Friday, January 22, 2010

Treasure from the Junk Drawer?

My mind is not well ordered.

It is crammed full of things of various quality–some useful, some broken, some forgotten, some well-loved, some sentimental, a lot of true junk . . . and occasionally when searching through the things that are in there while pondering over the Word and the story that God is weaving into my life–I'll find a piece of treasure.

Yesterday, I found some treasure when I least expected it.

In the middle of my morning I suddenly decided to take a walk down my long country driveway to the dirt road.  As I was walking I began by thinking about my shoes and whether I should go back for boots.   No, just walk on the snow-packed drive and it would be fine.  Then I was wondering why it had been so long since I had gone for a walk.  My thoughts shifted to being thankful for such a quiet place to walk...and it is really quiet in the middle of winter with snow covering everything.  Really quiet.  I started thinking about seasons, and how long winter is here.  I thought about people, friends and loved ones in dark seasons.  So many people I know are in the middle of hard seasons, many of them close to my heart and in my prayers.  And then I started thinking about the story of our lives and the Holy Spirit speaking to us through the seasons of our lives, and what I had just read in Acts about the outpouring of the Spirit in those days and wondering if I was paying any attention at the Holy Spirit alive and working in me?  I thought about a recent observation of a missionary friend living in a hard part of the world, about a man there who is living a more undistracted life, steeped in Genesis 1-3, and really noticing how God declares his glory in creation and this man's ability to speak the truth of the Word in new and helpful ways from what he observes in nature.  And I wondered again if I was really paying attention.  I was out on the dirt road by now and looking up in amazement at the winter trees against the January sky.  All the color seemed to have disappeared from the world, and all life with it.  Suddenly things were too quiet, but I couldn't move.  I just stood there looking up at the bare branches of those huge oaks that make a beautiful canopy of green life against the blue sky of summer.  It was hard to believe that those same dead trees could ever awaken again.  My prayer was that I would be open to hearing God speak in my distracted life as I looked up at the bare branches again - and I tried to think of a way to capture the moment in words, but I couldn't get the hope into my description of the bleak scene.  And hope for dark seasons was welling up in me.  Suddenly words formed into poetry, which is strange because I don't write poetry.  But that's what popped out.  Treasure for me.

January trees.

Bare limbs stark against white sky,
     white world.
Gnarled skin and bony fingers
     conceal life hidden deep within.

A frozen, brittle, aching sway when wind comes.

Silent giants.  Patient. Waiting.
     Asking not...Why this cold, dark season?
But standing, arms held high and wide... hopeful.
     Reaching, reaching, reaching toward Spring.

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him” Daniel 2:20-22


Emme said...

Oh, I am so loving this! Beautiful thoughts, lovely words. And great design! How on earth did you make that header? I must know.

Wordgirl said...

I can't wait to see what else the Lord gives you to write on your blog! It's so pretty, too!


Anonymous said...

In our yearly cycle of going on picnics, one interesting time is is March/April when it is warm and pleasant outside, but there are no leaves out. You can see farther and it's almost a black and white feel.

pierson said...

Hurray - now everyone who loves your thoughts has access at once. And it is so lovely, - and I love your photo of your title. I also love junk drawers. Apparently!

Really, even in spells of peace & all-is-wellness, one only has to look to the left or right to see some dear one in a dark storm. Likewise, one can be deep in darkness and look around to see the sun seeming to shine on those all around (key word: seeming). It is like the earth, - at night, it is morning "on the other side" - and in spring, while we rejoice at our turn to lean in twds the sun again as we keep oblonging around it, the other half is heading out again on their winter season tipped away from the light and warmth. Turn, turn. Someday those old oaks will rejoice, maybe even sing & dance (you've got me thinking of Lewis), at the new creation and the end of all death. Meanwhile, isn't it just like God to instill his signature of beauty even in the coldness, - sparkly snow, frosted trees, fresh & sharp air, - and in the darkest nights being the most dazzling with stars. Well, congrats on this blog! "Speak on! Sweet lips that never told a lie!" - Rachel

Treasure from the Junk Drawer
copyright © Sara Shull
•All text and poetry by Sara
•Art illustrations by Sara
•Photos by Sara or the Shull kids
~~~~All rights reserved~~~~

Bible verses:
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV)