Sunday, January 24, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Have you ever been so hungry that you ate so fast you never even really tasted what you were eating?
I love people.
Weird segue I know, but hang in there and maybe it will make sense.
I love how people get excited and flap their hands so hard they knock their drink over then turn a bright shade of red as they try to scoop up an ocean of soda with the tiniest bit of napkin.
I love how a girl will move the same piece of hair out of her face thirty times before she digs in her gigantic purse to find a clip, but instead finds her new tube of drama queen chap stick, smoothes it on her lips and goes back to moving the hair out of her face at least thirty more times before she remembers she needs a clip.
I love people who scream way too loud at football games. I love people who play soccer even when they’re “old.” I love songwriter’s who make me laugh. I love visual artists who use junk. I love people who cook fried foods and eat them! I love the cadence of certain people’s prayers and I treasure up the sounds of their voices in my heart. I love people a bit on the crazy side and I seem to attract some of the most broken. And if I talk to you for over, oh, say . . . ten seconds, you are my friend. Period. Which means I must love you.
There is nothing wrong with loving people, but the way I loved in the past was a bit wonky. People didn’t go into my heart the right way and I developed a strange sense of responsibility. I was responsible for everyone and everyone had the same level of priority.
For many years, I ran around crazy-eyed, stuffing people, with all their glorious intricacies and destructive tendencies into my heart. A friend said maybe I was starved.
That maybe my co-dependent cycle of spinning, self-sabotage was the result of pouring out what had never been given to me . . . stability, sanity, love. That the whole time I thought I was loving by “helping, rescuing, fixing” was just an attempt to be . . . loved¾truly.
When I finally hit a wall and the spinning stopped, I could barely move. I didn’t know how to go about in the world, what my motives were, what love really meant. I stopped using the L-word for a while. I didn’t trust it.
But I was still surrounded by people. My friends and family made sure of that. SO, what was I to do?
My friend Judy who loves to be around people once opened and closed her hands like the claw in that pizzeria vending machine game while saying “people, people, people.” She was hungry for them.
And I knew exactly what she meant. Only, it seemed to me, she new how to nourish people and be nourished by people, while I had just been on a hard-core binge.
But I couldn’t stop loving people just because I was doing it wrong. I just had to scrap about nine-tenths of the ideas I had about love and start from a sorta scratch, continuously reminding myself that God loves me, even if people don’t.
So now, I am in be still training. Not tame, but still. When I’m still I can listen to God and He teaches me. One of the things He is teaching me is that his treasures are meant to for me to receive as a blessing, not for my indulgence.
That any blessing He bestows on me, is just that, a blessing, not to be devoured hungrily in place of His love, but to be enjoyed as a result of His love.
Oh, the love of Jesus.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Of Babies, Broccoli, a Broken Faux Roman Column Plant Base, and a Bench (that nearly broke the ol' man's back)
So did I live like I knew I was loved by God...yesterday? Yes and No. And that's probably as it will always be with me this side of heaven. But first the "no." I was in the car with my wife when she said something (or I said something) that triggered a fit of rage within my soul. It had to do with the past. It had to do with the limitations of my wife's love and my own. It had to do with old wounds that serve as constant reminders that I am still a broken vessel in desperate need of the grace and mercy of God. Any way, I definitely was not aware (or at least chose not to be aware) of the grace of God at that moment in the car. I was aware of my anger and it colored the world red, and something in me didn't want to allow God to change the color. BUT then after a short period of strained silence we came home to the smell of a hot pot of Italian Broccoli soup with twisted strands of pesto-egg noodles that my son-in-law, Andrew, made from scratch—including the twisted noodles that my son, Jason, helped to twist with his own nine-year-old-challenged fingers. It was transforming. Yes, the kitchen was transformed into a war zone of scattered flour, spices and dirty measuring utensils, but more importantly my heart was transformed from a raging beast to a appreciative (and hungry) father-in-law. And then there was The Baby. Miriam, my almost two-month-old grand daughter, is a constant source of grace. Her every movement of eye, tongue, finger or toe is a revelation of the divine. And in-between the broccoli soup and baby, my wife looked into my eyes to see if the beast was still present, and it wasn't, and we gave each other a peace offering in the form of two sets of petaled lips meeting. And then there was the broken faux Roman Column Plant Base. As we were savoring the delicate soup at the table complete with fresh bread and real butter with browned bits of garlic, someone commented on handsome and rather large L-shaped wooden bench that sat in our living room. It is a recent addition to the eclectic collection of furniture that fills the Hironaga household. The comment lead to a quick story about how the man of the house attempted to lift the huge thing on his back from the backyard to the front of the house because it couldn't fit through the back door and in the process knocked over and broke the aforementioned faux plaster plant base which led to a lowering of the bench and an admission of defeat which lead to the wife-of-the-house coming out with her bundled grand-daughter to the back yard to see what all the commotion was about and rather than pointing out how foolish the 50-year-old-man-of-the-house was for trying to carry something on his back that was meant for a much younger and stronger back, she instead made a simple suggestion of tilting the bench at a certain angle which would make it possible to slide it through the little gate instead of the herculean attempt to hoist it over the fence....well, I think you get the point. That the old man didn't get angry at the old woman's suggestion was grace. That there was the bench in the backyard in the first place was grace. How did the bench happen to get there in the first place (along with two tables)? Grace. Here's the story in one breath: went to La Madeleine (a french bakery) on Saturday to meet a good brother for breakfast (a habit we started over 10 years ago) and talked with the manager about how sad it was that all the old scarred and stained wooden furniture had been replaced with sleek new steel-legged mass produced stuff to which she agreed and said that there was still a table or two left in the back and that I could have them if I could carry them to which I replied, "Wow! Really?" OK, I've gone long enough, but I know I could go on a lot more. Well, I guess I'll have to continue this evening. See you then.