Thursday, December 22, 2016


And so it comes, the shortest day of the year.  The sun rises weakly and sets low in  the southern sky, arching to its puny zenith. Winter is firmly fixed and will remain for many weeks. Yet oddly we've had our sharpest cold and thawing has begun! Ice flows melt in the river, steaming in the sudden warmth.  The yard is muddy, the sidewalks are sweating and I expect crocuses before Christmas!!
Those like me who want to live in a picture postcard will grieve, but every year brings its own.  It is the cumulative that paints the perfect scene. Sentimental memories are arranged on the mantel, baked into every cookie and cheese straw, tied around each package.  I commune with Nanny and Momma as I make the fudge, channeling their Christmas romance.

How will this holiday be recorded, adding to my living history? I imagine it will be just so: family, food, dogs, laughter, wrappings, tears, joy and sadness, cigars, glasses raised, music, love, frustration, phone calls, exhaustion, regret, pleasure, sighing.....

This dark day, briefly illum'ed by a tremulous star, waiting for light to return. So like this darkened world that trembles in expectation, waiting for Light, for it's Star to come again.  Come, Lord Jesus. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

What if...

What if there was a creator god who existed outside of his creation of time and space and matter, the whole universe, including this one planet we call earth.  What if this god, who I will call "Artist," designed creatures to inhabit this earth and put a unique pattern of himself in them, giving them the desire and satisfaction in making things as well? And the little artists could see and respond to clues and evidences of Artists's handiwork all around them? What if some of them were compelled to adore Artist, whom they had never seen or spoken to but somehow knew him by the evidence of the beauty and order of all the created things around them?

What if he really loved his little artists and wanted to communicate his love and desires to them directly? Being outside his creation of time and space and matter and they just tiny finite beings, he sent them tools to use, tools perfectly designed to help them better understand their creator and their fellow beings as well as to make beautiful things? But what if some of the little artists, selfish and greedy for more creative power than Artist, became destructive instead of creative?  Even though the tools were perfect, they misused them or in frustration just tossed them aside, preferring their own tools and methods?

But what if Artist, in his great love, began to send messages to them through special individual artists who could translate and communicate his intentions? Through these messengers, he critiqued their work, giving praise and correction. What if some artists received the messages with gladness but others rejected them outright, their works becoming dark and destructive and disturbing?

What if, in due time, Artist make an appearance among his creatures, limiting his power and becoming, for a short time, a little artist?  What if, while he was among them, he demonstrated perfectly how to use his tools to create beauty and harmony and order and peace? Would you think the little artists would be thrilled to have, as their very own teacher, THE teacher, the ARTIST, to help them make sense of their design, the Creator of all creators? Some fell in love with him and practiced his techniques and methods, using his tools  and sharing the good news all around. Others, however, did not! They resented his instructions and didn't believe he was the Artist come among them no matter how great were the works he demonstrated.

What if these disbelieving artists started talking about Artist to the established art schools and universities, saying that he was teaching improper or contrary methods, even claiming to be the creator of all creators, the Artist of all artists? What if these schools started to talk among themselves, seeking how they could censure him, silence him, forbid him to teach?  What if Artist disregarded their admonishments, knowing that their motives were only to preserve their institutions and self importance?

What if the established artists and institutions became furious at Artist and sought how they might have him arrested?  What if they paid people to swear falsely about him?  Little artists who had never even tried to make one good thing swore that he was doing it all wrong, leading them astray, teaching them to use the wrong tools! What if they did arrest him? In fear, his friends and followers ran away, leaving only the angry mob to testify. Somehow the trial got out of hand and Artist was sentenced to death,  And they killed him.

What if  Artist had known all along that this would happen? What if he loved his little artists so much that he was willing to go through it all with them so that they could know him and understand him and his techniques?  But, what if, being the Artist Creator who created time and space and matter and earth and all the little artists, couldn't stay dead, but came back to life? What if he did just that, and walked around, talked to his friends and followers, ate with them and taught them again for many days until it was time for him to go back to wherever it was that he existed outside of time and space and matter?  What if he told them that he was going away, but that he would come back again sometime in the unknowable future? And that he would send another messenger to help them remember his tools and teachings, to create many more good things and to share them with everyone they know?  What if this messenger was not like the earlier ones, who were only little artists, but actually another part of Artist that he would send in his place to always be there with them?

What if the rest of the story hasn't been written yet?  What if the believing artists are still creating good things, trying to use the tools well with the help of the Messenger? What if the disbelieving artists are still selfish and greedy and still trying to make up their own tools and techniques and only creating disharmony and destruction?  What if the Creator Artist is planning on that day when he returns to earth to make everything beautiful again, to make his artists great and to restore his creation to its original perfection and beauty?

What if this were all absolutely true, what kind of artist should you be?