Jimmy missed two days of school last week, sick to the point of (he was pretty sure) death. It turned out to be a migraine, and it really was awful. After forty-eight hours and a strong dose of magical pain meds from Urgent Care, the boy was starting to feel himself, and he decided to attempt a soccer practice. He came home face glowing from sweat and an ear-to-ear grin. “I’m a-LIVE!!!” He was back from the dead, no doubt about it.
Contrast can be invigorating.
I’ve experienced a bit of aliveness in my own soul lately. Maybe it’s spring, or back-to-back vacations, or family feeling like family again. My heart feels lighter and the birds are singing.
To be fair I need to give some credit where it’s due. God’s YES has been generous, no doubt about that, either. I’d been begging Him for a good long time to give back to my soul some things it’d been missing. And He did it. Amen.
All the way to the southern tip of Florida and back I dabbled with a road-trip project. A scrapbook of sorts, and maybe to boys it looked like Mom was obsessed with some serious work, but in truth – I was playing. No pressure and no goals. (Nothing like the photo projects hanging over my head with a 2-for-1 grad party looming large.) Twenty-eight hours times-two, and the whole way I cut things out and glued things on and wrote things down and it was nothing but pleasure.
We march when we were made to dance. I wrote this quote on a fun little tag and tucked it inside a pocket. Becky L. – February 2017.
She was talking about Christians. Us church people who forget who we are and the reason God made us. All our intentions and motivations telling us to DO THIS and BE THAT. When really we’re made to be dancing with HIM.
It was Dekker’s point, too, and his Forgotten Way quotes are strewn throughout my little binder, written by hand on scraps of coloring book pages. (One of those adult versions, which seemed so perfect for passing road-trip time, until I came to the certain conclusion that car-ride coloring makes me feel like puking.) I digress.
Open your arms and release all that you mistakenly thought would give you value in this world. See your chains falling, and feel yourself rising in new life.*
My dear friend Angie and I were about halfway through Dekker’s book when she sent me this text:
!!!!!!! (it started like that…) i am literally lol as i am trying to repeat some of the scripture truths out loud…how could i have missed this before!!!??!!
The entire text message was longer than this. It’s all there and embellished on one of my pages – part of my play, but it’s also IMPORTANT.
THIS is God’s YES in the happiest way.
Angie and I have spent the past going-on-eight years drinking coffee together every couple of weeks. All this time, and it took until now for THIS to happen. She’d been reading Ephesians (my scripture memory… these quotes, too, filling scrapbook pages.)
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us ALIVE with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God RAISED US UP with Christ and SEATED US WITH HIM in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the INCOMPARABLE RICHES OF HIS GRACE, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the GIFT of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9 NIV. EMPHASIS mine.)
WE ARE A-LIVE!!!!
*The Forgotten Way, p. 201