Thursday, May 25, 2006

Beautiful things

Due entirely to Dawn's verdant opposable digits, most of our perennials and some of our annuals came back this year. The front yard isn't bad these days, and I can say that because I'm bragging on her rock gardens, not my yard, which is an indifferent bermuda triangle between the garden, the sidewalk, and the driveway.
So, just going with ones I know:
African daisies and lavender draw little white butterflies in droves. In Zambia rural highways would be paved for hundreds of feet with flocks of white butterflies, which would rise in a brilliant foggy cloud around you as you drove through them. I hadn't seen them here til Dawn put in her rock gardens.
I still don't know how to prune my Confederate rose, but it has come back for the third year now, when hibiscus relatives like it are barely hardy this far north and inland.
Despite the drought, the roses are huge this year. Not so many blooms, but the canes are long and robust. We've finally started a pergola on the west side to hold the big rose by our bedroom window up off the sidewalk and driveway. And up the lamppost on that side of the house a squash that volunteered from the compost we used to fertilize the flower bed has sent up its huge leaves and tendrils.
Nonfloral beautiful things:
Habib and Cynthia's son Ali and Mark and Mandy's son Andrew are the happiest, most contented babies I've ever seen. It's amazing how unfussy they are, and how unpicky about who holds them how.
Our Beth is the least jealous, most appreciative little sister of a big brother ever. She took all the hooha over his graduation and college search and acceptance with great good grace. A very nice thing to see, when other reactions would have been unfortunate but perfectly understandable.
We were at a patio restaurant in town called Ozona's the other day, and an elementary school teacher, the would-be farmer who runs the school's 'outdoor classroom', spotted us and came over and talked for a long time. It was very gratifying.
We may well sell this house before long, still. Things are so uncertain. And Texas summers are sufficiently miserable that I have really really really grown tired of them in advance, especially in this two-year-long drought we're in. But God granted us a remarkably cool early part of May, and there was day after day after day of cool, beautiful mornings and breezy, clear evenings, and it was, it should be said (fair dues, the British say), beautiful.
The last item in this post is a bit different. When Dawn and I came here, we said we wanted two things from our sponsors. One was no "core group" as it's called, no seed group of established christians with which most church plants begin. We wanted to start from scratch, because we wanted to make a church for nonchurch people, not for church people. The other was that we wanted monthly prayer, accountability, and strategic assistance and ministry advice from wise counselors from our sponsor churches. And I have gone to a monthly oversight meeting every month since November of 1993 as a result. Now it is cool beyond belief that the sponsors have gone along with this. Many many emerging churches suffer because of lousy relations with sponsor churches. But the really beautiful bit is this: I was at the meeting yesterday. I had my things to say, was asked questions, and so forth. But that was not the real game; I wasn't the headlining band, I was the warm-up. To whom did the ecclesiastics from our sponsors pay most attention? To a young woman in our Community with a vision for assisting disadvantaged people in a crappy neighborhood here in town; to the Poes, who have moved with such grace into the pastoral role Dawn and I had for so long; and to reports about things going on with a mission God is drawing together in Denton. And to most of this I was an observer, neither sidelined nor kowtowed to, neither feeling bad that I was excluded nor any need to run the show. Watching in slow motion a handoff taking place in football can be an amazing thing: how the fullback and quarterback fake it, and the ball actually goes to the halfback, and the fluid dance of the quarterback pivoting and extending and retracting his arm, and the backs closing their whole forearms over the ball--for a fan, it can be very cool to see the execution of this done with such precision, like Buckingham Palace guards or something. What I have been seeing for some time with Lower Greenville, and saw again in a great way yesterday, was a handoff. And the gracious way everyone involved, sponsors, Poes, Heather, Mandy, handled it, was beautiful.


Blogger Lorenloo said...

ok, so maybe i didn't understand the football analogy, but i'm very happy with your happiness. all those things are amazing blessings. yay!

reminds me i should do a big good things roll call on my blog soon.

7:44 PM  

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