Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Canopies of hand drawn stars.

I sit in my storage unit, my life packed up in cardboard boxes. That verse about losing your life and finding Christ? I packed up my life... Does that count?

How is it that the orange and yellow glare of the plastic subway seats sometimes feels more like a home to me than my own skin?

There is something comforting and fully eternal about rusted, painted-over beams, reaching upwards to support this stone and brick cave, home to fiery silver trains. This fluorescent cavern, breathing with humans as they climb up dirty cement steps to the ebbing metropolis above.

These trains glide over stilted platforms which threaten to snap as the machines rush past.

Many nights I sit in the flickering glow of candles upon white walls, and listen to Elizabeth Gilbert spell the tales of her life letting go of the past and praying on rooftops with star studded midnight indigo skies.

It teaches me silence. It teaches me to have a conversation with God-to know Him as an intimate part of me, not as some kind of overbearing father who lives by rules and hates the earth. No. This God is quiet, like a friend, sitting in the room with me, there for me to lean against and cry with, like He is reading a magazine, letting me know that everything is going to be okay as long as I trust him.

I sleep that night, underneath my canopy of hand-drawn stars, and feel God's closeness as he hugs me and reminds me that His presence is my place of rest, like a long soak in a bathtub. Warm water, which smooths out the scaly patches of my soul.

If I filmed everything I saw, I would run out of storage to keep track of it all in a day. Everything around me is stunning and complex and it takes a journey to see it. The most I can hope for is to paint a word picture, and provide a soundtrack to help illustrate the scene.

 I sit on a train and look out the window at snow of the ground, and stone bridges rush past as we race underneath them. On my way back home, I see the lights of the city wink at me. We ride by train stations with intricate staircases and that signature golden bumpy part near the doorway... Public transportation's yellow brick road.

I live my life in the air. I'm learning to let go. I'm learning to hold on most tightly to things that I cannot touch... The presence of God, friendships with people I hold dear, words by writers that challenge and inspire me. Music that sweeps me off my feet and spins me into a new reality. The fragrance of a good cup of coffee. Sunlight streaming through train window onto my face.

These are experiences which feed my soul, these are things which are so much more eternal than bathtubs and laundry and things.

I'm going to be sticking around in New York a bit longer-planning to jump over to Australia on one visa, instead of two. This is partially because I am still working out finances, and partially because I'm not ready to let go yet... I'm still charmed by the old brick buildings and the electric energy which makes up New York. My relationship with my church and my pastors has only grown since I decided to stick around a bit longer... I choose to not see this as a coincidence.

I am here, I am learning, I am growing, and I am learning to let go of my insecurities, and hold on to the parts of my world which are truly eternal.

We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (1 Corinthians 13:12, 13 MSG)