when the ground shakes

It is 12 am the next day. Already. Again. How time seems to melt and slip like water through my grasp. Maybe it too can only be held with open hands.

My game of beat the clock is more often beating me these days.  Life moves so much faster here than in Africa. Weeks evaporate before I can sift through their moments to capture grace.  What came easily in South Sudan is a hard fought battle here.

Earlier this evening, I drug myself out the door and to our Create 61 missional community gathering.  I walked in cranky that the one normally-accurate Walgreens leaned too far yellow printing our promotional photo cards and still spent from 3 weeks of trying to keep a normal pace with non-stop migraine levels of pain in my face and little to no sleep mostly thanks to an electrified tooth.  Trying the operative word.  But having to fall back on the grace of so many as I shuffled and rescheduled coffees and meetings and chased my to do list that always seems to outrun me here.

Top it off with the fact that October is my least favorite season to be in the West.  With the obsession of everything ghoulish and violent spilling over store shelves and advertisements alike. I have been generally out of sorts and wishing I could disappear to a deserted island with a five star resort in a place flesh-eating zombies and blood dripping vampires don’t exist at all, let alone being disturbing costume choices for pre-schoolers.

It is days like these I am grateful {especially} for family.

Walking into our ever growing community, I remember why I love these ones so much.  A mismatched, eclectic grouping of the desperately hungry we are.  Coffee and hugs from precious friendships growing as God weaves our journeys together begin to set my spinning off-kilter world a bit straighter.  I am so privileged to walk with the ones Papa brings.  So privileged.  Singing songs that point to heaven and sharing stories of His grace.

I am reminded again.  I need reminders.  Pictures painted in the sky.  Like yesterday… the last minutes of our annual air show.  I saw it a few times when I was a little girl, but none that register beyond one or two fuzzy images like well-worn faded photos.  I stood there cerulean sky hinting at autumn , the ground shaking beneath foot and crutch as the Blue Angels {our elite US Navy demonstration fliers} screamed by over my head.  My heart jumped and time stood still as they dipped and spun and flew wing to wing and the roar they released from heaven shook the earth.

I thought my friend who initiated this last minute escapade was kidding when she said it was almost a spiritual experience watching them. No almost about it…  How agreement with 2 or 3 in heaven can shake the ground beneath!  And isn’t this a picture of community?  Of “comm unity”?  Of powerful people flying together in unity. 

Then tonight.  More powerful people flying together hungry to release a sound from heaven that shakes the earth.  Voices, hearts, vision all weaving together with His heartbeat in story and song.  How profoundly grateful I am to fly in formation with world-changers who extend such grace to my messy, imperfect world.

I arrive home late, the house sleeping, my tooth with its inflamed nerves throbbing.  It is throbbing less these days after having the offending silver amalgam filling that was placed very unfortunately next to a gold crown graciously dug out by a dentist friend who was Papa’s birthday gift to me.  Never in my whole life was I so happy to sit in a dentist chair.  My teeth had become electrified by galvanic shock waves, constant radiating jabs emphasizing the point misplaced power can cause great pain.  While I am all for renewable energy sources, we theorize it will simply take time for the nerves to stop over-firing and the considerable inflammation to recede.  I think that may be true for the rest of my nerves too.

I sit with a cup of coffee {yes I am one of those- I can drink a quadruple espresso and take a nap.} and the words of one I have had too little time to enjoy these days.  Heart swelling, tooth settling, to-do list pressing and me pressing back to make space for stillness… “You will be most remembered — by what brought you most joy… Every ungracious moment means someone doesn’t understand grace.”  Thank you Ann, yet again. I needed these words.

The coffee cools and the words wrap deep as I slow enough catch this moment of grace.  This storied art of His goodness that roars from heaven and makes the ground even in my own heart shake with His coming. Once more I hold time with open hands.