Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Moments of Beauty

The days pass quickly as of late, but here are a few joys that left a trace as they flew by.

This past Saturday my parents, grandmother, and I went to Ohio for my aunt and uncle's joint 50th-birthday party. There I saw family that I have missed for too long, as well as friends from my annual visits to Ohio when I was in Elementary School. It had been a decade since I last saw my cousin's friend Amy, but I instantly remembered her as well as the crush I had on her when I was eleven. My relatives asked me cautiously about Spain, and I saw in their eyes that they already knew but asked to show they care.

Sunday morning a husband and wife both decided to be baptized, and I was surprised that more did not weep at the sight. Neither of them knew what to do with their glasses, and the woman began holding her nose even before our preacher asked her confession. Their nervous anxiety and awkward joy were touching.

That afternoon I talked to my friend Meghan for a good while on the telephone. We once dated seriously (but I don't want to call her "my ex," because she is more than that) and I feared after it had ended that we would never be friends again. Now we joke and ramble easily, and freely talk of When We Were Together. We talk with an understanding and care that speaks well of what we once were, and I am honored that she would share with me what we are today.

And yesterday I dug through way too much Kentucky clay so that my father would not hurt his back. My entire body aches as a result but finishing projects gives my father peace of mind. So it is worth it.

These are good for the soul.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Therefore, in summation. . .nevermind.

Returning to the provisional thesis of my last post, I wonder if it would be better said "to remember is to love." But it is true as it is. To remember is an essential element of love. So what does doing so entail, or even look like?

Deuteronomy 6 shows God instructing the Israelites not merely to know the covenant, but rather to have it "upon your hearts." He goes on to say (paraphrasing): "tell your children! Talk about these commandments wherever you are, whatever you're doing! Let the city, your house, your very body be painted with this Law."

And so to remember is to take your love with you, wherever you go. Within or without a temple, with or without a Bible in your hand, it is to remember. In doing so you take not just your love with you, but also WHAT you love with you.

With the Old Testament prophets, God used memories of past blessing to woo and lure the Israelites back into covenant. "Remember how I showed my love to you?" he would insist. "Remember Egypt and how I freed you, then personally led you for forty years in spite of your unfaithfulness? Will you refuse to remember?

We are a culture that relies on being reminded rather than remembering (like cell phone alerts, palm-piloted schedules, and etc. not-that-there's-anything-wrong-with-that). How often, at Sunday lunch, do people mention they have already forgotten the day's sermon? And how poorly most of us know the stories of the kingdom we are heirs to. So let us look back as we press on. Let us remember, and let us love.

Monday, April 20, 2009

What Love Is

I have taken two trips to Searcy since returning to the country and there still wasn't enough time to see everyone I wanted. Surely there are worse problems to have, but what I want to share on here is the latest life lesson learned after seeing many, many dear friends.

Much of what love is, is simply to remember.

This a truth most know instinctively, but one that I came to understand fully when sitting with friends I hadn't seen in years (they graduated before I did) who still laugh at old inside jokes and tell me they missed receiving "Lucas-hugs." I understand more when former say-hi-while-passing friends asked me about Spain and remembered my plan of moving to Colorado. And I understand even more at the fact that so many people smiled and addressed me by name (it would have secretly wounded me if they had asked, "It's Lucas, right?") in spite of time.

Every inch of Searcy is covered in memories for me, and sometimes I fear that thinking back to them is at best embarrassing romanticism or at worst dressed-up denial. But I am comforted when Shelby shows me pictures of us from three years past, of when Jen talks of "the orange barrel incident," or when one of my dearest friends puts my arm around her for me and speaks soothingly of better times.

On my way home I stopped by my grandmother's house and we revisited many of the same stories and memories as always, but then she inquired of my visit, "Dare I ask if you saw Mary?" This took me aback, as it had been a long time since I told Mawmaw all about her. But she remembered.

To love is to remember.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pictures from Spain, Vol. 1

I needed to do something with these or I will never do anything with them, so here are some unedited pictures I took in Spain. First an archetypal windmill, found in the town of Mora:
And this is one side of the cathedral in Toledo. It is older than the United States. I was going to meet my friends Greg and Marie in front of it just before leaving for England over Christmas break, but they missed a train and it didn't work out. Another time I went with another professor who had some friends in town. They had never been to Toledo and were taking pictures of the cathedral on their cell phones and I enjoyed seeing Spaniards act more touristy than I did.Finally here is a picture that kind of makes me laugh? It is me, in front of my city (Toledo) for my very first trip there. It was a good day, and sunny, and I remember the feeling of being somewhere I had read about for years. It is an odd thing, to fulfill a Life's Dream, and I would occasionally laugh for no reason at the feeling in my stomach at being a part of something beautiful. I also remember being impatient to share this feeling, this joy, and to somehow send it to the States.

Judging from my face, this was three or four days into my ill-fated decision to grow a beard.

But I suppose there is no other type of decision to grow a beard.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Moments of Beauty

Lately things have been improving, albeit slowly. I visited Harding this past weekend and it did me a lot of good despite being so stressful. There are still very many people there that I love, and spending time with them was a blessing. While there, my dear friend Bethany told me that she believed that I would be getting better soon, and that slowly but surely beauty would be easier and easier to find in the world. So here are a few that I have felt.

One. Today was a beautiful sunny day that ended with me coated in sawdust. My father and I cut an entire felled tree into manageable pieces, and worked very hard. We talked about my grandfather and his father-in-law, and we talked about our old dog, Rascal. Sometimes my father feels overwhelmed by all of the "projects" around the house, and so days like today help him feel better.

Two. While at Harding, my friend Hannah asked me to play guitar for her. It was touching when I sang some songs I wrote and she knew the words better than I did.

Three. I was very nervous to be at Harding. It has been nearly a year since I graduated, and I am always afraid of being easily forgotten. In fact I did not have enough time to see everyone I love (which speaks volumes of the people there that would still care about me), and so I am returning for Spring Sing.

Four. I applied for a job in town and was delighted by a question in the accompanying personality test which asked: "Have you noticed any sudden changes in your body lately?" I wanted to explain in painful detail the wonderful process of becoming a man, but it was only a Yes/No prompt. If I get called for an interview, perhaps I will ask why hair is growing on my chest. It's a mystery!

Feel free to share some beauty you have noticed, eh?

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I think it has been long enough since I last wrote on this thing.

I would apologize but you all weren't missing out on anything (see my last hundred-or-so entries for proof, haha). In truth, I just like writing and I can tell myself that updating about my life on here slightly makes up for getting behind on writing friends via Facebook. Also, I am going to post pictures on here from my travels that I always meant to share.

It is a few weeks now that I've been home, and I've been trying to keep busy. That has been accomplished through cleaning my room, playing my guitars and other instruments, seeing friends, and learning to play the drums. Storms in Kentucky left plenty of downed trees and so I cut and carry lumber on our property, which sounds manly. I may begin working soon, or I may move out to Colorado sooner than expected and work out there.

I am doing a bit better, little by little.

More to come.