Thursday, March 10, 2011

raindrops

Raindrops fall
Tracing patterns on my windowpane
Pouring onto the cement
Reluctant to sink into the ground

Raindrops unite
Finding their home with the fallen
Pooling on the cement
Searching for an even place to live

Raindrops freeze
Interlocking against the cold
Sparkling on the cement
Caving to winter’s desperate demands

Raindrops sparkle
Ignoring my fears of slipping
Layering over the cement
Ensuring my path is treacherous

Raindrops melt
Losing their identity and structure
Puddles on the cement
Reflecting sun beams dancing with clouds

~

God, can I be your puddle?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

umbrellas

[assorted thoughts and the beginnings of a post I'm trying to write for the ICC tumblr]

Its nearly been two months since the IGNITE and I still find this event completely unforgettable. A hundred and fifty people praying, speaking, learning, worshipping, talking, eating, growing together for five days. Community. Fire.

Between January 13 and 17, ICC hosted its very first winter retreat at a gorgeous campsite in Tennessee. While I have never been more mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted in my life, it was such a beautiful time. At IGNITE, we had a national qualifying tournament, loads of forums about every aspect of communication, a giant game of Ignopoly (otherwise know as Monopoloy, ICC-style), worship times every morning and evening, and a stunning view of a lake just down the hill. In the midst of all of that activity, God chose to teach me things that I’ve needed to learn for a long time and will still be learning for the rest of my life: God wants me to live in community with others.

Which brings me to umbrellas. Somewhat unrelated I know, but stick with me. When its raining outside, I can either find myself an umbrella or decide to get wet. I usually opt to get wet. I like the feel of the rain in my eyes and being unencumbered by holding the umbrella. Now, let’s suppose I have a friend who offers to share their umbrella with me. Usually, I’d thank them but prefer to stay in the rain. But what happens it if never stopped raining and I never took shelter under the umbrella? I’ll get soaked and probably sick too.

God doesn’t promise our lives will always be happy. Sometimes, life will look like an endless string of rainy days. Sure, I can survive the rain by myself for a while, but only for a while. There comes a point when standing out in rain becomes dangerous. Don’t wait that long. There are people all around you holding out umbrellas to you. Maybe you think they are judging you. Maybe you think they won’t understand. Maybe you think you’ll still get sick anyway. How do you know that until you’ve actually joined your friend under the umbrella? God wants to protect us. Find an umbrella and begin to live again.

God promises He will always be with us. When we forget that He is there and get worked up over our own little issues, He sends somebody to remind us that safety, warmth, and healing exist. Ducking under an umbrella doesn’t make you a wimp or a copycat. God wants for all of to us live together under the protection of His love, refusing to leave His umbrella and inviting others to join us.

~

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
~John 10:10
{and hope does not put us to shame}