Learning the New Dance Steps

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp” (Anne Lamott).

Man, is that ever true. I’ve known a lot of people lately who are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, grieving the passing of a loved one.

No matter how young or old, how healthy or sick, however near or far they are, you’re never quite ready to say that final earthly goodbye. In the end, you’re always greedy for a little more time.

But you know that in Christ that death is not forever and the grave is not final. Hope has the final say. Jesus will have the final word. Just as He called 4-day old smelly Lazarus, wrapped up like a mummy from head to toe, from the tomb, so will He one day speak the name of that loved one to rise forevermore from the grave. One day, He will call you by your own name.

That won’t be the end. That will be the real and true beginning.

 

And now for something completely different. . . and random . . .

Greekfest2013

Here are some thoughts I had on the way home from the Greek Festival.

1) As I was watching the Greek dancing, a little voice in my head said, “You don’t learn to dance by watching other people dance. You learn to dance by dancing.” And every dance starts with taking that dreaded first step. You don’t learn to live by watching other people live; you learn to live by living– taking risks, learning from failure, and laughing at yourself. You don’t learn faith by reading about it or studying the meanings of the various words used for faith in the Bible, you learn by trusting (or “faith”-ing”) God. By a moment by moment declaration of surrender and trust in God.

2) As my favorite philosopher, Ferris Beuller, said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop every once in a while and look around, you could miss it.” If you are all about living life and warp speed, you miss all the little things that make life worth living. Take time to smell a rose or watch a mother play with her newborn or marvel at a sunrise or breath in the night air. Wherever you are, just be in the moment. Just be. Find a quiet secluded spot and listen for that Still Small Voice that spoke worlds into existence.

3) I’m borrowing this from a friend. The next time you are tempted to get aggrevated or irritated at something or someone, ask yourself one question (not “Do ya feel lucky, punk?”). Ask, “Is this something that Jesus died for?” Did Jesus die to make traffic move more smoothly, or to make the office copier operate jam-free, or to make all people nicer? Then why do those things make me angry. No, wait. They don’t make me angry. Nothing can make me do anything, but I choose to be angry. And I can choose not to be. Jesus died not for the deserving, but for the very undeserving, of which I am one. If I want to be like Jesus, I need to show grace toward the people that cut me off in traffic, the copiers that won’t copy, and the meanies of the world.

4) Remember that no matter how hard it is to love someone who has hurt you or let you down, God showed that such love is possible. True love will never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up on anyone at any time, because God never, never, never, never. . . .etc. . . . gave up on us. True love, or agape love, is impossible, but I have learned that God is really good at making the impossibles into possibilities. So love each other like your life depended on it. Love like you want to be love. Love like God has loved you. Let God love you and love through you.

As always, I believe. Help my unbelief. Make me a vessel through which You can pour out love to a world desperately in need of it. My life, whether I live one more day, or 100 more years, is in Your hands.