life, pumpkins, and katrina brown
My favourite thing about autumn is the smell of the air. But right up there in my favourite autumnal things is pumpkin. When I was little, Grammie would make me pumpkin pies. I would slice myself a big wedge and sit down with a big smile and a big fork and a big blop of whipped cream (if we had it). I loved those pumpkin pies. I still do. Pumpkin anything is terrific in my book. Katrina Brown shares this fondness with me. When I was at her house Sunday, we drank coffee with pumpkin spice creamer while we studied. And this morning, when it was rainy and sunny and we were wandering around between work and classes, we treated ourselves to pumpkin lattes and muffins at Starbucks.
While it drizzled, we found a bench under a plant with fat green leaves that blocked the rain. We nibbled on our muffins and sipped our lattes and talked about life. I like talking about life with Katrina Brown.
"Lindsey, it just totally sucks. I went to God and I asked Him to transform me. I asked him to transform me as much as He can transform a person. I asked Him to take me further. To use me and change me. But it hurts so much. It has to hurt. Sometimes God reminds me of V in V for Vendetta. I don't know if that's a healthy view of Him or not. It probably isn't. But Evey had to go through all that stuff in that extreme way or she wouldn't have lost her fear- not like she did. I know that the pain I'm feeling now is good for me, but it hurts."
Katrina said this in that measured, steady way she says things. Genuine. With a small smile. I love how Katrina Brown says things.
I've seen V for Vendetta. I didn't see a lot of God in V. But I see what Katrina is saying. I feel what Katrina is feeling. Yesterday, I was sitting by the lake between classes. The sky was bright blue and there were sailboats on the water. He found me there by the edge of the lake and plunged his hand deep into my guts. And it hurt. He is gentle with me. His touch is tender. But it still hurts. It hurts like it would hurt to hold a block of granite if all your life if you had only touched marshmallows. Which would be funny. Marshmallow land. Ha!
But it didn't feel like marshmallows, it felt like God. Sometimes I want to curl up in a warm quilt and hide inside a house. But He'd find me there. Sometimes I want to block Him out and hide inside school and friends and other wonderful things in my life. But He finds me there too. I can't hide from Him and I can't deny Him. I see Him everywhere (and in that everywhere, He finds me).
It wasn't always like that, though. I mean, I remember a time when I found it very easy to hide away. So easy, I didn't even know I was hiding. And then one night, He put His hand on my head and gave me a glimse of who He is. And I chased Him. I chased Him and chased Him and chased Him. And then one day, I discovered that He was chasing me. When I look back, I am amazed at my courage and persistance in those early days. To say, "God, I am going to follow You. Whatever that means, I'm going to do it"- that is hard. I was a scrappy little thing.
I don't think I'm so scrappy anymore. I don't really need to be. But I still need courage. Because sometimes a marshmallow bed looks a whole lot comfier than a mountain. God scares me, but I love Him. And He loves me. He loves me so much, it hurts. Loving is hard. Sometimes it's really, really hard.
But, at the same time, it's so good. Even though it's scary and it hurts, it's good. I'm sitting here in knee-high socks and it's sunny and windy and rainy outside and I feel like my insides are being taffy-pulled and I am very very happy.
I was reading e.e. cummings today under the fabric tree (which is now golden and bright)- wrapped in sun and Adam's scarf. E.e. cummings always reminds me of God. Today, this poem really hit my guts:
being to timelessness as it's to time,It's scary to see Him. It's scary to seek Him. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Because He is that to me- the voice under all silences. And I love Him more than I knew I could love anything. Loving Him is teaching me how to love. How to live.
love did no more begin than love will end;
where nothing is to breath to stroll to swim
love is the air the ocean and the land
(do lovers suffer?all divinities
proudly descending put on deathful flesh:
are lovers glad?only their smallest joy's
a universe emerging from a wish)
love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear;
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star
— do lovers love?why then to heaven with hell.
Whatever sages say and fools,all's well
But life is so SO good.