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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Frame Which Is

Sunlight is wrapped in sunlight. It lays down, tired at summer’s end. I’m standing in it as if framed by sunlight itself.
Maybe it's a mystery, but light frames light just as surely as light frames the One who wraps Himself in it, and as the Son of God is the Light of the world, and as I am wrapped in Him. Light frames light like that and somehow my life becomes a frame through which others see Him.

Light Frame

A gust of wind gathers leaves, and I think it’s odd that they are gathered and not scattered.
It’s a holy moment, somehow.
Leaves roll out a red carpet for autumn’s fame.
God is in this moment. 
His presence frames my heart.
There is a holy language that comes as a breath, and gathers what is naturally prone to scatter within me. His language, it frames the prayers that escape my language. Sometimes words whisper like leaves rustle, and right now that's how I hear it. 
God is present in this leafy moment, and in the words. Something about standing in the presence of the one true Light-framed by Him-redeems time till a moment seems to stand still because God is and I Am is the name of Light.
Stand in the Light and redeem time. 
Is there any other way? Doesn't the Lord say it, something like "Walk as children of light. Have nothing to do with darkness. See then, and redeem the time because the days are dark"? He does say something like this in Ephesians 5:8-16. 
So I'm redeeming time, standing in the light. Walking in it. Saving up moments, to know more God in them. 
More God moments-that's what I want.
I want to see more God in my husband striding through the front door on long legs to kiss me in the kitchen. 
More God in my daughter making me nervous behind the wheel with a driver’s permit in her pocket. 
More God in my daughter becoming a college girl and framing words between laughter over the latest news. 
More God in my son being husband for six months and still sitting so comfortably and familiarly at the kitchen table that I nearly forget he has a place of his own and won’t be staying for dinner.
I want to see light-framed moments.
This is the frame. 
He is the frame. 
There is nothing outside Him that I want. I want only what He frames. Nothing else is worth giving the time of day to, because isn’t He the only frame that can frame time and life and days and eternity? And everything good? 
He is. 
He is eternal and life and good. 
He is good, and I need more moments wrapped in good.
I'm trying to redeem time because God is good, and how else will I know He is good than in the framework of moments wrapped up in Him? And by Him?

Saving up moments, it's a wide-awake on-purpose sort of thing to attempt. I don't know how much time I loose, or moments I miss. Really, I don't want to know. What I do know, and want to know more, is that redeeming time is something only the Redeemer can do.
It's also something I can take an active part in doing. Thing is, when I take part in this mystery-when I do what He tells me to do, like take my run-away thoughts captive and tame my tongue-it begins to happen. I feel it.
I've hammered nails and pulled nails and hammered again till my hand's frozen to the hammer when life's shaken me up too much to aim right but I'm near desperate to nail something down and hope it looks like a frame of reference when I shake like a leaf in a gust of wind because, guess what? The days are evil and that's why it's important to redeem time as God says to. "Redeem time, for the days are evil," He says in Ephesians 5:6.
I practice. 
It's what I call active faith because a living faith is active just like anything living is active. 
My faith is stronger for the practice, and my hope is surer, too; but even better is this-while I'm swinging the hammer, God is showing me that the frame is. 
The frame is. Period.
The frame of God in the flesh of His Son was nailed and hung up on the cross and somehow I'm in Him and His Spirit's in me and together we make a complete picture in this framework. 
His frame is the only frame, the only reference for life and time and redemption of both-and for me. 
The holy frame, framed by sin and nailed by it, fit joy right into Himself when nails pierced into Him. Somehow He saw joy.  
He saw joy! It was set before Him. He didn't look away from it, but endured because of it, while time itself was redeemed and He gave up His Spirit before His body had the time to die.
Somehow joy redeems time.

I’ve heard it said that when we look down, we can’t see anything in the upward peripheral, but when we look up, we see everything in our peripheral. maybe joy is seen like that, in the searching upward look when the world is calling out, “Save yourself, not time! Come down to earth and forget eternity!" And things like, "Remember, you’re mortal. Let that be the framework of your life!" That's because the world doesn’t know this joy which redeems time. I know of it,a little. I want to know more. 
I had an unexpected moment today—well, not unexpected exactly. It was a hoped-for moment: a hummingbird, blue-gray. It’s silly, but I admit asking God for a hummingbird. I did—last week. I did not ask because I have some sort of hummingbird fascination. I don’t. But hummingbirds, they flap winged blur, yet remain still in the middle of air as if seventy wing-beats racing against one second actually save enough time to sip the sweet from the red. 
I asked for a hummingbird, "It would just be nice, God. That's all." The request perched, fragile on delicate feet. I wanted to see it happen-to see what it looks like to drink the sweetness right out of Him, nectar of strength.
He cares, God does. I wanted to see it happen. 
And I did. I saw it, the hummingbird. She flitted not in June sun, but through fifty-five-degree October morning mist. She darted between peach tree leaves turning yellow. I saw her twice again, as I stood at kitchen sink. She hovered and sipped from a single rose on a cane of rebel blossoms that have turned wild. 
She sips from the wild, my eyes smile in holy prayer. 
Sip long the sweet nectar of God.
Light is frame for this. 

written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig 
(adapted from my book, PISTEUO! Connecting with God's Heart)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Glory Like Spilt Milk

Matter heaves beneath the Milky Way, slides a white-hot burn down black sky and skids along the horizon at water’s edge and, just like that, bits of dust and rock flame beautiful and win a grander name for themselves-shooting stars.
It happens fast, the slide and the skid. Silently, too.
I wonder at the silence, “How, Lord? This glory, how is it silent? How is there not sonic boom? How do the humming stars not open their mouths and shout something like, ‘Praise God, all creatures below! See how He makes fallen dust beautiful!’”
I know He’s watching the sky with me. I feel Him beside me, “They don’t because they don’t need to.”
“Because I am?” I remember when He once said that the rocks will shout praises to Him-Peace in heaven and glory in the highest-if His disciples kept quiet.
“M-hmm,” His reply is hum and silence fits awe.
Brilliant trails of debris are made beautiful in the burn. It’s the most awe-full silence without even a gasp.
I watch debris exit from the heavens and leave a trail of glory behind because God is utterly committed to His glory and, something else.
Isn’t He also committed to this grace which consumes in victory all that would otherwise burn out?
And maybe trails of glory in the heavens are as glimpses of the train of His robe, longer than the combined robes of every king ever to rule on earth.
Victory Robe
Doesn’t the length of a king’s robe show how many battles he’s won?
And hasn’t the God of heaven and earth won the war waged by sin and death? Won every battle till even what falls from the battles against powers and principalities in the heavenly places just vaporizes in mid-fall flash?
He has. And that’s a glory my heart’s mapped for.
May my heart be charted by the Word by God, light years high and fathoms deep-while I bob, stern side, on the surface of Lake Texoma feeling as if tucked between the heights and the depths as Moses himself was tucked intot he cleft of a rock where he, too, saw the backside of God’s glory.
“It’s breathtaking, Your glory!” I breathe the words and know that it’s the back side.
Lake water gently slaps the hull of Living Water; and the living Word rises from the wet depths of my heart.
I think back to the beginning, when God thought light before He spoke the word and before darkness knew what would pierce it.
And I think of when love came down from heaven and was seared white hot through with nails to know what sears through me and be able to sympathize.
There is a mighty heave of heart, His and mine. Mine heaves broken trust, deferred hope, and scattered faith—at least, it tries to. Rocky debris is all massed in my heart. But His heaves whole—just all whole.
How do I stop this spin that makes my heart so heavy, this cyclical reminder of why trust, hope, and faith are so scattered in me?
I don’t. I can’t.
I lay back on the seat and light from stars that burned out before I was born leans over me.
     My heart reaches for Heaven itself, just to hold on and never let go of serenity-no matter what burns.
And what does burn? Maybe just whatever doesn’t burn.
Glory. Glory in God’s heart doesn’t burn up or burn out.
Sometimes my heart is heavy with matters-with debris. “If I let go, just let the matters fall, would I see Your victory blaze?” I know I would. And I have.
The Milky Way spills white across the galaxy floor above me. Messy. Marvelous. Wild. Quiet.
Might I remember this-glory is like spilt milk.
God’s glory, it just spills out when He moves till the story of His victories sweeps through my heart and what spills out isn’t for me to cry over, but for God to make beautiful in a blaze of glory.
Milky Way
The sky is draped in a string of silver stars and wears them like a necklace of glory. I recall reading something about silver and glory. I google the key words on my iPhone and find it in Proverbs 25:1, “Take away the dross from silver, and it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.”
“Ah.” I amaze, because I just saw dross so fresh from the fire that flame followed it’s decent to horizon. It was a glimpse of true glory. “You don’t scrape the dross and then splat it onto the ground in disgust, do You?” It’s more amazement than question.
“I’ve taken your shame way,” He reminds me.
“But dross is so ugly.” I say it because I’ve seen my own sin; and I’ve been ashamed.
His eyes tell me He knows what that feels like, and I remember the scars He bears. “Let no one who waits on Me be ashamed” He says with conviction.
The starry veil above me flutters soft light through the thin atmosphere. 
Wasn’t there another veil? A woven veil violently halved in the thick atmosphere when Christ took the shame of sin to the cross and died to take away sin and shame? There was.
“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed;” (Psalm 25:1-2). His word is my prayer and sometimes prayer burns like a fire that tears cannot quench when body and soul are tried in the furnace till the dross rises to the top.
 I spill, but that’s okay.
His glory is His, and His victory is mine.
He fingers a necklace that is not dross dull, but radiant as if His glory was somehow a part of the dross and then woven into the necklace. “Wear this as an ornament of grace.” He slips it over my head. The jewelry drapes grace around my neck.
“I am not ashamed.” I look into His holy eyes that reflect the fire that purifies-and touch dross turned to grace.
I no longer wear shame.
The Milky Way disappears in moonlight. There are no more fire skids across the sky, but glory is blazing a trail across my soul tonight.

Serenity hums somewhere at the backside of my soul. 

written and illustrated by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig
(adapted from my book PISTEUO! Connecting with God's Heart)