woman in bed awakening sukllen sulk hiding

Nothing has gone right these past days.  My Blackberry stopped working. (That is not a minor glitch for me — my Blackberry!!!)  That is a dark day.  And then the dashboard of my car flashed with all kinds of symbols that meant nothing to me — except that I knew that the simultaneous grinding sounds from the transmission that were almost beating in sync with the flashing symbols on the dashboard wer not a melody of promise from my car.  I determined not to let that get me down.  I called Hertz and rented a car for the weekend, because I had promised friends I would make the drive across the Continental Divide for some extended time together, and I was determined to salvage the weekend.

Bright and early Saturday morning I headed into the Colorado mountains determined to forget about my unreliable phone and to repress the thoughts of the $360 car rental bill, because I knew the Aspen trees would still be dazzingly, shimmering gold as Fall bid one more farewell before it fled from the inevitable Colorado winter.  And it was beautiful.  I forgot the dying Blackberry and the sputtering car and the dwindling bank account and put in one of my favorite new cd’s — Ghosts Upon the Earth

My heart filled with the promise of Life in the beautiful Salvation Story, “When Death Dies””: “Where it comes flowers grow/Lions sleep, gravestones roll. . .. .”  Driving into the shimmering Colorado day, listening to the Good News of Life that completely eclipses all the things that don’t work in this world — I was rescued with Salvation truth, “When death dies all things live.”

I arrived at a Colorado sanctuary filled with the most amazing detail of decor that I’ve ever seen — detail reflecting the life, spirit, mystery, and promise of the moutains.  It was a reminder of the thought God placed in create each of us — with detail making us a unique reflection of His image in us.  We had sweet, hard conversations that threatened to pushed the Good News to the corners of my heart.  Theirs is a difficult relationship with layers of hurt and there are winding, confusing roads of hard work ahead that lead me to grieve for my friends understand their despair of wondering if it’s worth it. 

 I head backed across the Colorado mountains, heavy-hearted, needing another Salvation Story.  This time the words of singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson lit a candle of hope:
                      “I do” are the two most final last words
                      The beginning of the end
                      But to lose your life for another, I’ve heard
                      Is a good place to begin
                      And we’re dancing in the minefields
                      We’re sailing in the storm
                      This is harder than I dreamed
                      But I believe that’s what the
Promise is for
Those were good words to be singing when my rental car gave up the ghost.  It just barely limped along allowing me to slowly roll into an exit somewhere between Basalt and Vail to wait for a tow truck and a replacement rental.  I tried to inhale the scenery and hum that earlier salvation song – “when flowers grow, lions sleep, gravestones roll, where death dies all things live.”  

But I was starting to feel like something might be dying inside of me — dying and needing to get out.  There aren’t songs to go along with this part of the story.  I got a replacement rental car and made it to a few exits down the road, pulled the new car right up to the curb in front of the gas station, and barely made it to the bathroom when all of the accumulation of this weekend projectiled out of me.   That happened two more times along the scenic highway on the way to home.

I somehow made it back to the haven of my home.  My Blackberry still isn’t working.  I returned the $481 rental car (there was an extra charge for “exchanging a car in route”?!? ) I was too tired and afraid that my shaky insides might still be wanting to get outside to argue with the helpful Hertz  man. 

Since I’ve settled back into home I’ve been praying for my friends that I went to visit thinking of the two songs I listened to during my sojourn to see them — Ghosts Upon the Earth and “Dancing in the Minefileds.”  I think there are several Salvation Stories in these pieced-together tales.  We are ghosts on this earth and broken phones and clattering cars and difficult marriages and bank accounts with less than $49.00 seem pretty real.   There is a day coming when the True One, the Real One, the Everlasting One,  the One who owns all the aspen trees on all those beautiful Colorado hills will inhabit us in a way that all death will really die and all things will really live.

And until then we are dancng on the mine fields.  I’m a terrible dancer.  I feel awkward and clumsy and ugly and fat and stupid when I dance.  I feel exactly like I did in 8th grade when I wore that polyester blue skirt my mother made for me.  I really liked it, but I remember the seams weren’t smooth and the skirt hung crooked in the back — so much so that my speech teacher quietly pulled me aside and softly suggested, “I don’t think this would be an appropriate outfit to wear to the Speech & Debate Competition next weekend.”  I was glad that no one asked me to dance after that as I waited in corner of the gym with my coat tightly buttoned on for the rest of the night.   

I often feel like that dorky, awkward, insecure 8th grade girl who is “fake dancing” in a mine field and I don’t know how to dance and sometimes that makes me so mad, and sometimes it scares me.  But usually God gives me Salvation Stories like the two songs I listened to yesterday.  And other times — like tonight — when I’ve absoutely given up on figuring out my Blackberry; I’m going to stop checking my bank account  once more just hoping for the “miracle check from Aunt Lydia ” (she died 30 years ago).  I’m going to entrust my hurting friends into the care of the Wonderful Counselor, and I’m going to watch one more Salvation Story song.  It’s called :”Flawz” by Caitlin Crosby.  You can listen to it if you’re in the need of some saving grace at http://youtu.be/R_PpRpYME10.

I don’t know about you, but most days I just need one Salvation Story after another. after another, and stil another.  We really are just ghosts on the earth, dancing in some pretty tricky minefields, and oh — we are so flawed, but there is a day coming when “It all comes water’s clean/Children fed/All believe/When death dies all things live.”  And until then we are loved.  We are loved.  We are loved.  I am loved.  I am loved.  I am loved.  I am loved.  I am loved. I am loved. I

“We take up permanent resident in the life of love, we live in God and God live sin us.  This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry . . . .”John 4, The Message