Wednesday, May 30, 2012

the new space (a welcome)

Hello, wonderful readers!

Before I forget - I wanted to let you know I'm blogging over in a new space now, to go with the newly graduated self and the new adventures that follow.

My new blog is called the wild love: you can visit it here.

A few of my recent posts over there (just in case you're curious):

It's not just a song

dear hilary: miscellaneous treasures

He is more than glorious: a letter to preston

I'd love for you to come spend time over there with me!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

on graduation day (an ending, and a beginning)

I pray quick with you, while Cat Stevens sings and my roommates brush their teeth and apply one last coat of mascara, while we smile and laugh and shake our heads at the strange new reality that settles in today. Today, we begin again the journey. Today, we let the soft winds of the past capture our college experience, and we step out into the new present. 

I pray that God would give us all the grace to see His hand moving over the waters, even when it's tempest and storm, raging hurricane or eerily calm sea. I pray that His presence would be profound, and immediate, as we trip our way across the stage, across the future. Because oh how He loves us, coltish and eager, always trying and tripping and new. How He delights in us, in the very being of us.

I pray that we would remember the past with fondness, seeing the selves we had to have been. I pray that this poem would resound strong in our hearts:

Thanks, Robert Frost (by David Ray)

Do you have hope for the future?
someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.
Yes, and even for the past, he replied,
that it will turn out to have been all right
for what it was, something we can accept,
mistakes made by the selves we had to be,
not able to be, perhaps, what we wished,
or what looking back half the time it seems
we could so easily have been, or ought...
The future, yes, and even for the past,
that it will become something we can bear.
And I too, and my children, so I hope,
will recall as not too heavy the tug
of those albatrosses I sadly placed
upon their tender necks. Hope for the past,
yes, old Frost, your words provide that courage,
and it brings strange peace that itself passes
into past, easier to bear because
you said it, rather casually, as snow
went on falling in Vermont years ago.

I pray that the love of Christ would dwell in us. I pray that these four years of learning would be caught up in the work of the Kingdom, used to bring healing and restoration, used to build up the brokenhearted and love wildly. 

And oh, dear ones, who might walk across a stage today or who walked across one years ago? You who journeyed with me through all of these 300 posts and unsure words and brave, difficult living? I pray that you would be reminded of the deep, deep love of Jesus in all places today. I pray that you would sing of the Truth. That you would know all that is beautiful, and rest in all that is good. 

Thank you, thank you, a thousand times. Thank you for the love of Christ poured out here. Thank you for the challenge. Thank you for you. The great, inconceivable gift of you.

hilary (today, a graduate)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

know Him and make Him known, letter thirty-five, hilary to preston

On Tuesdays and Thursdays around these parts, Preston and I write letters back and forth. We share the wonder of mystery, grace and our encounters with mercy. We hope to hear from you in the comments and imagine with you about this walking out in faith. Read the letter I'm responding to here.

Dear Preston,

By now you know that I'm ending my time on this blog. I don't know if we got to talk about that, somewhere between theology of the arts and teaching, between moleskines and meditations on Blair and Chuck and Serena (she needs some serious character development, that one), but it's true. I'm leaving this space on Sunday and I'm starting to write out the wild love. It's so strange to think about, leaving a blogging space I feel so comfortable with, leaving behind the 320 posts, the five minutes of last spring, the first post that got a serious number of hits or someone retweeted or commented on...

But somehow in all of this leaving I felt the tug in my heart towards this new wild love space. The title even came to me as I was sitting, thinking about whether or not I would really like blogging somewhere else. And I thought to myself, what would I even call it? And then the name. The wild love. Because that is what we are called to live. 

That's what these last four weeks of living have taught me, Preston. That love should be wild and free and given away. That we should share ourselves. That we should not waste time pretending to be self-sufficient, but smile as we offer our neediness and recognize it in each other, laugh that we are helpless and small and dependent, and then hold each other's hearts.

So I'm going to make a new space over there, and journey along in the new, post-grad world, and I really hope that you come along, too. I'm so excited about the new space, but also so nervous and unsure of what it will be and how it will be different. So much change, and so much the same. I think that balance is where the beauty is revealed.

In a devotional that the whole student body received this week, they offered the prayer of general thanksgiving from the BCP. I love those old words. And I read it with eyes towards next year and wild love. The prayer begins,

"Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us.
We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world,
for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love."

Give thanks for the mystery of love. Can you imagine? Giving thanks for all that we don't understand about love, for all that defies reason and expectation, for everything it demands in the dark and without explanation? The beauty, and the wonder, and the mystery. 

And then it ends, 

"Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things.

That we might know him and make him known. The prayer of thanksgiving becomes the prayer of transformation. Because we give thanks for the mystery and beauty, we can pray also that He would live in us, and we in Him, that we would know Him and make Him known. We give thanks that we might know Him. 

As it all ends here, it all seems more beautiful and more fleeting. As I walk across the Quad, around the pond, pack sheets and towels and clothes into duffel bags, as I type out the last few posts into this blogger window - I want to give thanks for the beauty, the wonder and the mystery. 

I want to know him and make him known. 

Perhaps that's the wild love of next year. And all our years beyond it. Perhaps that's the command and the hope. Perhaps, after all, that's the real work. 

(wild) love, and grace and peace to wonder, and rejoice, 


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