And when the love is gone.

Ah, this evening was incredible. And the day equally as pleasant.

Started off with me rolling out of bed 10 minutes before worship, LIKE usual..

running on my tip toes down the hallway, wearing pajamas and FREEZING,

admiring myself for the bravery it took to pull my pale-whitish body out from under the covers.

Tap little Jan on the head, see her open her eyes and inform her she has a good 3 minutes to get ready.

See, we’re REAL girls.  We don’t get up an hour in advance to “do” our hair or put on make-up..

our hair, is “done” after we’ve finished combing it in a hasty manner and our make-up..

all-natural.  🙂

And then,once we’ve made it down the stairs and into the sanctuary, we freeze sitting on the chairs, shivering as we try to sing old and familiar hymns, which bounce in mood from joyous and upbeat to gloomy and terribly solemn..

Listen to the teacher as he begins to read..

Wonder in myself, what AM I doing here?

Thinking to myself, it all seems so

surreal.

And every once in awhile, he’ll pause and ask us all

If there are any comments – any questions – and he calls

on the name of the Lord when we kneel down and pray and he calls

on me when I’m leaving and asks

why

I

went

astray. ..

Just a thought.

God sees right through us; we can be in the right place,

doing the right thing,

saying all the right “stuff,” hitting all of the right “notes..”

but God looks on the heart.

God sees past these blue eyes all the way to the dark and evil

core..

sin is so rooted in me; apathy is so a PART of me..

sadness is a constant companion – gloominess, a shadow that

accompanies me as faithfully as the sun rises

for the rest of the world.

everyone, but me. 

       And there was one of those moments.

And it makes me smile..

Letting all of the pain out

And stopping the pretending for awhile

Because I hate to be misleading

and I don’t like to talk this way

Where I scream and holler “believe me”

and then I prove,

I am nothing, I know nothing, of

pain.

Only the pain I want to feel,

and the pain that I cause,..

and the dreams I crush

because they’ll never be “real.”

And I won’t let this bleeding stop

and I can’t let these wounds heal

Because if I do, I can’t see myself

Because if I do,

I can’t really be (myself)..  -AA

Ok, tonight – this night – was marvelous.  I was out on an evening walk with January and we were making our way up a hill towards the campus.  It was growing dark and we were doing our best to keep our feet on the thick slabs of stone, despite the way our balance struggled to maintain itself against the incline and the growing shadows stole our sun light..

and then, BAM!  A hurried rustling in the woods grabbed our attention and we grasped onto eachother, TOTALLY freaked out (for lack of better and more fitting language).  Remarkably, the noise makers remained in our view long enough for us to identify them: deer!! A mama deer and her little baby.. oh, I was so amazed, so overjoyed.  Jan was tickled by my awestruck wonder; to her, living in NY and in this “neck of the woods,” seeing deer roaming about is nearly as exciting as, for the rest of world, seeing a squirrel – munching on nuts, living it up in a tree – would be. 

But I loved it, and I felt honored, privileged, blessed.

As we approached the dormitory, an entire FAMILY of deer became visible in the distance!  Wow, what have I done to deserve this? and how FORTUNATE, how providential, that we should have taken a detour on the way home (although Jan had said we shouldn’t, for fear of encounters with snakes, I had insisted). 

And so, as Jan continued walking towards the house, shaking her head and chuckling, I sat in the grass and just.. stared.  I dared go no nearer, but.. after moments of quiet adoration, I walked back to the house, grabbed my camera, and hurried down the flight of stairs back to the “observatory”: an open field.  I tiptoed a couple hundred feet closer, so that I could prop myself up against a tree and gaze at the beautiful creatures.  I was reminded of how many times, on the way to NY, driving, I had seen dead deer on the side of the road.  Made me sad. Made me long for heaven, when death will be no more. Although death, decay, tears and pain are all precious – in that they are beautiful, and a very temporary function/ aspect of life (eternity) that should be “appreciated, comprehended while it’s here,” as it is peculiar to our world and a profound part of “our” human experience, we really will be better of without it. An animal taught me that today. As many times as I’ve hurt myself in the past, and heard of people and animals dying, and seen buildings crash and burn, or heard of natural disasters that completely wiped out food supplies and shelters.. nothing had ever really PENETRATED. Even the death of my beloved dog, Pandy Boo (3 years ago), didn’t quite send the thought home —

that a place in which death is no more, where there will be no more tears, darkness, or loneliness –

is something to long for; to anticipate, and desire.

Anyways.  I sat there for a long time.. cooing, calling out to the “leader” of the deer softly.. and I know that he was the one “in charge” because he kept his eye on me while the rest tended to their duties and followed their fancy.  As my visit with them drew on, I got ancy and wanted to get even closer.. I knew that I should just turn away before they ran away.. it would hurt less that way.. but I wanted so much to be nearer, to get closer, to know that they trusted me.  And so, with alittle bit of doubt and hesitance disregarded lingering in my mind, I rose slowly and began to walk forward, taking careful note that eaaach step would be as nonassuming and discreet as possible.  I made it about 30 feet closer and sat down on the grass, my pink skirt soaking in the dew. 

It was beautiful.  I was able to sit there, quiet, still, and be a part of their day.  Eventually, they turned and walked away.. but they WALKED away.

They weren’t scared, and they weren’t deserting me; they we’re just, ready to leave!.. and that was ok.

I’ll see them again.  🙂  Now, I know where to spend whatever “free time “I run across in the evenings.

And now, I am sitting on the extra bed in Jan’s room, listening to music, typing out this entry, thinking as I go along.. surrounded by many books, with many pages, filled with letters, words, phrases, thoughts, ideas and beautiful truths that I need to really take in – assimilate – and carry with me, forever, so that I can be a wellspring of life; a beacon of light; a witness to the world of the love, grace, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus CHRIST!

One more thing.

The other day, .. it was probably Sunday.. Jan and I drove down the road, empty jugs in the backseat, to a spring, purposing to contain some freshhh, clean water!.. and we did.  It was lovely, because right across the street, down a slope covered with brush, was a quiet, healthy-flowing creek!  I took pictures, enjoyed the sunshine and the “sparkle” of the water as he reflected her rays – her happiness, her joy..

and then, on the way BACK, I saw

it.

Ahh, yes. 

Jan and I were driving along and the most beautiful, broken down building came into view on the left-hand side of the road.  I said aloud (and with a deliberate, obvious longing in my voice) “ah, I would stop to take pictures, but I don’t want to bother you, or keep you waiting..” and she responded very sincerely, offering that I could stop and take as many pictures as I desired.  So, I veered off of the main road veryyy quickly and parked the car in front of a mobile-home park.  I walked across the road, beaming, completely and totally thrilled that I was at liberty to spend a small portion of the day (oh, I how I could have used the wholeee day capturing the antiquity of this one scene) acquainting myself with the once-was.. the “burial grounds.”

[ Continuing; June 9th, 2010]

In as few words as possible, which might, perhaps, do the greatest justice to what I saw..

the building, was beautiful.. and although it has “retired” and it’s purpose is no longer “to serve..”

it is now resting.. and needs to be loved, appreciated, admired..

and remembered.

One last thing. 

On the way home, we made ONE last stop. 

There is this house, on a.. hm, 20+ acre lot.. and it’s location is HEAVENLY.

I didn’t know that people, normal people like “us,” had WATERFALLS in their backyards!

No lie.. there was this marvelous, earthy incline that separated the rest of the property from “that” hill. It was all mountain-y, and a natural wall of rock aligned the edges.. and this wall caved in, continued straight for a space, and then branched back out –

and in the center of this groove was a BEAUTIFUL, majestic, forcibly running WATERFALL.

I was fascinated, amazed.. annd, alittle jealous.  “I wish I had a waterfall in MY backyard; I would sit by it everyday.. play music, write about life, maybe.. swim..”

But anyways, regardless of what was going through my mind – what dreams and envies – truly, my greatest thought was that it was awesome, so neat, that that waterfall even existed and that.. many people who drove by for the first time, and the only time, would marvel, and those who lived in the locality could smile as, in passing, their eyes were refreshed by the sight, and that refreshment, beauty, I could only hope, would reach all the way down to their sad, black hearts and give them hope, motivation, reason to live that day: to keep going, because nature sees them as a hero. All of creation, applauds them (us) as heroes.. we move on, we move forward- we press on, and do our best not to falter (but sometimes it’s impossible, along the way, to not sit for awhile, and wallow in pain.. we do our best to keep on this happy face, but at times it’s just a mask and we’re wearing it, faking it, for days).

I did walk up to the person’s doorstep and I rang the doorbell, indeed..

a dog barked, and after what seemed like a moment the screen door opened and a lady said

in irritated tone, “Can I help you?”

“Yes, ma’m, I am sorry if I’m bothering or disturbing you, and I don’t know if you get this a lot or not, but I was wondering if I could take a picture of your (THE) waterfall?”

She looked at me, a look of firm resolution and unfightable resistance, and said “No, I don’t want any picture taken.”

I was abit TAKEN BACK.. but politely said “Oh, ok.. well thank you! Have a great day..” and walked away.

However, the entire ride home and even afterwards, perhaps up until the next DAY (today, several days later, I’ve assimilated and accepted it).. it troubled me, puzzled me, and kind of grossed me out:

Sure!  You’re presumably a hard working human being, and I’m very certain that you BOUGHT this property, this land, with the money you earned.. but come on now. Did you MAKE this waterfall?  Is it so small, that there is none left for you to share? Would the enjoyment of others blight your own happiness? WHY keep such a precious treasure hidden from the world? Why withhold such beauty, a beacon of hope, an object of love and an incredible evidence of the Creator?

It just seems, selfish.  To be greedy.. to be cold..

or maybe she was just afraid that I was some kind of psycho that was going to come swim in her waterfall every day, all day, or in someway harm her or her dog.  I do have tattoos, afterall, which means I’m a pretty darn awful person. 

Anyways, it made me think of a parallel: Christ.

We, christians, find Him to be altogether LOVELY.. the unconditional love that He has, the meritless mercy and forgiveness that He extends!.. how beautiful, and what peace and joy it gives.

Then why are we so hesitant to share..

so reluctant, in conversation, to even MENTION the name of Jesus for fear of offending and yet we can FREELY discourse of “other things..” and mention by name other “controversial” icons.. Katy Perry, R rated movies, sex, drugs, violence, ..

would you mention Hitler in front of a Jew?

Would you listen to your Ipod while visiting with the Amish?

Could you read the Bible sitting next to a Satanist and

or should you just jump off the cliff if everyone else is?

Does individuality, freedom of speech and freedom of choice have some kind of a “boundary”?

Physical, of course.. I am free to live, to move, to be, but NOT to kill, steal from or in any way harm you..

I shouldn’t call you bad names but, can I share what I believe?  The thing(s) that make me happy, that give hope?

If Jesus is a huge part of my life, must I hide that portion of me?

Oh, I don’t know.

Well, class starts in 20 minutes, so I’m going to study abit more and feel as prepared as possible to give this final presentation on the second half of Daniel 2. 

–Aun Aqui

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