Thursday, November 26, 2009

No More Blackberries

I have been rolling around in my mind this one piece life that Ann talks about. Joy posted about the divided life this week bringing it to my attention again. If only I had a brain that didn't forget and a heart that didn't stray.

I started blogging and writing to record, reflect and remember the gospel in everyday life. It wasn't until about 7 years ago that I understood the gospel in its entirety even after being a Christian for almost 12 years. I had heard only part of the gospel. The cross was not central, it was my ticket to salvation but not my sustenance for daily life.

As I have grown in the gospel, doctrine has become my friend. The sound teachings of God's truth are an ever faithful and safe companion in life's ups and downs. What I am finding as time goes on, is there is more to this then just doctrine and clear truth. Not an addition to the truth but a widening of it. There is a beauty to the gospel that I have not seen so clearly. I have been equipped with truth, with sound thinking (most of the time and not perfectly), and a love of His ways but there is something more. Where Ann speaks of the one seam life, the lack of divide between the scared and secular; seeing, being and worshiping in those mundane moments of life.....this is grace, beauty....the gospel in the everyday. Being thankful for THIS moment, being present right NOW. Relishing in a child's story instead of thinking about my next chore, seeing the task before me as worship instead of dread.

Tonight I had a small glimpse. As I cleaned plates after dinner I was overwhelmed with gratefulness over those four dirty forks and plates. My cleaning them meant we were full, my children are here with me.....they are content and laughing in the other room. Beauty in the mess and dirt of life.

These moments are few and far between. That I see clearly the gift of God's goodness and grace in the mundane repetitious moments of life. I long for more of asking to see more often and more clearly. For the gospel, for truth to run so clean and fresh through my life that there is no sacred and secular....that all would be worship.

I can know all I want about doctrine and the word. But living it out and the application of it is where life gets ugly. Finding the beauty and grace in each day, in each moment is making things mesh between what I know, how I live and who He is.

This particular part of Ann's post struck me:

Too often I fear I miss the burning bushes and just eat blackberries.

“Earth is crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God;
but only he who sees takes off his shoes.
The rest sit around it and Pluck blackberries.”
~Elizabeth Barret Browning

Do I see the presence of an ever-present God in the now and take off my shoes? Or do I sit around eating blackberries, oblivious to the holy ground of this moment?

Exasperated, I raise my voice to holler for kids to come... and stuff my mouth with blackberries. As I mutter over mittens and boots dropped at the back door, I tear the seamless weave. As I lecture in disgust over beds unmade, juice runs from my mouth, dripping on the torn scraps of my life. Do I not think that God is here, present with me? Do I forget that this moment is worship, as meaningful as Sunday morning in the sanctuary? Why do I rip up the fabric of my life, tearing God into a scrap there, so I might do as I please in this fragment here? Sunday mornings find me unfolding my seamless white prayer shawl, spreading it over bowed head.

I yearn to be done with the insidious plucking of blackberries off burning bushes. They stain the white of one pieces. I desire to live bare foot: all is holy ground. Time to forsake the scissors and give up cutting and piecing. I am taken with the wonder of white stitches on seamless white cloth.

With a one piece shawl wrapping me, I set out for a one piece life.

Reading the entire post is well worth your time.


mamabear said...

A beautiful post. Thank you!

I used to comment here under the name of Pam--now using Christine.

Mrs. Nepper said...


Thank you for this post. I quite appreciated your thoughts. Although I do have to admit, a good blackberry really is divine!