Friday, April 29, 2011

of swallows and sojourning

We’re gardening anyway.  We're pretty sure we’re moving, but we don’t know when… Central Asian machinations: the “client” who wants to buy this house has to sell their own house first, so August has been mentioned, but nothing confirmed… 

Despite the up-in-the-air-ness (maybe because of it?), we planted corn, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkins, parsnips, lettuces, spinach, broccoli, silverbeet (a New Zealand vegetable similar to Swiss chard).  A few tomato plants we were gifted at Easter.  Sunflowers, child height.  I’ve planted basil, oregano, cilantro and rosemary in tubs.  Flower seedlings from the bazaar, more tubs.  A whole row of tubs, to be exact (I’m an all-or-nothing kinda girl)…. a measure of peace in my soul.  

One morning  last week I was doing my three pages of early writing, clearing out my head.  I drew a basket on the page, and scribbled beside it, 
“Into this basket I put all my hopes and dreams and fears for this year and this move -- my parents coming, other guests coming, our short-term teammate, our neighbors, knowing You Jesus, Will going to preschool, keeping up with two sets of neighbors, sharing, recording music, writing, reading, praying, singing, cooking, loving, laughing, playing -- everything my life holds now goes into the basket, and I hold the whole heavy thing up to you.
“And I. Just. Trust. You.  
“I trust You, and I’m going to be thankful for each day as it comes and be faithful to do what You tell me to do.  With You I can do all things.  With You I can scale walls, run up mountains, walk on water.  You will never leave me or forsake me.  I find my home in You.  I find my home in You.  I make my home in You.  Ps 84 How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!  My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God…

And I looked it up, Psalm 84, a poem written by a king who spent the first years of his anointing escaping from wilderness to wilderness, running for his life.  I copied it out, writing ancient words with fresh ink, writing the words on my own heart, writing a plea-bargain with God.
Even the sparrow finds a home, 
and the swallow a nest for herself, 
where she may lay her young, 
at Your alters, O Lord of hosts, 
my King and my God.

I thought of our nesting swallows, who come back each spring to rebuild their nest on top of the naked lightbulb on our porch.

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise!  Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion….

And I thought of the highways to God’s dwelling place being in my heart, of each moment being holy.  Of the hard eucharisteo, receiving each moment with thanks.  How thanksgiving is my moment-by-moment door into communion with I AM.  

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than...

No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in You!

And then, out fluttered the words to a new song.  
Moving again, and I’m questioning:
how to find rest in this sojourning?
I just don’t have the strength…
You say I am blessed if I trust in You,
You say I am blessed if my strength is in You,
but I’m traveling, traveling,
and it’s hard to see Your hand.
Even the sparrow can find a nest
where she may lay her young;
even the swallow can find a home
at the altars of the Living God,
the altars of the Living God...
I am Your sparrow
and I’ll make You my home
I will dwell in You, tuck my treasures underneath Your wings
You’ll be my roof, my walls, windows and floor,
You’ll be my permanence,
my white picket fence,
and my backyard swing...

Someday I will sing it for you, each of us running from, or into, our own private wildernesses.  And we will rest together under His wings, and remember:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?

And not one of them is forgotten before God.

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.

Fear not;

You are of more value than many sparrows.”

~Jesus Christ 

(Luke 12:6-7)

A question to ponder today...

What wilderness are you currently running from, or into?  

How can you become more aware 
of God's sheltering wings, and the permanence of His presence, 
right where you are today?


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