Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Canning Requires Deep Thought

   Exiting the grocery store, my mind was very preoccupied with plans for the afternoon's applesauce & stewed tomato canning activities and sorting out priorities.  I wheeled my grocery cart to the parking lot, opened the truck door, threw my purse across to the passenger's seat, opened the back door, shoved some stuff that was on the back seat over to make room for my groceries... and it was only as I began to place my groceries on the seat... (you know where this is going, don't you)... the creeping realization came to its full fruition:  It was not my truck!
   Oh, it gets better.  As I put my stuff back into the cart and tried to start breathing again, a guy walked up to me.  I began to apologize profusely and pointed out to him the suddenly-larger-than-life presence of my very similar truck in the next aisle over.  He finally interrupted me and, sort of sheepishly, broke the news that it wasn't his truck, either.  He just wanted to share with me the series of unfortunate events in his life and ask for gas money, which I had to explain that I would not give to him, but that I would give him some food if he needed some, to which he explained how he didn't do drugs or anything, but he just needed some gas money................
   Meanwhile, a sweet little elderly lady had approached us and waited patiently until I acknowledged her presence.  After exchanging lengthy blank stares, I burst into my profuse apologies once again, only now it was to the right person.  She was very gracious and understanding (praise God).
   Thinking this most awkward of misadventures (I do have quite a list, actually) was complete, I made it back to my truck, only to discover that my purse was still on the passenger seat of the impostor truck.  Having not one stitch of pride left to damage, I turned once again to that fateful parking spot still occupied by the poor-innocent-by-stander-vehicle where the nice lady's husband now stood beside the nice lady, both listening to the young man who, in preparation for asking them for money, first felt the need to give them his perspective on the events that had occurred, feeling quite smug, I'm sure, at being a key witness.
   The nice lady's husband eyed me suspiciously, and for good reason I must add.  I produced for him a less emotional, more factual version of my near-criminal activity and waited while he opened the truck doors to inspect its contents for status quo.  I asked if he wouldn't mind if I retrieved my purse from his front seat.  I didn't wait for his answer.  I opened the driver's door after he had closed it, reached across the console, grabbed my purse, closed the door, held up my purse for all to see, thanked them for their kindness, tossed one final plea for forgiveness, and very slowly hightailed it for my truck.
   I sure hope they're just passing through.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Boundless Creativity

“As she grows in ability and understanding, she will learn and experience freedom of expression and originality within the bounded creativity of ever-increasing limitations.” 

Have you ever had something you said a long time ago return to fester in an entirely different emotional tangent?

Originally, this thought process was stimulated by an experience with my 2 year old granddaughter.

Take my virtual hand for a moment and walk with me up the sidewalk to the large glass entrance door.  Wait while I enter the security code…  There…  Now we may go in.

Elderly people… 
Some are wheel chair bound, some are in varying stages of mental capability, some are no longer physically able to care for themselves, some have no relatives nearby, some have no relatives willing to be nearby, some have no relatives at all.
Some are simply lonely.

Ever-increasing limitations …and what about learning and experiencing “freedom of expression and originality within the bounded creativity” of these limitations?  Limitations which are anticipated with excitement in a 2 year old, are translated into dread and anxiety as the proximity of our own mortality draws increasingly near.

Aging is a stark and aggressively definitive expression of growing neediness, escalating dependency, cumulative restrictions, and narrowing possibilities, all cleverly disguised as loss of value, decreased worth, and hopelessness.

Godless societies will always associate limitations with hopelessness.

is Not in God’s Character

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?...
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.” 
~Psalm 139:7-10

As my skills and abilities decrease, so my accompanying expectations must be resourcefully reevaluated, creatively modified, or boldly eliminated.  Yet each defining, limiting, restricting factor does not, in and of itself, establish purpose or goodness.
“…the bounded creativity of being able to build something beautiful
based on the character your ingredients already possess...” 
~Kate Buccigross

   But we have this treasure 
in jars of clay (empty vessels) 
to show that this all-surpassing power 
is from God and not from us...” 
~II Corinthians 4:7

The One who shared the yoke when I was able will continue to share my yoke when I am not.  He will remain my source of challenges, benefits, focus, guidance, pacing, and confidence toward the task at hand.

Functioning within the limitations of obedience and dependency will allow me to join the Master in His work as it is accomplished.  In doing so, it will become increasingly more obvious that the Hands of the Creator are filled with expressions of originality and boundless creativity far beyond limitations.” 

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heaven-laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your soul.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
~Matthew 11:28-30

Freedom is found not in the removal of a yoke, rather in the exchange of an unsuitable yoke partner for the One whose sufficiency is unsurpassed.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly
beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us, 
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations
forever and ever.” 
~Ephesians 3:20,21