Tuesday, September 25, 2012

::Little Snapper::

We are having a snapping turtle sleepover tonight. The kids found him just outside the ditch by the road. They showed the bus driver who asked if she could bring it home to her little girl tomorrow. "Can you take good care of him for me for one night?" I think we can manage.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

::Boat-shoe genius::

Leonardo da Vinci. I've been fascinated by him ever since I saw that silly Drew Barrymore Cinderella movie in which da Vinci walks on water with these wooden boat-shoes. He really was a well-rounded genius.

When this promo appeared in my inbox, I just had to send Caelah:

She's already sculpted a dragon. Six more weeks of artsy fun to come. I envy her a little.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

::Little Kings in Paper Crowns::

As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. . . he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the Lord your God.” ~1 Samuel 15 

Saul. Notorious. Nefarious. A tad cracked in the head. The making of the man is a study in human frailty. Strapping man reduced to unhinged paranoia and blood lust. Most have charged King Saul with arrogance, spoils-taker and monument-maker that he was. {1 Sam. 15} But that is not the word I would choose for him. The word I would choose is lodged much deeper in his marrow. It is a blight of a word that sends out suckers into the mind, implanting thoughts and ideas with barbed hooks that won't let go. The word that comes to mind when I read about the man is one I am well familiar with. Insecurity.

Saul's broad frame carried the weight of all of our human assumptions. Strong frames make strong men, yes? Saul knew better. His big body housed a very small man that preferred hiding behind beast and baggage than accepting kingship. In modern narratives, this show of 'passing up the crown, so to speak, is seen as humbly heroic. Over-burdened princesses flee their gilded lives to live in free anonymity. But what if God himself calls us to the crown? Did God mistake Moses' repeated excuses of inadequacy and bumbling tongue as humility? He did not. In fact, Moses earned himself a sharp rebuke; "Who do you think made that mouth of yours?" (Exodus 4)

While Moses, who stood bare before burning glory, eventually conceded the point that God could-- and would-- make much of nothing at all, Saul, never really came out from behind his baggage. "You are little in your own eyes," Samuel once told him. "But God has anointed you King!." What this old man might have said was; Saul, stop pandering to Self and Man and let God do his work through you! But, Saul remained Saul's own captive audience, lead by the voices in his head reminding him he was nothing, and the voices of the people reminding him he was their everything. A Spirit-housed man, with access to big power and confidence, unable to find purchase on the crumbling slopes of his kingship because he was very much pre-occupied with his own littleness.

Such a devoted contemplation of self tends to lead to a little bit of crazy.
A wise man spoke out simple truth this past week. He spoke about service. He said that so many serve out of a desperation to make something of themselves before God and Man. But if that service doesn't yield a crop of admirers and back-pats and dinner invites, smiles slip, confidence wains and the work is soon abandoned. "We struggle to become servants because we we do not want to feel insignificant. We want to feel valued." We forget that our value is found in the love that was always ours, painted in blood by the greatest servant of all.  There is great security to be found in this; that our worth has been signed and sealed in blood.
This is what insecurity looks like: A very big man, in very fancy clothes, lunging at a very old man, hands grasping in desperation. Torn hem in hand, ragged, this big fancy man begs. Stay! Stay with me. Please. Make me look like a king in front of these people! Saul, with his crumpled paper crown. A play-actor king.

He had it all wrong, of course. Because insecurities are hissing lies. He should have been grasping at a much holier robe, begging this instead; God, make Yourself King through me. This is the request of lasting kings and eternal servants in forever-crowns. (1 Cor. 9) A request made by Moses, also made in desperation to God himself. Come! Stay with us, your people. Please. (Exodus 33) "Is it not in your going with us, that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?" Unlike Saul, Moses knew that we only fall out of security and into ourselves when we naval gaze. Best to look out and up at the protective wings of the Divine.

I wear a paper crown a lot of the time. It rumples into new creases each time I bow in service to the wrong god with the wrong motivations stemming from my very own whispering, thieving, lying insecurities. But, mercifully and wondrously, there, beneath my paper crown, is another crown. No matter how many times I fall back on paper security. No matter how worn and tattered it grows at times, an imperishable identity and crown was payed for in full, and placed on my head well before I took to play-acting at greatness. Imagine that. A kingdom where big men never come out from behind their own 'littleness, but 'little' people are carried and called to very big things.