Intimacy and farewell to a comedic genius
I instinctively put things I care about in safe places. What do you instinctively do?
I recently found a small rock on the beach. I liked it right away. Picking it up, the tiny relic fit my hand perfectly. It was small and smooth and had an ever so slight curve. It was something I could squeeze (like one of those free stress balls they hand out at conferences). It had muted earth-tone colors- nothing out of the ordinary but I was still drawn to it. I brought it home and put it in a safe place beside my bed.
Then one night, I couldn't fall asleep. I tried the "Sleepy Time" tea, a hot shower, a book but nothing seemed to work. Time ticked on. I retrieved my rock, squeezing it tightly, I concentrated on the feeling of my hand around that rock. I turned it over and over then finally, whispering some prayers, I fell into a deep, satisfying sleep. Later the next day, I searched for the rock; I didn't want it to get thrown out like another piece of junk lying around but I couldn't find it.
Again, I forgot about the rock until I happened to retrieve something out of a teeny, tiny hand-made piece of pottery where I keep jewelry. There it was! I must have placed it there, instinctively, while half asleep.
When I thought about friendships, I loosely connected the word intimacy. Who is in your inner circle? (See under chapter heading, You for additional information on intimacy)
Imagine a pond and a rock. The water is so still and calm that even the slightest movement causes a ripple.
You pick up a small, smooth rock- much flatter than the one I found on the beach. With a forward thrusting motion of your wrist, your hand releases the rock thereby causing it to skip along the surface of the water. It is fun to count the skips before it plummets beneath the surface.
Most people we will ever meet, will be the skipped rock that glides on the surface of the water. The rock is fun to watch. We may notice the shape, color and texture of the rock as it glides along the surface but we really don't know much about them.
The rings around the plummeted rock represents our friendships. The closer the ring is to where the rock fell beneath the surface, the fewer people in the circle.
"Time ticked on. I retrieved my rock, squeezing it tightly, I concentrated on the feeling of my hand around the rock. I turned it over and over then finally, whispering some prayers, I fell into a deep, satisfying sleep".
I was at church; I particularly love the music but when the worship director said that despite their technology efforts, there would be no lyrics, I thought to myself, "this will be awkward when I hum most of the song and sing "real loudly" a sentence or two. No words were coming to my mind.
I closed my eyes. I emptied my heart and my hands at the foot of the cross. Remember when I said I "instinctively put things I care about in safe places?". Safely tucked in my heart were the words to every worship song. The words were not in my mind but in my heart. Out poured all of the lyrics- song after song, my heart spilled the intimate content of God's love for me. There is one quote that I wrestle with: "It's only after we've lost everything, that we're free to do anything". Faith is the rock we hold onto tightly.
There once were twelve men. Jesus called them his friends. We call them disciples. These men, broken and human laid their judgments and pride down. Imagine the ridicule they must have felt? Imagine the doubt, the indecisiveness, the second-guesses. What did they do? They got into a boat... a boat that took them, not where they thought they would go, but to a place so intimate, they later were willing to die for their faith. Jesus, in the midst of their stories (and ours), asked them to give up everything. In an intimate gesture of friendship, Jesus removed his outer garment, knelt down and washed his friend's feet.
Most of us choose not to allow ourselves such vulnerability but Jesus did. The two most powerful words in the bible?
"Jesus wept." John 11:35
I don't know your story. Our stories have yet to be written. I had almost finished this month's blog. I only had a few thoughts to write down. I felt a tug to go pray for a friend which I did. I came back, logged onto my site and the whole editing piece was gone; I was completely locked out with only a blank, empty, new screen. Nobody could retrieve it. After days with the company, it was finally restored. It was, however, a good lesson. Am I willing to loose every word I have written over the past year?
I am very human. I don't want to give up everything (or anything) and there lies the challenge. Jesus doesn't ask us to give up the small leftovers we would have laid down anyways but the very heart of our lives. When we give up our control, our plans, our ideas and our dreams, we are only left with the humble, scrambled, messy pieces of ourselves. In our weakness, He can speak to us and in that whispered intimacy we begin to hear of the sacrifice that was made on our behalf. It is only after I have surrendered everything that I have the ability to write, or help, or pray, or feel joy, or to love.
Jesus is about the relationship. Maybe you have only heard about the religion. 1) You need other believers to point you to the hope they have but 2) you are the one that needs to take the time and the willingness to give up everything. He has a message for you and you alone. It is not a "cookie-cutter, one-size fits all" message but one where He knows you by name. Our culture embraces an ideology where "everyone gets a trophy" rather than everyone needing a savior. Our time is fleeting; where will you place your trust?
"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change this world"
-Dead Poet's Society
The seeds that would become the original band members for the Eagles began in 1971 at a summer concert at Disneyland. Linda Ronstadt, having recruited Glen Frey & Don Henley (who were acquaintances from the Troubadour in Los Angeles) as well as Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon as studio musicians for an album she was working on, backed her up at a July concert at Disneyland. After the gig, the four decided to join together to form a new band, Eagles. The name is said to have come from a conversation that Leadon had with the band members when he recalled reading of the reverence the Hopi Indians had for the Eagle.
The Eagles were one of the most successful bands in the 1970's. They released their first album in 1972 and their last in 1979 but it was their fifth album, Hotel California (released 1976) that brought them their most commercial success. It was the first album to feature Joe Walsh. It was among the highest selling albums in the United States and is ranked 37th in Rolling Stone's list of the "500 best albums of all time". Amid some controversy, the band broke up but reunited to produce a seventh album in 2007 and continues to tour today.
Why this song? "Freedom, oh freedom, well that's just some people talking. Your prison is walking through this world all alone."
That is a lyric from this song. The truth is you, and you alone, have a choice. Open the gate to love. There is a savior that knows you by name.
What is the rock you hold on to?
Info found in Discogs & Wikepedia
A person who searches for depth and beauty in the simple things.