It has been one of those beautiful days. I am quite delighted in all that transpired. I am one that can actually enjoy the telling of what seem to be ordinary activities, so I like reading blogs that do nothing more than tell the story of a given day. Here’s hoping that’s the case for those who read mine.
It began way early. I have been craving Jubala Village Coffee since the first time I went back in September. I made it a point to meet Cameron at his typical visiting time of 7:00am. I ordered some Ethiopian French Press coffee that had a sweet aftertaste of strawberries along with a cinnamon waffle. As I do with any of my coffee, I proceeded to grab one packet of Splenda – no more, no less. The barista shook his head in disgust. He informed me that they don’t treat coffee at Jubala like they do at Starbucks. It is a culinary art to them. They wish for people to try it for how it is and see the difference from their “everyday” coffee. I encouraged him by letting him know I would not put any Splenda on my waffle. The coffee, waffle, and company with Cameron were excellent. I still like Splenda.
I then set forth on a task I began on Friday – cleaning my desk and work environment. The fantastic thing about the week of Thanksgiving is that it opens the doors to projects I would never have the time to complete in a regular work week. It started as mere dusting. It became a mass exodus of equipment, files, and papers. I added a spare monitor we had so I could easily flip back and forth between Windows and Mac platforms (best of both worlds). I probably half-filled a 32 gallon garbage can with files and paperwork that had resided in my desk for far too long. In the end, I had a pristine work station again, inside and out, decorated with the beautiful artwork on the album cover of Behold the Lamb of God. I believe the artist is Evie Coates. She is quite good.
Having the clutter of my desk removed, I found the clutter in my head more manageable as well. It was time to complete thank you letters to supporters. For whatever reason, I felt compelled to share not so much what was going on camp, but what God had touched my heart with the day before. I started writing with a heart for creativity, a way to express the message glowing inside. Here is what fell on the page with a few additions for this blog (there’s only so much room in a thank you letter). I hope it warms your heart as it did mine:
I recently shared at Awanas the beautiful illustration of light throughout the great story God has shared and is still sharing with us in His word. Think about it – the first thing God spoke into existence was light (Genesis 1). Why light? He could have begun with anything. While not stated as such in Scripture, I find it an amazing picture of what God does wherever He begins His work. He takes what is dark and speaks His holy light and presence into it. Is it any wonder that we find delight in light? Even the word “delight” contains it in its spelling. We “ooh” and “ahh” over fireworks. We gather in warmth around the campfire. We will drive through our neighborhoods in a few days to look at all the Christmas decorations. From the sun piercing the clouds at dawn to the star-studded sky on a cold night, our hearts yearn for the beauty of light. That yearning is not happenstance; it was put there with a golden purpose. It is a yearning for the pure and holy glow that only Jesus Christ can bring to a heart through His grace. Sadly, we will grope in the darkness of our sin, thinking there is satisfaction to be had in its shadows. The halls of our hearts are devoid of any beauty or warmth. When our sin and darkness have left us broken and bleeding from the cuts and bruises of our stumbling, we turn to Christ in lowly confession and pleading. He is all too happy to once again speak, “Let there be light,” and glorious illumination rushes in and fills every corner with His holiness. The beauty of it all is enough to bring tears, just one more place for the glow to reflect. And now He calls us in Ephesians 5: “You are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”
As you gather with your family and friends this Thanksgiving season, may each laugh be a shimmer, each story told a spark, each song sung a flicker, and each prayer raised a flame. Hold the light of God’s goodness high in all you say and do. Let us give great praise and thanks to the One who gives us every good and perfect gift – the Father of lights (James 1:17).
Today was filled with those good and perfect gifts, flickering like stars of bright hope in the God who made them. God called Abraham of old to look to the heavens and count the stars if he could. Just like him, I am left in futile attempts to count these lights of His goodness and understand the gravity of love that has been lavished on me.