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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ten-Thousand Shards

If Jesus was in no hurry to meet real heart-stopping deadlines. If He didn’t stop everything and go straight away to Jairus’ house because his twelve year old daughter was almost dead. And if Jesus didn’t turn right away back around to Judea because Lazarus was almost dead. And He didn’t. Didn’t hurry breathless to meet and beat deadlines. Then I’m thinking I shouldn’t either.

Pounding hard after deadlines. Isn’t that what it looks like to not trust God with my time in every place and zone? It’s not the race I want to run.

And I’m choosing not to. Chose not to today.

And time has been rearranged. Really! It has!

Without any help from me and I do have a deadline today.

I have guests coming from out of town and call me crazy but here I am writing and watercolor painting as if I hadn’t a care in the world because I just choose His peace today plain and simple and He isn’t pressing me to race because, guess what?

He is enjoying this!

He is happy watching me trust Him with time. I feel His pleasure and would hear later that my guests were going slow too, because they also have chosen the slow peace way and they arrived hours later than we thought and God rearranged time and I sweat not a drop because I chose peace. It works!

He. Is. Peace.

And it seems He rearranges time every time I choose to live in His peace. Choose slow and attentive.

Because there aren’t just four time zones. There are five. And I’m living in the fifth as best as I can because the fifth is where time doesn’t tick of clock face but Father heart.

Time is measured Father heart tick. And in this time zone, deadlines don’t pass away. They just hold their breath for a really long time.

It’s a peaceful place, but not without pressure. The absence of pressure isn’t the definition of peace.

Jesus was pressed on every side. Jostled by crowds. And His own time pressed His own heart. Pressed tears right out of His heart. Jesus wept. Shortest verse presses hard.

He wept because it hurt gentle heart. This press against dead line pressure. It hurt, those “Lord, if You had been here our brother wouldn’t have died” words all broken up in tear jumble.

“He is not dead. He’s sleeping.” Jesus said and deadline held breath days past rigamortis.

He was pressed from within and without and gave away pieces of heart and gives peace of mind.

Peace of mind. We all want it.

We chase it and might we think we can nail it down by running hard to be the first one there? At dead line ahead of schedule? Well, it’s temptation for the likes of me at least. I confess. It does feel good to be on top of things.

And I confess again. I’ve learned the panic attack way that I can’t nail peace down. Can’t drive a stake in the ground when I’ve arrived there, wherever there is. The place we call “There” is ever moving all elusive like.

No. The only peace I can have is the peace that was nailed down for me.

The Prince of Peace kind of peace.  

At cross. Dead line. Where death was conquered by Life and where I can say to all that raises mallet and wants to pound my peace into panic shred, “Go ahead! Take your best shot!” Because when the nails are all used up, and the dead line is passed, I can say, “It’s just sleeping.”  


Crowd Press
Peace of mind in the press.

How? When the very air we breathe is vibrating restless and the world spins and the headlines roll and jobs are lost and Olympians loose the medal they’ve broken bones over and this little olympian only wants to get through a day without getting brain fog and needing a twenty minute nap by three o’clock.

"How?” I ask the Prince of Peace.

“Think on whatever things are pure…lovely…of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

“Yeah, there is that…” I ponder…”yeah…there really is that.”

“Yeah,” He skips eloquence with me.

And these “whatever things are”… there. Here. Even when I turned my heart upside down looking for them. For things pure and praiseworthy. And shook heart out like a rug and swept under the bed where heart only slept but seemed rigamortis stiff to me because I couldn’t feel much after all that looking but still knelt all heart down. Still knelt down because there really is that “whatever things are” peace place that gives peace of mind.

On my knees because standing up meant the world would tilt and spin and become very uncertain. On my knees because all left to do was to wait stiff and wait while heart beat slow slumber worn out and wait silent because my mouth knew no more words to say to God. Even His own words had been said through my lips to Him til my lips couldn’t move anymore and because all I heard was “Wait. And while waiting, wait.”

I waited for God to prove Himself. I did. It was soul desperation.

It was, “If You don’t do what You said You would do, then I have nothing left to say to You“ desperation.

It was, “Let me see Your glory!” and the only way to see His glory is from between a rock and a hard place. It’s true. Moses saw the backside of His glory from a cleft in the rock where God Himself tucked him in. And I’m no Moses, that’s for sure.

Waited there to see Him prove all that was said by Him Self, to be. To see Him prove Himself to be at hand as He says. To be the God of peace as He says. To be the resurrection and the life and not only in the last day but in this day.

As. He. Says.


I started hearing.


I started waking up. Back yard. Back soul. Back side. The peace side of glory all backward from front door to world.


I started finding my heart.

Pieces of it. All those pieces I gave Him when my heart was breaking olympian bone over His Word and His way and for His glory.

There are only so many pieces my heart can break into for its own glory because I have no peace of my own. And whatever peace I think I have, my heart will be quick broke into just big chunks and have nothing left to work with.

But for God’s? Ohh, for God’s peace-side of glory ten-million pieces gladly of my heart!

I found them, some of those pieces. And am finding them still. All those pieces. He kept them. Every broken shred.

My heart is found in Him.

And He’s piecing the pieces together and loving adoring every piece. Bringing them to His face and breathing them in just like I did when my children were restless spun and needed just arms to hold them together and to just go from pieces to peaced.


And He loves every piece of your heart that has broken over Him and His way. Loves you. Loves me. To pieces and then back again.

Til we’re peaced.

He meets the dead line after heart-line and soul-line beep and buzz flat-line.

After we stop breathing because we can’t pray anymore.

After we lay stiff rigamortis because we can’t get up anymore.

He wakes the soul and opens the mouth again when heart is found in Him. Because pieced out from what’s in God heart is love-side of peace.
Soup and Pan

Pieced out is serving soup and cheese quesadillas to her mother when she didn’t have the energy to serve herself. Thank you beautiful girl with tomato soup splotched on your shirt!

Pieced out is listening all through with patience slow. No interrupting. No formulating a response til they’re done. Thank you gentle mother, friend of mine! I watched you piece this out. Peace it out. To your children and you blessed me and didn’t even know it.

Pieced out is what has been under guardian peace of God.

And rejoicing is pieced out. Re-joy-sing. Joy and singing again and again.

And the pieces that have broken and shattered out in prayer from abasement and in abundance.

And the requests. All the again and again re-quests of heart made known to God and to know God.

All those heart pieces may be found in Him when we seek heart peace in Him.

Ten-thousand shards of my heart would willingly shatter ten-thousand times more to find more God heart and to feel His peace thread the pieces and pieces and pieces together. There. Here. In the “Whatever things” places.

The places where I hold breath as long as it takes in the waiting.

Because sometimes it takes a really long time to find the lovely and the pure and praiseworthy. I wonder how many of us seeking Prince of Peace kind of peace have been waiting so long with breath held that Jesus has had to assure others, “She’s just sleeping.”

But doesn’t He do some of His best work in those “whatever places?” Where the lovely is sought dead serious and peace transcends understanding? Seems to me He does.

written by: Carolyn Roehrig

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I’m Not Going To Worry About Deadlines

Faint ribbon of light weaves through leaf litter and hems ridged press of pecan bark. The limb fell down to sleep on the ground sometime in the night while I slept. But there is this strand of light now looping in the press. Leaf press. Bark press.

And life itself either presses into the light or presses it out.

I stand here and awe hems up thoughts thready. “The crowd pressed the Light,” thought ravels.

“The Light wove through throngs of sandaled feet,” more thought threads.

And it’s uncanny how those leaves shuffling across yellowed grass resemble sandaled feet.

This strand of light. This weave of sun light that’s unraveling longer and longer the higher it rises and it walks through the press here. It’s going somewhere, but now it lingers here.

And I think of another Light pressed in another crowd. And of another weave training over ground. A threadbare hem dragging in dirt where feet trod and pressed the Word Himself because there are places to go and deadlines to meet and who notices the hem? The thread between the lines?

The woman who bled out life noticed. The outcast notice. The starving notice. The shunned notice. Those who can’t remember the last time they were touched. The threadbare souls. They notice.
And she bowed dirt low. And grimy feet walked by her face. And she touched hem of Christ. He noticed.  

“Who touched Me?“ He said.

“Where is she?” He looked for her in the crowd. Yes, He had a deadline to meet. A father frantic worried because his daughter was dying on that line.

“I want to speak to her.” He’s always aware of where He’s going, but awake to where He is. It’s hem speech to me when I stress over deadlines.

I want Him to look for me in the press.

I want to touch threadbare hem and know that He moves deadlines because of it. It’s holy and thready and can drag out long and linger because Jesus presses light between the lines of here and there.

It’s thready. It just is. This trusting that deadlines merely sleep and Christ will wake them and move them when I’m certain they’ve passed away.

Trust is thready.

And I trip over thread. And sometimes trust unravels a stitch or two in the press. But the light presses through and weaves seeking strand on and on.


Tree Limb

The limb. Too large to snap off. Creaked heavy groan and cracked and echoed and fell frozen and dry and old. Would Jesus say it’s just a sleeping deadline?

It looks dead to me in this morning backyard vigil. Backyard and back soul. Where I hear vigilant whisper. That Voice. Behind me. Saying, “Turn here. Go there.”

And I’m hearing all vigilant this Vigilante Voice. Vigilante Christ. Volunteer of the Trinity. It’s what a vigilante is.

“A volunteer from an organization to punish crime when the law is inadequate” (web dictionary).

Only, He is Vigilante Grace. Because, yes! The law is inadequate!  My Vigilante broke the bread. Did it echo crack? The echo reverberates still over two-thousand years.

The branch lay on the ground. Groaned and “It is finished!” cracked mighty weight.

And Vigilante did not punish criminal soul, but became criminal sin. And saved my soul from the ultimate deadline. When others mourn He will say, “She’s just sleeping.”

It’s what I hear looking at the backyard branch. It’s been days. And it’s still not time to heave it onto the brush pile. I know it’s not because I’m still hearing, “Don’t worry about the deadline,” every time I look at it. And trust is still too bare. And I’m still tripping over thread.

It happened just now. The trip. Happened mid-thought. While pen poised over journal page and while thought formed and life just shoved into my space. By my German.

This tall German with a financial question. Does my frustration show? Brow line threads shadow I’m sure. I retrieve beat up red folder from green box and find the requested receipt.

And then I hear this Vigilante Voice saying, “Ask him if he’d like you to make a breakfast egg sandwich.”

I don’t want to. Because thoughts are cooking on the back burner.

“Would you like me to make a breakfast egg sandwich for you?” I hear myself offer.

I’m slicing bread. Heating cast iron pan. Breaking eggs open. And I recall what a friend said yesterday, “You married him for better and for worse, but not for lunch!”

"Well, this is breakfast,” I mumble beneath breath.

“Shell holding life in must be broken to let it out,” the Voice is back burner at back of mind.

I grate cheese and, “Sprinkle on some parmesan today!”

“My but You’re enthusiastic about this sandwich,” I reply.

I get it. It’s going the extra mile. Because my German likes parmesan. I fetch it from back of fridge top shelf.

“Break an egg open for yourself while you’re at it.” I sigh. Did the Voice just speak German voice to me? He doesn’t think I eat enough.

Another egg sizzles on iron. I eat standing up all dutiful. Grab my pen and race to there. To journal. Scrape thoughts together like scrambled eggs. And my pen is spatula all poised over page…and now what? 

The doorbell rings urgent. Not once, but three rings trip all over themselves. It’s Fed Ex. A time sensitive package and I give it to large German hands.

And then this Vigilante, “Place your own time sensitive package in My hands.”

He’s talking about my journal. My pen. My thoughts. And, “It’s not time yet, is it?” I ask because I’m tripping thready all over light.

It’s time to touch the hem of His garment. Because what I really long for is to be looked for and spoken to while time just passes and I don’t want to worry about deadlines. I want Him to show me that time is not passing away and deadlines are only sleeping. To show me that He’s not worried about deadlines so why should I? To touch hem of Christ and have thready trust hemmed up.



Scrambled Eggs

How many mornings ago did I find this branch? How many nights ago did it fall? And every morning I stand here and hear, “Don’t worry about deadlines.” Said by the One who waited til Lazarus was dead four days before going to him. Because He moves deadlines. He wakes them because they merely sleep.

And if He’s not worried about life and death kind of deadlines then I’m not going to worry about my kind of deadlines. I’m just not going to. It’s choice and it’s trusting Him. And I long. I long to see Him wake them when I think they’ve passed away. Long to see Him move them out when they press in.

I heard it again this morning. And the branch. It’s dead line literally. And it just lays there. Sleeping? Day in and day out?

And I’m waiting for Him to say, “It’s just sleeping.”

Because He moves deadlines. I know He does.

I just need to see it again. To touch the hem of His garment again while He speaks it because sometimes deadlines are hard when they pass in the night and leave life lines behind. “Be aware of the deadlines, but awake to life lines,” runs ravel through my mind.


“I love you.” I hear Vigilante Voice at my back while I look at this dead wood but see light thready there. And this is it. The thread that hems up trust.

“I loved Martha. And Mary. And Lazarus. So, when I heard he was dying, I stayed away for two more days.” He says the strangest things. But I’m getting it more and more. It’s taken me days and days, but I am starting to get it.

“Are there not twelve hours in a day?” He is speaking John 11 to me. And it’s almost time to move the branch. I know it is because light is threading and I’m not tripping on it just now.


“I loved Jairus. And his twelve year old daughter who was dying. And the woman who bled out twelve years. Twelve hours a day. Twelve hours a night. Twelve years bleeding out life and twelve years little girl life.”

“What is it about love and time and hours and years and being aware of where I am going but being awake to where I am and trust and choice?” It’s all is weave and hem and light that drags through earth dust.

And I don’t understand what it all is. But I touch it. And I drag the limb to the brush pile. And I’m not going to worry about it. The deadline. I choose now. In the drag.

Thready trust is flexing.


written by: Carolyn Roehrig

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Only Big Enough Answer

Jesus loves me this I know. It’s theme song of my life and it’s everything I need to know.

I’m certain He sang it to me in womb. When I was yet unformed. Curled up tight in warm dark. Did His fingers strum gentle the strings of my heart, “I love you” song?

Strum. “I love you.” Strum. “I love you.” Strum. “And that’s all you need to know.”

Did He thrum life into me while mother heart beat steady just above my form?

Did mother heart and Savior heart beat drum and strum thrum til I knew it by heart before I was born because I would need to know this love down deep to find it later? To know it deep down before my feet touched the floor and I learned to walk?

Seems to me I still walk better when first I curl bent and bowed on knees.

I walk better when I start like this. When I crawl out of bed and kneel rather than jump out and run.

I learn how to walk by spending time on my knees. And I hear better when my heart is pounding after Jesus before my feet pound after anything else. When I hear Him say, “Come to Me,”

It’s learned. Practiced. And how many wilderness miles have I pounded out on foot before I heave out breathless, “Where are You” and crumple?

And gasp out, “Why?”

Just, “Why?”


Little One Finding Why

It’s a little word that carries weight too big. A little one’s favorite word and the only big enough answer is, “Because I love you.”

When trouble is afoot, questions follow on the heel. And God must hear the question, "Why?" more often than any other. In the wild we question wildly. And it seems I’ve bit the word out defiant there. Before the crumple.  

But the “why.” The true ”why” that asks bent over and  true. It comes on the knee.  

Wilderness questions know not tame answers.  And “Because I love you,” is not tame. Not tidy either. “Because I love you,” is all-of-life answer  to real-life question. Cross rugged.

Maybe it’s meant to be. All the occasions to ask “why.”  Because maybe every “why” is answered, “Because I love you” and every “why” is chance to say, “Thank You.”

Maybe every wilderness “why” that comes true and crumpled and breathless is chance to enter His gates and courts.

Because a crumpled “why” can become an awed, “Thank You.”

What if I heard, “Because I love you” when anything else is more than I can understand?

He says it more than I hear it.

And what if I said, "Thank you" just because I asked “Why?” Just said  “Thank You?”

Period. Because I trust “Because I love you” is always His answer?

What if?

I want to find “what if” out.

He loves me. It’s the only big enough answer.

He loves me.

For everything easy and everything difficult in all my days. It’s the only big enough answer.

And this little one says, “Thank You.”

Because this little one is learning to trust His big enough love. That’s my answer to my question.

That’s why.

“Because. I. Love. You.”

“I will give you rest.” I barely hear it somewhere down below heart racing because its run all wild. His gentle heart catches mine and His fingers tune taught strings there and strum the tension til I hear the old song. “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

I know it. I do. I really do even though I am prone to answer, “I’ll be there in a minute!” when He bids, “Come to Me.”

Prone to answer, “Hold on, I’ve almost got this figured out!” when He longs out, “Learn from Me.”

Prone to answer, “I’m almost done with this,” when He yearns, “Let’s do this together.”

And when I crumple, “Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hummm, this I know….”

It starts down low. The hum.  Theme song. Duet.

Before my feet touched the floor this morning, I heard His heart strings strum it out. "Today you have this assurance; 'I love you,' and this purpose; ‘Love Me.'"

Dancing Song

Dance with Me,” He says because He’s already dancing to His own love. He takes me in His arms and dances me across the floor of His heart.

And every note to this song and the thrum and the beat is the song that He sang into me and strummed right into the strings of my heart when He formed me and knew I would ask “Why” many times so that He could answer  “Because I love you” every time and so that I could say “Thank You” all the time so that we could dance to it all. His love. In His courts.

“Yes, Jesus love me! Yes Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”

Song rises up and the notes play across the floor of His heart. And mine.

 He’s been singing it forever.


 written by: Carolyn Roehrig