I read it last summer. Straight through. And posted about the towla worm here.
But there is more, so much more in this book by L.L. Barkat, author of God in the Yard, the book that I am slowly making my way through while I sit in my own yard.
I pick Stone Crossings up again every so often because I’m drawn to the beauty of the words and the depths to which L.L. is willing to dive to share her story of grace.
In chapter 3 she talks about messes and tossed treasures and shares how she found her rock tumbler, eviscerated in the yard, its contents spilled and scattered beneath the window from where her stepfather tossed it.
She describes her stepfather as “a closed book scribbled with forbidding hatred,” perhaps the basis of his messmaking that may have stemmed from a history of messes in his own early life.
And she reminds us that “we all have to live with some pretty deep litter.”
Some of us have been cradled in messes, and some of us have managed to do a pretty good job of making our own beds.
Truth is, we’re all a mess.
And Jesus doesn’t necessarily keep us out of messes or even clean them up.
At least not in our way or in our timing.
Like do it yesterday, please.
Sometimes we just have to wait and trust–and keep wading through the muck.
“One of my favorite examples of a person who braved the waiting times is the biblical figure Priscilla. This woman suffered at the hands of a major messmaker, yet she managed to glide through the rubble with grace, dignity, and a generous spirit.” ~Stone Crossings
Who was that messmaker who made a mess for Priscilla?
That would be Claudius who expelled the Jews from Rome (Acts 18:2).
One day she had a home. The next she didn’t.
She eventually returned to Rome, but God had a plan for her in the waiting.
She and her husband ended up in Corinth where they faithfully and graciously served God in spite of their own losses and at risk for their lives (Romans 16:4) and even traveled with Paul.
L.L. wonders how Priscilla could rise above her life messes to grow into a gracious and hospitable person. Did tents have anything to do with it?
Priscilla made tents, and “as a maker of transient housing” and in the “quiet moments of binding leather to leather,” she may have reflected on Paul’s words.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” ~2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” ~2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)
“Such realizations would have prepared her to face the mess of unfair change with a wisdom and hope that sees past present circumstances.” ~Stone Crossings
Maybe she realized that “life is impermanent” and “we cannot find complete security in this messy world.”
Good things to remember when we’re up to our own necks in messes.
Late note: Be sure to visit The Wellspring and read Laura Boggess’ reflection on the first two chapters of this book–Conversion and Shame. Just makes one want to savor peanut butter and Fluffernutter wrapped in white bread.
L.L. Barkat says
Sandra, wow. I admit I had forgotten my own words. 🙂 Isn’t this the chapter that also uses the image of God untangling situations bit by bit?
That’s the thing. He works through and in the messes, and a magic wand can’t be the key. Imagine how disruptive that would be to life overall? There needs to be a gentle and sensible untangling. Oh, and He is so good at it. 🙂
Yes, and I could so identify with that since my necklaces are always getting messed up.
You should read this book. It’s very good. 😉
Living in the mess helps me to long for Home with greater praise and joy.
I hope my mansion is decorated with only the bare essentials
I loved Stone Crossings. The part on the Song of Solomon was an eye opener for me. I’m going to be revisiting this lovely book soon also. It’s one worth a second look, isn’t it?
Didn’t you study that with HCB? I wish I had. I pick it up again often.
Brock S. Henning says
And how freeing it is when we finally admit that we are a mess! Living in the shackles of denial is binding, and such a lie.
L.L.’s book sounds good. That’s the second time I’ve heard it mentioned this week. I think I need to buy it. 😉
Yes, you need to get it. You might as well get all three of her books if you don’t have them. 😉
Maybe admitting the messes makes us a little less messy?
Laura Boggess has a beautiful reflection on Conversion and Shame based on the first two chapters of this book over at the Wellspring here.
Janis@Open My Ears Lord says
Hmmmm. I haven’t read the book but I like the idea of admitting the messes in our lives makes us a little less messy. I think you are right, Sandra.
I also like L.L.’s note that the messes need to be untangled gently and sensibly. That gives more meaning to our lives. The magic wand idea, which seems wonderful, accomplishes little except to make the problem vanish–but there is then no healing or depth.
Chewing on this as I sit in a mess.
Hi, Janis! L.L. uses the example of her mom patiently untangling a necklace chain. I know I lose patience doing that sometimes, and then I make it worse.
You’d like the book.