Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Season without Wind

Lately I've been reminded of a common Christian simile: God is like the wind; you can't see Him but you can feel Him. I will start by saying this analogy works on many levels, and I often am reminded of God's presence through creation. I cannot help but think of the Spirit when I feel a gentle breeze kiss my face, the kind that makes you close your eyes and breathe deeply. I will be upfront, however, and say that there are days where there is no wind.

Knowing where I live and where I attended college, I know that previous statement is difficult to believe, but I have a storehouse of lifeguarding memories to affirm it. There are days when the sun beats down mercilessly causing the temperature to rise to unmatched levels while the notorious Iowa humidity dares you to breathe. On these days, the pool was especially busy, for obvious reasons, but the laughter of children quickly assumed a mocking tone when their splashing came just short of bringing brief relief to the skin on my legs, the skin that revealed its anger with me through its deep red hue. As much as I wanted to get off my chair and take shelter in the shade/water/anywhere but my chair, I had to stay. Sweat unceasingly poured down my face, into my eyes, off my chair, but there was no wind to cool me down. I sometimes looked at the horizon as if my pleading eyes could see the wind coming (for any moms out there, I promise I still paid attention to the kids), but guess what? I couldn't see it. I couldn't see relief coming to my aid.

And so it is with faith. There are days when His gentle breeze makes me stop and breathe deeply. There are days when His forceful, convicting gusts remind me of His presence so much that I wish He would stop. And there are days when I can't feel anything. Days when I look to the horizon and hope and pray Ican see Him coming to the rescue, but I can't see anything changing. And it is during these days that I just wish I could feel the presence of God.

I rest in the fact that I am not alone in this experience.

Psalm 22:1-5
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
Henri Nouwen, one of my favorite theologians, explores this subject far better than me, so I'll sum things up with this quote from Reaching Out:
"The intimacy with God in our earthly existence will always remain an intimacy that transcends human intimacy and is experienced in a faithful waiting on him who came but is still to come."
While the sun is still beating down, I will cling to faithfully waiting on him who came but is still to come.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Attempt to Catch Up

I'm only seven posts into this blog and I am already weeks behind! Life has been a little crazy lately, but we're getting caught up in most of the other areas of daily living. Hopefully we can do the same catching up with you. I have an hour to burn in a coffee shop, so I'll see how much ground I can cover. On a side note, and this may sound odd coming from a non-coffee drinker, but I am convinced that there are few things better than writing in a coffee shop. Ok...back to catching up.

Three weeks ago, Nate and I had the opportunity to nudge each out of our comfort zones. It began on Friday night with a trip to Nate's high school alma mater, as in the high school 15 miles down the road from my in the high school I learned to strongly dislike (especially during volleyball season :-) from age 14-18. As predicted, it was slightly odd being surrounded by fans in red instead of maroon, but I must admit it was very cool to see how their community rallies around football. Plus the Falcons came away with a dominating homecoming win, so got to see some quality football, as well.

After spending some quality time with Mom and Dad Summers, we woke up early the next day (Yes, well before the sun on a Saturday, which means it must have been very important) to drive to Iowa City to watch the Hawkeyes! I may or may not have been crazy excited for this game. Although I've been a lifelong Iowa fan, this was my first trip to Kinnick which explains part of the excitement. The rest of my excitement was comprised of one part seeing my family and one part seeing Nate wear an Iowa shirt. Doesn't he look great in black and gold? :-)

Nate is a very loyal Michigan fan, so this was a very generous act on his part. I'm guessing there will come a day when I'll have to return the favor, but for right now I'm just enjoying that picture. :-) Despite the rain and chilly temperatures, we had a great time watching the Hawkeyes soundly beat Ball State (the university where my brother and his girlfriend both work), enjoying the generosity of Iowa season ticket holders, and hanging out with Andrew, Lisa, and my parents. Nate was a great sport about the whole day. Hopefully he will do the same today, as Iowa plays Michigan. This may be the most stressful day of our marriage to date. :-) Here's a little sampling from the day.

In the time after this weekend trip, life gets a little fuzzy in my memory. While I am still searching for a permanent job, I started working as a temporary administrative assistant on the Monday after we got home from Iowa City. It is such a blessing to have a multiple week temporary position while I continue the search, but my life was reduced to this: wake up, go to work, come home, study for the LSAT, go to bed, repeat. I think there was food thrown in there, as well, but if it wasn't part of an argument or a logic game, I don't remember a lot. :-)

Two weeks ago we were able to celebrate the marriage of new friends. Scott and Samantha's wedding was so beautiful and so much fun! Plus it was a great reason to stop studying for a few hours. We spent the majority of our time with Drew and Andi. We've always known we had a lot in common, but the wedding revealed new depths of this truth. :-)

Well, if you're still reading this, I appreciate it. I didn't mean for things to get so long! But I suppose covering 3 weeks in one post is a little much, huh? I promise to write more about my job, the LSAT, etc, but my time is up! I now get to go to go see my precious niece (and her family). Priorities! :-)