L'Abri Journals...ACGray

March 2004
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Time for Flying Kites

Flying Geese

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. 

     Capote describes 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

When I look at the galaxies on a clear night - when
I look at the incredible brilliance of creation,
and think that this is what God is like, then
instead of feeling intimidated and diminished
by it, I am enlarged...I rejoice that I am a
part of it - Madeleine L. Engle