Mourning thoughts…

Has anything changed in the last four years, I¬†wonder, as I see the ‘Your Memories from Facebook’ post on my page. Yes, and no. It’s another beautiful morning, much like the one I wrote about some 1460 mornings ago…

I could not ask for a more lovely morning. Cool breezes, birds singing, stillness broken only by the distant strains of a train, the revving engine of a crop duster several farms over, and the gentle buzzing of the baby hummer filling up on sugar water. The current People’s Exchange and The Paper lay untouched beside me, but I restrain myself from planning my day, spurning pen and list for just a little longer.

I hear the mournful call of the dove and am reminded that half a world away, children are in peril because of the irrationality of men who think nothing of using the innocent as shields and for what? I want to be sick as I think of the children laid out in death for all the world to see like some insane punctuation mark on the unspeakable actions that put them in harm’s way.

A sudden silence outside, most likely the result of a hawk hunting for its breakfast, reminds me that the predictable whirring of a flight ended Wednesday in a terrible silence because of the political ambitions of a single man, stripped of restraint and drunk on power. I think of soldiers nonchalantly walking through the smoldering evidence of 298 lives, and I am grieved that those who regard life so callously can push a button and destroy, with no remorse, so much potential, so many dreams.

Somehow I know that I am to take these morning thoughts with me throughout my day, not to dwell on but to use as the basis of my prayers. A bright flash of red draws my eyes to the dogwood tree, whose symbolic blossoms in spring remind us of the Cross Jesus died on, and I am struck by the addition of the blood-red to the foliage as the cardinal alights and takes off as suddenly as he came. It is a Word picture of the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, who became the sacrifice, willingly shedding his blood for ALL of humanity.

Yet, unlike any other god, our Redeemer lives. With His ascension to the Father, we who believe in Jesus–who live and move and have our being in Him–have now become His hands, His feet, His voice. He didn’t leave us purposeless but gave us our mission for life. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations,” He said, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” And being the loving Savior He is, Jesus doesn’t end there but gives us a promise, and a really remarkable promise at that. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

The cacophony of the blue jays bossing everyone around at the feeders fills the air, cars pass on the once quiet road, and I go about my day, thankful for thoughts of family and friends, for views of tasseled corn and grazing horses, for work that calls me to the garden, and for the still small Voice within.

Freely, I have received…

Cool breezes, refreshment to my soul–
at the beginning of this day, I take the Hand
so freely offered and begin my day in speechless thankfulness
for those who spoke Your Truth to me
all those years ago…
All those years ago when I had no one near to speak
of You to me, Your Holy Spirit made sure
someone would and did.
I look out on this perfectly clear day and thank You
that the refuse of my life is under the Blood of Jesus Christ,
barely acknowledged that once it was but is no more.
My gratefulness shall be shown this day in the encouragement
I give to others because once those who loved You saw me
through Your eyes and brought me to Your Side.
Freely I have received, freely I shall give.