My neighborhood has never been more beautiful than it is today.
After two rainy days, the leaves are putting on a show. Almost every tree is on fire, brash and brazen and daring any of us to believe God doesn't care. Just one look out the window and we know better.
I rushed out the door this morning to spend an hour in Silas's kindergarten class. The sky was still netted in fog, the kind of beauty that makes you stare, the kind that could turn us all into poets.
I wished for my camera. I framed the image in my mind, clicked just once on the shutter. By the hour's end, the fog had lifted, but I had seen that romance out past the glass. I had noticed. And so had some of the kiddos. Documented or not, it was real. And, I think, personal.
This is who God is.
This is how He loves us.
We're family, and He wants us to really believe it, but more than that, He wants us to live like it.
We spent the summer resting in what simply is. We finally understood God was going to have to do the negotiating and all the heavy lifting. We are driven to the hurting and the forgotten, yes, but it's up to Him to piece us all together and direct our paths, because if left up to us, the whole thing hits the concrete in shards of pride, pity, duty, and resentment.
(Can you tell we've walked this sidewalk before?)
Lately, people are coming our way. They're finding us. We're finding them. We pray to stay soft to opportunity and suddenly, the connecting part almost feels easy. All we've done is wait while we live.
But I'm that maple leaf, clinging to the limb. I don't want to fall.
I get nervous and guarded. I trade my fear of being pushy for a refusal to move at all.
We're choosing vulnerability and butterflies.
For over a year, we've had a dream that sounds small but feels really big.
The clock ticking, we pulled it together in a rush, knowing in the corners of our hearts it might be a pathetic failure.
The good news is, we're starting to view "failure" quite differently. Maybe taking the leap is all the "success" we need right now.
My neighbors and I, we have things in common: we need to experience the love of Jesus to survive. We need to know it's real. We need reason to believe we haven't burned up all our chances.
That's the best place to start.
I'm' not even sure how to tell you to pray. We just want to see the love of God move among His people. We want it to float on the breeze and fall around our friends' ankles in heaps of can't-miss-it color until they know it was meant just for them.
Thank you so much, friends.
ps - I still need to hear from 7 of the Goodwill winners! :)