ROACHES AND THE VERNAL EQUINOX

Balance is the great spiritual illusion--light triumphs forever!

Balance is the great spiritual illusion–light triumphs forever!

By Lisa Huddleston

Today, about 8 hours ago in fact, the planet we live on did something remarkable. It arrived at a tilt on its axis that allows for an equal amount of daylight and dark. This balance arrives twice a year: one time announces the arrival of spring (Vernal Equinox) and the other heralds fall (Autumnal Equinox). Imagine it (or actually record it–it’s not abstract but concrete)–light and dark each having equal time. Isn’t it an interesting balance to consider? Half light, half dark. Neither trumping the other. Yin and yang. Balance.

However, if we were to consider these phenomena in spiritual terms (as many on the planet do), we really would need a great imagination. While there is an apparent peace in the physical balance of the earth, such a peace in the spiritual realm is simply an illusion. Light and dark can never balance one another spiritually. Dark always flees from light. Just a pinprick in the night sky can dispel the whole canopy of black. Light always always wins–so why is it that we humans so often seek the dark?

Jesus put it like this, “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is” (John 3:19-21, The Message).

Ever turn on the lights in a roach-infested kitchen? That’s what we look like when God’s light first floods in. Scurrying and running for cover. Skittering across the hard surfaces to dive under the cabinets. We prefer to hide away in the dark, and if we really are roaches, that’s probably a good idea. Someone really is looking to flatten us with a shoe.

Can you relate?

Can you relate?

But we are God’s children–not bugs! His loved ones. His light doesn’t seek to destroy us, but to find us and make us the people he has created us to be. We have to trust him and trust ourselves, our terrified little selves, to his God-light. Only then, when we clearly see and are seen in the light of truth and actually welcome its revelation, only then can his God-work shine through the darkness we think we love.

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself–Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration” (John 4:23-24).

God is shining his light into the darkness looking for us–the real us–even if we look a little roachy right now. It’s safe to come out of the dark. Welcome to the Light of the world!

#LentChallenge

ANOTHER SPRING

imagesBy Lisa Huddleston

It rained this whole long Sunday, and my husband built one of the last fires of this season while the dog and I curled up and dreamed one more time at the foot of our blue and orange altar. Only four more days and the official first day of spring will arrive. Tight-fisted buds with green tips, my first-born’s birthday celebration, and the first tick of the year found tightly affixed to the inside of the dog’s back leg have already come. And soon and very soon, we are going to see the spring.

And I am glad to know that the change is coming–as I always am. But this year I am less sure as to how it should be received. The young will rejoice with pastel and seersucker and bonnets and eggy baskets of pink and blue crunchy sugar. The old will smile and feed the excitement by hiding treasures in the tall grass and behind the roots of old trees, enabling the myths and stoking the fires of faith.

And apart from it all, not young and not quite yet old, I will watch and pinch a smile and wonder at my role to play.

“You know how to tell a change in the weather, so don’t tell me you can’t tell a change in the season, the God-season we’re in right now” (Luke 12:56).

SIGNS AND WONDERS

Picking sunshine.

Picking sunshine.

By Lisa Huddleston

“Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door” (Matthew 24:32-33).

It has been a long, cold winter. Some of the coldest temperatures and biggest snow storms our country has seen in many years. But, finally, thank goodness, the signs of spring are growing more visible every day.

1798709_10203246592352317_1899297240_nThe garden is tilled and onions and greens are already planted. The dogwoods, forsythias, fruit trees–all are covered with buds that long to burst out in pink and yellow and green.  The martin houses are swept clean awaiting any early arrivals. And today we gathered our first bouquet of daffodils–later than usual but more welcome than ever because of the long winter. Spring is truly almost here.

And isn’t that just the way it is? The longer the wait, the colder the dark, the rarer the yellow and purple and pink–the more we long for and welcome the warmth and light of spring! Like rays of sunshine sitting in my kitchen. I am grateful.

If you have time, read Matthew 24-25 today and ponder the similarities as the world awaits its Savior. The waiting makes us desire him even more. And speaking of more–join me in reading the New Testament for Lent. Much sweeter than the chocolate or sugar many are giving up for the season–and much more filling.

Margaret Feinberg has a handy reading guide to follow in case you’d like a way to break it down. Yes, it’s already started, but it would be easy to catch up or just begin with Week 2. Like a ray of sunshine after a long, cold winter! 

http://margaretfeinberg.com/lentchallenge-read-new-testament-40-days/

#LentChallenge

SPRING PROMISE

By Lisa Huddleston

 

Frog songs in soggy bogs

spot the road from the city to

my country home

 

Spring is coming and

daffodil exclamation points

dot the cow fields with yellow

shouts of joy

 

I see and hear the signs with

anticipation that

borders on pain

 

The last few weeks of

winter grey loom large

and threaten to blind my eyes

and stop my ears

 

Don’t look

Don’t listen

Never see nor hear

 

Yet spring is coming and

hope is not hopeless

 

The signs are not in vain

Burning bushes

Pillars of both fire and cloud

Manger-tucked babes with

stars in dark skies

 

My eyes will yet see

My ears will yet hear

the whisper as well as the thunder

of God