbie ... Janice ... a particular couple ... Julie and Mike, and the list continued with an almost overwhelming length and need.

But as I sat there in the darkness, calling out names and pausing with each, I was reminded of something I asked the ladies in Bible study to do last week. As they sat around in their small groups, I had them share what their particular life-story was telling others about God. For example, one lady said that she hoped her life-story was reading, "God is faithful." But then a funny thing happened: other ladies at the table began sharing what THEY saw in way of God by that person's life. In other words, how the Lord was manifesting Himself through that woman. And without fail, every revealed characteristic of God resulted from a place where that person is being or had been broken. That every revelation proceeded from and was due to some type of hardship. How odd.

But you know, I'm so grateful I serve a God of redemption, and that He does not allow anything to come into our lives that cannot be redeemed for His glory. That He takes our mistakes, our losses, our sicknesses, our dysfunctions, our pain, yes, even our messes and turns them into something beautiful: bread by which a broken world can be fed. Indeed, it is in the breaking that we are given and that He is revealed.

So, yes, Lord. Come and minister to each of these whose names have been called out before Your throne this morning. Touch their source of need and answer as only You can. Do Your complete work. And in a way that is so far beyond our comprehension, shine Your everlasting light through their brokenness and reveal Your Son in and through their lives.

How appropriate that as I had finished my prayer, the room was no longer black and the earth was no longer silent. The sun had broken the darkness and the song of nature had begun. Praise the Son of Righteousness who awakens the dawn and rises with healing on His wings.

Just an ordinary moment...

Sunday, September 19, 2010


As I mentioned in my last entry, I've been in somewhat of a writer's slump -- but not because of lack of things to write. In fact, I could have filled page upon page of the workings of both my inward and outward life happenings. But there is one particular occurrence that bears its worth on paper.

So, .... tap tap tap ... "Begin."

About 6 weeks ago, my son and his wife called to say they were coming for a short overnight visit. Kristin had just returned from her mission trip to Scotland -- the land of my husband's forefathers -- and she had brought home some special gifts to us. Our favors included wonderful Scottish candy, shortbread cookies, a book on the origins of the MacLennan clan and their place in Scotland's history, and a wonderful tartan plaid throw from the Lamont side. Yes, like I said, my husband is Scottish through and through.

Kristin then opened her laptop and began showing us pictures of her recent trip. She moved through them so swiftly, I thought, "She must have hundreds of them to be going so fast." I particularly remember the number of churches and steeples she was showing us. And then about the 20th picture in, this frame popped up.
In case you can't make this out, it's a picture of a sonogram which reads, "Your first grandbaby."

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I don't think I've ever been more shocked in my life. On more than one occasion when our married children have called us to meet them or just shown up with their spouses, I've thought, "I wonder if they've got some 'news' for us." But this time it had not even crossed my mind. Not once. And so here I stood looking at a picture of my first grandbaby; and let me just go on record as saying, I was smitten. Enamored. Besotted. Captivated. Crazy about. Completely undone by that raspberry size fetus growing within the confines of its mother's womb. That little thing that already had lips and a nose and eyelids. Legs and arms. A heart beat that was pumping fast and a brain that was developing at rapid speed. Yes, this was nothing short of our baby, a seed from God planted in the earth. And you can bet that before they left the next evening, I had placed my hands on that only slightly protruding belly and blessed that precious little thing growing inside of its mother.

Smitten. I'd never used that word before and suddenly it became everything to me. When I would tell someone, "I'm going to be a grandmother!" it was only natural for me to add, "And I'm already so smitten." And I am. Absolutely captivated by this new love in my life. One that I can hardly wait to meet face to face and cradle in my arms.

Up until now, the word "smite" has held negative connotations. We think of God smiting the enemy. Or as Webster's dictionary uses it: "His sword has smitten thousands." And I was actually beginning to wonder if I were using the word correctly. And then I read a passage from Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola's book entitled Jesus Manifesto that caused me to think differently. It read, "The need today is for the scales to fall from our eyes so that we may see the infinite greatness of our Lord ... This, of course, necessitates that those who have been smitten by Christ themselves impart that same sterling vision of Him to others."

Six weeks after learning the news, I'm still telling people, "I'm going to be a grandmother!" That news is not fading; it's not becoming old to me. My enthusiasm is only growing with the baby's development. And I have a feeling when the next one becomes pregnant, the news will be just as fresh and just as exciting -- and probably even more so as then I will know the full extent of the joy.

But here lies the conviction: "those who have been smitten by Christ..." Sweet and Viola go on to say, "Once our eyes are opened to see the incredible richness and captivating beauty of Jesus, either our other pursuits will take a backseat, or we will discover them anew and afresh 'in the light of His glory and grace.' Like Paul, we will be 'apprehended; -- ambushed and arrested by Christ."

Yes, I have been "ambushed" and "arrested" lately by our Little Hoot. But nothing should or can compare to the "spellbinding apprehension" that is ours when the Divine places His Seed in us and the mystery of the Gospel is revealed in us. Even becoming a grandmother should pale.

Just an ordinary moment...
"Little Hoot" at 12 weeks.

Two babies on the way. Robert and Chad are first cousins, the best of buds, and only 12 hours apart themselves. Kristin is due in March and Jadie in January.

Me and my girls -- a little weathered by the rain, but still smiling and celebrating new life. Yes, how appropriate: pink symbolizes a heart of flesh and childlike faith. O Lord, may it be...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tap Tap

Hello, my blogger friends. I think this has got to be the longest blogger silence period for me yet. There's so much going on in my life and in my head, but somehow nothing seems to make it to paper. I heard Sue Monk Kidd speak Monday night at Wesleyan College and she talked briefly about writer's slump, relating how a famous choreographer was having her own period of "nothing." Sue (as if I know her personally) said that the choreographer placed herself on a stage and then tapped her foot very lightly -- just one time. And then she tapped it harder. And then she tapped softly. Then hard again. And then as if her foot was a separate entity, she pointed at it and demanded, "Begin!" And thus she began "writing" again.

And so here I sit, not on a stage but in front of a keyboard and screen, trying to start anew. Tap .... TAP TAP ..... tap tap tap ..... "Begin!" [pause]

Tap tap tap .... TAP TAP TAP ... "BEGIN!!!" [lengthy pause]

Oh, well. Maybe soon. Please don't give up on me.

Just an ordinary moment...