Home for Thanksgiving

The sun glints off the mustard gold of the field across the way. I can hear builders in my parents' new house, pounding nails the day before Thanksgiving. The kids are hooting and hollering in the woods with cousins while Grandma bakes all everything again this year - another year I can't. I slowly remember that last Saturday was my sister's birthday and that I've once again spilt blood all over this day that is supposed to be cake and candles and presents and carefree. Something about that, knowing I wrecked her birthday, just like when I lost Theodore on November 17 in 2009, breaks me and I bend over double in my swing in the morning sun.

I feel it, just like that. I am all the way home here, in this broken world. I feel myself sliding back down like maple syrup on a cold winter morning, through my head, which suddenly glows warm with the knowing of all that has happened, and down into my heart, where I suppose I should have been all along. And though I couldn't know and I couldn't prevent, for whatever part is mine, I am broken. That once again it was November 17. And I am broken all over again that I have been given this beautiful life and this beautiful place and these beautiful people. And taken it all for granted. Poured my ugliness all over His beauty helter-skelter as if I had never been taught this lesson before.

As empty as I feel in that moment, as the tears cascade and my heart thunders loud in my ears, I know this moment is what stopping breathing was all about. It is why He continues to test and try. It is why He pushes limits and allows death to seep through cracks. He wants me here, at the foot of the Cross, fully aware of my neediness, my indebtedness, and my gratefulness.

This is exactly where He wants us all on Thanksgiving - and every day of every year of our short time here on earth. On our knees. Praising, faltering, grasping for more. 

How deep the Father's Love for us...
How vast beyond all measure!
That He should give His only Son
to make a wretch His treasure
~Stuart Townend (sung here by Fernando Ortega)~

I see myself there, for a moment, on that lonely hill of a past time and a foreign land. It's windy, and I pour out my soul like a pot of black mud where the Cross pierces the earth. I cannot look up, for what overcomes me in this moment of pouring out is the magnitude of His love as it pours down. This is the Love I felt in the darkness of those 40 minutes in-between. Who am I, that He would look down and love me, save me, and join me to that Love inseparably, eternally, for no price I paid or deed I've done? This is the Holiness and Awesomeness of God, when you come face to face with Him.

He says that a lucky man can number his days at 70 or perhaps 80 years. I've been given 33 and consider myself one of the luckiest people I know because I know what each day here is worth - the struggles of it, the beauty of it, the having of it. Thirty-three is, historians say, ironically, the same number He was given when He took the bitter cup that was mine and drank it down to it's last dregs, to save every last one of us. For this, I am thankful. For You, I am thankful. 

And for today.

Life is beautiful. My new nephew August with Katrina in the sun.

Savior I come
Quiet my soul...remember
Redemption's hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I
Tempted and trialed
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you're risen