Sunday, July 20, 2008

Birthday Presence

July 20th
You started something crazy.

They say coincidence is Your way of offering anonymous gifts . . .
I turned 30 on my favorite day of the week
Today, I walked into the church I was baptized in twenty years ago
and into a cloud of Monet memories I have to squint to see
when middle schools fears chased like a man in a Hockey mask
a panicked search for my true self
and led me to the truth of You
when youth group trips weren't just a new place to hang out
but revelations of campfire conversations
and candlelight confessions that welcomed You
in the glowing circles
memories of pew-sitting with my feet waving pendulums below
looking up from my biting fingernails to watch dad lead worship
with his hands up and eyes closed
then Mom would come out from behind the black and white keys
where she painted beauty with her fingertips
to sing with the microphone up
reminding me of a silver ice cream cone
and her eyes would close at a precise peak
and I would close my eyes too and listen
because it was all about You
a weekend visit brought me into a new decade of life
with mom and dad looking at me
and saying without saying that I will always be their little girl
at exactly 10:40am this morning when I turned the big 3-0
my mom and I were singing a duet
and I couldn't remember exactly when
I grew into sounding like her
just like the first time I realized we could share shoes
It was a song of my heart written by Sarah Groves
the perfect reflection of my own modern day Psalms
dancing with the hymn of my heritage
"He's Always Been Faithful" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness"
give and take like the playground swings
growth spurting into hammock prayers with Your word in my lap
the thousand in the crowd along with my bright eyed grinning girl
and the man I love staring like our first date
all blanketed with darkness,
my eye lids curtaining any temptation of a show
and I just sang to You
thanking You for Your
birthday presence.

P.S. I don't feel thirty, and I think it's okay.
I'll always be Your little girl.

"Our life, as individual persons and as members of a perplexed and struggling race, provokes us with the evidence that it must have meaning. Part of the meaning still escapes us. Yet our purpose in life is to discover this meaning, and live according to it. We have therefore, something to live for. The process of living, of growing up, and becoming a person is precisely the gradual increasing awareness of what that something is . . . Therefore this discovery of ourselves is always a losing of ourselves--a death and resurrection . . . not the discovery of ourselves, but of Christ." Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island

"Morning by morning I wake up to find
the power and comfort of God's hand in mine.
Season by season I watch him amazed, in
awe of the mystery of his perfect ways
All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me
I can't remember a trial or a pain
he did not recycle to bring me gain.
I can't remember one single regret
in serving God only and trusting his hand
All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
This is my anthem, this is my song, the
theme of the stories I've heard for so long.
God has been faithful, he will be again.
His loving compassion, it knows no end.
All I have need of his hand will provide.
He's always been faithful to me"
Sara Groves, "He's Always Been Faithful"

"I will sing of the LORD's great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations."
Psalm 89:1


Stephanie J said...

Happy Birthday Kristin!

Sherry Ingle said...

Happy belated birthday!! Would have loved to hear you and your mom sing!! How wonderful!

michellewegner said...

I think this was one of the most powerful things I have read by you. Perhaps because I relate to it so much...esp. the hockey mask/middle school thing. :)
And...Great is thy faithfulness was and is my all time favorite hymn.

sherryLsmith said...

Beautifully written! God is so good to bring to your memory such precious, beautiful events of your past to remember and write about, and then share with others who weren't there. I can hear you and your mom singing together even now...

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