Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 286 Ocean Waves of Change

Dear friends,

Here are a few final pictures from our trip to Cape Cod. Back in New York (greatest state in the Union), I took today off to do laundry, unpack and ease back into normal. Things really are pretty normal now. It is definitely a different life than it was 9 months ago, but that's true for everyone. We are always navigating through some changing territory. A child goes to college, a child gets married, a job is lost or gained, a natural disaster hits, a baby is born.... These things have happened to people I know in the last 6 months. Everyone is adjusting. We're never off the Potter's Wheel for very long. The security of "the same" is really an illusion. If you haven't hit a bump in your road yet, you will. The only sure thing is the Great One Himself. He "changes not" and with Him there is no "shadow of turning". Lest I sound like some know-it-all-sage, rest assured my skills at handling change are abysmal. I hate being shaken and I don't like rocking the boat myself either. But God loves us far too well to let us lounge about in our comfort zones. He's been right there with me as I bumble through, put my foot in my mouth, and foul things up. One thing He won't stand for is stagnancy. Move forward, despite your failures, or shrivel up and die. There is no "settling in". Good lord, how the frail, human side of me wishes there was. Still, I wouldn't trade the sights I've seen making my way on the pilgrim road...

The Bright and Brilliant Danny B. preached at church this morning about friendship in the community of Christians. As usual, he hit one out of the park. Now, I'm not sure anyone has experienced the value of healthy community like the Smith family. Let's face it, we would have been sunk without the mind bending volume of support we received through a pretty big crisis. But Danny pointed out the necessity for laying down our lives for others in the day to day. Not just in the big, but in the little. And he addressed the fact that yes, sometimes we let one another down. We get hurt. We do the hurting (God forgive me for my share in that one!) But that's why there's a mandate from Jesus to forgive. So we can go on and do the next right thing. I think the most memorable thing I heard this morning, so perfect I wanted to share it with all of you, was when Danny said "All we have to do is love people. Not feel like we have to fix them." Amen, brother. It would take a whole lot more than human words and human strength to fix me. It takes a mighty, life giving, personal Savior. And the process is life long. But relationships with people are essential to the fixing. So climb that mountain, friend. No matter how steep it is, the heights are hit when we let people off the hook for sinning against us.

Nice to be home, with the great Cosette Smith sitting on the bed next to me. No fighting for a WIFI connection. I hit the grocery store today so we're stocked back up to do ordinary life again. I'm about to iron a bunch of shirts for Smitty for work this week. Luckily, we have a few episodes of LOST to watch while I press and steam.

A thousand blessings to Bill and Cindy for a beach house we'll always remember. And to the one, the only Jessica D. for taking care of business for us back home. And to the Rock's and Steve and Jackie for taking care of our precious first born. As the poem I remember from first grade says "home again, home again, jiggity jog." The ocean is always in my heart, a picture of the boundless, matchless, wild and unfathomable untamed God. Home is a picture of the tender, merciful, gentle, intimate, Father God. Everywhere you look you can find Him.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,

That's Stephen waving from the waves with the kids!

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