Wednesday, October 10, 2012

the edge of the globe

we sit outside because it is just too beautiful to stay inside and the sun burns bright and gilds the leaves and the wind keeps blowing hair into my mouth. we've run around like whirling dervishes and now we collapse into the dappled shadows of the afternoon and we read.

we read about a man long touted as a hero who discovered a new land and claimed it for a country on the other side of the ocean and I can't help but wonder what the natives thought as they watched this spectacle unfold on the sand. how strange it must have been to have not existed before one man lay his eyes upon your frame and declared you his.

and then I think about those that scribe the journey so well and how they, too, have landed on this very same island five hundred years later not to lay claim but rather to relinquish their power and the irony is not lost on me.

they have gone to see for the rest of us. 

and so what are we to make of this? the boys and I study history with the hope and the prayer that we will not repeat its mistakes but we have friends who, right this moment, are in this very same place of which we read and much of what they see is the product of one long string of mistakes and it appears that we are no more the wiser.

for centuries we've mined the gold in them hills and made the beautiful "heathens" commodities. and at times it seems the earth itself wants to plumb the depths of this paradise. and so it cracks and bulges and splits apart and threatens to eat the people whole and it's tempting to think that this place has always been doomed. 

and then I think about that man from Italy who thought he was sailing to China but found banana trees instead and wasn't he really doomed from the beginning too?

aren't we all?

we're supposed to know better because the world has been discovered ten times over and we've put our fingerprints all over creation but yet we still sail so indiscriminately that I'm certain we're about to fall off the edge of the globe any day now. what are we supposed to make of these lands that we once claimed for glory but from which we now turn our heads? how are we any different from that man who sailed west to go east, who landed in paradise only he didn't know it?

aren't we all just restless souls awaiting resurrection?

so we read and we ponder and my youngest boy asks the hard question of why would someone be so arrogant and entitled and I shiver in my bones because I know that he has just described my own heart. I recognize the ambition that lies deep within, the desire to do great things mixed with the expectation that with such will come great reward and I know it. I know that a heart that beats for its own gain will only end up in chains.

so I pray. I pray that the history that is carried on my back will lose its stench and will be redeemed.  that the plague on my household will be broken and that I might recognize that the stranger is not them but me. and all of these broken pieces?...the land...the heart...that they would be places where the light might enter in. 

today's post is dedicated to the Help One Now team of bloggers who are currently in Haiti, chronicling their experiences and challenging us all


  1. Yes, it is in that brokenness, Holly, that God's light can shine in. So thankful for your honesty and vulnerability here, my friend. It encourages me!

  2. Oh Holly broken is beautiful when it is laid in His hands. It all becomes beautiful somehow there in the hands of The Transformer of Lives. You speak to the brokeness in the naming of it, bringing it into the beautiful light, out of the shadows, where it can fear no evil, and laying it squarely at the foot of the Cross. I'm tipping right over the edge of the spinning orb, but for the grace of GOD. My three ships one by one but for Him. Your words are art.

  3. You have such a big heart, and a good mind to. I feel some of the same things as you cuz. That's probably because we're related. Love you hugs

  4. Thank you. How crazy that such brokenness can be the way in.

  5. Aren't we all just balanced on that edge, Elizabeth? So thankful for the grace that pulls me back and sets me aright.

  6. Isn't it amazing that all that evil we see 'out there' resides in our own hearts, too? Only it takes a little more light to see it. Or maybe getting that plank out of the way, eh?
    As always, you engage me so well with your words, Holly.

  7. Oh, Holly. You're a word weaver connecting the hard stuff here. So much to think on here. So grateful.

  8. Oh yes, Kelli.The shadow of a pointed finger falls heavy across my heart.

  9. It IS so much to think about, Annie. It makes it difficult to be a mama some days. Grateful for friends like you to share in the journey.

  10. aren't we all just restless souls awaiting resurrection?

    yes. this makes is so clear and simple. this is us. why do we try so hard? why don't we just praise? thank you holly. love you. (Sharing, as always :))

  11. Thank you, Emily. I know you understand. Always, you understand.