Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Beauty of the Lord

About two years ago pre-cancer, I had a foretelling dream:

I had boarded a plane for a wonderful trip to an island paradise (so I thought).  As the journey proceeded, it was disturbing because the plane shook, lunged back and foth and dropped attitude with every fluctuating wind change.  I wasn’t really scared but more mad at the weather we were experiencing. - This was a so called pleasure trip!  I stood out of seat and declared, “I need to speak to someone in charge about this!”  The stewardess led me to the front of the plane behind some navy blue curtains to area that looked like a Board Room.  There was a large table with chairs all around it but only one person was sitting in the room.  He looked like an Orthodox Rabbi, but I also picked up that somehow this was a man full of wisdom.  He motioned for me to have a seat.  I instantly felt very comfortable to share my concerns about this misguided tour.  Mostly, I was focused on the incredible amount of rain that was falling.  I went on and on and on about the situation. He just listened.  All of the sudden, His face and eyes pierced my heart and He said with His Yiddish accent,  

“Yes, I hear you.”  “Where I am come from, there is much rain, BUT also much Beauty!”  “It is the Rain that makes it so.”

With the end of His words, I woke up immediately and the dream was over.

Life in general for the following months included chemo, surgery, more chemo and then radiation.  I was aware that God was on “my plane” with me every step of the way and it wasn’t going down.  In fact, that knowledge spared me several times when things were NOT going so well.  I would say to Him, “Really, God- Is this something you want to endure too?   I felt like Moeses did -I’ll go if you’re going, but if not, I’m not willing to go without You.”  Either the circumstance would change or if it was hard – He was there with me and made it tolerable.   The best part of the journey was that the communication between us had such clarity.

In January of this year, I laid my poor bald head to sleep thinking about reconstructive surgery that was around the corner.  I began to dream again and can you believe it?  I was on that plane again! 

 I looked out the windows and it was Still dark and Still pouring rain.  This time, I didn’t ask for help, I just got up and went behind the curtain to speak with my old Friend.  I stated, “I get what you mean about rain, but I Still cannot see the beauty? What is with this trip?”  He took my hand and said, “Remember what I told you about beauty before?”  Instantly, I was returned to an event that had happened about 4 years prior.

The event happened at my work.  It was a Lifeline installation (personal emergency response system) for a home.  I don’t normally do field installations but all my Lifeline technicians were busy that day and it was for a 98 year old lady named Marge who desperately needed help.   She was extremely frail and had been released from rehab just days before.  

 It was at this install, that I saw a little bit more of God Himself that day.  You see, Marge was a painter and had her works of art displayed around her home.  They were so heart provoking and stunning.

  I asked her, “How does painting work for you?” Do you see it in your mind’s eye and then draw it out? Or do you start painting it and then it evolves?”

 Her thin wrinkled hands grabbed mine and her bright blue eyes stared straight into the gut of my soul.  

She gently said, “Sweetheart, one Never paints from here” and pointed to her eyes. “To be an artist, one must always paint from here” She took our joined hands and placed them over my heart. 

I was shook to the core knowing I was having a definite God encounter, but it didn’t stop.  Marge started reciting Psalm 19 1-6 from memory and gazed out her hillside window:

 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

I left Marge’s home that day, thinking to myself, “Yeah right, I just installed a security system for this lady?” “She is about the most ‘secure’ person I have ever met!”  Let me very pathetically try to describe at least one of her paintings.   It was a picture of her grandson’s weathered combat boots from Iraq. Tucked inside the tongue of the weathered shoe was a cross necklace.  Beside the shoes was an open bible with the verse underlined For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” 

This is when I got it!  

When you looked at her paintings, you didn’t just see the painting but you saw its creator -Marge!

 I woke up from the second dream. Here is some of what I’ve learned these past few trying months of recovery.

1.      Beauty shows us WHO the Father is and What He is like! How good! How strong! 
        How creative! and How BIG!

2.      I simply can’t see His Beauty if I am not looking with my heart.  My mind and my own  imagination will confuse the beauty of my journey.

3.       His Beauty goes with His presence.

“Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us! and establish the works of our hands for us – yes establish the works of our hands”  Psalm 90:17