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words and pictures

This past week (and month and a half, actually) has been so crazy busy for me, that I have not had a lot of time to think, contemplate, and have long conversations with God. I miss that. But with a lot of reading to do, lectures to prepare and give, papers to write, several more meetings a week than last term, papers to grade, and being present for my friends and Dean...well, there aren't many words left in my head that don't relate to a paper or project that I am working on.

There are fewer words between Father and daughter, fewer words between Friend and be-friended, less words between Lover and beloved, but there are still words. The conversations I have these days with God are shorter, simpler, perhaps more direct, but also more gracious and overtly invitational. And they basically come down to 3 phrases that I hear over and over again.

1. Do you trust me with that? This is what I hear every time I start to think about situations that are out of my control, that are not what I wish they were. Situations where something went wrong or is about to go wrong, or where I feel wronged. Do you trust me with that? I relax my shoulders, sigh, and say, "Yes."
2. You can ask me to help you with that. This phrase quietly inserts itself into my frantic thoughts when I am trying to figure out how to tackle a large project, approach a paper, prepare a lecture, how to wrap my head around a new and complex situation, or how to respond to tricky personal interaction. You can ask me to help you with that. I stop the crazy zoo in my head and ask. I ask for a partner, someone with much more clarity and better ideas. God, what do you think we should do here?
3. Don't be afraid, I am right here. This reassuring phrase comes randomly throughout the day. When I am overwhelmed, when I lack confidence, when I would rather run away from responsibility, when I am tempted to be silent instead of speak up, when I am confronted by something unexpected and intimidating. A large, looming sense of strong Love, much like a grizzly bear slowly raising itself on its hind legs, brushes itself up against me and makes its presence known. Don't be afraid, I am right here. I know I am safe.
There may be fewer words these days, but there are a lot of pictures. Here are a few from the past Thanksgiving weekend we spent with friends in Ontario.
photo one: purple flowers in the field
photo two: Ball's Falls.
photo three: yummy turkey just after it came out of the oven
photo four: looking out of the cellar in an old flour mill right beside the falls

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