30 July 2006


"I want to know God's thoughts...the rest are details." -Albert Einstein

Have you ever had one of those moments? You know the kind of moments I’m talking about. The kind that hit you when you bite into a freshly baked strawberry crossant from the local bakery. Or the kind that overwhelms you when are busy working and stop to look up just in time to hear the rain start to fall and a train slice through the gray air—a dark storm blue as its only back drop. Or the kind that swells over you when you hear a long lost hymn that used to be a favorite. Or the kinds that freeze you in time—like when the sun sends its most brilliant rays of peach through your living room window just before it decides to call it a day. It’s almost like you are reminded of something you once were. Not in any mournful sense, but rather as a quiet tap on the shoulder saying “hey, don’t forget me…don’t forget where you came from.”

We, up at Elon, have been having an unusually harsh stint of storms. Not the afternoon thunderstorms that appear at the drop of a hat, and just as quickly vanish, leaving in its path an either refreshed air or a trail of the humidity of death. No, these were violent storms with the electric capability to light up a small town. It was during one of those storms that I was at work in the Sidetrack Grill. I was cleaning a table, and happened to look out through one of our side windows which are rounded on the top just as a freight train blew by, piercing the storm as if it was a sucker-punch by humankind against nature.

And in that moment of timelessness, there was a feeling of necessity. A necessity to be there, to witness that, to feel triumphs and defeats and tears and joy all to their fullest extent. To not simply settle for some meager passing thrill as the ultimate answer that we are all searching for, but rather delve deep beyond such moments into places where we find the sacred and mortal mingling. These places are so often whispering to us, calling us into our being while we are screaming each other deaf. How can we expect to hear the message when we refuse to listen and only find ourselves yelling about the details.

Because in the end, it’s the message that matters. Everything else is details. It fascinates me how much we fight and fingerpoint and get pissed off about the details, when, in fact, they are just that--details. The same message is true. The Resurrection gives life.

24 July 2006

In the hours just before the earth yawns into its deepest sleep, the heavens begin to sparkle with the intensity of a just-born piece of glitter multiplied infinitely--each one endless in color and singular in purpose. And in these moments of truest peace and calm, we find that the world has offered itself to us, and that it is all we can do to claim it, to own it, to love it. Because in the end, when the final votes have been tallied and the last voices heard, it was never about them in the first place. It was about us all along. For God isn't just in the magnificent, but also in the miniscule--those things which are so incredibly small and detailed and perfect that only the word magnificent could describe it. And in thoses details we find ourselves, individual and whole. Connected and uplifted. For God's existence in the magnificent and the miniscule means that God exists in us.

23 July 2006

so much that needs to be said. no way to organize it. yet.

"I'll tell you how the sun rose
A ribbon at a time..."
donald miller

11 July 2006

candles in bottles and things of that sort.

Ever since I can remember, front porches, or porches in general have played some role in my life. My early memories of porches come from my visiting my dad's family in the perfect small town of Southern charm-Crawfordville. Crawfordville, with it's one stop light and Confederate claim-to-fame home of Alexander H. Stephens (VP of the Confederacy), is a dot on the Georgia map, but full of memories. Whenever we would go visit my grandma and Aunt Jane, we would end up on a porch, rocking away, watching cars pass, and killing time.

My new front porch at the house I'm living in at Elon has a front porch. When my Aunt passed away a little over two years ago, I was lucky enough to inherit one of my Aunt's rockers. I've sat in it every day since I moved back to Elon. There is something about that motion--slow and steady and calm. I sit in that chair an am back in Crawfordville. Nothing much to do, and completely satisfied with that.

There is something about rocking that brings peace. Maybe it is the motion, maybe it is the quiet. Maybe it brings back subconscious memories of my mother rocking me to sleep.

I'm not sure exactly why it works, but when I sit on the porch, rocking, and I feel a warm breeze slide across the banisters and envelop me I feel them--Grandmas, Aunts, Uncles, Grandpas--all of them. They whisper through the woodchimes hanging above my head, quiet and calm and slightly restless. I see them blow through the windsock at then end of the long wood slats of my porch, seemingly satisfied that I'm doing alright.

I rode by a lawn that had just been cut again last night. Perfect.

It's nice to be back.



01 July 2006

cut and clean.

The Lady in Pink, as she is called, is a cashier at one of my family's favorite BBQ joints. Her title isn't as romantic as it sounds because the woman, over the years, has fallen into somewhat of a slump in the eyes of the family. To put it bluntly, she's a tad bitchy for us all. Her title isn't one of chivalrous respect, but rather of an air of "you-don't-deserve-a-name."

Now, of course, none of us really despise her. It's just that none of us have had a positive experience with her. Ever.

We were eating there tonight, and for some reason, it hit me that to some extent, we are all the lady in pink. We all have some trait or have had some interaction with someone that leaves us in a less-than-ideal situation when dealing with others.

The way we handle the ladies in pink, though, is all wrong. We are quick to see the pink shirts everyone else wears--t-shirts, tank tops, v-necks and spaghetti straps, but find it extremely difficult to see our own pink. I don't wear pink. I wear magenta. I'm not that bad, you just have to know how to take me.

No. You are that bad.

And so am I.

That's the point. In Christ, our pinks become white, bleached clean again.

On the way home, I past a lawn that had just had it's grass cut. The scent of clean green flooded the car, and I thought, just for a moment, that maybe that is what heaven smells like.