Archive for July, 2011

Being Written.
July 11, 2011

“You don’t lick the empty Pottery Barn plates… because the table setting isn’t the meal.”

 

Words from my beloved pastor this morning.

The dishes aren’t the dinner… the luggage isn’t the vacation… the sunshine alone isn’t what makes summer so grand… the building doesn’t make the church… and the roof & walls don’t make a home.

It seemed a very real illustration while driving back to Windsor Park from Broad Ripple tonight, a grin stretched across my face and cartoon-like heat waves rising from my skin.

My forty-something wedding yesterday was the union of a dear friend’s daughter & son-in-law.  It was sweet in every sense; not because of the perfect cocktails, the heavenly frosted red velvet cake, or the delightful company… but because love hung in the air so palpable you could’ve sipped it along with the champagne.
During the father’s dance with the bride, my stunning friend Carrie walked to the head table and knelt behind her oldest & youngest daughters… looking on with a face full of memories and emotion as her middle baby girl danced with the man Carrie’s loved since she was a teenager. 
She laid her hands on her girls shoulders and whispered words of love in their ears.  That love made the moment full & whole.  Every detail was perfect… the meal and the bouquets and the new wife’s lace keyhole-backed gown, but those details alone weren’t the celebration… the family, the vows, the relationships, the dancing, the joy, the toasts full of tears and giggles… all wrapped together, that was the wedding.

I woke up early this morning, my mussed curls a reminder of the dance floor fiend I’d become the night before.  About a hundred yawns and stretches to get me up before the sun… then it was time to primp and priss for church.  The eyelet ruffle of my long white cotton summer dress swung around my feet and trailed behind me on the stage as I practiced with the rest of the worship team.  As I sang, I closed my eyes and let my heart heavy itself at the somber thought of the unbelievers and the broken and the hurting that would have our lilting words in their ears.  Would God move? Reveal Himself to them? Reveal Himself to me? Because the Tomlin-penned words and the drums aren’t the worship.  Worship is the rising of our hearts & hands & words & insides to gift & bless & honor & revel in our Lord.  And He drew my attention to specific faces while we offered our songs, and I prayed for their insides while my own shook with wanting to know His peace.  As I let my baby greys unfocus and tried to see only the cross in my mind’s eye, I struggled to stay attuned to the Savior who made the church.  Not the programs, the communion crackers, or the Sunday School stickers. 

After the morning’s services it was time to jet home & change dresses, grab the gift, and swing over to the market.  After picking up peach salsa and blue tortilla chips and raspberry tarts I drove a few blocks west to join in a birthday celebration for a beautiful friend who bookended her week with accepting the proposal from the love of her life to donning denim shorts for a hot outdoor bash to gather all the loves of her life into one backyard.  We jumped like banshees in her pink & purple castle bouncehouse, we ate sorbet out of lime shells, we watched her blow out the candles on her birthday apple pie and we wished her love & luck in this next year of life.  Today was fabulous, but it isn’t just the birthdays and the parties that’ve made her life her life.  Nor is it what makes our lives our lives.  It’s the whole kit & caboodle of darkness and light, hissy fits and holidays, families and roommates and paying the bills and concerts and tears and accomplishments… all of it. 

 

It’s all of it.  Life is made up of every person, moment, experience, prayer, song, meal, & kiss.

 

The primping and prissing isn’t all of me.  The lonely nights and the pennies aren’t my whole story.  The moment we’re in is all-too-often how we determine our life to be, when in reality what’ll turn out to be comparable to the unabridged Anna Karenina we’re treating like The Berenstain Bears.  I get stuck on a sentence and broken-hearted over a paragraph and haven’t, in a very long time, stepped back to see the storyboard. 

A friend whose heart I envy wrote me these buoying words last week: “…something that God has been saying to me lately is, “I do not waste time.” We do, I suppose, at times, but He does not. He’s developing the plotlines and the characters and the arc of the story. There’s a verse I’ve been loving lately, I think it’s in 2 Corinthians 1:
 
“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us…”
 
That sounds like an anthem to me, a testament to the faithfulness of God. He has delivered us, and He will deliver us again. We’re in the middle of the story and we don’t know how it’s going to play out, but on Him we will set our hope, that He will continue to deliver us.”

I’m caught mid-lick of the china while the turkey’s still in the oven. 
In many ways, my table’s set…  the silverware’s properly placed down to the shrimp forks and the soup spoons, but I’m so afraid the plates will stay empty, so quick to assume that this must be it that I look like a fool slurping up nothing. 
The meal’s on it’s way.  Life, in it’s entirety will unfold.  More chapters will be told, God will deliver, people and moments and love will all wrap together and continue writing. 

Yes, right now I am hungry for more… for better… for the page to break and the next chapter to scrawl, but it’s coming… it’s coming…
it’s coming & it’s happened & it’s now.

 

 

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