Archives for the month of: June, 2011

So, how good is your hearing?  My family and I have just returned from North Carolina where we witnessed the beautiful providence of God displayed at the wedding of a young man that was like a second son to us.  They’ll be more to that story but for now I wanted to share with you an encounter we had of another kind along the way.  Upon arriving at our hotel in this rural town we noted an abundance of people gathered in the lobby yet there was a noticeable absence of sound.  The voices were silent as there was a seemingly audible hush to the room.   Being one to lean into the “what’s going on” of life I had to know from whence this silence came.  As it turns out the hotel was populated with people that were in town for a “signing” conference being held especially for the hearing impaired.  Young and old people alike from varying ethnicities were there.  For the next couple of mornings as everyone gathered for breakfast in the lobby sitting area I was able to observe the beautiful interplay of conversation being eloquently displayed in what appeared to be seamlessly choreographed hand motions.  The sheer artistry of this alone was enough to leave one in awe.  But there was something more that left me even more captivated.  It was the beauty of the silence reflected in the joy seen in the countenance of the faces of the people.  Reflecting back on this has caused me to wonder if there is a correlation to our inability to drown out the noise of life to our lack of joy and the respective weariness revealed on our faces to the watching world.  It has also caused me to wonder if those whose physical hearing is impaired may have a more attuned and attentive hearing of another kind…the ability to hear the still, small voice within. Could it be in the taking away of those things we tend to presume upon or treasure the most when we are more likely to become better listeners?  What are the signs of your life telling you?  Perhaps we would all be well served to “listen up” with the wonderful senses we’ve been given such that we would reflect an abiding joy that the world longs to hear.  Peace.

So, do you have a question?  Today, I don’t.  In fact I have been reminded recently in a multitude of different ways how I rarely “clear the decks” of my mind, set aside the questions of life and allow myself to just “be”.  So, I’m going to take a break for a week or so, practice the presence of my wife and family to simply refill my tanks.  In doing so my heart’s desire is that I’ll come back with what I hope will be some fresh and compelling thoughts for you and for me in the weeks to come.  Until then…peace.

So, have you ever considered the gain that comes from losing?  Many people across the country have been captivated for over eleven seasons now by the hit TV show, The Biggest Loser.  Perhaps you’ve seen it at some point along the way.  I’ve often wondered if the show might be better characterized by being entitled, The Beautiful Loser.  Season after season the show chronicles the contestant’s journey as they put countless hours in the gym and in the kitchen exercising their bodies and strengthening their nutritional knowledge as they attempt to be the one who in the end has lost the most percentage of their starting weight.  While no one who has seen the show can deny the physical transformation that occurs over the weeks the contestants are on “the ranch” there is an even greater picture that emerges from the story line.  It too is all about losing.  And what a beautiful picture of losing it is!  Let’s take Moses for example.   Moses, a Tongan, began the show at 440-lbs. and by the time of the show’s finale had lost over 153-lbs.  While that is an incredible transformational feat in and of itself, it’s not the real story of Moses’ transformation.  Moses experienced the redemptive and regenerative beauty of losing when, among other things, he was able to return to New Zealand having met the minimum weight restriction required to bungee jump off one of New Zealand’s many bridges.  You see Moses was about to experience the culmination of his journey by coming face to face with his fears.  With his elderly dad in tears and standing by his side, Moses, though trembling with fear himself, jumped and at the very point he realized he wasn’t going to die he exclaimed, “I’m alive!”  Isn’t that the story line that is meant for us?  Isn’t there something beautiful about our lives that emerge as we rid ourselves of the shackles of life that have held us back for so long?  While those things can certainly look different for each of us there seems to be some common elements that can lead us to our own story of redemption and regeneration.  It’s in part the story line of putting others before ourselves or the counterintuitive truth of being last to be first.  Perhaps in the end there is something beautiful to be gained as we “lose” our lives for the benefit of others.  Could it just be that the beauty we discover along the way is that in our loss we too become more fully alive?  My how beautiful that would be!  Peace.                    

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