Thursday, January 28, 2010

Adventuring


So you've got your pool-sitters. They get out early, save lounge chairs for friends, establish themselves at the tables, nice people who are content to go no further than 100 feet from their rooms. And that's okay. Many are elderly and have earned their rest.

It's just not for me.

Then you've got the beach sitters. At the big hotels, you've got to get out early to save a spot under the grass umbrellas (the name of which I never came remember). One of the biggest hotels requires people to line up at 6 AM to receive a "flag". If they leave their beach chairs unattended for more than two hours, they will lose possession of their location.

My sister and her husband are too practical for all that. They buy beach chairs, go to the open-air beaches (where the waves are better) and happily share shade with everyone.

Steve and I...well, we're known for adventuring. Or, as my sisters used to put it, risking everyone's lives so we can inherit.

The most famous natural landmark in Aruba is the "natural bridge". (I'll post about that another time...the natural bridge is its own spiritual reminder of mortality.) The natural bridge is on the wild side of the island, requiring a ride over bumpy dusty roads. All the tour busses go there, unloading people into the parking lot. They take their pictures, buy expensive souvenirs, then get back on the bus.

We take a ride and I spot sand way beyond the natural bridge...and beyond any road...unless you're riding a 4-wheeler to go over volcanic rock.


So I say to Steve, "let's hike there."


Aruba isn't the best place for hiking. We're near the equator, and noontime sun is brutal, even for natives. However, the wind on the wild side of the island blows steadily off the water, with nothing to block it. There's the illusion of bearable, and sunscreen does the rest.


So we hike. And it's not bad, and not long. I trip once, fall and don't break anything, thank you, Jesus. We come to a private beach, water too violent to enter but gorgeous just the same. We go in to our ankles and just savor God's glory.


And then, I spot more sand.


"Let's hike there," I say and because Steve is the right guy for me, he says, "Sure."


So we hike some more, discover a hidden little river and a bigger beach. And such blessed privacy and beauty.

All this to say...God's glory is worth hiking for. Look beyond, and take the risk.

I'll remember my sister's kindness and the lovely company she and my brother-in-law Peter provide. These are special moments that bless us.

I will, however, forget all the hotels and restaurants and even the nice pool we enjoy.

But this...this private beach where God's glory pounds with every crashing wave. This I will never forget.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lifted Up!

The seas have lifted up, O LORD,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea--
the LORD on high is mighty.
Psalm 93: 3-4
video

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paradise Found?


So I'm sitting here, 8 in the morning, the wind sweet on my face, the temperature a bearable high 70s, the birds flitting overhead, and the wind again, like a constant chorus of rejoicing as it ruffles the palms. The waves on the sand are like God's heartbeat.
I wonder, is this was Eden was like?

How amazing to step out the door and know I won't be assaulted by icy rain or heavy snow or sullen skies. Could I live like this? Easy answer, one perhaps my Canadian and Coloradan friends might agree with (though maybe not this day, in January.)

No.
I can love the warmth and the wind, the easy ocean, the lovely people (Aruba IS the friendly island). But those of us who have been blessed with variety will not give up our snow easily, even when it's April and good grief, we've had another foot of it! And given Aruba or New Hampshire in flaming October, I suspect I'd choose New Hampshire.

I wonder about the people of Aruba, folks who grow up here and have every day sun-filled and wind-kissed. How could they see this as stunning beauty, when never having experienced those twenty-below days, when I have to slime my face with Vaseline to keep my skin from frost-bite. Surely my dog would chose not to live here--the Aruba dogs move slowly, and wisely. They do not bound or soar, like Savvy does.

Did it snow in Eden, I wonder? Did the leaves turn blazing colors, then drift on cool winds to blanket the ground? Or was it days of sun and sweet air and the Lord drifting through, blessing all He had done.
And did Adam and Eve take it all for granted? Did they want more variety?

Did they know they would bring snow and ice to the world?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name

So Steve and I are here in Aruba, a guest of my sister and brother-in-law. I was going to post about missing my dog; or the stretching Janice does with us every morning; or how the waves crash in and then crash out (how does THAT happen?).

So I pull up Blogspot and discover everything is written in Dutch! Aruba is a Dutch protectorate, so that explains the Dutch, I suppose.

Somehow, my physical location prompts the appropriate language to be displayed.

And isn't that just like the Holy Spirit? Catching us right where we are.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hope?

Today is election day here in Massachusetts. I've been working the phones all month, started when Scott Brown was down 30 points. This past weekend polls point to a Brown victory.

Even to get close is unthinkable in this state. Being out among voters, it's startling to see the hope in their eyes. This was the same hope we saw in Obama supporters a year-and-a-half ago. It's an odd phenomenon, this hope for a red victory in the bluest of states. People resent the surge of government, and the helplessness of not having their voice heard.


The nation hears us now. Massachusetts has become the twilight zone of hope.


And then there's Haiti, a brutal contrast to the privilege we have. A country in unimaginable ruins, in desperate need of hope.


God, the world seems too big at times like this.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mackel for President?

Not gonna happen. Good grief, I couldn't take the rejection.

For the first time in 30 years, when my toddlers and I passed out Reagan brochures, I have gotten involved in the political process. I am volunteering at a call center for a senate candidate for the upcoming special election to fill Ted Kennedy's seat. Our job is to phone independent voters, remind them of the special election, ask them for their support.

The first time I did this, I was wounded whenever someone hung up on me or told me coldly, "I am on the other side." It's only just treatment, since I rush telemarketers off the phone like this. I used to just hang up but then I saw Slumdog Millionaire and was convicted of my rudeness. So now I apologize before I hang up.

After a couple of weeks, I'm no longer bothered by rejection. I've had some great conversations, even had the opportunity to say "God bless you" to strangers who are brethren. The thing is...it's all about numbers. Getting the Scott Brown name and message out, understanding that there will be a number of people we can't possibly reach.

It's a wonderful thing that God doesn't work from a database, nor does He do numbers. His only numerical criteria is "as numerous as the sands on the seashore or the stars in the sky." He doesn't keep proclaiming His glory in the heavens--or through our voices raised in worship--and hope to gain a certain percentage of supporters.

He doesn't need our votes. But He so longs for our hearts.

Jesus Christ for Savior. Yeah, that's a campaign I can support.