(This is my face, and my face is smiling in a big way)

I have to tell you how good our God is.  I have to tell you how much He has blessed us.  I have to tell you how magnificent He is.  But I do not have the words to do it right.  There is nothing in me that could adequately describe how perfect and amazing He is.  How beyond He is.  He is everything.  He keeps showing me how everything He is.

Sometimes, I wonder if I will explode from the weight of His grace and glory.

This is the best I can do: it is like He has created billions of little gemstones; billions of beautiful little crystals, so divinely crafted and so incredibly loved by the Creator.  And each gemstone has facets – so many facets, each delicately, purposefully carved.  God, in His unfathomable wisdom, whispered an adventure to each little gemstone.  A story, full of big things and little things and hard things and amazing things.  Always full of blessing.  He promised each and every tiny stone that it would be blessed past any earthly sort of understanding.

Our Papa would have been completely within His rights to tuck His billions of gems into a treasure chest and keep them.  The gems would be for His glory, to display His artistry and craftsmanship and beauty.  Those jewels would be His, only His.

But our Papa did not hide the gems away.  He dumped His treasure chest out, showering the universe with billions of bright, complex, staggeringly beautiful little raindrops.  His creations – His gemstones.  And He wrapped each fragile stone in a beating heart, and the heart He enveloped with a strong body, a transient home for His precious masterpieces.

Are you getting excited?  Because every time I get to this part, I get even more excited.  This is where it gets amazing.  This is where I see His grace and love.  I am smiling.  You can’t see me, but I assure you – I am beaming.

God is opening my eyes to see the gems in the hearts of His people.  These past few weeks, I have been blessed with the opportunity to pray with people, to eat meals with my friends, to share in joy and in heartache, to praise together and sit together and laugh together… God has given me people to love.  He has given me small pieces of Himself – these gems – to hold and smile at and tell stories with and love.  Me!  I get to love people!  Why would He trust me with His creations?  I barely trust people with my books, and God has given me people to love.  In all the ways.  I can’t contain my joy.  I am not a jump-from-my-seat, hands-in-the-air girl.  When I am floored by the Lord, I stand and smile.  I sit and stare.  I close my eyes and wring my hands together and sputter nonsense and whisper what feels like the most inadequate thank You.

How do I do this?  How do I praise Him the way I must?  How is anything I give enough for everything He has done?  I have tried to explain it to people.  I have tried to tell people what is going on inside me.  All I can do is smile.  I am busy, so busy.  And overwhelmed with school, and rushing from one job to the next, and it is hot out, and I don’t have enough time.  But there is something in my heart that I do not want to disappear.  Peace.  Joy.  Love.  All those Christian buzzwords… those words mean something.  Everything – they mean everything.

He has given me people.  He has let me into lives.  He has let me jump into the adventure of another person, another gem.  You know, though, what thrills me even more?  The fact that this isn’t all He has to give me.  These blessings, which have always been here, are only pieces of whatever He has yet to give me.  In this life or in the one I will one day get to spend with Him.  We get MORE LOVE.

(This is the part where, if we were together, we would just sit and smile at one another for a really long time.  And it probably wouldn’t even get awkward.)

And so this is it – this is what has been running through my head: He is so perfect in His grace and so stunning in His love and so oh-my-goodness-this-God-is-mine-and-I-am-His-His-His.  The twelve thousand thoughts that jumble my brain every day are still there – oh, are they ever – but it is like the weather in my head is a constant sunshower, and the rain that is falling is Grace.  Love falling on the quick, racing, filled-up landscape of my mind.

I am in love with this God.

A lot of life

I think we are unknowable creatures,
Formed in the dark corners of the universe
By a Creator made of light.
I think it matters,
That we are so deep and unreachable.
We are swimming in ourselves
And sometimes we sink.
But we are also rescued.
Because as undefined our depths may be,
There are people who like journeys.
There are people who aren’t as afraid as perhaps they should be.

A lot of life is about trust
And fear
And which one you choose.

Stalking myself.

Traipse through spindly forests of good intentions,
run barefoot through an unkempt path of briary underbrush
in a deceptively golden wood.
Trust the unseen forger of the dirt and branches,
the same dirt that mars calloused feet
and the same branches that slice weary arms.
Sometimes I don’t know.
The right doesn’t seem right and the left is wrong too.
I’m not a good believer
when the trail has been boarded up
and I jump the fence anyway.
I am not a good believer.
Believe me.
But I do not stop my well-intended exploration
through maple-treed lands and
lightning-stricken heights.
The ten thousand other wide-eyed,
porcelain-faced girls stride alongside
the one who doesn’t understand any of them.
I thought I frightened most of them off.
Killed a fair few.
Embracing the remnant of shadow-girls,
blind to the fact that people are fathoms deep
and miles across
and I am no exception,
even as much as I want to be.
We are rocks that are only painted again and again
by some underclass faction of artists-by-night,
never stripped of the years of aerosol-fueled
midnight meetings that so slowly
and so consistently
built up a shell.

Shake off the shadow-girls
and scrape away the gilded billboards.
Find some certainty in the midst of a once-familiar woodland,
traversed by a once-familiar person.