Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Talking with God

God and I often communicate in hushed conversation as I go about the business of the work at hand. Something I've noticed in all the years of our relationship is that he often whispers to me through snatches of songs that play in a seemingly random way in my head.

For the last couple of days I've woken up with a Patty Griffin song (from her 1,000 Kisses album) in my head. The line that plays over and over says, "Strange how hard it rains now/rows and rows of big dark clouds..."

Puttering around in my jammies this morning, getting my kids fed and ready and off to school, I wondered to God about that line. Yes, I have been feeling significant sadness in the last couple of days. It stems from the sense of being misunderstood by long time friends that we love dearly. These are people who are very important in our lives, people who mean a lot to us. And I just feel sad. The sadness feels like rain.

The "rows and rows of big dark clouds" hover closely as well. I look ahead at all that needs to be done and the thousands and thousands of dollars that need to be raised in order to get us functioning in ministry in Africa again. Yes, it all feels like rows of big dark clouds. Not imminent danger, but heaviness.

I paused at the back of the kitchen looking out the window at the deep clarity of a blue sky. "God, have you lost your mind?" I asked. (I'm very sorry if you don't think I should talk to Him that way. I'm just being honest. I just have to ask if He's really got this plan all thought out.)

The next song that came to my mind is a Brian Houston song off of his 35 Summers album. "I said why'd You have to give me such impossible dreams/He said I like to make dreams come true..."

That's basically what my question about God's mind was all about. I was resenting that we have these huge dreams that we feel so strongly are God-given. But it really looked to me like His eyes sparkled as He responded with that "I like to make dreams come true" line.

This idea of impossible dreams took my mind to something I heard Lyndall Bywater say in Dresden last year. (Lyndal is in leadership with the Salvation Army in England and when she speaks, we all stop in our tracks.) Lyndall said that if we're not doing something so big and impossible that we can't even get out of bed in the morning without God, then we're not doing anything worth doing.


The memory of her words rebuked my softly. I have been longing for this place. I know how it feels to be desperately aware of how much I need God, to be dreaming such wild dreams in impossible times that it almost feels like just breathing throws me at His feet. And I had been missing this place.

Now I am here and I am sad?

I wrapped Heather's cut apples and carrots and placed them in her lunch.

As I moved on to Colin's lunch I heard myself singing, "For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth OVER AND AROUND US LIES, Lord of all to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise."

I smiled to myself at the place the Lord had brought me to as I did early morning chores in conversation with Him. I wouldn't say the sadness or the feelings of being overwhelmed have gone away, but I am aware of a covering of love, a goodness and a mercy that follow me all the days of my life.

I feel grateful and praiseful for God who sings to me.


lammert vrieling said...

hi lisa, sounds so familiar... we have wondered a lot whether God was crazy, we are, or perhaps all of us...

Your friends words about dreaming big are very true, but boy it can feel heavy on our shoulders every now and then... particularly when we feel it is on us.

jesse said...

mom...keep writing more and more. hit me again in this post that you write beautifully!

Baba said...

Oh Lisa, How I wish I could give you a big warm hug right now... I can picture you singing...I can picture you making Heathers and Colin's lunch... and I totally picture you asking God if He lost his mind :-) I'm at my sister's house in her little and cozy prayer room (it's the only place now with internet outside of her bedroom :-) )...I'm uploading pictures for my blog and I was longing for something familiar around me... so I decided to check your blog which I haven't got the time to check for soooo long...
(it still didn't hit me that you'll not be in Lisbon when I go there tomorrow :-/ )
you have such a gentle way to describe your feelings...just like you:-)... and as I was reading I started to identify so much with what you wrote...
I feel I'm facing the same feelings (in a smaller scale maybe)... the challenge of jumping from a high cliff simply trusting that I'll not get hurt... the adventure of the unknown...
you know I'm a dreamer...I can't help it :-)... but when I start thinking too much in details I might feel discouraged... so I rather skip that... :-)
I 've been feeling this unexplainable peace about this new season that is coming...so many challenges, so many unknown things... but still I don't really care... I feel so secure and sure that all things will work out somehow...sometimes I even wonder if I'm not being responsible... but I guess when we walk in faith, we have to walk in faith :-/...does it make sense?!!
It's weird to feel like this , but I feel good...
I totally feel the same as you...I long for that place where I'm desperately in need of God... Maybe It's risky to say this, but I wanna be in a place where I can only depend on God... and where I will see Him more and experience Him more... It's maybe like those people who like radical sports to make them feel the adrenaline... It's like the more we see God moving, the more we want to see... and I guess each experience God gives us is just to train us for the next :-) Does it make sense ?!!!
And I know you guys will see great things and experience great things... and that will be a witness for those who don't understand you now... and maybe some will never get it... so what !!! (sorry for that though...I know it hurts when we're not understood by those we love)
I admire you a lot for all I know that you did and for all you are doing now... it all comes from WHO YOU ARE, and you can't help it but doing exactly what you're doing, right?!!! :-)...

I've been having this song in my mind during all this trip
"God will make a way, where it seams to be no way"
:-) ... I like that !!! May it speak to you as well...


Be at PEACE... TRUST HIM !!!

Rachel said...

Just as an interesting note: Patty Griffin's most recent album is called "Impossible Dream." Cheers to the God of impossible dreams...may He ever increase our faith.

lisa said...

Rachel, that's crazy! I love it!