I came home worn and beat down from another day another dollar
spent surfing stations trying to escape the heart rend of a brave man in
breathing his last
Another day another dollar spent putting hands on cancer and aging and healing and dying
Another evening wanting only to put my feet up but there
my wide-eyed son too old to waste a single moment soothing my own ache when he says
So I do
And our toes curl against the warm wet stone of the patio where we stand watching the storm clouds push to the east as the fire of another day-end ignites the sky
Pink then purple then last of all
And there ain’t no dollar I wouldn’t pay to make sure I don’t miss
and the sunset.
I went to the field of sunflowers to live deliberately.
At least that’s what I’d tell Thoreau.
But really, I went to capture the bent and spindly yellow necks arching in unison towards the sun rising up and over the field, over the chaos of rapidly agin’ old roads and new ones no one can seem to find, and though I want to lend a hand to all the changin’ I can’t bear the red veins of pain running through it all.
Never mind the rhubarb or tomatoes.
Never mind the kale or bib lettuce.
Never mind the pole beans or rows of corn.
They can do their own sweet thing, ’cause see in the old days they used to tell writers to come and prophesize with pens, to keep our eyes wide, for the chance won’t come again to see what’s being planted. But I don’t got eyes for much right now. Maybe that’s not the right way but it’s the only way I know to survive the growing waters drenching my bones.
All I know for sure is what the sunflowers know,
to follow the sun.
To soak up warm Truth shining down
Follow the sun.
“Don’t get sidetracked…” Proverbs 4:27 (NLT)
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’
“. . . there in that pleasant corner of the world they plied their well-ordered business of living, and they heeded less and less the world outside where dark things moved, until they came to think that peace and plenty were the rule in Middle-earth and the right of all sensible folk. They forgot or ignored what little they had ever known of the Guardians, and of the labourers of those that made possible the long peace of the Shire. They were, in fact, sheltered, but they had ceased to remember it.”
The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkien
The times they are a-changin’.
So maybe that was the mantra forty years ago.
But it sure feels that way again today.
From the two police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty in Indiana yesterday, to the deserts overseas where our young men and women bled and died to keep peace but which are falling once again to terrorists, to our own backyards where choosing a craft store for my sons’ 4H project feels more like a political statement than…well…a trip to the craft store…
The times they are a-changin’.
And sometimes I don’t feel like I see any good.
That is, until I’m still.
And I listen.
And peace comes in a
in the eyes of my
of my 102-year-old patient’s long gray hair
in the thunder rolling across corn fields
green and thriving
in this long overdue damp, cool summer
by the locust tree leaves pouring through my living room window in the evening
whoops and hollers
of teenagers leaving by the bus full for Young Life Camp
Yes, the times they are a-changing.
Which means we just need to
for the good
all the harder for the faith
drop to our knees
faster and than ever.
And the peace we find there–He promises it’s there–hunched and bent before the Lord will be all the sweeter.
But you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced…