Why I share the falling glory

I walk at the sidewalk’s edge, relishing the low heaps of fallen glory where each footfall whispers His presence.

Beneath the autumn-garbed trees, I am surrounded by splendor, Presence. I step softly on a golden carpet, my little path roofed with the same color. Bits of glory fall silent all around, caressing as they land on hair or whisper past shoulders.

I want to stoop down, to examine each leaf, the marks of red and gold left by the touch of its Creator in this cycle of death and new life.

It makes me sad, somehow, the bags of leaves so quickly raked, sidewalks blown clear by men with motors strapped to their bodies, discarded splendor blown off as useless trash.

Maybe this is why I now write, I who for most of my life have been so private. I don’t want too quickly to throw away the bits of glory fallen from the hand of the Creator. I’d rather let people walk through the messy beauty, feeling the freedom of space, the hope of new life after death, hearing His whispers with each footfall. I long for my life to be a path fit for the king on the donkey, and with wonder I realize that with every leaf which falls before His hand, every death in preparation for new life, He is creating a beautiful carpet on which He may enter. If only we do not too quickly sweep away the falling glory!

 

Did God really say. . . ?

The words fade. Numbness sets in, and doubts. “Did God really say . . . ?  Do you really think He is asking you to trust him with everything? Don’t you think it’s wiser to hold on to a little something. . . hold back just a bit. . . just in case? What harm can it do?

And I return again to the truth that I heard several weeks ago. The one command, the only thing asked of us, is that we not try to live independent from God. All else we are freely given. Is it not that same question that holds me back. “What if God doesn’t come through? Maybe you should just keep a little something in case. . . just so you have the fall-back option of independence.”

And I hear again yesterday’s truth – that God can be trusted. That the one central lie of the enemy is that God is holding out on us. And as the question comes again, “Did God really say. . .?”, I shout the answer, “YES! God did really say He wants all of me. YES! All He asks is that I don’t try to live this life without Him. And YES! He can be trusted.”

And I soak in the truth from Hosea, that God does not hold back or take away except to replace it with Himself.

And through the words of two young mothers, He reminds me that “our losses belong to our songs of gratitude.” That “sometimes a dance of loss can be a thing of grace.”

“The dance of new life—each mother knows the steps, and when colic grips her wee one, those steps become ingrained deep down.

The swaying, the bouncing, the cradling all seep into her core and become an automatic answer to the desperate little cries. When the wailing starts in the dark after a few moments’ slumber and weary tears mingle, what is there to do but dance? . . .

Henri Nouwen compares us to the two disciples on

the road to Emmaus:

Somehow, in the midst of our mourning, the first steps

of the dance take place.

Somehow, the cries that well up from our losses

belong to our songs of gratitude.”

And so I dance. Amidst the moments of wondering if I’m crazy, the terror at entering the unknown, the sense of loss amidst the wonder of still greater gain, I cry “Yes” to the invitation given. I hold out my arms to the One who calls me to this new dance.

“Trust is not blind certitude. Droughts will occur, and life will be hard. Trust is a willingness to enter the dance of life with eyes wide open. . . . Faith, not certitude, is the stance that weathers drought.”

(Susan Phillips, Candlelight, p. 167)