Skip to main content

goodbye and white

This afternoon I signed my name a few times, and so did Dean, and we are no longer home owners. This morning one of my close friends, who had been staying with us for a week as she was between places, left to journey back to her family in B.C. She is leaving her life in Montreal, not sure whether she will return or not. It has been a day of goodbyes, goodbyes that leave one hanging, as none of us know quite where we will land next. This place can be unsettling or it can help me focus - my choice.

Tonight I have 3 more house guests coming. Tomorrow I have an event where I am acting as producer/set-up person/refreshment coordinator/public relations/host. Saturday we look at some condos downtown, then head away for a quick meeting and a bit of a getaway at our friends' cottage up north. Next week I will start sorting and packing. Life is clumping up again, as it tends to do when change is imminent. Like labour pains, there usually seems to be increased activity and stress just before the birth of something new in our lives. It is a pattern I readily recognise by now and even embrace. The increased pressure makes me stop and ask God for help, it reminds me that only a few things are truly important, and it offers me the opportunity to mature in many areas, specifically grace (oh, how I hate being a whiner and complainer and fault-finder at times like these) and trust (relax, this really is out of your hands to a large extent and either you mean what you say when you talk about God providing for you or you don't).

I had a dream last week in which I was working with some young and energetic creative souls on an ad campaign. They presented an idea for an all-white ad and I immediately understood what they were trying to accomplish and thought the idea was brilliant. Not every one was convinced, so I explained it to the people who were hesitant, namely the bosses. The concept was simple. Everything in the ad, whether it was a photo or video or any other visual, was white, totally white. The thing we were trying to sell was then placed in the all-white setting and naturally, every eye was drawn toward it, no matter how small it was in the picture or how much in the background it served. The idea was not to make the product appear bigger and better than it was (like so many ads do), but to place the object in a natural setting, removing all the distractions so that the focus was on it alone. Like I said, brilliant!

I need a giant white paintbrush in my life. Not to attempt to erase any of its parts, but to tone down all those bits that take more attention than they merit and blur my vision with busyness. I need all those distractions to fade into the background so that I can truly focus on the beauty and simplicity and awesome, sometimes small but always bright, nature of this life I have been given.

What do I want my life to point to? What do I want others to see first when they glance at me and my situation? Everything else must become white.

This is the view from my backyard...for now.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---
Moooooooo!!

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …