The smallest pieces of our natural world tell our stories right back to us. If we're listening. I want to listen more closely so I'm going dark, or maybe it's really going bright, every Sunday during the month of August by unplugging from social media with the #justbeherewithme intention of practicing greater presence. Just yesterday our pastor spoke about how living in the present ushers in God's presence. Just last week my guy was challenging me not to forget to live in the moment in our right-now lives while looking ahead to the adventure in our near future. And just yesterday my finger twitched a few times as I woke up a little more to my habit of clicking on certain apps while checking the time or hanging up after a call.
These summer days have the trees buzzing with the vibrations of locusts. Do you notice them where you are? Do you hear the call? As the sun is rising, the moment the sun begins to descend and anytime in between, the massive guardians of the earth, the trees, reaching toward the heavens with sprawling branches and rooted deep over decades of growth, come alive with the cicada. Long wings. Beady eyes. They've emerged from their hiding place underground and have shed their larva shell, the skin that held them as they were busy becoming. Every morning, on every trunk, branch, potted plant stand and wicker patio chair grips a remnant shell with only a slight crack where the locust slipped out into freedom. And then they sing. Stirring each other up in an electric chorus with the voltage of power lines. They call to one another.
Locusts always point my mind back to John the Baptist all camel hair-clad and wild. Untamed. Unkept. Unruly. An outcast dressed like a rebel, some say. Eating locusts and wild honey. "Thunder in the desert" making the way for the Word. For the way God would come near to His people and reveal Himself to them. For Jesus. The Voice.
Before time itself was measured,
the Voice was speaking.
The Voice was and is God.
This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator.
His speech shaped the entire cosmos.
Immersed in the practice of creating, all things that exist were birthed in Him.
His breath filled all things with a living, breathing light -
a light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot be quenched.
How gorgeous is this?
God's most magnificent work was done in utter darkness.
The locust slips from it's shell, it's former home, under the cover of darkness.
The thunder in the desert making a way the way dark walls of clouds bring monsoon thunder telling us desert folk the rain is coming. Relief from the heat is coming.
I'm sitting with this picture this morning:
Dark seasons in our lives boasting God's most creative workmanship.
Growing up out of sight.
Leaving behind shells of former selves.
Emerging with long wings capable of great distance into bright light.
Electric songs in chorus with others who have taken flight.
Light thriving in the depths of darkness.
Light blazing through murky bottoms.
Through the trenches.
Through the sewage of inhumanity.
From before time was measured.
Making a way.
Blazing a trail.
Striking like lightning.
What are you emerging from? A long season of darkness? Or just a sweet summer vacation? What have you been busy becoming? What are you leaving behind?
We are shedding one long dark season, friends. If that is where you find yourself, cheers to the knowing that only comes from having walked through the valley. AND. Cheers to the promise that seasons end. The way through the valley is not a wrong turn. The way through the valley is the way. This way ---> keep going.
Our wandering path is being illuminated more and more these days and our way is being made for us one step at a time. Prayers long prayed being answered (finally) in their time. The picture coming slowly into focus. This way ---> keep going. We are slipping from shells that have held us, leaving behind what has been for what is becoming, joining an electric chorus fully alive in who we've been created to be. Buzzing. Believing in the Voice, the Light that thrives in the depths of darkness and blazes through the murky bottoms. The dregs we will stand knee deep in. The dead eyes we will stare into. BUT GOD. The same power from before time was measured is there too, hovering over the horror on the backs of prayers and entering in.
I can hear it when I really listen.
So every morning after yoga, after the kids leave for school, after my shots are cold enough to pour over ice, I grab my Bible/journal/iPad/keyboard/book/notepad stack and head to my office - the front yard loveseat under the mesquite tree that drops bean pods on my head while mosquitos feast on my skin. Perks. The heat has yet to hit hard and the trees now also host the calls of all the birds. The lawn is freshly mowed and my potted succulents are just now coming back after the trauma of the move. Who needs a corner office with a window when you can set your bare feet on the earth?
I'm listening close. What amazingness will this week bring? What signposts will show me the way? How will I allow for the wild ways of locusts and honey and thunder? How will you?