Here while it’s still Thursday January 31st in the candlelight, writing down all the bolts of lightening that struck my life’s still skies today, unignorably bright though just a streak of light, and everything struck, caught fire with love.

It’s the first exactly-same-calendar this year in 2019 since the year I was born, 1974 – so my mother informed me. I find that mathematically improbable but it’s true. In this same-as-when-i-met-the-earth month, the Spirit has been moving, talking, cresting, giving, teaching, calling, reigning.

My mother and I texted late into the night stories of what happened there at Travis medical center – the old one – “the green one on the hill” says she. I know the room: third floor, but only second row of windows I believe. I know because we’ve been there again. In the doorway. I want to go again – now that I know life better, deeper. Jesus that woman in that room fighting for us to live – or being still while He fights, but she said yes. She was burning. I was 7 months. No politicians were around to decide that wasn’t enough. God said it was enough. She said they “lifted me out.” (“What a gentle way to be born.”) But they never cut the cord that ties my soul to that woman. She knows what life is worth. She also knows the God who holds forever. So I hold tight to all that is fearfully and wonderfully made, in this world and the next.

My “family” (mom, dad, intentional choice of word – I truly love these two people), my family came by today, and that symbol – being there – set off a sentimental journey. Family shows up. When they do there are flowers, and tokens of faith and calling, and there’s laughing that wakes the skin. There’s kindness.

Kindness. There was so much of it today. Thoughtfulness. Gentleness. And a pinata. I’ve decided there should always be a pinata.

Even just a movie night was a little emotionally overwhelming when it’s a missionary story of love and obedience even unto death (spoiler alert). Three things I heard that stuck: 1). The Great Commission is bringing the Gospel; the Great Commandment is just loving them. 2). “Absolutes in justice, evil, love and forgiveness can only be found on the cross on which Jesus died.” and 3). “Forgiveness isn’t cheap. Somebody pays for it.” Or my mother’s favorite, “Two thirds of the word GOD is GO….so GO and live for Him.”

I don’t know what it has been about this Christmas, and now this birthday – this 45 – this wondering about new circles – this gypsy melody – this prayer that’s answered before it’s spoken and yet prayed on and on from then to beyond – has been confusingly gentle. Still weighted, just a little. Less like an anvil, more like a fishing line – but gentle. So present this Spirit who promised He would be here – a helper, sent, who will not leave alone. That part I do just know. Just. That He is here – and He does not leave alone. Anyone. No one.

And just that quickly, it’s no longer Thursday January 31st in the first “same” calendar since then, when life was new near landing jets, in a green building “on a hill” that housed me and mom and so many angels – and though I wouldn’t know it til later, there was in mind, long life and another angel waiting for us as a father who would know me well and shout surprise when I open the door on my birthday. So many layered sequins of small and simple things today. But even if I counted only this – these now surely sleeping people down a winding back road just a few miles over my left shoulder; these people who sing happy birthday as the dinner ‘prayer’ over eggs at Mel’s in the middle of the night surrounded by model high schoolers and gravy fries – it would already measure over and abundant. These “good gifts” from the Father of Lights, the father of lightening striking my soul well and brightly, are counted firm-handedly, dug into by my gratitude and awe like finger marks in blocks of clay. They are counted and molded into pots and pottery lining each year with formations of life made by our spinning efforts and the potter’s hands and plans. “This is God’s plan A for your life,” says David George. These vases of water turned wine are more than enough. 

We drove home, talking of purpose for living, playing siren songs.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

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