somewhere to elsewhere

Bloged in worship by rod Monday March 31, 2008



somewhere to elsewhere

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

We’ve all, at some point, or even quite frequently, felt awkward, outside our element, like fish out of water. Perhaps most of us have an “in here” and “out there” view of the world. We will tend to keep ourselves within our comfort zones whenever possible.
It is also quite possible that our comfort zone is in no way physical. Maybe we are happiest in a “what if” world, or a “someday” era. Maybe regardless of where we find ourselves physically, even in a collision of contexts, in a surrealistic juxtaposition of environment, our hearts and minds are yet elsewhere. We find ourselves no more or less comfortable in any situation because our hopes and dreams transcend the situation.
Like all things in life there is a balance upon which healthy life is maintained. To live continually beyond our context breeds denial, delusion, decay, and many other words that start with d, as well as others, such as “insular.” To seize the day and live in the moment while dreaming beyond is to find your joy and meaning in something larger than circumstance. This allows for small rewards, simple pleasures, and shared happiness in the now, and hope beyond hope in the what is to come.
I am learning to be content in whatever the circumstances. And though I may desire to be elsewhere, it may be important that I stick around for the moment.

behind the tears

Bloged in worship by rod Monday March 24, 2008



behind the tears

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

Ya know how when you look at a wonderful photograph on flickr, and your heart composes poetry, or sings a song, or ponders existential conundrums? Isn’t it fascinating when more than your eyes are touched by a photograph?
That’s how Spring is for me.
Ya know how when you take a familiar lengthy trip and measure distance traveled and distance to go by familiar landmarks along the way? It may be towns, silos, potty breaks, but we tend measure our journey by pre-arrivals rather than time or distance. That’s how spring is for me.
One travels through February dreading the last few cold nights. Along the side of the road a robin is spotted. - the first landmark. A bit further, a daffodil, then the Bradford Pears, the azaleas, the dogwoods, until eventually, the greatest moment of all – Wisteria’s dripping purple tears.
The paradox of spring centers on new birth and blossoming life. But no birth comes without pain, not even a re-birth, perhaps especially not a re-birth. Great pangs are endured before the dormancy of winter is overcome and the first buds are put forth. Death has been endured, and being reborn requires great fortitude and pain.
Wisteria paints this picture for me, and on the day that I spot the first purple tear, I inevitably shed a tear myself. It is so much more than beautiful. I could never presume that my blessings were without cost.
Purple blessings in falling tears.

He is Risen!

Bloged in worship by rod Sunday March 23, 2008



He is Risen!

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

Alleluia!

full paschal

Bloged in worship by rod Sunday March 23, 2008



full paschal

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

in the light of the paschal moon, all things are reborn, made new, resurrected.
If you look closely at the tiny, wispy branches silhouetted on the moon, you’ll see that they are pushing in the pangs of labor to birth new life, tomorrow they will begin to flood the yard with green life.

lenten inventory: focus

Bloged in worship by rod Saturday March 22, 2008



lenten inventory: focus

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

the things of earth will grow strangely dim

lenten inventory: hands

Bloged in worship by rod Thursday March 20, 2008



lenten inventory: hands

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

we are better together

what’s a fella to do?

Bloged in worship by rod Wednesday March 19, 2008



what’s a fella to do?

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

If you’ve ever been in love with a 44 year-old woman, then you know exactly how exciting and frustrating it is. You know the frustration of trying to find the right words to express your twitterpation while your tongue is tied or stuck to the roof of your mouth. Of course your mouth is dry because all your saliva has been distributed to the palms of your hands, which are so wet that you accidentally wipe them on your knees, and she thinks you’ve been kneeling in a puddle.
That’s what it’s like to be in love with a 44 year-old woman. This was a totally new experience for me this morning. I had no idea what it would be like. But those of you in know, you relate to what I’m talking about. Heart palpitations, shortness of breath, weak legs, trouble standing, slight vertigo, inability to focus thoughts, blurred vision, olfactory hallucinations, tinnitus.

And what about the irrational urge to compose verse?

Magnolias are white
Susans are yellow
This poem is dumb
I’m a fool of a fellow

Roses are red
Violets are blue,
Gardenias smell lovely
And you are pretty

Have you ever tried to go to work while you’re in love with a 44 year-old woman?
“Dr. Rod why are you staring at the dust ball in the corner of the classroom?”
“huh? Wha -? Oh, I’m sorry, so can any of you quote for me ?? definition of love?”
“huh? Wha -? What’s wrong Dr. Rod? This is music theory.”

What about grading papers?

“uh, Dr. Rod, why are all my wrong answers marked with little red hearts? Did your wife turn 44 or something?”

I’m telling you, this business is not a bed of roses, though a bed of roses is often part of the eternal fantasy. This is no walk in the park, though that is often the prelude to the bed of roses scenario. And in this state of being, if one were actually to happen upon a bed of roses, he’d only fall on the thorns. This is a tough state of affairs, I tell you.
I honestly thought this stuff would wane each year as I gazed with glazing eyes upon my aging, wrinkling, sagging woman. But reality has proven otherwise. She hasn’t aged, she hasn’t wrinkled, and she hasn’t sagged. And just when I’ve matured enough to look beyond the beautiful surface and more deeply understand her inner beauty, the superficial surface has become so much more distracting. Sheesh.
What’s a fellow to do?

lenten inventory: vapor

Bloged in worship by rod Wednesday March 19, 2008



lenten inventory: vapor

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

This morning at school, Will’s friend Gabby was called out of class to learn that her father had just died in a car crash. How does a 14 year-old girl cope with such heartbreak? How does a mother stay strong for her children?
This is tragedy that can NOT be faced alone.
How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?
Your life is like the morning fog—
it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
How frail is humanity!
How short is life, how full of trouble
We blossom like a flower and then wither.
Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.

Lenten Inventory: the glass is half full

Bloged in worship by rod Tuesday March 18, 2008



Lenten Inventory: the glass is half full

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

Waxing or Waning?
The optimist says, “waxing,” and he is right.
The realist says, “but it will wane,” and he is right.
But we all know it will wax again.

Though the sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning.

Lent inventory: jars of clay

Bloged in worship by rod Sunday March 16, 2008



Lent inventory: jars of clay

Originally uploaded by rod lewis

This is how I envision Allison and me 30 years from now. A team, we are. A duet.
You know, it took a lot of years before both of us realized that we were a team – harmony, one to the other. When we figured it out, a lot of years were gone. It takes another “lot of years” not to see them as wasted years. But these years are prep for the rest.
I think this is probably the story of every couple. I’d even be arrogant enough to say, if you don’t believe this, you’ve probably not figured it out yet. It is a miracle that any couple lasts long enough to figure it out. I realize that.
So, I figure 30 years down the road, we’ll still be figuring things out. We’ll be more dependent on one another, on things unseen, on faith. We’ll still be jars of clay, becoming more and more fragile.
More brittle, but less bitter.
More dry, but less thirsty.
More cracked, but less broken.
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; instead, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

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