Chalet L'Abri, March 2004
a page from my journal....acg
Now arrives windy March, the month associated with flying kites, at least here north of
the equator. With kites flying around in my gray matter, I warmly recall the
Truman Capote classic, A Christmas Memory, which tells how flying kites produced
an epiphany. Autobiographical, Capote spins a yarn about his older distant cousin
whom he claims was also his best friend in his earliest growing-up years. A spinster
in her sixties, she had stayed young at heart and identified with his youthful seven years.
Together they scraped and saved their pennies each year to buy the ingredients for fruitcakes they baked at Christmas. They sent them mostly to near strangers, but one was always mailed to the President
and they kept an album of thank you letters from the White House. On their last
Christmas together, each had made the other a kite for a Christmas present and they spent the day flying them.
the scene: The wind is blowing, and nothing will do till weve run to the pasture
below the house. There, plunging through the healthy waste-high grass, we unreel our kites, feel them twitching at the string
like sky fish as they swim into the wind. Satisfied, sun-warmed, we sprawl in
the grassand watch our kites cavort. My, how foolish I am! my friend cries, suddenly
alert, like a woman remembering too late she has biscuits in the oven. You know
what Ive always thought? she asks in a tone of discovery.Ive always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before
they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking
at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through, such a shine you dont know its getting dark. And it's been a comfort: to think of
that shine taking away all the spooky feeling. But Ill wager at the very end
a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie (the
dog) pawing earth over her bone just what theyve always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today
in my eyes.
Almost every morning
these days I've seen flocks of geese flying north reminding me that spring will soon be on our doorstep again. I see these flocks as gifts, as reminders that in these confused times the Resurrection of our Lord goes
on happening just as spring keeps on coming precisely on time as ordained by
the Governor of the universe. I see them and breathe my thanks for the stability
of faith that no matter the doubtful rumbles these days over the circumstances of Jesuss birth, ministry, and death on the
Cross (the controversy renewed in Gibsons film), there breaks forth before me tremendous evidence of His continued presence
in the world. I can assert with Malcolm Muggeridge and with utmost certainty: He still isthat the Man Who Died is the
Man Who Lives.
When you most belong to Him, you most belong
to yourself. Lowest at His feet you stand straightest before everything else. Bound to Him you walk the earth free. Fearing
Him you are afraid of nothing else. You bow to Him, but you do not bow to anything
else. You are God's freeman, for you are God's slave. If you are centered in yourself, you are a problem if you are centered in God, you are a person.
E. Stanley Jones,
The Way to Power and Poise