Thursday, December 31, 2009

Update 12/31/09 New Year's Eve

Happy New Year, dear friends!

Today I wish so much we could all be together. I want to toast in the new year with all of you fellow travellers (I'll take lemonade if you don't mind!) My heart is awash with gratitude for all you have done for me in this landmark year, 2009, one that will mark me and my family, and you too, forever. I have seen the worst and the best. I have watched the Great One take "dry bones and make them live." I have experienced agony and lofty joy. What has always remained is that like the patriarch Abraham, I am still longing for that "city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God..." I am homesick for a place I have never been, despite the beautiful life of love I have here. Heaven is the real home for God's children. There we find no loneliness, bitterness, confusion or sorrow. There the need for laws is gone, because love is the perfect law. There we no longer feel the ticking of the clock. We were never really created for time, but for eternity. I think that's why we're so uncomfortable with its passing. Time always seems to be running out. We're always fighting with it.

This is a quote by C.S. Lewis that I think sums up perfectly the Earth/Heaven conundrum we find ourselves in:

"The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure and merriment He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bath or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home."

No, this world is not safe. We've always known it, and on November 8th it was painted in big letters on our lives. Not safe, but purposeful. Risky, but worth it for love. I don't know why my loved ones were hit by a drunk driver. I don't know why they were spared when others have died. I frankly don't get the whole thing. But I know this: ultimately none of us get off this planet alive. I'm grateful for my time here. And for theirs. But this is a blip on the radar screen of eternity. This matters insomuch as we make it count for there. And simply put, all that matters there is Love. Love God, love people. It all lands pretty simply. But sometimes it takes the worst things to bring the best things into stark relief. And none of us get to that place of perfection without the mercy of forgiveness found in Jesus. Heaven just couldn't be heaven with sin. So God made a way for us even with that huge problem. He astonishes me every day.

I waxed a little philosophical here. Forgive a sleep deprived woman her babblings! I do love you all so much. You manifest what C.S. Lewis meant - the merry meetings with friends, the moments of happy love. You are what makes this world with all its darkness a place of light. The Great One never left us, and He never will. He was with us on the day we were born. He'll be with us on the day we die. Someday we're going to have a New Year's party that will make Times Square look like downtown Podunk. That's going to be some homecoming...

More on the mundane stuff of recovery tomorrow. For today, and for the rest of our lives, I remain...

Your friend on the pilgrim road,



Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Smith Family. God bless you all! HE IS FAITHFUL!!
Continued thanks to you Loriann for sharing so freely, honestly & beautufully from your heart to ours.sue cummings

what'sthedeal said...

Happy New Year friends! I read the blog everyday and I am humbled and awed by the reality of God in your words. You have a way of making words vividly come to life like the creator himself! Your joy or pain, tears or laughter just bring more color and another dimension to truth. Thank you.
Steve, my brother the long road ahead is but one moment at a time surrounded by those who love and pray for you. The moments of joy and tenderness fron God and others will be the handles you can grab onto when it doesn't seem possible to move forward.There is a new walk in the natural and the Spirit that God is taking you on.You will not just get throught it but He will establish you in it(both naturall and spiritually). For, where you place your foot and your gaze, whether weak or strong, there is The Kingdom. He declares it.
Sent with love and humilityand thanks for you