Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Need to Wait

Gardens are places of hope, of work and of dreams.  There are cycles of change and growth lived out among the plants.  Yet, we are separated by too many generations to understand the reality of being dependent upon the garden for life.  We have a back-up plan.  We are very tied into taste and preference and know little of what it is to eat for subsistence.  When the cantaloupe doesn't taste the way we like we drive off our property and go to the store and bring one back that does.

When crops fail, we go to the grocery store, and perhaps think about not having a garden next year, after all, we put money and time into it and it didn't produce the way we would like.  It is new and unknown and frankly, we aren't very good at gardening.  Our grandparents did not pass this information on, we live in Texas and it is hot this year and surely people in Texas only ate cows when grocery stores were harder to come by.  We don't like work very much and are too used to convenience.

That is the troubling part, where convenience and ease have met up with the human need for struggle and growth.  Butterflies never learn to fly if not allowed to fight their way out of their cocoon.  We need the struggle.  The steep learning curve should draw us into a deeper understanding of spiritual realities.  But American Christianity knows little of fight, of standing against or for much of anything.  Christianity here is easy, and that is what makes it hard.

In a society where we don't have to wait for anything, how do I encourage in my spirit the patience to wait upon the Lord?  Long gone are the days where communication meant writing a letter and waiting weeks or months before you would think that maybe it got to where it was going.  It took more weeks and months before you would even look for a response.

We can have it all.  Sometimes we try.  In the end we end up with not much of anything.  We lose interest when you can't harvest peaches from the tree you planted that year.  There is much too much waiting involved.

Yet there are other portions of life that will not be rushed.  Babies walk when they walk, talk when they talk.  Pregnancy cannot be rushed.  Gardens cannot be rushed.  Spiritual development cannot be rushed. It is a process, it takes time and happens gradually.

We need to learn in the school of waiting, especially now.  We need to know what it is to be dependent upon God and not lean so much upon the grocery store.  We need to learn to be patient.

Perhaps if we grow another garden next year we will learn a bit more about patiently waiting on the Lord.  We are leaving our garden in a few short days.  Next year, or perhaps in a few short weeks if we get some land we will start again.  The learning curve will still be steep, I am sure.  Yet, I am beginning to think it necessary.  For ease is not conducive to growth.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

When the Seed Dies

Without the death there is no growth.

The seeds must be buried.  They must go into the ground and die.  Somewhere in the death process is the hope of life.

And yet there are times when the seed is buried, and nothing comes up.  It is buried, it dies and nothing. Hope dies out.

We just planted some corn recently.  Most of it came up.  But there are these spaces, where nothing happened.  So we replanted.  There are still these spots.  Empty places.

Empty spaces.

Like the emptiness that sometimes fills my heart.

I pray into the empty spaces, hopeful.  Longing.

But it is a tentative longing.  I find myself wanting to hope, but afraid that I will plant one more seed of hope and find it also dies out, snuffed out by the heat, the dry-ness, the weeds will choke it out, or the bugs get to it, before it even has a chance to get established.

How does one pray for God's will?  Do you find that when you reach out toward praying for His will that you must battle your will?  When you fight your will, pushing it down, trying to get your will to give in to the realization that He gives what is best, does it fight back?

In the end I must trust Him with the seeds.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Musings Part 3 and the Garden

So I began this disclosure by stating I was struggling with my conceptions.  I continued it by stating that I stumbled upon the idea, yet again, that God is a person.  You see, I was trying to measure my way to closeness to God.  Asking myself intellectual questions, like what does the mature Christian look like? how will I know if I am one (After all, I only know about knowing that I am not.  LOL!)?  It was here among the mess I was making that I realized that relationships don't get measured that way.

I cannot tell you the last time I asked myself how will I know if Mark and I are close to each other.  How will I know if we love each other?  Why?  Because that is not how relationships are developed.  There is no checklist.

So among all my silly, disorganized thoughts I stumbled upon one coherent idea.  It was this idea that in the garden, before the fall, man could just be with God, like with a friend.  You know the type I am talking about, the friend who you can sit with in silence and just enjoy the pleasure of their presence.  There is no striving.  There is no measuring yourself against others, wondering if you are the favorite.  There is no wondering if you might be rejected.  There is no reaching or grasping toward the unknown there is just the pleasure of being.

In the garden, I am sure there were times of questions, of learning, of joy and searching.  Yet, when God came to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day, I am sure there was that easy comfortable just being.  The basking in the joy of being with one you love.  The joy of being fully known, fully accepted and fully loved.

Before the fear came in.

The truth is that God still rejoices over us.  He still fully knows us.  He still fully loves us.  If we will but accept His amazing gift we can know what it is to be His.

I am learning the tentative steps of faith.  I am learning, slowly to trust the goodness of His heart.  I am learning to make my way to the foot of that tree that demonstrates God's goodness and His love.

"What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great “I Am”;
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
And through eternity, I’ll sing on."
~Alexander Mean 

God is urging us forward on this journey, back to the place of no fear.

Musings Part 2

...God lost His personhood somewhere when I fell upon the realization that God isn't safe.  Sometime back in my experience I had an unconscious fallacy slip into my experience with God.  I guess it is a version of the Santa Claus god or the lotto god, but all I know for sure is that it is not The God, the Almighty Creator God, the Maker of heaven and earth.  I had thought I could be obedient to ensure certain "safe" results.  

Now, I am not trying to suggest that serving sin doesn't have its consequences, yet sometimes they are delayed.  

Nor, am I suggesting that serving God is not full to the tip top with benefits, for surely my life is a living tapestry of the truth of God's mercy and goodness on the undeserving.  

Yet, it is also true that just because you have faith, and obey does not necessarily mean that God will protect you from the evil that lives in the land.  If you don't believe me ask Job, who God Himself said was blameless.  Now it is illogical to jump from the land of faith to the land of fear on the basis of a "so what if", but that is where I have found myself.  


Fear has a strange way of taking over your life.  

It rises up at the most in-opportune times.  It swallows your would be faith and leaves its cold claws around an emotionless shrinking heart.  In its tracks it leaves a cold emotionless shrinking life.

The answer to the fear is Truth.  Not some theory about truth but the person of Truth, Jesus Christ.  The answer to fear is the cross.  

With Paul's words I find myself taking tentative steps back toward faith, back toward the possibility of this dichotomy being able to survive my brain's attempt to make sense out of the experience of pain and sorrow and a loving God co-existing.  In his words I find my hope, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).  Surely God will give us all the small gifts we need, after all He gave His best gift to us, willingly, without coercion.   He gave His Son.

Surely He is good, how amazingly good I cannot begin to plumb the depths.  "But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)  And these "things" that Paul is talking about are good things.  These are the experience of taking the "taste and see that the Lord is good"(Psalm 34:8) path.

The answer to the fear is to accept Perfect Love in.  This is not an academic understanding of love nor a warm gushy mushy love, this is the Personhood of Love embodied in the truth that God Himself is love.  

The truth is, God is love.  The truth is that Jesus is the Truth.  So we are not talking about the answer being a theological truth, we are talking about a person.

Yes, I will not deny that there is need for intellectual understanding, but there is a greater need.  The need is to know and love the Truth.  The need is to know the One who is Love, not about Him, but to know Him...

Musings Part 1

I have been struggling with my conceptions.  This morning I was reading through the Psalms.  This is where I got stuck about a month ago.  I was reading my way through the Bible when I realized one morning that I was skipping to the names of God or the descriptive names and marking them without really reading the passage.

Perhaps, I am the only one who often struggles to really read without thinking about what I am making for lunch or the to-do list that I need to write.  As for the marking the names of God, I have been trying to do an exhaustive study on God throughout the entire Bible.  It was going pretty well until I found myself making those lists as I read.  I was feeling spiritually devoid, unable to focus, unable to have clear thoughts, distracted.

So I took a hiatus and had spent some time studying what I felt was my need.  I studied about the God of all peace, Who is Himself our peace.  One morning as I was studying last week I caught myself having these thoughts about what it meant to be a mature Christian.  I was laying out a measuring rod when it struck me that God is a person.  I know, I know this is not some novel idea.  Yet for me, in that moment, it was revolutionary.

Follow my thinking, disagree if you would like, but God being a person struck to the root of my experiential problems.  I know there are times in my Christian experience where this has been a living reality.  Lately though, God is the One who is in charge of the Universe, and Who I am a bit afraid of.  It sounds bad in my head and sounds worse on paper, but it is the reality of my current experience.  Don't get me wrong I could give you the study on how God is good, and quote you scripture upon scripture to back up my position, but I find myself here amongst the narrative of a book.  I hear myself in Lucy's questions. “Is – is he a man?” asked Lucy. “Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion, the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh,” said Susan, “I thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” “That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” “Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe."  ( C.S. Lewis~ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe).  I find myself getting caught up in the "Course he isn't safe."  But the he in my version is capitalized.  Of course the dialog didn't really end there with Mr. Beaver saying that He isn't safe.  It is followed by this phrase, it is the phrase that makes all the difference..."But he is good."  

So in my daily experience I am digesting this idea, trying to move from the place with the disciples in the boat, it is my own voice that I hear speaking,  "What kind of a man is this, that 
even the winds and the sea obey Him?" (Matthew 8:27).  What kind of man indeed.  Yet the disciples didn't know the rest of the story... They had walked with Jesus but didn't know who He was.  Perhaps this is me also.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Memories of Eden

This video reminds me so much of the dangers we pose to nature.  There is this bear, that acts more like the bears in Eden then the bears in Alaska.  She is just hanging out being a bear.  The danger is now that she is used to man she is more likely to be shot by humans.  How sad, that even when we don't intend to our sinful state affects nature adversely.

I am longing after a day when we can be friends again with the animals, for real without endangering their lives.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Earth Declares God's Glory

Our Hearts and Other Soil

So the garden is growing.  It is growing in spite of the overly clayey soil.

It is growing in spite of the too high phosphorus.

It is growing in spite of the crazy low levels of nitrogen.

It reminds me so much of our hearts.  God's grace is so amazing that it still causes growth in spite of the terrible condition of the soil in our hearts.  

As we have been reading and researching I have begun to think the analogy goes further.  In the parable of the sower Jesus describes our hearts as different types of soil.  According to the research that we have come across the gardner can grow soil.  No matter how bad your soil is, it can become great soil for growing.  It takes work, and composting and de-rocking and double digging to improve the micro-nutrients and the soil composition.  Now according the Biblical parable, God is the gardener.  I know so little about gardening, but the Gardener of our hearts, He is amazing.  He knows all about growing the soil in the garden of our hearts.  

Now here in Texas our soil has two struggles.  The first is the clay.  The soil here compacts because it is made of fine clay particles that don't absorb water initially very well.  Once it gets wet it stays wet, sometimes too wet, causing it to have trouble draining enough for many plants' tastes.    When it does dry out the soil cracks, deep cavern type cracks.  The second problem is down anywhere from 6 inches to 3 feet is a layer of rock.  The rock also doesn't drain well.  Some plants (read native) do fine here, but others (pretty much the trees that bare fruit and grapes and blueberries and...) don't care for this type of treatment.

That parable about the soil talked about rocky soil.  As Mark tried to break through the rock with a metal bar I couldn't help but think about the rocky soil.  Boy it takes a lot of work to get a hole into it far enough, deep enough, wide enough so that the soil will drain and the roots won't rot. 

So as we have been experimenting with our garden, I feel God working on my heart.  I can feel Him begin to break up the bedrock that lies, not too far beneath the surface.  A couple weeks back I was asked to preach a sermon on joy.  It was hard to preach a sermon on joy.  In my search through various verses I think I have struck on some of my struggles with the issue.  You see that parable about the soil, also speaks to the idea of joy.  It connected joy to receiving the gospel.  But it also said that the ones who received it with joy died early because of their lack of root.  I have been praying the last couple of weeks for God to break up the rock of my heart so that the roots of the "good news" of Jesus Christ can go deep.  I want these roots to infiltrate all the crevices of the deepest places of my heart, so that the joy of the Lord can be my strength, so it can fill me full to the top of the Life More Abundant.  It is not enough to receive the word with joy, I want to go on to experience His joy and His perfect peace.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gardening in Eden, Gardening Now

In Eden the soil was alive with everything needed for growth and vitality.  The soil was not compacted or full of weeds and rocks.  A mist came up and watered the garden every morning and the temperature matched what was needed to bring life and growth to the garden.

Well let me just say, this is not Eden.

The last couple of days as I have worked out in our little garden I have been contemplating the parallels between gardening and spiritual development.  Today it hit 80F.  Now there is 80 and then there is 80 with humidity.  Let me just say I miss, my 105F in the shade, after all, it was a dry heat.  The knowledge that Texas heat and humidity hasn't even hit its stride yet, further adds to the discomfort.  The soil here is a nice thick sludge that you loosen only to have the weight of it compact it again.

I have planted a few things in the garden so far.  The strawberries and onions that were already plants look great.  I have a few potted plants that are doing fine.  The seeds, well so far, I believe they are avoiding growth.  Now, I am not 100% sure.  After all there are some sprouts showing up.  Long thin strands are pushing their way through the soil.  They could be the chives I planted a week and a half ago.  However, these strands are showing up everywhere I did not plant chives, in addition to the occasional blade in the chive square.  The ones that were next to the strawberry plants,  I pulled, taste a lot like grass, but who am I to say that when they show up in the chive square they aren't chives.  So, we play the waiting game.

We have been double digging our garden.  It is a slow process and at times we wonder is it really worth it.  The beds were weeded to varying degrees and I am expecting varying results to follow.  Never mind the vast amount of grass seed that was just hanging out in the soil waiting to germinate in the spring.  The rocks get pulled out, compost and sand gets added in.  We did a soil sample and we took another to the post office today.  Our home test says the soil is a bit alkaline.  So we are adding compost and hoping that the soil itself doesn't kill off our plants until we can get it more in balance.

All this may seem like a lot of work.  In reality it is only a decent amount of work, but I am born in the city so the adjustment may make it feel like a lot of work.  In an age when there are tractors and tillers, why do the work by hand?  There are so many labor saving devices, why not use them?

I have always done my best thinking when I am working or playing outside.  So the work has generated a bit of pondering.  I have to say honestly, my thoughts have been cloudy for quite a while.  I don't feel like I have been away from the city long enough for my thoughts to have fully cleared, or perhaps it is that we have brought enough of the city with us that we add to our problem.  At times, it feels like I am living my life in a deep fog.

So as I have been wading through this fog a few things have become clear.  This gardening is a parable of my life.  The condition of the soil, is much like the condition of my heart.  Now, I have read somewhere that soil can be healed and reclaimed and made wonderful, no matter how bad it's condition originally.  I have not experienced it personally, but I have heard a few stories and I have enough buy in to actually try, even if its a bit of work.

I have also read in the Bible that God can change hearts and heal lives, no matter how bad the condition, He can reclaim the years the locusts have eaten.  Sometimes, it seems like a lot of work for nothing.  Shouldn't there be some sort of quick fix for this tedious process of weeding, removing rocks, watering, aerating the soil?  Yet, I know when I am gardening, I want to feel the soil between my fingers.  I don't want to add to the pollution, and allow some machine to put the energy into it.  I want to be tired and sore when I get done.  I want to personally invest myself into it.  Maybe, it is the same with my heart and God.  Maybe, He wants to draw close and prune and cut and pull weeds and de-rock it and till up my heart.  Would it be strange to suggest that God might want to get some dirt under His nails?  Was that why Jesus came?  Maybe the time spent in relationship is better, then some quick fix.

Rumor has it that tractors are actually part of our soils problem.  I read this amazing article on soil in an old issue of National Geographic.   Funny, how the further we get away from Eden, the more we think we have a solution, a way of doing things better.  God told man to till the ground.  Man comes up with a way to do it with less work.  Man then comes up with a way to get someone else, some place else to do it for him.  Mass production begins.  Mass production is turning our world into a desert.  Having someone else some place else do it, means the price of food goes up.  Now we have to pay the farmer, the harvesters, the gas or diesel for the tractor, and the worker and the shipping to get it to our grocery store.  (For ideas on how to do this another way I recommend the book, Eat Where you Live  by Lou Bendrick.  For those in Fresno, you can get it in the library. )

Could it be that when we try to come up with a better way to do things, it is a sign of our weakness and not a strength.  In an effort to get out of the garden, are we avoiding the lessons that God is trying to teach us about our hearts and our souls?  If I am too busy to sit in the quiet, could I lose out on the ability to slow down and hear the birds, the wind in the leaves and the whisper of that still small voice?

No, its not Eden.

But maybe, God still comes to us in the garden in the cool of the day, but we have out-sourced that job, so we aren't there.  The King of the Universe used to come to the garden to walk and talk with His friends and creation.  His Word claims He does not change.  In our search for a way to do things better, maybe it would be a good idea to try to move back toward the way things were in Eden, instead of away from that ideal toward something we have contrived on our own.  After all, righteousness by faith is about letting God do it His way in our lives.  He lives in us.  It requires a bit of pruning and weeding and pulling up of rocks but it is worth it, because our Gardener is in pursuit of a crop and He will get it unless we pull back and insist on doing it our own way.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Garden

We are in the process of developing our first garden.  We are exploring Square Foot Gardening, biointensive, raised bed, double dug, organic and French intensive techniques.  We have been researching all about companion planting, and growing for encouraging beneficial insects.  This whole process started sitting on Ruth's couch one day when I picked up a copy of Square Foot Gardening.  Shortly after that I was doing some research on cool places to go for our anniversary when I stumbled upon The Stanford Inn.  This began a whole process of discovery and quite a bit of daydreaming.  The Stanford Inn, is an eco resort that has its own biointensive, organic, raised bed gardens on the premises.  These gardens are just one piece of a whole.  They also have a onsite vegan restaurant called Raven's Restaurant that serves all the Stanford Inn guests vegan or vegetarian made to order brunches as part of the total package for all overnight guests.

Anyway, this whole discovery got me dreaming about a lifestyle center patterned after the sustainable, eco-friendly models out there.  Let me just say, I am still dreaming.  Maybe, one day, something will come of it all.

So the first step, is actually learning how to do some of the things we have been researching about.  Right now, I am on my way out the door, to do some soil sample gathering for soil testing.  Apparently, the local county extension agent does this for a nominal fee.  The garden test seems to be free  (well, upon closer scrutiny the test wasn't free but still reasonable) and the field test costs $10.

In the next couple of days perhaps we will get some pictures of what the process is looking like.  Right now, it seems that every spare second is spent reading up on plants, growing methods or working in the garden.

Hope those of you who are also gardening or more seasoned at gardening, will share your wealth of information with us.

Our dream is to create a small piece of the paradise that God originally made, here on our place and hopefully learn the lessons this process is meant to teach us.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


There is a theme.  I sense that I am full to the top of questions.  I have past the point where I knew the answers.  I have invaded the territory of the unknown.  Our good God will not be boxed.  He is free.  He is bigger than what we can comprehend or understand.  Yet, he comes down to us and says "come let us reason together."  It is almost laughable.  How can I reason with God?  Could I answer one of His questions?

There is nothing that can be done.  He is outside of our control.  He is good but not limited to our perception of good.  How awful (to be understood in the old English sense "awesome") it is to stand in the presence of His mighty power.  

I am standing empty.  The Lord has given and then taken.  There are moments when it seems a blessing, yet, the ache and the apathy overwhelms me.  I am sinking in the mire.  What is left to grasp to but His mighty hand?  Will He reach out to save?

It is so easy to get wrapped up in a sense of our worth being derived from our position, our occupation, what we do.  Yet, we were made to be human beings, not doings.  Who am I?  Why was I made?

Can I respectfully say that I sometimes feel like a pawn in a giant chess game?  Can I say this and still retain my faith?  Or does the admission pre-date a turning from faith to doubt?

What about the promises?  Can one claim the promises and meet the conditions and still come up empty?  To whom were the promises written?  Why?

Why, is probably my biggest question.  Why Lord do You seem to draw back?  I am only holding on at times by a thread.  Can I really withstand Your retreat?  

The tide is coming in again and I sense myself sinking.  In the garden you spoke hope into their despair.  As they stood on the edge of the garden with the sword flaming between them and their home, You spoke hope.  They were banished from Your home gifted to them.  How could they hold onto the hope of not being banished from Your heart, if it wasn't for the promise?

As I stand on the edge of despair please speak hope into my life, for there are times when I fear being swept under.  What do You want from us?  Why?

The loss is aching through.  How does one cling to hope this side of Eden?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Trust beyond Feeling

What must it have been like to have been made in the garden?  If your only memories were of perfection, bliss and perfect harmony, how hard would it have been to leave?  How would it have torn your heart to see it all slipping away, because of something you did?  What does it mean to trust God beyond the feeling?

Can we move beyond the place where Eve stood, looking longingly toward the tree.  There she was caught between God's Word and the serpent's lie.  As she ponders, her perception rises up and sides on the side of the serpent.  Her senses agree with the lie.  What now?

Oh, it is easy to judge her from outside the garden.  We forget the times today, this hour, this second where we have stood looking longingly toward our tree, caught between God's Word and the serpent's lie.  What will we do when our senses side on the side of the serpent?

It is oh so easy to judge her from outside the garden.

It is a long journey, learning this art of abiding in Christ.  When it feels, like you are all alone, what then?  The Word says, "I will never leave you," but your heart feels...  It is then that the serpent whispers.

How does one settle down into the circle of God's love and trust it, because it is and not allow the sensation of our lack of worth drive us out of His presence?   Was it this sense that drove our parents to hide behind the trees and make their futile attempts at clothing themselves?

What does righteousness by faith look like with clothes on it?  Did it look like God unclothing Adam and Eve from the clothes they had made, removing piece by piece the lies that were blinding their eyes and their hearts?  The lie that they could fix it themselves.  The lie that they could hide their imperfections from God.  The lie that they didn't need God.  When God made them clothes of animal skins, did Eve's heart break to see the precious lamb's blood flow?  Was this what righteousness by faith looked like?

Corrie ten Boom said, "Don't wrestle, just nestle."  Is this what it means to trust beyond the feeling.  To hold on tightly to truth, no matter what it feels like.  At some point along the way, will we realize that when we are holding on to Truth it is holding on to Jesus, Himself?  If we cling to Him we will find ourselves in the shelter of His wings.

If we can gaze into His eyes, and take our eyes off of the tree, will we find it is harder to hear the serpent?  I believe that while nestling in His arms, it will be easier to verify our perceptions with His will and to trust Him beyond the feeling.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Have you ever desired, deep in the bedrock of your soul, to be understood?  There is a sense of need, to be intellectually known.  Perhaps it is a built in need that God has placed there.

It is easy to feel all alone, in spite of the milling throng.  If in that throng there are no sympathizing ears and hearts, no answering chords of harmonious thoughts, the tendency is to feel desolate.  It seems overwhelmingly solitary when you are surrounded by people, but no one understands.  It is easy to begin feeling left out, and even begin to wonder about your ability to make coherent sense, when you desire to be heard, to be understood and to be able to share ideas and theories, but they fall on deaf ears that cannot hear beyond the bias of their previous thought.  

Sometimes, in the effort to plot the next answer we fail to listen to the sentence, or even the heart of the other person, poured out for us in the desire to communicate.  Is it possible, today in my quickness to answer, I missed an opportunity to connect with another isolated soul?

When God made man, did He desire to connect with man on a level of intellectual giving of Himself to us?  Does He look down on earth with its milling throng and feel lonely for someone who would be interested in "hearing" Him?  Are we rushing past, when He tries to draw near to us, seeking for a heart that might want to "know" Him and "understand" Him?

There is often a desire for relational understanding among each other.  Yet, I remain unknown.  Is that because we were not made for this knowing amongst each other, but to be known by God Himself?  Or is this void, this vacancy, a symptom of the brokenness of our relationships?

When I find myself longing after a forgotten garden, I often find myself yearning after the sense of wholeness.  I am craving relationships that do not have space and distance in them.  I dream of the ability to communicate in ways that express ideas, share dreams and in the sharing of ideas connect me on a deeper level with another.

When I reach toward the glorious day of our Lord's soon returning, I am reaching toward the wholeness of restored relationships and the ability to be known.