24 August, 2007

in God we trust

Overheard today in Chapel Hill:

In our room
Kathryn: "Whoa, there are dried grapes in here!"
Me: "You mean RAISINS?"
Kathryn: "Wait... raisins are dried grapes??"

Two guys in class
"Dude. Our teacher has a lip ring."
"And that's what makes him awesome."

Professor Armitage, on latecomers
"And here we have some stragglers, slouching towards Greenlaw to be born..."

The guys who wear too much cologne. Constant murmurs of complaint. Girls who chew gum too loudly. The endless stream of vapid girls with heavy mascara and the boys with the half-lidded eyes and slightly open mouths. Taking notes. Reading textbooks. Crossing the Pit. Hundreds of vaguely familiar faces. Welcome back to the University. It is good to be back, though it is profoundly different. People and perceptions have changed, and so it is great solace to remember that God is constant. ("Living in fear will drive you mad...")

Last night, after our first IV large group of the year, Matt, Kathryn, Catherine, and I came to our room for an hour or more of honest prayer and repentance. How boldly God met us there! Our prayers for one another brought such unspeakable joy to my heart. God's peace transcends our inadequate words and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us so faithfully; I know this is true because of last night. Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens, who listens to and answers our cries. Praise Him, also, for friends like this.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble. Psalm 90:14,15

21 August, 2007


Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of the grave.
Psalm 86:11-13

Maybe one day soon I'll write something more substantial. For now, however, this says everything so much more fully and perfectly than I could.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.

11 August, 2007

so life fills my veins

I finished The Waves two nights ago. It was brilliant, astonishing, everything I dreamed it would be. I can't imagine having a mind that facile; to be able to conceive of such radiant phrases and such thin yet durable connections between people and perceptions and the spirits of life and beauty and death. I wrote up six pages of passages that I loved, but here's a brief spattering of the outstanding ones:

“I know what loves are trembling into fire; how jealousy shoots its green flashes hither and thither; how intricately love crosses love; love makes knots; love brutally tears them apart. I have been knotted; I have been torn apart.” Neville

From Jinny:
"Thus, in a few seconds, deftly, adroitly, we decipher the hieroglyphs written on other people’s faces.”

And, finally, Bernard:
“That is, I am a natural coiner of words, a blower of bubbles through one thing and another. And striking off these observations spontaneously I elaborate myself; differentiate myself and listening to the voice that says as I stroll past, ‘Look! Take note of that!’ I conceive myself called upon to provide, some winter’s night, a meaning for all my observations—a line that runs from one to the other, a summing up that completes. But soliloquies in back streets soon pall. I need an audience. That is my downfall. That always ruffles the edge of the final statement and prevents it from forming.”

Some time soon I'll try to write something more substantial--if I can catch a spare moment between teaching essay strategies and packing and spending my last summer days with the family... (writing might not happen as I'd like it to.)

God has met me strongly this past week, which has been a difficult one. I don't, as a general rule, have difficult weeks. I do not know how to persevere in trials, and I especially don't know how to consider them "pure joy." But the Lord has been infuriatingly faithful and has met me every morning in His Word. Whether I want to see Him or not, He's there. Staring me in the face. I can't forget this reflection; it's idiocy if I do (James 1).

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And being with you, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25, 26