25 July, 2007

the vulnerable prayer

Today I babysat my former youth leader's daughter. Taylor is almost two and pure energy and joy. She is beautiful and precocious and lots of fun to hang out with. This morning, we were bouncing on the couch and she's giggling, perfectly happy. Suddenly, in mid-bounce, she turns around and rushes at me, shouting, "Miss Abby! Give me a HUG!" She wraps her little arms around my neck and kisses my cheek. Commence melting. Little girls are pearls. I wouldn't mind having a few. (Not... now... though.) I taught her how to say a few phrases in Japanese, too: like "Good morning, mama," and "I love you." After giving her some "frootschnacks" (fruit snacks), she beams up at me and says, "Aishiteru!" I smile, so proud of my little scholar, and say, "Taylor-chan, aishiteru mo." I love you too, Taylor.

While Taylor was napping, I finished Gone with the Wind. Mitchell was at the top of her game towards the end of that book; the conclusion was so perfect, so moving. I almost cried when Melanie died and felt a bitter triumph when Rhett delivers his classic line: "My dear, I don't give a damn." Scarlett's tenacity never wavers; you learn her vicious temperament so perfectly by the end of the book that there are few surprises, yet Mitchell has shaped her so that Scarlett still evokes interest, delight, and disgust. Her characterizations are so full, so robust, so complete. To have an imagination like that! It was the ideal summer book and I'm glad I finally read it. Woolf's The Waves is next, to be read, quite appropriately, while I am at the beach.

"You are not the God we would have chosen." -- Walter Brueggemann, Awed to Heaven, Rooted to Earth

Read this quote in a magazine today and it pricked me. He is not the God we would have fashioned if we could have fashioned Him. He is too unpredictable, too dangerous, too mysterious, too faithful, too difficult to pin down, too full of a ridiculous, all-consuming love. I would have made Him plainer, easier to understand. But when I think about it, really think about it, would I want a God any other way? No. It is somehow a paradoxical comfort to have a God beyond Reason. A God who startles us every morning with His faithfulness. A God with a savage beauty and a jealous love. A God of peace and wrath. This is our God. And even though He would not have been our choice, we were His.

I'll be wandering around the Outer Banks with Nick, his family, and a delightful assortment of friends until Aug. 6 or so. Hope you are all enjoying these last dregs of summer...

1 comment:

stickfigure said...

No, not wasted. Long-term investments might often seem wasted at first. It's the thought that counts, anyway.