.:making sense of what i got:.

Location: Tallahassee - Miami, Florida, United States

Just a guy who loves coffee and shares coffee.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Silver Chair

A few days ago I finished reading "The Silver Chair" by C.S. Lewis. It is book 4 in the Chronicles of Narnia series. At the risk of being beaten by everyone who considers themselves to be a Christian, I will make the claim publicly that I am not all that enthralled by Lewis' writing. The voice of the narrator is, to me, etremely distracting; but that is not the point of this blog.

There was a scene early on in the story that captured me. Jill Pole has wandered through the woods after Eustace has been blown away by Aslan. She, of course has not met Aslan yet, but as she approaches a river she sees the great Lion sitting on the other bank of the river. She is terrified and frozen in her place. Internally she struggles with the fear of being face to face with a lion who could tear her to shreds and her physical (spiritual?) need to drink water. Her thirst grows and she senses that hours have passed but she doesn't dare move lest the lion attack. Finally Aslan speaks to her and tells her is she is thirsty she should drink.

This image has captured me because there is something about seeing Jill and Aslan face to face; Aslan waiting for her to accept his invitation to drink and Jill's struggle with trying to take control of the situation. It reminds me of God standing by the door waiting for us to knock. We sometimes hold back for numerous reasons, maybe we're not ready to come face to face with the Creator who knows our hearts or maybe sometimes it is easier to stay out in the cold. There is a song that's lyrics read, "Flames are not what get you burned/It's the cold and the ice/Here's a piece of advice that I got from a little bird/The flames can get you stirred/It's the cold that leaves you shaken."

What I have seen is that this image is not left to stories and a far-off God. Sometimes friends stand by and wait for that phone call, that text. Maybe we just don't want to deal with what we think the reaction on the other end of the line will be, like Jill afraid the Lion will attack. But the cost of not making that call could be dying of thirst.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

oh no...

...here comes that sun again.

Anyone who knows me understands that I don't listen to voicemails until my mailbox is full. Today I listened to them because there were 14 of them. A few were from my Student Loan and another was from Blockbuster, but the majority of them were from friends. That word, friend, has a great bit of meaning to me these days. There were 6 words in each of their voice mails that each time it was said there was simultaneously a heaviness in my heart and an impenetrable joy that took over. The words were, "I love you. I miss you." The thing is that when these people say those words I believe them, you can hear in their voice the honesty and the truth behind those words. They are people of great love. It shows in their life and it shows in their friendship.

It is more difficult than I can begin to share to be so far from ones I love so much, ones who remind me of a loving God. Tonight I find it hard to sleep. I wrestle with the realization that their lives keep going and I am not an immediate part of it. I went for a walk tonight, when I normally take my phone and talk to one or more of them, but tonight none of them were available. Yet I still know that they love me.

I have to stop thinking that any moment now they will be here, living in the same city as me. I have to accept it's over. And I hate it.

God please help me overcome these feelings. Please help me find joy, purpose in Miami. Please row my relationships with my old friends, and strengthen them so that they will continue to build each of us up, while helping me meet new friends that will help welcome your Kingdom. But God...if it is possible, please bring them here, because I do miss them so much it hurts.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I have been in Miami for a week now and it has provided a lot of time to reflect on different things: how things were, how things are, how things will be; friends, old and new; God, his promises; passions, like reading, writing. Most days are spent in a coffee shop or a bookstore with a book, or driving around searching for one place in this city with comfortable seating and perhaps free wireless internet. The search is not going well.

Other days have been spent laying on a beach or dancing with the tide of a salt water partner gently caressing my shoulders.

I have spent time in my backyard pulling weeds and racking my yard to stir up the soil as I envision and new bed of life skirting the yard.

And then there are my walks. A habit I picked up in Tallahassee, only these new walks I find myself doing alone. It feels incomplete but I will continue them until they feel fulfilled.

This life, it appears, is incredibly fulfilling, like the dream of any retired person, ripe with age and experience, finally at a point where all their life's lessons culminate into a simple life. Read. Walk. Garden. Relax. But satisfaction does not come so easily to a stubborn mule such as myself. I find dissatisfaction and long for another time and place. And then voices rise up around me, like a word from Heaven, and peace is laid upon my head. Community, that which I long for, that which I seek, speaks to me from across the state. Voices from Tallahassee, Melbourne, Tampa, New Port Richie, they all call on me to remind me that what God has given us does not end. His work is not over and He has not forsaken us. He will be with us, guide us, and when we feel alone, He will be there to comfort us.

So tonight I am at peace and I thank God for his Shalom. And I thank the people he uses: Michael Christopher, your words and your constant friendship are like the base of Mount Rainer and I thank you for allowing me to walk alongside you; RJ, years ago when you, Josh, and I walked around Lake Ella on our last night as roomates, you asked us if we considered you a brother...you have been one since the day we moved in together and the friendship you have offered and the encouragment you have given, and the patience you have excercised with me shows me of a love that lays itself down for a friend; Adam, your ability to forgive is one that is something I do not deserve and your faithfulness is something that I pray I can have. Thank you all.

Please pray for me as I learn to live again.

"I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one. It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves." - "Walden"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Watch the Stars

So my time in Tallahassee has come full circle. It was a good time of growth and development. It was a time of discovering who I am and who God wants me to be.

When I first came to Tallahassee I found myself in a community of people who sought after God, who were challenged by his call to us, who desired a new way of living and following and serving; a group that believed that another life was possible, right here, right now.

I have had other friends and other circles since then but as this stage of my life ends I find myself in that community again.

Tonight I went to Lake Jackson. I went with friends who love Jesus; friends who's passion is to live free from what convention tells us we need and as a result truly live freely. We sang. We prayed. We watched the stars (though they weren't falling) and we played with our dog Thelma. I say our dog because we are a community.

I thought I would be sad and while I have had many moments of tears and fears I am at peace tonight. Driving back to town I looked at the car and I saw my family. I had a desire to drive to California and spend days, months, years with them. And I believe I will.

To Ashley, Josh, Travis, Michael, Fisher-Price, and the Honorable Order of the Coffee Bean and the many others who will join these amazing people, thank you.