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Sometimes, we journey to the dark so we can be moved by the Light. We trace the furthest boundary lines behind our eyes. We get deep next to demons, weighed down from evil within and without. And when warmth first touches cheek or shoulder or the back of our knees, the weight may not lift but there is relief. . . . And it is the same magic— to feel Light's warmth after a cold night or a long stretch of summer, it is the same glory— to be reading the lectionary in a Home Depot parking lot with sleeping car seats or having a morning cup of coffee on the front stoop with my co-laborers. . . . Somehow, God has anchored the pale blue ombre sky above me like an endless umbrella. He covers and cloaks with Light and sometimes I have to go deep in dark to feel it's warmth. . . . Morning Call:  Lamentations 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if  there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon  me, whom the Lord hath afflicted. . . . Opening Prayer:  Loving Father, as we journey with your Son in this week of remembrance and hope, help us to experience and receive you and your love for the world more clearly. Transform us by the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of your Son, our Lord, we pray. Amen. #holyweek #notredame #outofthedarkness #intothelight
Naked morning comfort and I'm just basking in the humble light of it. They wear all their affections like clothes and this one makes me melt because they aren't so attached to their wholeness. They are ready to be broken to make peace with one another -- more ready than me, so I take notes. . . . The making of our Peace broke Him, completely. His humble persistence was full of glory because He was God, not because it looked good. Making peace means breaking pride, breaking selfish gain, breaking the sin inside that so easily entangles us, and breaking the power of the sin outside that so deceives us. . . . #newblog #momswhowrite #writersofinstagram #motherhood #siblings #siblingsasfriends #braveryofsmalllife #Godseconomy #kitchen #atlanta #family #teamkolts #teampixel #teampixelnofilter #nofilter #morningglow #morning #liveauthentic #kids #georgia #southernsummer
"Look, Mom! Edelweisses!!!!" And she passed the peace to me with flower weed stems and smooshed petals. The brisk tickle of Spring wind swept my elbows as I reached out to receive. . . . And it got made again, Peace. Established with delicate weed offerings and vulnerable outstretched hands, peace mended for a moment the breaks of the morning. The Great Deceiver's attempts to put us at odds— to wound one other with war words thrown in defense and pride— got smooshed underfoot in the backyard. . . . And I thought of Jesus making literal Peace, because the world doesn't allow it to come and be kept. Peace must be forged with active rebellion against the forces within and without that would rather war. We are a peace breaking people made in the image of One who carries Peace in his character, One who made Peace for us forever with God so that we can make peace today exactly where we are. . . . "For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility." Ephesians 2:14 . . . And the little child shall lead us.
I studied Job's friends pretending comfort, while withholding kindness and refusing to revive a weary spirit. I taught about the people in Jerusalem spreading their coats out like a royal carpet for the King of glory to ride in on a borrowed mule. I learned about the invisible God we try to force fit our image but our invisible spirit is made in His. I chased my littles in circles in the newly cut backyard and followed Foster's gaze to find birds high on budding branches. I heard Zella yell to our neighbor two houses down to move her apple trees far away because our juniper tree has a bad disease that could infect it. I wrestled through pride and failure and defending ideas. I made a very late afternoon cup of coffee and cooked with my baby strapped on my back. I snuggled my girl and gave her choices while praying she would choose right. On the first day of Spring. . . . We rode to Bible study, the kids and me, in an Uber because I ran the battery down on the van. I caught the sun glory streaming in to hit all our faces in the backseat as Zella chatted with the driver about music, imaginary children, and her preference to not wear socks and shoes. Our Wednesdays have so much Bible in them — sometimes nothing connects and I arrive at the end with mush brain and then sleep in my day clothes. But yesterday, I fell into bed so thankful that there are constellations in all these bits of Light. He is holding all things together and sometimes He connects dots and reveals a special glimpse of the glory of it all. #writersofinstagram #momswhowrite
My brows converge over my nose and my face squints against the dark. I pray, "O, God. O, God." I lay flat on my bed between two littles and take a deep breath that reaches my shoulders and sides and ankles "O, God." . . . It feels like Spring shouldn't come, that it is so *wrong* here that Lent should last forever. That, though our hope for Spring is strong, it is mostly about escape and not about salvation. We have made ourselves at home in winter, comfortable with the frosted ground under our hibernation. Our evil isn't seasonal. It isn't an epoch, a phase, a time period. It is in us— bones, marrow and evil. And we don't even want out. A Stockholm syndrome sickness that's eating us up from the inside but we refuse rescue. . . . The mercy of the Lord comes anyway, budding trees and blooms for the just and unjust. He woos us— relentlessly— out of our captivity with kindness. He calls us to repent of our soul's winter so we can finally see and taste His Spring. He calls us out of shadow and into marvelous light where our winter is exposed and we can squint to see our salvation. And we can know even a little bit more the extent of His glory and the depth of His grace. . . . Spring is coming and we are Easter people, but today there is lament. #light #shadow
Why is it that when we talk about the beginning of the United States it's always "when we founded this great nation" but when we talk about slavery it skips to the Civil War and it's always, "they were fighting to keep slavery in the south." The same humans who founded this nation bought humans and made them slaves in it. And today, for that, I mourn. . . . Every human made in the image of God is the same amount of invaluable. The same amount of mysterious wonder is knit up in our bones, from those first moments curled up in the womb. Lord, have mercy on us for acting like it is not so. . . . . . #americanlent #lentenrose #whiteprivilege #slavery #lent #lament #foundingfathers #letstalkaboutit #repentanceproject #didyouknow #spring #teamkolts #liturgy #reflection #monday #teampixel #atlanta #blackandwhite #slavetrade

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the greatest party that ever was

There is something distinctly urgent about endings.

We become keenly aware of our submission to the passing of time. We can throw any kind of emotional tantrum, but the hands of the clock march steadily on whether we look at them with anger or pain or excitement. There is absolutely nothing we can do to slow down the moments before a farewell.

Urgency usually holds hands with action, at least in my experience. You won’t find me pondering the merit of a deadline when it is fast approaching; you will find me in a frenzy to get done what needed doing.

And so it is today. Somewhere down in the place I call my soul, urgency and action are holding hands. I am looking ahead to June 24, an ending that looms like an ominous thundercloud on one of the distant mountains surrounding this beautiful city and what I feel is urgency.

What if the 18 school days left on the Seniors’ calendar is really all I have left with them? What if I never see them again? What if I never get the chance to hug the Micah boys again or make a Mother’s Day craft at the feeding centers or visit the orphanage in Valle? The urgency sets in and I feel the insistent squeeze on action’s hand.

The past week, quite unintentionally, I have realized the beautiful urgency of the questions,

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”

No encouragement is too cheesy and no compliment is too awkward, no question is too silly and no conversation is too strange; and eternity is always relevant. More than any words of wisdom (as that creeping clock trudges on toward my June 24 farewell), the action my urgency brings about is all about ETERNITY.

What do I say if I’m facing a great wave of “lasts” and “don’t knows” from people who have woven their way into my story?

I tell an old, old story about love. I tell a story about a perfect, powerful beginning broken by bitter disappointment and resolved by the only thing strong enough to redeem and restore: a sacrifice of greatest price. I tell a story of Creation, Fall, and Redemption, Restoration. I tell a story about lost sheep and celebrations and the greatest party that ever was.

This past week, I told this story five different ways to one student who, after 14 years, finally has ears to hear. God’s story – the Gospel story – finally started making sense and it was the only story I wanted to tell when I thought about leaving. God’s story has the power to change a person’s eternity. God’s story has the power to give hope and a future, to cast out fear, to give purpose and meaning, to bring joy and pleasure forever, and to throw the greatest party that ever was.

In my students, I see a desire to search out the most joy and pleasure. I see a search for meaning and worth and purpose and excitement. In all sorts of ways, I’ve tried to communicate where these desires will be satisfied – always and only in Christ alone. But now, with the days flying off the calendar like jet planes from a runway,
nothing
else
matters.

Because I care about these kids so much, the best thing (really the only thing) I can think to give them is an invitation to the greatest party that ever was.
I just want to give them Jesus.

more than ever, I’m feeling the urgency to 

let LOVE fly like cRaZy

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5 comments on “the greatest party that ever was

  1. Cindy says:

    Nothing like a deadline to make your priorities come in line! Love it!

  2. Mark Bass says:

    Caroline…this is such a great post. Thank you. There is so much truth here. Life is so short. I didn’t realize you were leaving Honduras. God bless as you move on.

  3. Caroline says:

    Thanks mom!

    Mark – Yep, I’m getting ready to leave. Thank you for the blessings – we’ll keep in touch!

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