|Yellow Iris at Cranes Roost|
Last Friday night, my husband and I wanted to go out for a date night. I looked on a friend’s blog and found that there would be a free blues concert at one of our favorite places to stroll, Cranes Roost, a park with a boardwalk around a lake adjacent to a shopping mall. The picture of these yellow irises looks out over the lake, with lighted buildings and the night sky in the background.
The theme of the Project 52 photo meme this week is “Fiesta or Siesta.” Thinking of that, truthfully, both of us were so exhausted that we crashed at home for a half hour before we even went out for our date. So I guess we had our “siesta” before we had our “fiesta.” The park was full of loud music and people, since apparently they were hosting a wine festival at the same time, and two other musicians were playing not too far away from the blues group. We really only listened to a few of the songs before heading off to walk around the lake, and then going home to crash again. We are such party animals aren’t we? Hey, it was free! Anyway, the irises seemed so quiet and restful in the middle of such goings on. At the same time, the colors of the yellow petals under the street light (or is it path light or boardwalk light?) seem a little gaudy and festive, like they were flamenco dancers or something. Yeah, flamenco and the blues and a little James Taylor from the other band. What a mishmash.
I thought some more about “fiesta and siesta” or in Bible language “jubilee and shalom” or simply “joy and peace.” In my life, I know that authentic celebration and rest flow out of trust. It is hard for me to genuinely celebrate or rest with someone I can’t trust. My guard is up too much. That certainly goes for relationships with other people. That goes for God, too, though in his case, it’s not that I can’t trust him (since he is utterly trustworthy) but that my misconceptions of who he is sometimes sway me from being confident of his love and grace. And when it is hard to trust, the problem is compounded by the shame that comes from doubting him. What kind of Christian am I, anyway? A normal one, I guess! God is big enough, tough enough and yet tender enough, to handle whatever doubts I have. The more I trust, the more I can calm the angst and learn to worship freely again.
My counselor, Roger Shepherd, recently handed me a book, The Cure: What If God Isn’t Who You Think He Is and Neither Are You? by John Lynch, Bruce McNichol, and Bill Thrall. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but even the opening chapters remind me of an audio message by John Lynch that I heard a couple of years ago, as well an on-line video clip called “When You Get Tired Enough” covering much the same material. You can find it on my other blog here: Grace. It’s about living by God’s grace rather than striving after religious performance. It certainly ties in rather closely with the celebration and rest theme. I’ll try to write more about it later when I’ve finished it.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Psalm 30:11-12
Peace and joy, my friends!