Monday, January 22, 2007

BLOG CHALLENGE: beautiful



I spent this past weekend in a cozy cottage with 15 beautiful women. Some of us are poor, some of us aren't. Some of us are black, some of us are white. Some of us are mothers, some of us are grandmas, some of us are aunties. Some of us wear our hearts on our sleeves, some of us bottle everything up. All of us are beautiful.

There was an incident Saturday night. Fists flew, tempers raged, hateful words were unleashed. Some of us used our strength to fight, some of us used our strength to put a stop to it.

At some point through it all, one of us opened the Bible and began reading. Under the din of the cursing and fighting and crying, she read. Her voice was a cool ointment on the wounds in our hearts. I didn't hear every word she read. Sometimes I was focused on the Retaliator - pleading, bargaining, encouraging. Other times I was focused on the Instigator - questioning, calming, crying.

But I heard The Voice - an undercurrent of steadiness and truth beneath crashing waves of fear and rebellion. I heard the voice - even-toned and submissive to The Word. Sometimes The Voice shook with emotion, sometimes it ached with longing, sometimes it whispered in prayer. Always, The Voice was solemn and mournful, broken and aching. Psalm 39: 12:
"Hear my prayer, O LORD,
listen to my cry for help;
be not deaf to my weeping.
For I dwell with you as an alien,
a stranger, as all my fathers were."

Suddenly, the tone changed, and I looked over. Her face was lit up from within. She smiled as she read, and her eyes danced across the text. Her voice was alive with joy and hope and eager anticipation. She read of Heaven and the angels and peace that passes all understanding.

I wept. In that moment, I understood what it meant to "pray the Word".

Some of us went to bed that night broken and repentant. Some of us went to bed confused and angry. Some of us gathered to pray for peace and forgiveness and inner strength and wisdom.

All of us woke up Sunday morning refreshed.
The cloud that hung over the cottage on Saturday night had passed.
Forgiveness and acceptance and grace slowly pushed out the resentment and pain and filled their voids.

I won't remember this weekend for The Fight.
I won't remember it for the scrapbooking.
I won't remember it for the gourmet meals, the laughter, the games.

I'll remember it for the beauty of God's Word, and the transformation it brought about. I've always loved the sentiment of the lyics to Jeremy Camp's "Beautiful One". After this weekend, I can sing it and fully, completely, totally understand it. I can sing it not because I appreciate the idea of God's beauty, but because I've SEEN it. I've been transformed by it. I've lived it. It is. He is. Beautiful.

Wonderful, so wonderful
Is your unfailing love
Your cross has spoken mercy over me
No eye has seen no ear has heard
No heart could fully know
How glorious, how beautiful you are.

Beautiful one I love
Beautiful one I adore
Beautiful one my soul must sing.

Powerful so powerful
Your glory fills the skies
Your mighty works displayed for all to see (beautiful)
The beauty of your majesty
Awakes my heart to see
How marvelous how wonderful you are.

Beautiful one I love
Beautiful one I adore
Beautiful one my soul must sing
Beautiful one I love you
Beautiful one I adore
Beautiful one my soul must sing.

You opened my eyes to your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
Because nothing on Earth is as beautiful as you (Jesus)
You opened my eyes to your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
Because nothing on Earth is as beautiful as you.

Beautiful one I love you
Beautiful one I adore
Beautiful one my soul must sing
Beautiful one I love you
Beautiful one I adore
Beautiful one my soul must sing.

And you opened my eyes to your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
Because nothing on earth is as beautiful as you.

My soul, my soul must sing,
My soul, my soul must sing,
My soul, my soul must sing,
Beautiful One.

the challenge:
What defines beauty in your life?Look up the definition.Think about what "beautiful" means to you.Write about it.Maybe it's a person whose inner beauty inspires you.Perhaps it's a person whose outer beauty transfixes you.Maybe it's the mountains and waterfalls.Snow, icicles, glistening wintertime landscapes.Beaches, crashing surf, the endless horizon.Maybe "beautiful" to you is something no one else would see or understand. Maybe it's something you aspire to be. Maybe it's the look you see in your child's eyes.Whatever it is, be introspective and allow yourself to write from the heart on this one. Write it for YOU, not for your audience.Go. Write. Be beautiful!

5 comments:

Karen said...

Stacy, that was beautifully written. I could feel the beauty of your experience as I read. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow!!! LOVE.YOUR.EMOTIONS. poured out through your words. Doncha just love when something greater comes from a weird situation. Thanks for sharing your beautiful writing!! Thanks for sharing your Fortress weekend memories with us. And thanks for sharing YOU with us!

Denise

Cara said...

Thank you to all of you who give to the scrapbooking ministry at Fortress! There is a whole lot more going on than just scrapbooking! Thanks for helping us make a difference. YOU are making a difference!

Jina Hinson said...

"God ... is bigger than ...
the air I breathe...
the world we'll leave...
and God ...
will save the day ...
and all will say ...
My Glorious...
My Glorious..."

What a God encounter you had.

Jina

Anonymous said...

WONDERFUL, STACY. OF ALL THE THINGS I SAW AND FELT AND HEARD THAT NIGHT, THIS WAS NOT IT! YOU ARE AMAZING AT BRINGING OUT THE TRUE STORIES IN EVERYDAY LIFE. THE TRUE MEANING. THE TRUE VISION. I LOVE YOU. YOU ARE GREAT!
KRISTI