Wednesday, August 24, 2005

New York Chronicle: Issue V [over & out]

The sweetest thing
I have ever known:
A little pixie face
peeking out in glee
from the folds of a
giant bath-towel.

The greatest thing
I have ever known:
A face and heart upraised
in passionate devotion
to the Lord of Lords.

The loveliest thing
I have ever known:
contentment and
submission in duty
and in love.

It has been one of those times. When you stand back helplessly, simply because you know there is nothing you can do. You stand back and watch amid the fuss and flurry, and you feel as if your heart is preparing to walk out of the door, and board a plain bound for a destination beyond the bounds of your ability to

We have said the last goodbyes. They have gone. And somehow, I felt that I should have been there. There in that truck, squeezed once again between those two car seats, reading about a goldfish for the entertainment of the dearest children alive.

The past two months were possibly the best spent of my life, and yet looking back, I only wish that somehow I could have squeezed even more out of every minute. I'll never stop thanking God for this time. I'll never stop thanking God for life. For breathe. For intellect. For relationships. For peace. For passion. For goodness. And most of all, for the love of Christ.

And now it is all up to me. It is a frightening thought. But nonetheless true. It is up to me to take what I have learned, to take the abundance of wise words bestowed upon me, and follow on. Follow on to know God.
"Then you shall know, if you follow on to know the Lord, His going forth is prepared as the morning, and He shall come as the rain, as the latter and former rain upon the earth." ~Hosea 6:3
Follow on day by day in patience, pleasure, perseverance, passion. Till at the end I will have the glorious words proclaimed triumphantly over me, "She has not wasted it!"

Go with God my friends.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

New York Chronicle: Issue IV

The Big Apple (as it were).

New York, New York. Or to be more specific: Manhattan. There is no place on earth that is quite like it. From performing artists on the street, to cab drivers who will virtually run you down if you don't watch you back, to some of the tallest buildings in the world towering above you in seemingly austere loftiness. Have you ever seen such a congestion of humanity? People everywhere, you are truly carried down the street by the mere force of the mob. Have you ever tried driving the wrong way on the freeway? Neither have I. But battling upstream in a crowd of New Yorkers is about as bad.

Despite what you hear about the coldness, "savvy", and suave attitudes of New Yorkers, I have found them to be remarkably warm and sincere people. And I mean sincere. They are what you might call vibrant. They are very much alive and thriving, and (believe it or not) caring. Now I hesitate to throw a blanket statement out into the void about these "wonder people". It is true that New Yorkers are insanely busy, and probabely most ailments here are caused by the essence of that little word, stress. And yes, New York drivers are outragiously reckless.

Having lived here has made me appreciate the country much more than I ever could have. But something irreversable has ocurred here. New York State had found its way into my heart so thoroughly, that for the rest of my life it may be nesessary to identify myself as a New Yorker. There is such contrast and stark differences in this one state of the Union. Consider Manhattan, the five boroughs, and then turn eastward and see Long Island in all its beauty. And then to shock you further, look upstate at the miles of lush farmland, and the heart of Mennenite territory.

There is a tremendous amount of cultural diversity in this place. Franklin Square OPC is a prime example of the good old melting pot. There are at least three or four Asian families, there are members from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, India, many Italians, and quite a few African Americans. Pastor Shishko himself is Greek. Coming from Dutch Town, USA, myself has little prepared me for such a phenominon. But I can tell you truly that it is absolutely fabulous meeting and getting to know all these very different people. It is one thing to throw all these cultures together into a group--you can imagine the results. But to have Christians, children of God, saved by grace of so many different backgrounds contained in this one church "produces vibrations" (as it were). I can't get away from that wonderful word, vibrant. It seems to sum it up more eloquantly than I ever could. Never have I heard so many amen's uttered so furvently in a Reformed congregation. (If I ever heard them at all that is.) Never have I seen such an passionate responce to the gospel preached faithfuly week after week. Never have I been so challenged, so motivated to not only persevere, but to live a life above the ordinary, beyond the call of duty, past the bounds of mere comfort and security.

Needless to say, I will be dreadfully sad to leave this place. God was so good to bring me here. He was so good to give me a new brother like Ben Miller, a sister like Sarah, a niece like Katie, a nephew like Andrew. I have learned so much just by having lived as a member of their little family for a season. In Sarah's case it still baffles my mind, how a woman who helped to raise me from infant to teenager, is now so gracious as to recognise me, her baby sister, as a woman, as an equal. I only hope that I will be a friend to my nieces and nephews when they are grown. Ben has shown me how wonderful it is to be a part of a household that is under the guardianship, the guidance, and the spiritual leadership of a man of God. He has encouraged me and challenged me as no person ever has to excel, to push onward and upward, to not waste my life.

There is so much more to be said, so many wonders that have not as yet been communicated. Please be patient and bear with my slowness, and sad neglect of you my dear friends. There is more to come.