Monday, May 26, 2014

Fight Beside, Read With, Argue With, and Pray With Him

When I spoke of Friends as side by side or shoulder to shoulder I was pointing a necessary contrast between their posture and that of the lovers whom we picture face to face. Beyond that contrast I do not want the image pressed. The common quest or vision which unites Friends does not absorb them in such a way that they remain ignorant or oblivious of one another. On the contrary it is the very medium in which their mutual love and knowledge exist. One knows nobody so well as one's "fellow." Every step of the common journey tests his metal; and the tests are tests we fully understand because we are undergoing them ourselves. Hence, as he rings true time after time, our reliance, our respect and our admiration blossom into an Appreciative love of a singularly robust and well-informed kind. If, at the outset, we had attended more to him and less to the thing our Friendship is "about," we should not have come to know or love him so well. You will not find the warrior, the poet, the philosopher, or the Christian by staring in his eyes as if he were your mistress: better fight beside him, read with him, argue with him, pray with him.

~On Friendship from The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In Sickness and In Health

     A friend posted this on Facebook this morning and it blew me away.  If you don't feel like watching it (although you should-- it's powerful), the gist is that Ian and Larissa met in college, fell in love, and then he was in a car crash that devastated his brain and left him disabled.  Larissa chose to marry him anyway, and the love she shows for him, and for Jesus is haunting.

   For better or for worse.  In sickness and in health.  For richer or for poorer.

   One of the desires of my heart is to be married.  And yet.  As a Christian, marriage must mean something more than finding a companion to pass your days with.  It paints a picture of Christ's (sacrificial) love for his church.  It's a way that God uses to sanctify his people, to conform us more to Christ, to make us holier.

   I recently listened to a speaker talk about singleness.  In it she said something that shocked me.  She said she'd prayed that if it would glorify God the most to remain single then so be it.  She was giving him her singleness.  I've prayed to God that if it glorifies him the most for me to die tomorrow then, well, take my life, and I've prayed that if it brings Him glory to give me cancer or some debilitating disease then he should do as he will.  But this-- this giving up my hopes of being married and being a mother is totally radical to me.

   I'm encouraged by Ian and Larissa's story.  This isn't the marriage that either of them pictured, and yet they're faithful because of their dependence on Christ and what he has done for them.  I pray that God will continue to strengthen and bless their marriage and that the light of Christ will shine through their marriage so that all may see that he is Lord.

   And I pray that God uses my life to bring Him glory as well-- in singleness, in marriage, in my relationships, and in my lifelong walk towards that celestial city.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

[Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome]

Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome
Has many sonnets: so here now shall be
One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me
To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home,
To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee
I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;
Whose service is my special dignity,
And she my loadstar while I go and come
And so because you love me, and because
I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath
Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name:
In you not fourscore years can dim the flame
Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws
Of time and change and mortal life and death.

~Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894

Happy Mother's Day to my first love!  I love you, Gru!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Young May Moon

The young May moon is beaming, love, 
The glow-worm's lamp is gleaming, love;
        How sweet to rove
        Through Morna's grove,
When the drowsy world is dreaming, love!
Then awake!—the heavens look bright, my dear,
'Tis never too late for delight, my dear;
        And the best of all ways
        To lengthen our days
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear!

Now all the world is sleeping, love,
But the Sage, his star-watch keeping, love,
        And I, whose star
        More glorious far
Is the eye from that casement peeping, love.
Then awake!—till rise of sun, my dear,
The Sage's glass we'll shun, my dear,
        Or in watching the flight
        Of bodies of light
He might happen to take thee for one, my dear!

~The Young May Moon, Thomas Moore, 1779-1852, Irish poet and hymnist

The full moon this month (May 14) is known at the Full Flower Moon, also as the Mother's Moon, the Milk Moon, and the Corn Planting Moon.  The first quarter is on May 6th and the last quarter will be May 21st.

Image scanned by Simon Cooke found on the Victorian Web here

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Begin Afresh, Afresh, Afresh

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh."

- Philip Larkin, The Trees