O Taste and See: Tasting His Goodness, Feasting on Joy and Peace

My beloved readers, which is more beautiful?

Is it greatest beauty to receive a gift? To be like a young child again and be given a great, heavy, promising present wrapped with such flare and flourish that you know the gift-giver must really, really care? To tear off the paper and find that the box inside contains what you’ve always wanted? To take a quick, hasty, youthgul look at the package, the accompanying card, the instructions, and all the little pieces and parts, and to squeal in delight over the gift as a whole—since, by this time, you can’t even begin to decide what you like most? To jump up and down and clap your hands like the little one you are? To go running to your Father, Who gave you this gift, on legs that don’t know whether to leap or dance or race around the room? To throw yourself into His outstretched arms so hard that it requires all your energy, but barely makes an impact on the One so strong that your loving hug is a flutter by comparison? To thank Him, though you don’t have any words? To tell Him that this is all you’ve ever wanted, but that you love Him much more than the gift? To pause reflectively as you note how much effort and provision went into everything from the package to the last little detail on your brand-new present? To realize, as you gaze upon the pieces and parts of this set of good things, that the gift your Father gave you will have to be assembled, built upon, used with both joy and care? To laugh with delight as you realize that this was your Father’s intent all along—to give you something that would help the two of you grow closer? To see the love in His own eyes as you finally find one phrase—”thank you”?

Or…

Is it most blessed to travel far, far away for a time? Not to wander, necessarily, but certainly to explore foreign lands? To learn the language, music, philosophy, cuisine, geography, and recreation of every land save your own? To decide to return—again, not really as a rebellious prodigal, but as one who has done her traveling and now wishes to settle down? And then… To be welcomed home with the same outstretched arms, by the One Who gave you those wondrous gifts when you were hardly more than a baby? To hear a voice you love, speaking in a language you know better than anything you’ve ever learned in your travels, and to respond again in your own native tongue? To be invited, ever so gently, through that beautiful door of your own old house? To see, in a corner, the gift your Father gave you years before, waiting and ready for use, for this present didn’t grow old or useless when you aged and matured and wandered a bit? To wash the travel-dust from your aching body, allowing every drop of soothing water to cleanse you through and through? To dress in something soft and pure and bold with colors and textures you had not experienced in weeks or months, noting the sharp contrast between ytour own clothes and the stiff and roughened and travel-stained garments you’d been wearing only the hour before? To sit down again with your Father and feast on food that has never tasted so good, cuisine finer than anything you ever experienced in all your wanderings? To curl up in bed with a great, glorious Book in your lap, turning over those precious leaves and marveling at the simplicity and intricacy of the message therein? To nestle beneath your own perfect pillows and blankets, in soft and silent surroundings, warm and fed and protected? And, to feel this deep and endless satisfaction, quietly resolving that when the day dawns, you will thank your Father for all of this—this everything? To know, in this moment, that you have no needs whatsoever?

To raise your voice in song, for mourning turned to dancing, rejoicing beyond what your flesh feels able to contain??

Or

To kneel in satisfied surrender, knowing with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength that all your needs have been met beyond what you could possibly imagine?

Which is deeper, joy or peace?

It’s a subjective and personal philosophical question, and a conundrum that I have been attempting to solve within myself for several days, having experienced both in the Holy Spirit to a degree I had not realized was even conceivable. Let me know what you think, if you’re the commenting type… Then, find my answer below:

Which is better, fountains of joy or calmed-storms, peace?

Love—pure Agape love that encompasses the gift and the welcome, the garment of praise and the moment of stillness.

Both are of the Lord, are they not? And so, it is impossible to choose.

Tears: A Poem God Gave Us

I have not written poetry prolifically since 2006 and have penned nothing at all poetic since 2010. However, God gave this to me this afternoon, and I thought I would share it here. Initially, I was thinking of the things I keep concealed behind a vast effort to live my life in Jesus–but then, as so often happens in written worship, the Lord took this piece in an entirely different direction. Be blessed!

TEARS
Our house, how it cries:
No rain upon rooftops,
No drops cascading down glass—
But a hot-water deluge,
Leaking our pent-up pain.
We gaze upon symptoms:
Clanging doors, murmuring computer, shouting dishes, silent stove,
And yet, I see weeping.

Our family, we cry:
No sharp words or fighting,
No bitter burst of tears,
But a solemn sorrow
That blankets our smile.
We use other words to descibe:
Angry and sad, frustrated and scared—
But indeed, I hear weeping.

My heart, yes, it cries:
No drenched pillow at night,
No soaked handkerchiefs by day,
But a mind that absorbs,
That clings and that grasps,
That tries and that fails to comprehend.
Working, failing, wondering,
In all this weariness,
What is the use?
People see, hear, observe:
Happy, hopeful, honoring, holding fast—
But inside, I am weeping.

“Exceedingly great and precious promises
Are given unto us.”
“To the hungry,
Every bitter thing is sweet.”
“Love bears, believes, hopes, endures…”
“In Him, we are complete.”

My heart, it will rejoice again:
No anguish of soul,
Just singing and prayer:
“Hosanna! O save!
How I trust You, O Lord…”
And a rainbow promise in the storm:
“Do not grow weary,
Do not grow weary
In well-doing.”
If others could see, they would behold:
Tears and repentance, handkerchiefs drenched—
No… Cleansing rejoicing.

My family, we will rejoice again:
No knives in our words,
Just cherishing, always:
“I love you,
We love Him.”
Others will witness:
Openness, talking, sweet words and laughter, tears and discussion—
Agape.
Ever rejoicing.

This house—oh!—it will rejoice again:
No floods from the heater and heart,
But rain atop the roof—
Drip-drop, drip-drop!
Hail pounding on porch and patio,
Thunder shaking the walls,
Tender drizzle cascading down the Prayer-Closet Tree.
We’ll hear this rolling majesty:
Water and thunder and wind and whisper-leaves—
And join that song, rejoicing.