Monday, February 15, 2021

Understanding the Sacred

Three little recent events have synced in my mind now and formed an idea.

1. Many political people said that the Capitol building was "desecrated" during the Jan. 6 riot.

2. A friend, who posts stunning sunrise photos, asked if an unimpressive sunrise was any less holy than a glowing, orange one.

3. The daughter of the maker of the Lombardi trophy (Super Bowl) is upset that Tom Brady lightly tossed the trophy from his boat to another boat (quite close by), to his tight end. She wants an apology for the distress Brady caused by not properly respecting the trophy.

We long for sacred things in our lives -- a building, a sunrise, a trophy. What does "sacred" mean? Technically, it means the same as "holy" -- a term for something set apart for God, for use in His worship, His purpose, His will. Only something that is first set apart for God -- consecrated to Him -- can then be desecrated.

We can disagree about what is sacred, but not about what "sacred" means. It doesn't mean "beautiful," so my sunrise-photo friend can safely say that an unimpressive sunrise (is there such?) is as holy as the most beautiful one. In the Old Testament system, only the most pure, unblemished, perfectly-made things were dedicated to God's use -- kind of. God chose Israel, of all nations the most difficult, rebellious, complaining, and disobedient -- very imperfect. So He described them. In the end, it seems nothing is truly worthy of the term "sacred" except Jesus Christ Himself, and even He was humbled and made very low, given a fallen human body, before His sacrifice of Himself. He is holy. He was dedicated to God, and also perfectly pure.

We are told to be holy as He is. I struggle to wrap my mind around that.

Every time someone said that the Capitol building was desecrated, I twitched a little in discomfort. I agree wholeheartedly that we should treat such a building with deep respect and protection. But I don't believe it's sacred. It is set apart for a special use, yes, but not a spiritual one. The Capitol is for temporal, political use, not eternal, spiritual use. The same would go for the trophy, of course. Just because we greatly value something doesn't make it sacred, not even "sacred to me." There is no such thing. By definition, things are sacred to God.

The sunrises, however, I'm willing to consider as sacred, made by God, delighted in by Him, and used for His purposes. I wouldn't argue with that one.

Perhaps one of our greatest struggles now is misapplying that term, slapping "sacred" on anything we value. Forgetting God. Forgetting that we are asked to dedicate things to Him, in life -- taking something we value and cherish, and handing it over to Him for His use. If we consider something sacred, we must sacrifice it. Instead, we've generally twisted that idea, loving something and dedicating it to ourselves (as if we were God), and jealously attacking anybody who dares to lay a finger on it. I consider this kind of thinking as blasphemy.

I have decided on this position as I'm typing, which is rather scary. But I think it's true. I need to ask myself: When's the last time I took something I loved and said to God, "Here. This is for You. Not for me. Do with it as you wish; it's dedicated to You and no one else. I take my hands off."?

Which is, of course, what we are supposed to do with ourselves, with our lives. Maybe that's what Jesus meant when He said, "Be holy as I am holy." 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

My Go-Home To-Do List:

Being away from home has put a bee in my bonnet to accomplish some long-overdue tasks when I do return home. To hold myself accountable, I'm making a list! Here it is, thus far:

Improve the silverware drawers
Refinish the little bathroom table
Paint the kitchen ceiling on the edges
Clean up the front porch -- this is several days' worth of work
New curtains for the dining room
Hem the dining room sheer
New blinds for the bedroom
Get rid of the bed frame
Clean off back porch near doorway
Price a new mini-dryer
Paint my studio
Paint the shutters (I'm scared of this one.)
Find a new headboard for our bed

I'll make a youtube video also, so I can tell myself, in no uncertain terms, to get after it! When I'm home, I sit around looking at the tasks to be done, and struggle to motivate myself. But away from home? I have all the motivation in the world! 

What has inspired me? Stephanie Jarvis, at Chateau de Lalande in France. She has a youtube channel (a sheer delight!) called Chateau Diaries. I'll put one video below for anyone who might be interested. If she can restore an entire chateau the size of a small village, I can certainly make a few needed improvements to my tiny house!
I'll be adding to my list ... I think ... as I remember other jobs that need doing. Y'all -- keep my nose to the grind stone!

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Early Morning in Mississippi

 Good morning. I'm still in Mississippi. Little Ellie Kate had a harder time than we expected, and she's up in Memphis at a NICU in a children's hospital for a bit. She has fluctuating bilirubin, and the doctors are evaluating that. 

Having a sick baby is very hard on parents. Anna was our sick baby, and the stress puts you "through the roof" in a way that other worries just don't. So these young parents are juggling lots of things right now, and Nana is still here to help. I'm holding down the fort with Isaac and enjoying that so much! I didn't expect to have this much time with him by myself, but it's delightful to start building that grandbaby/grandmother bond.

We listen to a lot of classical music. He especially likes live performances where he can watch the conductor waving his arms and the players with their fascinating instruments. We go on walks every day that the weather allows. It's so cold and wet right now! We play with toys and do tickle games, bath time, lots of yummy meals, and reading with Teddy, his favorite friend. We watch little videos of Mommy and Daddy with Ellie Kate, so he knows her when she comes home.

We spend so much of life feeling torn between two things. Between this person and that person, this side and that side, home and work, youth and age -- the list goes on. I love time with Isaac, but I long to be home. That's part of living, and having two places that you love so much is a blessing, is it not? 
I've been a grandmother for a while now, but I've never felt so much like a grandmother as I do now. It feels right: the achy back, the wrinkly skin, the old hands, the sleeping in a strange twin bed in a baby's room. It's all part of it, and I feel so privileged that God has given me this. 

Blessings to all of you out there in blogland!
He loves popcorn! Yay!