Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Little Seeds, Eternal Harvest

Little Seeds
by Melissa Campbell

Who can understand the everlasting,
The going on from earth-bound to forever,
The breaking free from time and space?

And who can comprehend,
How the life in a seed so small,
Can yield itself in death,
To bring the greater glory?

Who understands the love of a Father,
Who considers suffering a badge of honor,
And gives His Son as sacrifice?

And how do we adjust,
To the inevitable, bitter-sweet release,
That comes too soon for some,
Snuffing rhythmic breath,
Cutting off all glory seen,
Replacing hopes and dreams,
With fading memories,
And raging grief?

And how do we explain,
The slow delay of healing,
The painful stretch of waiting,
Lingering, watching,
A body once healthy, perfect,
Struggle to remain,
Knowing someday it will betray us,
And leave us gasping for breath?

Death leaves an empty place that no one can fill...

...but God.

In the depth of our pain, He meets us.
When there seems to be no way, He moves us on.
In the darkness, He shines hope,
'Till we have nothing left but holding on.
God takes our senseless suffering,
The ugly mess of dying,
And makes something holy, beautiful,
Eternal, Divine.

Our God is a raging fire,
And He has given us the choice,
Will we shine like stars in the universe,
Or burn with eternal regret?

The answer lies in how we choose to live now.
Will we hold on to our lives,
Or lay them down,
As they were meant to be...

...holy given, little seeds?

Can we learn to let go,
And discover great grace, 
More than enough to overcome, 
To make it through, 
To become the dream of God fulfilled...

...His Sons and Daughters, 
Full of beauty, full of glory?

With Christ we can.  
All He asks is that we dare to believe, 
And look within, 
Not to ourselves, 
But to Him--the Beautiful One, 
And our Hope of glory.  

"Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal."

~Jesus, to his disciples, John 12:24-25, The Message

I pulled this poem from the archives today in honor of my farmer friends who have a burden to plant and grow seeds, both physical and spiritual, and for all our loved ones who have gone and will go before us. 
The world is chaotic.  Fear of death threatens to overwhelm us. But God is in our midst.  He sees. He knows. He cries our tears. He has the victory! And He has called us to lay down our lives. There is greater glory in knowing Jesus Christ. The head of the enemy has been crushed beneath His feet, and ours as well.  Death no longer has a hold on us.  We are dead to sin and alive to God in Jesus Christ.

"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
~Paul, to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 (NIV)

Little Seeds, arise, shine, for your light has come!  Blessings always.

I am joining my sweet friend, Jen, and the beautiful women of the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood @ Finding Heaven.  Come share the love and inspiration! (Click here to join us.)

Photo Credit: flickr - Darren Shilson

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dancing in the Mine Fields

I was 15 when I first met my husband, stomach all flutter with butterflies as I frantically looked for a seat in our high school cafeteria.  He was a senior, and I, an insecure freshman taking advanced math. 
For nine months we shared a table, cafeteria burgers and fries, friends -- the guys, his, the girls, mine -- and lots and lots of laughs. 
He had a way of looking at me with those sky blue eyes, trusting, hopeful, like a puppy dog, and at the same time, full of wild adventure, like he knew something I didn't.  His sense of humor and corny jokes drew me in, a moth to the flame. 
I fell gentle, laughing, warm in the arms of love.  Dreamed dreams.  Stole his favorite Pitt hat at a youth retreat, and kept it, hidden treasure.  He took my heart and did the same.
We didn't start dating until a year later.  On the way home from a football game, our cheeks still cold and apple red from the autumn air, he stopped his Dad's old Pontiac in the middle of a dirt road and kissed me full on the lips, so warm.  I melted, got lost in something I had never tasted before, something so sweet and pure and full of promise.  He didn't know it, but I promised him forever that September night. 

It took several years for happily-ever-after to become official.  Last month we celebrated our 27th year, just the two of us, sharing a table at our favorite restaurant, holding hands, loving each other with words and laughter.  We decided not to buy gifts.  It was enough just to be together.

It hasn't always been marital bliss.  In life's journey we have battled some wicked storms, weathered seasons where a weaker love would have shattered and lay broken, awash in regret.  But here we are, still dancing, still holding on to each other in the midst of "the mine fields," and that says so much...  Of my husband's strength of character.  Of the holy of our union.  Of the healing balm of laughter.  Of the amazing grace God has given.  I give thanks.
Today, and everyday, I want my husband to know how much I treasure his love (more than his hats.)  I want him to see how I value his commitment and faithfulness, his willingness to lay his life down for me and the girls.  I want him to hear me still laughing with him as he jokes.  I want him to feel, as we grow old together, that I have given him the best of me. 
I listened to this song by Andrew Peterson on a friend's blog today (Thank you for the inspiration, April!)  It is our story.  And maybe yours as well.

I'm posting this in honor of my hubby, my love, my best friend.  Here's to many more years of being held in your arms, living, laughing, loving.  Happy Belated Anniversary.  I love you!

To listen, pause the SoundClick play-list at the right.  Then click on the arrow above.  Enjoy.

Photo Credit:  flickr - Tim Parkinson