Flexible Boundaries

A new box of crayons—the smell, the colors—pure joy.  Each one perfectly wrapped and marked with glorious names like forest green, aquamarine and azure blue.  With coloring books spread out in front of me, I sigh.  Yes, a perfect sigh of contentment and bliss.  It doesn’t get any better than this, UNTIL …

Out of the corner of my eye, I see her.  Sister number 1.  The perfect one who can do no wrong.  I can’t help myself; I have to look.  Her picture doesn’t look like mine.  I avert my eyes but like a bad train wreck, I can’t help but take a look back.  I sigh.  Not the earlier sigh of contentment and bliss … for my 5-year old ego was deflating fast.

Her coloring page—magnificent beyond compare.  Every color selected with care, complementary hues harmonizing throughout. But here’s the thing that really stood out:  She outlined every color with a solid black line in a way that made her picture look, well … like beautiful stained glass.  Sigh.  (Do I hear the angels sing?)

So, what can I do but try it, too?  I dig deep for the lonely black crayon (unused and still perfectly sharpened) and carefully, I trace a solid black line around every color on the page.  After way too long, I sit back on my knees to admire my “stained glass”. And, sigh. No contentment–no bliss; and definitely no angels to be heard.

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Give me flexible boundaries—no hard, black-lines for me, please.  Joy, freedom and creativity flow best when I’m free from the opinions of men.  It’s not easy—especially as a person of faith (everyone has an opinion when it comes to religion).  But I choose not to hide behind a stained-glass life when it comes to living my faith.   

“Come now, and let us reason together”, says the LORD to me (as good and as bad as the next).  And we talk together outside of man’s stained-glass (so easily shattered by stones).  You see, it’s easy to manage sinful behavior safely hidden behind religion’s confines.  But what if instead we learn to manage our freedom outside of those safe black lines?

Love & Peace,

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

Inspirare: To Breathe

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The word inspire inspires me.  I breathe in its meaning…

“From the Latin inspirare, meaning to breathe or blow into. Originally used of a divine or supernatural being in the sense of imparting a truth or idea.”

“Fascinating”, pipes the voice of the flutist within me.

In a moment, I am back on the White Mountain reservation—an invited guest of a friend known and loved by this Apache tribe.

The former Chairman speaks, “Dagot’ee”.  Welcome.  He continues in his native language, a word in English here and there for my benefit, I imagine, as he addresses his people.

He invites me to speak.  I don’t speak Apache.  They don’t speak English.  Curious Apache faces gazing hard into my uncertainty.

Deep breath.

Inspiration comes…I pick up my flute and blow.

And the Ruach of God translates. And His people are inspired.

 Ruach, a Hebrew word for the Spirit of God, translated spirit, breath, or wind by the Hebrew sages.

Air put into motion by divine breath, the sage in me translates.  Poetic and creative.  Life-giving Spirit breath that speaks.

Aslan, the great lion king of Narnia and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea in the storybook knows the Ruach.

What an extraordinary place!” cried Lucy.  “All those stone animals–and people too! It’s–it’s like a museum.”

“Hush”, said Susan, “Aslan’s doing something.”

Aslan breathes the breath of life upon the creatures turned to stone by the evil witch. And something wonderful happens.  “Everywhere the statues were coming to life”.

Breath that brings life into the extraordinary museums of our lives—those hidden places where nothing is really lost, only waiting to be rediscovered.

On the branches of the willow trees, we hung our harps and hid our hearts from the enemy”, pens the psalmist.   Yet, we can rest assured that the breath of life will  blow again upon life’s willows.  And when it does, we rediscover what has never really been lost, as we take up our harps and play, born again unto a living hope.

Now, hush…for the Ruach of God is doing something. His breath is ever-moving; breathing life in you and through you.  And by the divine breath of His Spirit, He moves.  He imparts.  He speaks.  He inspires.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  Genesis 2:7 (KJV)

Inspired Sight

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I don’t want to be a slave to what I see with my natural sight.  Spirit, not substance, determines what it is I am to see, to know, and to understand.

Practicing today to hear with my eyes—the eyes of my heart, that is.  When I hear with my heart’s eyes, everything around becomes a little brighter, a little clearer and filled with possibilities.  And this only comes by living life from the inside out.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened …” Ephesians 1:18 (NIV, The Holy Bible).