Mama’s Dreams

It’s happeningboys' backs
my boys becoming men
brandishing desire and direction different than mine.
Their otherness stares at me
unblinking.

But still, my heart holds dreams
first given by God when each still dwelt in womb safety.
Dreams rooted in the naming –

The son-of-the-right hand
steady, faithful, loyal,
holding fast to the Word of life
and nothing else.

The bearer-of-light
creative, transforming, authentic,
bending to the Light that brings life
to this world.

The strong-and-courageous-one
inviting, open, humble,
taking boldly ground he knows God
has secured.

So even though doubts assail me,
my tongue betrays me,
my fears malign me,
I stand assured –
what God started
He will complete.

Yes, this happening,
this inevitable affair
forces us to face places
new
unfamiliar
but known to the One
Who knows us each by name.

Here I rest.empty road

A Clear View

Growing up in the Los Angeles basin, on clear days, I had an amazing view of the San Gabriel Mountains… Mt. Baldy, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear.  They would truly take my breath away on crisp February mornings dusted with snow.  Those mountains rooted me and made me feel secure.

Snowy-San-Gabriel-Mountains

I could orient myself by the mountains.  Heading south on the 57 freeway to Orange County, they graced my rearview mirror.  Heading east on the 10 toward Ontario, they stood to my left. Heading north on the 605 to Pasadena, they stretched out in front of me.  The mountains gave me something to measure against, unmoving and true.

I missed them when I moved to the midwest.  I miss them still in Orlando.  I need to look to other landmarks to get my bearings.

“… in view of God’s mercy…”  Romans 12:1

Is viewing God’s mercy a centering, grounding reality in my life like my view of the San Gabriel’s? God’s mercy tells me a lot about my relationship to him.  It shows me where I stand with him: not deserving, but receiving forgiveness.  It reveals the true character of my heart: bent toward sin, but set free in the Spirit.  It broadcasts the greatness of my salvation: nothing I did, but everything God did for me.

Fog

So do I have a clear view?

In LA sometimes the haze would settle in and obscure my view.  The mountains would look fuzzy or disappear altogether.  Well, they didn’t disappear.  They remained in their fixed position — unchanging.  I just couldn’t see them as clearly.

So what clouds my view of God’s mercy — fear of what others think of me, feeling like I don’t fit in, not taking time to rest and meditate on God’s goodness.    His mercy remains solid and true, but I fumble around unable to get my bearings.

Oh God, clear out the haze.  Let my view be crystal clear of all that your mercy means… today.  Thank you for holding true and never changing, no matter how thick the fog. 

What clouds your view of God’s mercy?

Stronghold

 

 

It’s the oldest standing masonry fort in North America, guarding the town of St. Augustine since 1672, telling of the struggle and resourcefulness that characterized the colonial American.

Castillo de San Marcos.

A stronghold.  Impenetrable. Twice besieged, but never taken. Never destroyed by canonfire.  Only 6 lives ever lost within its walls.

A stonghold.

First built by the Spanish to protect their treasure in the new world, traded to the British as spoils for the victors of the Seven Days War, awarded back to Spain after the American Revolutionary War, and ceded to a young nation within the confines of a new state, Florida.

Armed with canons on every side.  A ready defense. Not an offensive weapon, it’s immovable foundations have survived assaults from sea, looting from pirates, and trampling from tourists.  The coquina walls remain with etchings to tell the stories of all its occupants.  Truly, the walls speak.  A reminder of the staying power of human will and ingenuity.

 

It’s nothing compared to the strength of my God.

My stronghold.

Jesus.  May I hide myself in You?  When the enemy lobs mortar fire through friends’ careless words that rip into my flesh, may I remember that I am precious in your eyes.  When the enemy loots me of my confidence and anxiety lodges deep within my belly because my tasks seem so looming, may I remember your promise of my handwritten days all laid out before one of them came to be.  When my future is unknown, and I look to those around me to tell me which way to go, may I remember the constancy of your love for me — never changing, never waning, always sustaining love you died to prove.

One big difference between my God and Castillo de San Marcos: The Castle doesn’t move.  It’s rooted to the ground on the Mantanzas Bay.  It’s a stone monument to the past.

My God is with me wherever I go.  To hide myself in Him isn’t to hunker down in a dark corner shivering at the mortar exploding overhead.

No.

To know He is my stronghold means I can step out into the day He has given me with humble confidence.  Grace-filled surety.  I don’t cower in a crater of fear.  I stand on the ground He has secured for me.  So my life becomes, not only living proof of all He can do with one relinquished, but also a testimony of all He has yet to do with one purchased.

A living monument to the future.

 

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  Ps. 27:1