Prepare for Joy: Blown Away

eveninghaybarn

It has been a relatively warm wet week in the northwest, so it seemed reasonable after finishing up farm chores last night to leave the large rolling north-south doors wide open in the barn where the horses are housed.  Then I woke suddenly at midnight hearing powerful gusts of a southerly wind buffeting the house.  Knowing what havoc a wind can do inside an open barn, I went out in pajamas and muck boots to roll the doors closed before the storm could reach inside, a true barnstorming as has happened here before on Holy Week…

 

An unexpected southerly wind hit suddenly late Sunday night, gusting up to 40 miles an hour and slamming the house with drenching rain as we prepared to go to bed. Chores in the barn had been done hours before, but as we had not been expecting a storm, the north/south center aisle doors were still open, and I could hear banging and rattling as they were buffeted in the wind. I quickly dressed to go latch the doors for the night, but the tempest had done its damage. Hay, empty buckets, horse blankets, tack and cat food had blown all over, while the Haflingers stood wide-eyed and fretful in their stalls. A storm was blowing inside the barn as well as outside it.

It took some time to tidy up the mess after the doors were secured but all was soon made right. The wind continued to bash at the doors, but it no longer could touch anything inside them. The horses relaxed and got back to their evening meal though the noise coming from outside was deafening. I headed back up to the house and slept fitfully listening to the wind blow all night, wondering if the metal barn roof might pull off in a gust, exposing everything within.

Yet in the new daylight on Monday morning, all was calm. The barn was still there, the roof still on, the horses where they belonged and all seemed to be as it was before the barnstorming wind.

Or so it might appear.

This wind heralds another storm coming this week that hits with such force that I’m knocked off my feet, swept away, and left bruised and breathless. No latches, locks, or barricades are strong enough to protect me from what will come over the next few days.

On Sunday he rode in on a donkey softly, humbly, and wept at what he knew was coming.

Yesterday, he withered the fruitless tree and overturned the tables in his fury.

Today the plans are made to betray him.

Tomorrow, he teaches the people to prepare them, then rests in anticipation.

On Thursday, he kneels as a servant, pours water over dusty feet, presides over a simple meal, and then, abandoned by his friends,  sweats blood in agonized prayer.

By Friday, all culminates in the perfect storm, transforming everything in its path, leaving nothing untouched.

The silence on Saturday is deafening.

Next Sunday, the Son rises and returns, all is calm, all is well, all set to right.  He calls my name, breaks bread with broken hands, my heart burns within me at his words and I can never be the same again.

Barnstormed to the depths of my soul. Doors flung open wide, the roof pulled off, everything I was before blown away and now replaced, renewed and reconciled.

So shall his spirit storm within us as he has said, again and yet again.

 

barnlight

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Listening to Lent — Love Sits In His Eyelids

Aprilweed

His voice, as the sound of the dulcimer sweet,
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at His feet,
The air is perfumed with His breath.
His lips as the fountain of righteousness flow,
That waters the garden of grace,
From which their salvation the Gentiles shall know,
And bask in the smiles of His face.O! Thou in Whose presence my soul takes delight,
On Whom in affliction I call;
My Comfort by day,
And my Song in the night,
My Hope, my Salvation, my All?
Where dost Thou at noontide resort with Thy sheep,
To feed on the pastures of love?
Say, why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or ‘lone in the wilderness rove?

O! why should I wander an alien from thee,
And cry in the desert for bread?
Thy foes will rejoice when my sorrows they see,
And smile at the tears I have shed.
Ye daughters of Zion, declare,
Have you seen the Star that on Israel shone?
Say if in your tents my Belovèd hath been,
And where, with His flock, is He gone?

“What is thy Belovèd, thou dignified fair?
What excellent beauties hath He?
His charms and perfections be pleased to declare,
That we may embrace Him with thee.”
This is my Belovèd, His form is divine;
His vestments shed odor around;
The locks on His head are as grapes on the vine,
When autumn with plenty is crowned.

The roses of Sharon, the lilies that grow in the vales,
On the banks of the streams
On His cheeks in the beauty of excellence blow;
His eyes are as quivers of beams.
His voice as the sound of the dulcimer sweet is
Heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at His feet,
The air is perfumed with His breath.
Read more at http://www.lyrster.com/lyrics/his-voice-as-the-sound-lyrics-mormon-tabernacle-choir.html#HhDxcEshh3JGXUG6.99

His voice, as the sound of the dulcimer sweet,
is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at His feet,
the air is perfumed with His breath.
His lips as the fountain of righteousness flow,
that waters the garden of grace,
From which their salvation the Gentiles shall know,
and bask in the smile of His face.

Love sits in his eyelids and scatters delight,
through all the bright regions on high.
Their faces the cherubim veil in his sight,
and tremble with fullness of joy.
He looks and ten thousands of angels rejoice,
and myriads wait for His word.
He speaks and eternity filled with His voice
Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.

He looks and ten thousands of angels rejoice,
and myriads wait for His word.
He speaks and eternity filled with His voice
Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.
Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.
~ Southern Folk Hymn

 

During these days of bright darkness
preparing for next week,
I am absorbed in all I am not,
my shortcomings and failings,
my temptation to deny self-denial,
my inability to see beyond my own troubles,
forgetting this is not all about me:

~neglecting to witness first hand
all that God through Christ is~

the beauty in His becoming man,
the joy of His joining up with us,
the love in His gracious sacrifice,
the full promise of His Word that breathes
life back into my dying soul~

and so it becomes all about me
not because of
what I’ve done,
or who I am,
but because of
who He is and was and will be,
loving us
no matter what.

His voice, as the sound of the dulcimer sweet,
Is heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at His feet,
The air is perfumed with His breath.
His lips as the fountain of righteousness flow,
That waters the garden of grace,
From which their salvation the Gentiles shall know,
And bask in the smiles of His face.O! Thou in Whose presence my soul takes delight,
On Whom in affliction I call;
My Comfort by day,
And my Song in the night,
My Hope, my Salvation, my All?
Where dost Thou at noontide resort with Thy sheep,
To feed on the pastures of love?
Say, why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or ‘lone in the wilderness rove?

O! why should I wander an alien from thee,
And cry in the desert for bread?
Thy foes will rejoice when my sorrows they see,
And smile at the tears I have shed.
Ye daughters of Zion, declare,
Have you seen the Star that on Israel shone?
Say if in your tents my Belovèd hath been,
And where, with His flock, is He gone?

“What is thy Belovèd, thou dignified fair?
What excellent beauties hath He?
His charms and perfections be pleased to declare,
That we may embrace Him with thee.”
This is my Belovèd, His form is divine;
His vestments shed odor around;
The locks on His head are as grapes on the vine,
When autumn with plenty is crowned.

The roses of Sharon, the lilies that grow in the vales,
On the banks of the streams
On His cheeks in the beauty of excellence blow;
His eyes are as quivers of beams.
His voice as the sound of the dulcimer sweet is
Heard through the shadows of death;
The cedars of Lebanon bow at His feet,
The air is perfumed with His breath.
Read more at http://www.lyrster.com/lyrics/his-voice-as-the-sound-lyrics-mormon-tabernacle-choir.html#HhDxcEshh3JGXUG6.99

Listening to Lent — Let It Freely Burn

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Come down, O love divine, seek Thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with Thine own ardor glowing.
O Comforter, draw near, within my heart appear,
And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn, til earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become mine inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long,
Shall far out-pass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace, till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.
~Bianco De Siena

This could be why sunrise and sunset
grabs hold of me wholly,
clothes this lowly soul in robe and slippers,
in finery lit from above.

The mistakes of the day
burned to dust in the evening fire,the hope of dawn and new beginning
illuminating the dispersed darkness.

 

Listening to Lent — A Clean Heart

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Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me
Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me

Cast me not away from Thy presence, oh Lord
And take not Thy holy spirit from me
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation
And renew a right spirit within me
~Keith Green from Psalm 51

 

It doesn’t take committing infidelity or murder,
like King David with blood on his hands,
to feel estranged from God.

It can be as simple as
living each day within
a delusion of self-sufficiency.

But I am never sufficient.

Unable to fix my own heart,
I seek relief from the mud of
remorse and regret.
May tears no longer just be wept
in guilt for my wrongdoing,
but that I weep for our
God forgotten.

 

I weep over the sorrows and disgraces of our Lord,
and what causes me the greatest sorrow
is that men, for whom He suffered so much,
live in forgetfulness of Him.
~St. Francis of Assisi