Thursday, January 01, 2009


Gully: "There are as many ways to live as there are people in this world. And each one deserves a closer look." From the film Harriet the Spy (1996)

I think Rachel had a magnifying glass behind those pretty eyes
and the rest of us are just a little farsighted
"Every day was show and tell" Gene said
"And she never said no to an adventure."
And as I begin this new year with You
all my resolutions melt into a closer look at Rachel
the profound words in her Bible,
her Jesus joy dressed in silliness, her constant smile,
her reckless love for you doodled in the margins,
her uninhibited freedom to dance and run,
snapshots of lady bugs with cats bouncing on her back,
her "yes"s when I would have said "no"
out of my needless fear and made-up proprieties,
how she somehow lived for today and eternity all at once,
and like the endless truths of her leather-bound user's guide,
never skimming anything,
rather diving into life until her fingers got all pruny
and I can feel You whispering a new sense of responsibility
for this year and all the remaining marbles in my jar
this sticky humanity has one less delight
and it's time to step it up
and take the torch she is passing onto all of us
that looks a lot more like a magnifying glass
as we take a closer look at ourselves in the light of Your plans
and begin to redefine what it really means to be

"People nowadays take time far more seriously than eternity." Thomas Kelly

"Again and again, as we pursue spiritual life, we must do battle with hurry. For many of us the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them." John Ortberg, The Life You've Always Wanted

"Everyone thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself." Leo Tolstoy

“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"How many people are radically and permanently repelled from The Way by Christians who are unfeeling, stiff, unapproachable, boringly lifeless, obsessive and dissatisfied? Yet such Christians are everywhere , and what they are missing is the wholesome liveliness springing from a balanced vitality with the freedom of God's loving rule." Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines

"Goals are discovered, not made. God delights on showing us exciting new alternatives for the future." Richard Foster, A Celebration of Discipline

I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone." The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new." Revelation 21:3-4 (Msg)


Anonymous said...

wow, you wrote of our girl like you were her intimate. thank you for sharing your gift of words to honor her life and point to Jesus at the same time. that is what she tried to live out. it would seem she succeeded. i hope your words inspire others to live this life out better and closer to God .
again thank for the beautiful tribute
luv and blessings, mary ort

michellewegner said...

I read the same verse from Revalation the night of Rachel's funeral...not intentionally, but it was one of those "my Bible fell open to that page" things that got me in the gut.

I want to be like Rachel. Thank you for illustrating her life in such a beautiful way.

John's Arts & Crafts said...
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Leah Banicki said...

Beautiful... you got it right. She always had a firm grasp of the ridiculous. She shared Jesus while making beaded bracelets and teaching little girls to do back bends.

Always being the serious sister, I enjoyed her contrast to my own way of sharing Jesus. Her openness and easy way with people always amazed me. I called it her "thing".

rhonda owens said...

Ok. I don't even know Rachel, but I wept with joy (I know, that's strange) at your eulogy for her. What a wonderful person she must have been. What a joyful trail she left behind. Beautifully written.

Jyl said...

When people ask me about Rachel & why it was so hard for me to lose her, I can't explain it. The only thing I can say to them is this...

You missed out on knowing, quite possibly, the most wonderful person who ever lived.

I miss her.