a piano.

The invisible is seen through metaphors.  They connect the intangible to familiar items and experiences.  In the same stroke of a pen they cannot completely unveil the thing they are trying to illuminate.  People have experiences and revelations that they try to convey through symbols and metaphors.  The experience or revelation is supposed to awaken Life and broaden the vision of one’s horizon by adding to the vocabulary or life-expression of the person.

So.

What is a symbol or metaphor that articulates my experience of life right now?  This symbol or metaphor is what frames my vision of “how things hang together.”

A piano.  Undoubtedly beset with a beautiful pianist gracing the keys with her fingertips (she’s about 5’8”, dark hair, brown eyes, smile like the sunrise and soon to share my last name).  A piano has many keys that, when pressed, produce certain musical notes.  All of the keys on a piano are designed and ready to be played—but there is a catch—there’s always a catch (the pianist is a catch nonetheless).  The catch is that not all the keys on the piano sound good or right when played within a specific musical piece.  The piece itself, the sheet music, beautifully orchestrates and reveals the right keys to press, and notes to be played, in order to produce the divine movements of Brahms or Mozart.  If one plays a note that’s outside of the musical notation or key signature on the sheet music it sounds undesirable, out of place, wrong—at least to the Brahms and Mozart faithful.  When a different piece is played or the key signature is changed then notes that were once undesirable, out of place, or wrong soon become desirable, welcomed, and right!  The nature of these once undesirable notes, and their physical piano keys, didn’t change; rather the sheet music and musical notation called their capabilities into service.

So articulate your symbol, Trav, please!  He is the Composer writing the pieces, she is the pianist, and I’m discovering the purpose of all my old piano keys—no longer just the black keys.  I used to blame God, the Composer, for so many of my keys; seeing them as inherently undesirable, out of place, or wrong.  I sat on that old wooden piano bench, pecking at the keys, seeming to hit every wrong note, all the while picking up splinters in my rear, for hours at a time.  I didn’t understand why I could not use and play all the piano keys, always, at all times.  Then she came along.  She showed me that all the piano keys reveal the beauty of Music, across the eternal spectrum of pieces, written by the Composer.

There are so many seasons of Life.  There are so many songs to be played.  The beauty of a piano, the musical piece, and the Composer is revealed when the piano player follows the key signature at just the right time—I mean stays in Time.

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osmosis.

I am a VERY blessed man.  I don’t deserve any of this… Our God, I tell you, He’s something alright.
Gosh, He won’t stop calling me deeper, and deeper, into the ocean of his grace.
I can’t hardly explain it. I’m drowning but for some reason I’m not dying.
It’s almost like he’s changing me.. and giving me gills to breathe in a whole new way.
Now I can live in the ocean, and in the toss and turn of the waves, and be at peace.
And I can be washed up on the shore, and breathe just as deeply, that Life–yea, you know–that Life.
that is that “life abundantly” or “Life to the fullest”.
Our God is Good.
Taste and see.
Drink Deeply.
Breathe.

everybody knows

Four dollars and I am able to be Greek for 3 hours or so.

I get to play backgammon and cards—have myself a homemade pastry and eat it, too.  It’s so great to spend those few hours with them.  When I think of the circumstances I’m blown away: I’m a 23 year old, white American male, with 60+ year old Greek Immigrants in the foreign country of Australia.  Happenstance, mayhap if you will—always puts me in a numinous profundity of sorts.

After all the heart-wrenching stories as of late (the Colorado shooting), still, moments of happenstance like my Tuesday mornings enable me to say “…and some people say this life isn’t good?!”  Of course the cold-blood massacres such as that in Colorado, and the homelessness, and broken families and lives make me cry out to God sometimes and say “SHOW UP! DO SOMETHING, PLEASE! THIS IS YOUR WORLD, RIGHT??”

Before you burn me at the stake—I definitely don’t mean to come off as arrogant in the way I approach God but the Lord knows my heart and sometimes my heart shatters into a million pieces when someone shares their story and parts of their broken lives and experiences with me.  But the thing is this—my God won’t relent. He won’t. He has promised me. He has promised you.  He is in mad pursuit of each of us and in the business of redemption.  Redemption is in the “may-haps” of life. It’s in the things that don’t make sense BUT happen: like someone embracing you, unexpectedly. Like having depression when your 15 and not wanting to live anymore BUT now when you’re 23 you have seen so much redemption and good come from that experience. He redeems. Believe me.

“He makes all things new.”

Breathe.

What is it Trav?

I’ve been worrying that we all live our lives in the confines of fear. We want to build a life that we understand or at least can predict somewhat.  We need a house and kids and a job.  Some sort of security.

DID YOU NOT HEAR ME??

He makes all things new!!!  That “He” I’m talking about left us with a promise: “I have said all these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble: but take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Once we begin to see this in every aspect of our lives—we see Him making all things new!  WE FIND LIFE EVERYWHERE. In everything.

blushing

If time is precious, you can have every second of mine.
If money is important, every cent I own is in your name.
If personal space is an unalienable right, know that what’s mine, is yours.
And If ‘Paper, they say, does not blush… I assure you it’s not true and it’s blushing just as I am now, all over.’

dry and drowning

How the eye perceives light
is something I’ll never fully grasp.
Grasping and gasping—these are two strangely
familiar strangers that stop by every now and then.
The then turns into now, and the now, always then.
Grasping at the outlines of perfection
made by the sea green,
sea blue of condensation, rather. Rapidly evaporating
in an ascent unto the high heavens, in search of the highest
Form.
Waiting, waiting, waiting causing—weightiness.
Unaware of the others floating alongside in their life
rafts, each linking there’s to his. Slowly wrapping
themselves around him
they begin sinking toward the earth. He had felt
invisible before he had realized all of them around
himself.
Now he was starting to see himself
again, among the others
that each had an eerie resemblance of him.
Gasping for air, the uncanny crew
wrapped themselves even tighter
around him. The gasps were of no profit.
Not like the kind of gasps one enjoys when
being under water for far too long,
and finally reaches the surface.
Those gasps are made up of freedom and life. His final
gasps are better explained
as exhaling all the hope inside of
himself.
The squeeze became so tight that it was no longer bearable. This was it,
he would take his last… Breath—e.
Breathe! Breathe!

Gasps of Freedom and life started to fill his lungs.
Looking around he saw no one else attached to him,
rather individual drops falling beside him.
He was his own once more.
He was free
to laugh, dance, cry, sing, and
anything else he wanted to do.
With a splash he entered into the great body of water.
He sank deeper and deeper into the abyss.
Grasping for the shadows and allusions from the
light above.

two halves of the whole

But the Logos or structure of the universe and of everything in it expresses the unity and identity of opposites.
-Heraclitus 6th Century B.C.E

being enamored by the temporary opposites of the greater whole.
it gets me. always

if a road is uphill for one that is walking up–it is at the same time down hill for one walking in the opposite direction.

it’s where we’re at in life. our perspective. our placement of things in relation to the whole of life.
this is life. this is good.

the tickling of an ancient tongue wakes me from my sleep
the sea green, sea blue of a world unknown to me

no need to look further than the back of my retinas.  the unveiling of a secret never veiled. all you need to do is take one step forward and two steps backward.
that should do the trick.
been. becoming. being.

from there, begs the opening of the eyes. the pertinence of the ears. the tingle of the fingers. the arousal inside the nostrils.

the burning of the cosmic fire lulls me back to sleep.

what if. if-then or then-if.

perception is reality

that sentence rings through our ears as true.

it is true but it doesn’t always embody true truth.

e.g.
when we perceive someone as being a bad person, they will be.
no matter how nice or good they are–we’ll interpret their actions through our presuppositions about them.

what if.

what if we do that with God.
we only understand or perceive Him logically or rationally relating to us and others in certain ways.
and it happens. we see Him ‘work’ in that way.  that is how we usually see ‘God’ interact in our lives and the world.

looking at it from another angle: why is it if-then?
if God shows himself like this, then we will do, believe, love, give, ______.

what if.
we step out in faith and start to live out the “then” with an unselfish heart or motive toward others no matter what their response is.

what if.
i told you that God’s “if” has already happened and will continue to happen whether or not we want to be the “then” He uses.

there is Freedom in living in the then.
our perceptions of how God is working and what He has for our lives begin to change.
our reality changes.

the if didn’t change.
just the then.

let’s do it then. we need one another.