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L'Abri Journals...ACGray

August 2001
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Mid-summer Broodings....

  LAbri @ Massanutten, August 11, 2000       

"Here is the criterion:  the Scriptures decode God's world of artistry around us.  The Word and wonder work in tandem.  It is as if God looses us in His cosmic art gallery with a map (His Word) and a virtual tour guide (His Spirit) to interpret His images.  Neglecting special revelation would be like looking at the stars through the muddy lenses of a telescope."

Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Other Gods

 A glorious rainfall broke a long hot dry season this afternoon, replenishing moisture to a great part of the Shenandoah Valley.  On the metal roof of the building where I work came the sound of abundance of rain and I lifted up a Deo Gratis for this heaven-sent gift.  Tonight katydids and crickets sound their midsummer nights drum roll, a symphony of nature that signals the beginning of the end of summer.  Distant sirens responding to some human-caused crisis shatter this measured sonata, and I send up a petition for those in distress.

        My mindset remains on track to simplify my life, pare my possessions, and collect new friends.  Im discovering anew that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.  With all the giving, useful and needful gifts seem to come my way from unexpected sources.  I know, of course, that beyond the giver is the Giver who motivates, who sees and knows my needs and provides so abundantly.  Gradually, all the strings to Arbreux have given way to new freedom, new beginnings, however slow they seem in coming into focus.  Im more grateful than ever for this passage and new place that I now call home while learning to give up my dependence on place and rely on the Source of all provisions and security.  From here and there comes word that older friends are making passages such as mine.  Too, in the space of the past week, Ive heard of the unexpected death of three dear friends, a sober reminder that we do not have forever, to borrow a cogent phrase from my pen pal, Leo Buscaglia.  So I pray for wisdom to redeem the time, for insight to comprehend more fully how richly I am blessed, for new goals and means and guidance to wisely share all I am given.

        I seem to be preoccupied with my new garden space, a triangular affair of no more than about 20 square yards.  I try to imagine the many alternatives for plants that will best compliment the passing seasons and how to control invasion of weeds and ivy, a na´ve hope?  In anticipation of autumn, I removed three overgrown mongo pines and in their wake planted gold and bronze mums.   I remind myself that this smaller space is so much more manageable than Arbreuxs seven acres and that quality is preferable to quantity.   

        I read and watch the news of our world these days with a growing gratitude that my peripatetic life has taken me  so many places.  That once I was in Abidjan, Dakar, Monrovia, Freetown, Nairobi, Jerusalem, Berlin, Vladivostok, Paris, London, Buenos Aires, Canberra and hundreds of other places in the news helps me realize how all the world yearns for peace, for love, and for abiding joy and meaning.  How much I know about the globe, and yet how pitifully little I know!  I go to the Psalms for wisdom to live out these days:  If I forget you, O Jerusalem..If I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joyfor You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your Word..Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life  My good friend Don reminds me of another reassuring  verse from the Psalms:  All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. (all from Psalms 137-139,  NIV) 

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17