The Mist

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“A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.”

 – Anne Bronte –

Orange and gold, the fireball

Arrested my attention with light millions of miles from home.

The gold trail sneaked over the heads of the trees and fell across the lake,

Still, silent, all-brightening.

The mists started climbing the warming air,

Air convected by a distant, near, all-present flame.

Over the skin of the water, sometimes blue, gray, green,

The mists rose in columns and drifted in untraceable, rolling threads of vapor.

Sun lit across the rising, blowing cirrus wisps, and the air itself shone with glory,

Wisps that will disappear in the later heat of day.

I sat on the dock in the mist and watched the sun golden itself on the visible currents,

And I thought how life is a vapor, and my God like the sun.

Soon, my mist will blow away and shimmer free in the heat of life,

But now, while it is morning,

I will rise up and catch the Sun’s rays.

A mist with a message, I will glow in the gold of a distant, near, all-present Flame.


Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

 – John 8:12, NKJV –


An Ode to the One Who is Not a Wave

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Oh rock! immovable by the surf, immutable in the froth of change,

As I, ocean inconstant, wavering, digressing, mulling again and again, chase up and down the shore.

You glisten and glow in the dawn, undaunted by my surf, a range

Of immaculate, solid goodness, refuge to wind-tossed kites, lonely gulls’ moor,

While I, restless surface, marred goodness, toss and strain in an endless race for the sand.

 

Oh moon! drawer of my unseen depths, quickener of all my hidden things,

Wresting me in whirling tides out of stagnation–serene, wild, terrible pull.

Grace irresistible, hold unbreakable, patient hounding of all my vagrant ways,

Bring me at last to the haven, to rest, to sand-sodden home, to artful

Reflection of your dear, down-cast face, clearest copy of your beam.

 

Deepest one! a floor to my rushings, undergirder of all my stablished ways,

Erupter of steam, holder of secrets, haven to creation’s abyssal dark, conceiving the trapped-up glow

Of fire-mountains beneath my tracks; in you, my surest foundation, yawning mysteries stay

Forever deep and holy in the uncharted, unfathomed places of your beauty. I know

My own depths are upheld by your strength; your unbounded chasm is my rest.

 

Dear one! you who are not a wave, this ode proclaims your unwavering traits:

Rock to my vacillating, moon to my torpor, floor to my flood–

You my border, my crown, my surrounding. Yet, you also fill me, permeate

My every atom, warm my waters with the heat of joy; what is this wonder?

That on every side you are greater, higher, deeper: yet still you love.


 

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.”

– Psalm 139:17-18, NASB –

Dancing With the Daffodils

“And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”
– William Wordsworth –

Dancing With the Daffodil

I narrowed my eyes at a vase of faded daffodils. Faded, I say, because every petal had grown stiff and the fragrance died away and the youth seemed to pour right out of them.

“I should just throw those away.”

And then I looked more closely. The vibrant yellow still shone on the frail petals. I cradled a single stem in my hand. All the daffodils still had their heads up, embracing the light streaming through the kitchen window.

In the language of flowers, a bouquet of daffodils represents joy. Now, maybe I’m crazy to think about the life-work of daffodils, but when I cradled that crisp happiness-flower, I thought about the joy that it brought my mom when my brother presented her with a bunch of daffodils, their golden heads bobbing in glee. Surely those plucked-up flowers were bouncing with the joy of being ripped from the soil and given away as a gift.

If I dare to go on in my speculations on the personality of a daffodil, I just know that a daffodil loves to smile. How could it not smile? It pushed through half-frozen dirt and slushy ice only to pop its head out and cry, “Spring! Look!” Its canary rays stretch and its little yellow Sunday bonnet quivers in the chilly wind—a wind that can’t quite decide whether to usher in spring or prolong the winter. The daffodil stretches its thin green neck as high as it can and lifts its bright face to the sun, basking in its Creator’s glory. It stands like a lighthouse, lone and erect in the winter’s deadness.

It’s a lot like the joy we are called to, joy in the midst of tribulation. The stand of the daffodil on a frozen hill is our stand. I am memorizing the words of Matthew:

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

– Matthew 5:14-16, NKJV –

The true Light is now shining, sisters. And we “are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10). Maybe you feel the frozen ground cutting you, so you can’t find the strength to rejoice. What is the secret?

Fix your gaze on the Son of righteousness. Dwell on the One who died that you might live. Remember the Savior that “ever lives and pleads” for you at God’s right hand (from the song “Before the Throne of God Above). For the darkness is past and the true light now shines (1 John 2:8).

Behold the Light and dance on the hill.

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”

– Helen Keller –