Monday, May 17, 2010

midday jamboree

From my favorite bay window of my favorite coffee shop, I noticed a jamboree hoppin in the long shadow of Market Square's church. Four motley men strummed, plucked, and tapped facing a horseshoe of bouncing spectators. I rushed to join.

The group made a sort of raspy sound. They sounded like a cross between The Decemberists and a Grand Old Opry regular. Their music reverberated and clanged and their voices sounded like minor chord, harmonized, yodels. From left to right:

The washboard and cowbell player was the only musician wearing jeans and a cotton t-shirt.

The banjo player beside him had a thick red beard that stuck out further than his nose. He was dressed as an Appalachian lumberjack in his red plaid shirt, high-water corduroys, and suspenders. His poor banjo was peeling and torn.

The singer-bass player wore bomber hat. His voice rattled and his head shook when his volume grew.

The accordian player was my favorite. A hat that may have belonged to Charlie Chaplin (as in that old) with a Yankeedoodle's feather in it, a black vest with a few brass pins and what other than silver spoons attached by diaper pins on his breast. He wore a pink pinstripe shirt under that and his pants rolled up to his calves to show his shiny, tapping, businessmen shoes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

to sit down

Chris brought up an interesting point tonight when I almost fell in the toilet (ya slightly personal, but it supports my metaphor). He left the seat up again and I just sat down expecting to land on the seat. Since I am "very small (in his french accent)," I really did almost fall right in. He said, "Why is it that we as Christians do not always put full trust in God even though He proves trustworthy time and time again? Yet we trust without hesitation that when we sit in a chair it is going to hold us." Even when we sit in a chair with a big hole in it, we don't look before we sit.
I'm reading Romans 5 right now. It talks about the sin of Adam spreading through all men. What was Adam's sin? At the root, it was a lack of faith. That is the root from which all sin springs. We know how God tells us to live, but we do not do it. We read His precepts, but we do not obey them. Why else other than we do not believe Him? He says, THIS will bring you joy. THIS will bring you contentment. This lifestyle will shower you with blessings. Yes, God will choose to bless us in cool and unexpected ways, but many of his blessings are direct consequences of our choices. If we trust Him and live the way He tells us to live, we will lived blessed lives. In the same way, most negative consequences natural come down from not so good, unfaithful, unbelieving, self-centered choices. I remember once when my friend, Laura, talked about how it must break God's heart when we choose frivolous and damaging worldly things over His plan and advice because we think it will make us happy. It must disappoint Him when we choose to trust and follow a lie over the truth that He has freely given to us.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." -Prov. 13:12

I have lots of little hopes. I d0- I hope that my marriage stays as love-driven as it is right now, I hope that the Lord blesses us with healthy children, I hope that doesn't happen too soon, I hope that I get a job next year, and I hope I get to go on the motorcycle trip with Dad this summer.
If these are deferred, my heart may be sick. If my longing remains for the Lord, He has promised to fulfill it and despite any deferred hopes, I will be a tree of life. (Hopes are not bad. It is possible to be heartsick and a tree of life at the same time.) God is the longing of every human heart; some people just don't know that He is, so they rely on their hopes for their happiness. Our longing is not fulfilled by health or a man or by good circumstance. God is bigger than those.

Lord, a longing fulfilled is a tree of life! Trees of life bear much fruit! Fruitful trees are rooted in you (John 15:5). If I am rooted in ridiculous worldly things, I will bear no fruit. The fruit that I have left will rot- Rotten fruit on a withering tree with brittle branches on dry soil. John 15:6, Psalm 1:3, Matthew 13:6.

Still in Boston. Still Spring.

Sitting in a park in Boston.
left: old brick wharf
right: extension of soft grass under me
straight ahead: rows of Easter-colored tulips
beyond tulips: teenage boy drumming on plastic pales, a kitchen pot, an iron skillet, and the concrete
against my back: the trunk of a cherry blossom tree
overhead: 3-dimensional piece of art- pink clusters like densely packed bouquets tied to a gray skeleton- something a modern artist might build. Each flower looks like layers of petticoats under a flower girl's dress. Around me, the ground is littered with petals that the she has flung.

Boston in the Spring

I drove down Storrow Drive during the part of the day when the sun is so big that it can barely be eclipsed by a beach ball. Across the Charles River, the MIT dome reflected the shade of orange that usually precedes the shade of pink. On the river, the boats' sails shone like triangles of white glass in a yellow cathedral window. Among the sails, rowers' oars flickered in unison as they dove from sunlight to river to sunlight to river.