23 April, 2007

Finding hope

First of all, let me start by saying that blogging is a relatively new thing for me. I'd love to say I'm a seasoned pro, but it simply isn't the case. I'm an avid journaler, usually going through a journal every 6 months to a year. The beauty of journaling is that no one has the priviledge of reading what is written. Everything is secret, unknown, and personal. Blogging appears to be more of a balancing act. The line between being transparent and protective of my heart seems like it could easily be blurred. As I blog each Monday, please know that these thoughts are an attempt for me to be transparent and real. Also know that you are free to comment and inject your opinion, whether it agrees or not. The goal of this blog is to more clearly understand what freedom truly means.

That said, freedom has become a bit confused this week with the shootings at Virginia Tech. First, let me state how deeply sorry I am to all the victims, families, friends, community members for all that has transpired. I also pray for Cho's family as they pick up the pieces from something they never imagined would happen. Grieving is healthy and necessary, and a process that is probably the most personal part of this ordeal. Please know that while some of us are not directly in the situation, we grieve along with you.

People have asked where personal freedom ends and control begins, especially when it comes to personal safety. Some say the solution is more security, additional gun control laws, and increased mental health checks for those who might be a danger to others. Others resort to arguing for personal rights, however the former argument usually overpowers the latter.

In all of this, I think there are a few freedoms that have not been considered as of yet. Freedom to unite together and encourage each other in this time of grief. Freedom to stand firm on the ideals we believe and the Truth set before us. Most importantly, freedom to hope that there is something and someOne so much bigger than all of this and has all under control. In the midst of uncertainty, I cling to hope that good will come out of tragedy - just as it has in the past with crises big and small.

While this freedom to hope may not show itself immediately, it will as time passes. Hope is always victorious.

02 April, 2007


Fleur-de-lis ( according to Wikipedia):

"The fleur-de-lis (or fleur-de-lys; plural: fleurs-de-lis) is a stylized design of an iris flower which is used both decoratively and symbolically. In the Middle Ages the symbols of lily and fleur-de-lis (lis is French for "lily") overlapped considerably in religious art. Michel Pastoureau, the historian, says that until about 1300 they were found in depictions of Jesus, but gradually they took on Marian symbolism and were associated with the Song of Solomon's "lily among thorns" (lilium inter spinas), emphasizing important connotations of 'female virtue and spirituality' ."

Lately, I've been drawn to the fleur-de-lis symbol. Maybe it is a bit of Louisiana and French culture that is rubbing off onto me. It is seen everywhere down here, and has always appeared to be a powerful, unique creation. I never truly knew what it meant, but just that it looked pretty and that I have them all over my house. So, I decided to look it up - and I found out how truly powerful this symbol can be.

Over time, the fleur-de-lis has been used by so many people groups, but what caught my eye was the main reason was that it was found when Jesus was drawn in art. Now, I don't know how the symbol was shown- was it shiny? Dull? Just an outline? A solid figure? Not sure about any of that, but if it was there, it was there. And as I thought about that, especially to it's reference to Song of Solomon, I thought about how much I long to be that symbol. I crave to be a fleur-de-lis that represents God, not this culture. I desire to be that "lily among thorns" and not be wrapped up in the world. I struggle with that every day here- moreso than I've done in the past.

In showing off this great symbol all around the streets of BR and NOLA to friends the last few weekends, I've been refreshed and encouraged as to how to be that "lily among thorns" again. I think their presence again made me realize just how far God has brought me, and how much He has yet to call me to. As well as how much responsibility I have to represent Jesus to these people, to be that shiny fleur-de-lis, because of God's great name.