I'm inviting you here---far up north here. You don't have to put on raingear or climb in a skiff. Just come as you are . . . (A hot drink, though, might be nice as you visit!)
How has your week gone, friend? I have an idea. For SO many of us, these post-election days have been a week of rain, storm, despair and----hope. I have spoken with friends in mourning, worried about the future of our country. We have all seen too much hate this week----I have received doses myself through last week's call to confession and repentance (I deleted the cursing comments). But I have also talked with friends rejoicing this week, full of hope for our country.
Hope is good. But my hope is not in the Republicans soon to move into the White House. My hopes are for the Church, for the ongoing inbreaking of Christ's kingdom among us. This most of all.
But this doesn't mean I am sitting with hands folded in prayer. We worked hard this season to place my husband into politics. Our state is in crisis. We will be bankrupt in one short year. We think we lost his race, but we still don’t know. We’re down by 93 votes, but there are 750 absentee ballots still to come in. We will find out the day before Thanksgiving, which is also my birthday!! We are trying to sleep . ..
How perfect then that this week the moon comes close. This morning I awoke early in moon shadow, heaven’s eye brilliant through the window, lighting the winter morning dark. How could we forget? How could any of us forget?
We fixate on each other---fallen so-very-human angry on-all-night fellow human beings-----us. We watch our TV screens, our crimes, one another, and we are filled with fear. We watch us instead of God.
Here is my first invitation: steal into the mountains and sea of my island right now. Be hushed and quiet for a few minutes.
Inhale the breath of my ocean neighborhood:
And let your soul be still.
Look around you:
"For the earth itself is full of His tender love . .."
"Let everyone in all the world stand in awe of him!
With a breath he can scatter the plans of all the nations who oppose him, but his own plan stands forever."
The eyes of the Lord are watching over those who fear him, who rely upon his steady love.
He will keep them from death even in times of famine!
"We depend upon the Lord alone to save us. Only he can help us; he protects us like a shield. No wonder we are happy in the Lord!
For we are trusting him. We trust his holy name.
Yes, Lord, let your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in you alone.
And if you’ve made it this far, I have one more invitation for you. I KNOW you can't all make it up to my Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop next year with Phillip Yancey, but maybe you can get to Florida for a few days??
Here's my spiel:
Are you starting to write, in the middle of a writing project, or near the end? AND---will you be ready to shed the winter blues come January? (That’s a huge YES from me!!) We are gathering in Florida, on the beach, for a writer’s retreat: The New Smyrna Beach Writer’s Retreat. I’ll be teaching each day and leading us in reading, writing exercises, workshops, worship, and walks on the beach (and writing on the beach!). It will be a Glorious time of joyous fellowship and learning for beginners to advanced writers. It’s affordable ($425 for 4 full days of teaching and lunch. Lodging is not included, but lodging nearby is very inexpensive. Some rental condos are less than $75/night.) Write me for more details. Leslieleylandfields@gmail.com . I have about 5 spaces left! (And, you have to know, teaching is my great PASSION! Might I see you there?)
May Christ's peace be with you this week, dear friends!!