Friday, February 25, 2011


As I write this, I'm sitting in my favorite coffee shop, staring out of the window on to the main thoroughfare that runs just across the parking lot.  Cars race by in the evening light, as people make there way home on a quiet late winter Friday.  The sky blends from blue to orange, as I catch a small glimpse of the horizon just behind the Mediterranean Cafe and High Times Smoke Shop.  There seems to be a twinge of Spring in the air, which coincides with the groundhog's recent revelation of winter coming to a close.  I feel a sense of nostalgia and find that my mind is racing about with various thoughts.  Why has winter slipped away so quickly?  Why are the holidays only but a blur in my memory?  Should I be out on a date with my wife, rather than sitting here by myself?

The sky is becoming purple now, and the street signs are becoming more bright and vivid.  The dim lights of the coffee shop are beginning to illuminate my small work space and the ambiance is transforming from late afternoon staleness to early evening vitality.  It's funny how drastic changes in the day cause our moods to follow along.  It's almost as if God purposely adjusts the lighting throughout our day.  He dims the light as the day fades to melancholy and adds one extra lamp when our souls need to be lifted.  The rhythms of our lives coincide with the preset pulse of the world.  It continues whether we like it or not.  No partiality to our preconceived schedules or order of the day. 

The sky is now dark, a thin layer of remaining sunset peaking just above the dimly lit strip center across the street.  Night has made itself known and the first few stars are making their first appearance of the evening.  Ella Fitzgerald is serenading me in that style that always makes me want to go out for a night on the town.  I wish that I owned a tux, and had a reason to wear it tonight.  My stomach is beginning to remind me to fill it and I feel an even more strong sense of peace as I begin to contemplate what this blog has to do with God, or theology in general.  Maybe it's more clear as the light fades.  Maybe it developed as I stumbled through this blog.   

But the holy aspects of this evening bear witness to why I am here in the first place.  As I recline in a comfortable chair, drinking Vietnamese coffee, enjoying good jazz music and being absorbed by the peace of this room, one thing remains clear to me: I'm a glad to be alive right now.  I'm glad that God created me exactly how I am, to walk through this world as somewhat of a confused wanderer.  I'm learning that the wilderness is not always a bad place to be.  Yes, it can be a barren wasteland of dry and empty spaces.  There are times when the wandering seems pointless and lacking in fulfillment.  It can be brutal and unforgiving as the sun beats down on our backs.  Storms pop up out of nowhere and cause us to seek shelter, wondering why we wandered off in the first place.

But the beauty of this evening would never have been made apparent to me had I not been somewhat of a wanderer in the wilderness.  Even the wilderness has an occasional oasis that we happen upon.  God sets the lighting for us in a manner that captures each and every nuance of the surroundings.  He bows the head of the day, allowing night to take center stage.  He winks at us from each star above and embraces us with the cool of twilight's breeze.  And at least for now, at this particular moment, He fills my spirit with the assuring conclusion to this blog, "I know the wilderness is hard.  I know things seem very uncertain.  I know that you long to return to the past, retreat to familiar comforts and rest your head against a nostalgic memory.  You're afraid, aren't you?  You want to go home.  It's OK.  I've got it for tonight.  Just rest and know that I'm here.  I'm real.  Just as tangible as the world around you, but just as mysterious as the day that's just faded.  It's me.  I'm home."                    

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