Saturday, October 25, 2008

End of a Drought?


Last year, more or less around this time of year, I took an intentional hiatus from the blog. Such was not the case this year. Mostly it away from me. That and, truth be told, I needed to develop more of a habit of doing other things first, which is good. So the time away hasn't been all bad. Still, I've missed it, unlike during my time away last year. Doubt that anyone lost any sleep over my absence, but I apologize for so abruptly bowing out without warning nonetheless...

I'll put the Psalm underneath this so the "Reading Order" stays convenient for the two of you out there who so kindly have kept me clinging to (no doubt) the bottom of your RSS feeds...

Let's see...Kate is walking. More of a cross between stomping and Johnny Depp, Capt. Jack Sparrow sauntering. Saying Mommy, Papi, Hopey and various other sundry family names, plus familiar household words. Baby signs, once again, have proven invaluable. Potty training has begun, and there was great rejoicing.

Hope, I swear, has a redneck streak in 'er. Cleaning up one afternoon in our open-concept kitchen, I hear a phrase (which I had not taught my daughter) that will send chills up and down the spine of any southern father "in the know," a phrase you hope never to hear from your progeny:

"Hey, y'all, watch this!"

(Good things seldom follow this phrase, and, with the passage of the years and attaining of drinking age (14-16 years in some southern locales), it becomes "Y'all hold mah beer an' watchiss." Famous. Last. Redneck. Words. But I digress.)

I look up to see Hope standing on her rocking chair, which she has moved next to our recliner. Through the opening in our open-concept kitchen, I peer helplessly from the kitchen into the living room only to see my child -- at this point in sloooooow moooootiooooonnn -- jump and flip (flip!!) onto the recliner. Stunt was, of course, followed by a thrilled grin and cackle, both from her and from onlooking little sister.

Audra is working evenings at one of the places that makes ochlophobes everywhere recoil in disgust...yes, I'm speaking of the Seattle-based leviathan known affectionately by some as "Fourbucks." Reason? Benefits. Good ones, for much less a month than my school district. Offered to employees working a mere 20 hours a week. Which means I can stop shelling out hundreds of bucks a month for little coverage.

Good to be back.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Psalms of David -- Psalm 36

Do not be envious of those who do evil...for like grass they shal be dried up quickly...Hope in the Lord, and work goodness; Dwell in the land, and you
shall be nurtured by its riches.
Do not be envious of him who prospers in his way...Cease from wrath and forsake anger; Do not be envious so as to do evil; Because evildoers will be destroyed, But those who wait on the Lord, theses shall in herit the earth.
Better the little with the just man than the great riches of sinners...The Lord knows the ways of the blameless, and their inheritance shall be forever.

But the sinners shall perish, And the enemies of the Lord smoke they shall vanish away. The sinner borrows but will not repay; However the righteous man is compassionate, and gives.

He will not abandon His holy ones; They shall be kept forever. But the lawless shall be banished, and the seed of the ungodly shall be utterly destroyed.
Wait on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the earth; you shall see the sinners when they are utterly destroed. I saw the ungodly greatly exalted and lifting hiself up like the cedars of Lebanon; and I passed by, and behold, he was not ...
Keep innocence, and behold uprightness, for this is the remnant for the peaceful man.
And He shall deliver [the righteous] from sinners, and save them, because they hope in Him.

It is a rare man -- a saint, really -- who is able to reach out with the hand of the heart and grasp (and keep hold of) the intangible truth, the reality, of the Prophet's wisdom letter song here. A saint's ear has been tuned to zero in on the faint, true voice that will not lower her standards (nor, maddeningly, raise her voice so that you can understand her more clearly over the world's din). This is a voice that says, quietly, calmly, and consistently, "You need only to trust in the Lord." All may fall apart by your view, and virtue, fasting, liturgy and prayer in general during those times may be insultingly boring and apparently futile, as the mobs tend to be so loud you can't think and so busily successful that you can't be content, but we're asked to believe that the key to shining, eternal peace is quiet, lowly, humble obedience, leading, finally, to a Cross.