Just got back from a very verdant and rich trip to my family’s home in North Carolina. Reminded of roots, and how the spiritual nutrients travel across time through those roots, regardless of where we end up sprouting. I know that it is somewhat a rarity in my generation to actually have your own parents as people who inspire you on any level, but especially spiritually–but mine do.
My mother is simply a star, and just keeps pushing back religion from her walk with Jesus more and more as she grows older, freeing up so many to just be with Him, directly as we are, outside of the confines of any certain prescribeds way to meet with God. She has a knack for keeping God out of the box!
Recently, she met God at gallery show in Vienna, through a series of paintings. The work was Claude Monet, and she just kept saying how God was in the paint. She said that God reminded her in the most glorious way, that when people create, they express Him even when they don’t know Him! It is like the act of creating brings one into a symbolic realm where God perforce shows up. That as image bearers, we are bound to express Him whether directly or indirectly. Mom and I discussed what happens when darkness is the subject as with Anselm Kieffer’s work etc, but her point was so passionately true–that God made us and so shows up as we search to express…anyways, mom rocks, and keeps inspiring me.
My father, of course just keeps growing in wisdom, and something like practical kindness. The thing is, his spiritual life just keeps growing into the next appropriate season, and hasn’t stoped, even though he has obviously been very “successful”. He models Watchman Nee’s teaching that the christian is above all to keep growing up in all things into the fullness of Christ. Neither mom or dad have stoped growing, and continue to incarnate new parts of Christ’s Life each season!
I hear lots of talk about how stuck many people’s parents are spiritually; it just made me thankful to hang with mom and dad, and see them as spiritually alive, awake and questing deeper into spiritual reality.
At the end of my trip, I visited a dear friend who now has cancer. He is a musician and a real subtle and refined person before the Lord. As God spoke through laughter and just the life of friendship into him, I was reminded that ours in a generation of overcomers–we are made to suffer into very deep parts of Christ’s Life. God gave me a word for him about preserving his life, but I could tell that the work of suffering had already yielded faith not fear in my friend’s life. I still feel humbled by my time with my friend.
Anyways, this trip reminded me that I have had so many good teachers over the years–people where I encountered different aspects of Christ’s life. I lived for many years with a jewish man from Argentina, who taught me so much about fathering creatively, and just to notice the discarded things in life, and how God was constantly redeeming them. Each person is such a rich deposit! But then when you read your own story, and go back to earlier chapters, and see where He was already shining in the midst of the pages–sometimes between the lines–it just leaves me thankful, and sort of awed.