I wanted to share something with you,
other then I love you,
On my 18 birthday, I'm getting a tattoo, two anchors on each foot, and across then, I'm thinking I'm gonna have a a banner across once and each will say Encourage, Encourage.
and I'm thinking of getting "fearless, She" written somewhere.
You guys are great and i love you all. You guys have always been there for me, in many ways, whether it's just playing music or having our of our chats. Thank you guys,
for always listening.
Cait, it will be an honor to have our messages emblazoned across your feet, that you might carry them with you always as you journey. You are such an encouragement to us, though you may not know it, and we are privileged to be a part of your life.
”Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His Name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy Name! Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever! His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!”
Sometimes I feel like society gives children keys to the world and let them discover all the terror, the lies, and the horrors, and the bondage, for themselves. Fathers don’t protect their daughters, they don’t teach sons to be men. Mothers fail to pass the knowledge of being a lady to their girls, and give up on their boys knowing honor. Those children bear children in their search for love, never knowing, ever seeking. What more will be the outcome of the death of innocence?
”The obvious question is this— why would I be so inclined to cling to this allocation of power as if it were my own? In the forest, I had given myself over to an impulse. While this impulse may have been born out of an innocent need for food, it was at least adopted by a sinful desire to be comfortable with my condition. You see, it is a shaming thing to face the truth of my sinful inner-self. In order that I suspend facing my responsibility for the wretched state of my soul, I would fabricate any justification that allowed me a more pleasant situation. Comfort is thus a way of procrastinating reflection upon my true self.”
For the first time since 1638, a total lunar eclipse will be visible from North America on the longest night of the year: tonight. It starts at 1:32 AM, perfect reason to stay out tonight and walk home from last call.
The total eclipse will last funtil 3:53 AM, during which the moon will appear to change colors due to the light filtering through Earth’s atmosphere and reflecting on the moon’s dull surface.
I usually feel most at home on tour. Its the remotest relation to a house, but my heart is in a van driving across the country. No matter the terror I experience when I actually contemplate the absentmindedness of American motorists, their blatant disregard for life, and their selfish-ambition whilst operating a 2 ton bullet. Life is not safe, so why should I expect any aspect of it to be so? After all, I have a purpose here, and when it is over, I will be too. No, friends, I am not a fatalist. Currently, I will return to Richmond from visiting family, and I will not have a technical home. Somehow, some way, I’m going to find a place to stash my stuff. I am excited for this, because I will soon learn to live on one suitcase full of clothes and realize all my other ones are unnecessary and get rid of them. I will soon be meandering around craigslist looking for houses with cheap rent or rooms that I can clean houses for. I will be packing up and heading out on tour. Tour used to be where my faith was most exercised, however, now it has shifted to being still. It has moved from one facet to another, and soon I will see what God has for me. I was encouraged this morning by a email from a missionary pilot friend. He is on his way at the moment to Paupa New Guinea, where he will fly medical/supply missions. He underwent some difficulty getting his visa, and was assured it was going to take 6 weeks to procure, which would set back his departure date even further. However, he received it on Wednesday and is now off to the field. If you do think of it, please pray for this situation, for my housing deal, and for my band as we endeavor another trip down the East Coast. Oh, and for our van, she’s a bit under the weather.
“A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, and make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life.”—Elizabeth Gilbert (via dillonthornberry)
I told this story tonight. I needed this story tonight.
March 1, 2008
Strange to look into the eyes of a child and see so much of yourself. Today I met Devian. He is two. This strange little creature that lives a life far from what I have witnessed in my own. But we are alike. We were outside in the sunshine. The breeze the only chill that concerned us. So small, this little boy, in his jacket and toboggan. For a while he played with everyone else, and he was fine. Moments later he was furiously crawling across the grass. I didn’t know why. So I stood in front of him, and he proceeded to crawl bewteen my feet. He had his head down. I picked him up. The tears in his eyes made glimmering spots on his stern face. It was anger set in that tiny countenance. Not because of whatever had happened, but because I saw him. He didn’t want me to stop him; he kicked and squirmed a little. But I held on, and wiped the tears on my sleeve. “What’s wrong, man?” Man. I believe he’s already been taught that men don’t cry. He didn’t say anything. He was already one of few words. The strong silent type. In my arms, he looked away from me. I watched his features, in the stormy positions, and wondered how much we become like Devian when interacting with God. Angered, stubborn, followers crawling away from situations where we didn’t get our way and our pride gets pricked. I realized how much like Jesus I could be toward him. I placed my forehead on his. His brown eyes closed. "You’re alright." I whispered. He looked away again, and then his head dropped into that place between my chin and collarbone. In that moment, I knew I had won something. The chasing him around was worth it. If even for a moment.
Showbread is drifting up in all staccato goodness from the downstairs. I hear the murmur of voices that I know well, and not as well. The frosting of snow has been licked off by the rays of sun so that now the ground peeks out with delight. We have a show tonight and I hope that the bars of social reservations are denied entrance into the basement which we will play. Where friends will be better friends and become friends to those they did not know. I’ve been noting how friends work more and more. Its a relative wonder.
I’m miffed, at the moment. The audacity of some people is rather absurd. They simply don’t consider that their remarks are directed at other human beings and they know nothing of the situation at hand. I wish I could call them out without simply being ignored. Like all the other reason and courtesy in their lives.
There’s perfection in the dark. No one can see what we are. But in the light the battle proves, To frighten us, to make us move. No man loves to see his frame, Is crooked, ugly, wracked with shame. But if perfection means I’m blind, I’d rather be wretched and stand in the light.
"A man may well himself discover truth in what he wrote; for he was dealing all the time things that came from thoughts beyond his own."- MacDonald
I've been studying for my final in a class I am taking called Inklings (what it deals with is pretty self explanatory i think) and I am reading this article written by George MacDonald, and I cannot help but desire to share it with you! It's so rich and often complex, but soo good.
ps. thanks for sending me that link to your testimony, I read it last night and finished it this morning. I especially loved the part when you said you came into a life of defending yourself against Satan with the scriptures just as literally as Christ did. So good and so powerful :)
Sometimes I wish I grasped hold of the miracle of Christ’s freedom in my life with so much more desperation. I read that story, and I am amazed that it happened to me. And I am amazed that so often I forget. Oh the Israel I am.
Brothers they are precious, like rocks comprising ground, There is nothing you can build Without foundations being sound. Sisters they are beautiful, Made out of the same stuff, And if you fail to notice them, You’ll never love enough.
Meet a mind and heart and find You’ve forever found a friend. And without such binding ties You’ll discover your near end. Brother I do love you, And sister you are dear. How I wish the miles and reservations would now disappear.
You are far from me, My beloved friend, But our words construct our bridges And our passions they will bend, The roads into pathways And the walls dismantled stones, Which we’ll bring together one day, And make vagabonds a home. We’ll make those vagabonds a home.
You say you want to change the world, But you are changing me. And the some day men about you Fighting to be free. Brother look into the heart of courage you’ve been given. You’re striving for the only thing that’s ever been worth living. You want to be a catalyst You want to be a light, Can I tell you that in my Eyes you are shining bright You want to love the Lord With hearts and mind and strength Dear brother when you do so We will never be the same. We will never be the same.
Today: Had good conversation about unfortunate topics. I finished Christmas present buying. Materialism is such a fad. Spencer and I went to Salvation Army. Saw Whitney, the bright and morning sunshine of a cloudy day. Sat on the floor going through records. Found sweater of composite goodness. Acquired: A Yes dance remix, a BeeGees record I might find a good home for, Vivaldi, and Russian orchestral music based on Edgar Allen Poe. Sweater. All this was $2.59. Ate macaroni of supreme quality while Spencer ate barbecue. We arrived home to listen to Iron and Wine, Robert Frost recite his work (His voice was reminiscent of aging Bilbo Baggins) and numerous classical vinyls. All of this was done next to a fire whilst knitting. The picturesque quality astounds me.
He awoke to the ringing of a bell. A girl in dark clothes had tapped it with the tip of her fingers to summon the barista to the front to take her order. He brough both hands to his eyes and pressed their itching brows. His book had flipped the pages into some chapter concerning the idiocy of the soul. He flipped back through the leaves to where he had started. The coffee shop was near empty and the rain outside torrential. The street outside had given up its occupants to the shelter of indoors long before he had dozed off in the quiet warmth of the storefront. It was unusually solemn. All his friends were heading home for the holidays. Christmas and Hanukkah and whatnot. He didn’t believe anything, so he said, so materialism didn’t seem a good reason to spend seven-hundred dollars on a plane ticket to fly home. His dad wasn’t home and his mother was more worried about her boyfriend, so he’d rather be alone anyhow. His girlfriend had tried to convince him to come with her for break, but her blue eyes couldn’t beg enough to move his resolve. So here he was, solo in the city, waiting for revelation, reading philosophical literature until his daydreams became real dreams and bells brought him out of them once more. “The need for religion and “god” originates from a heightened sense of self-preservation…for once when we were nothing but animal we looked at a rustling bush and assumed a predator, now we look at the wind and assume there is something there.” So said his book. He looked at that sentence and then looked again. It seemed to be assuming something. The girl shook out her damp hair. It was long and wavy, creased from the band that she had removed. She threw some napkins on the puddle her coat had contributed to the tile, apologizing. Her order came in a blue mug. She lifted it to her sharp nose and thanked the barrista. He buried his attention in that sentence he couldn’t stop reading. Out of the corner of his eye, she approached. “You are alone?” she asked. Her accent was Eastern European, but where he couldn’t name. He nodded. “I may sit with you then?” She waited for his answer. He shrugged. “No sense in being anymore lonesome than you are already.” she stated. He didn’t tell her that his purpose was to be alone. That was a bit too cynical for a first interaction. “What are you reading?” she picked up the cover, “Ah, you are a skeptic.” A smile crept up on her lips. He met her eyes across the table, they were humored orbs of black. Fright whispered in the back of his mind as he felt the pull of whatever it was in her soul coming out of those depths. “No, not a skeptic. I’m…a stoic.” "Not much different. Both seemed to find seeking a good idea. Are you a moralist?" "Well, that depends. And morals are generally good. I think that you have to carefully consider if your actions will hurt another…" "That’s well." she interrupted. "But have you found truth yet? Or reason? Is this why you are alone during Christmas? Because you want to separate emotion from logic for a season?" He laughed, taken by surprise at her inquisitive prying. “You ask a lot of questions, miss.” She grinned. “I have come to realize that whenever I meet someone, I shouldn’t be afraid to know them. If I do, then I may miss an opportunity to live. You know?” "I suppose." He really just wanted to be alone. This girl was forward, but amiable, and pretty. Was he a moralist? A loyalist? ”I suppose I am still looking for truth, I would say. And you are right that I was hoping to be left to thought.” He said this without bitterness. "Thought can be deceiving when we ourselves are deceived." "You too are a philosopher?" "Only when Philosophy is necessary." she replied. Wit was a lace collar about her throat. She reached her hand out to his book. "May I?" He consented, and she flipped the volume to read: “The need for religion and “god” originates from a heightened sense of self-preservation…for once when we were nothing but animal we looked at a rustling bush and assumed a predator, now we look at the wind and assume there is something there.” She brought her fist to meet her chin and rapidly scanned the pages in silence. He looked at the dark head bowed over his text. Clear face, heavy coat, handmade scarf. Her bag concealed something bulky and block-like. Books? She dove into it quickly and produced a pen and notebook. In bold letters wrote: The Abstract The Believed The Concrete ”There are things that are wonderfully good to wander around in, don’t you think? There are corners of mystery we have a tendency to interest ourselves in. There is so much more anticipation and adrenaline in the dark than there ever is in the light. Right? So we dwell in those places where we cannot see, where we cannot decide, where the journey seems more important than the end. But I think that is a short-lived, short-sighted way to exist.” Said she. Her breath was smooth, like some scarf of fine fabric delivering the sounds. “Look at these words.” Sliding the paper across to him, she riveted his gaze to her own. “Do you believe these can intersect? Do you know what they are?” He contemplated the definitions of that which he was faced with. “The Abstract: fabrications of your mind, perhaps you discern but no one else comprehends. The fears unfounded, the memories resounded. Connections and colors and shapes that are birthed inside of us. Creativity and the unexplainable.” ”Yes. Dreams. The things that authors can’t explain because their script came from what science fails to dissect. Because there is no reason a fold and a chemical should make a picture, a word. That a synapse and a firing of nerves should move something. Supernatural. I do not mean abstract as in mottled and obtuse. But mysterious.” Her countenance was blazing with passionate excitement. She scribbled something in an indiscernible font on the page corner. “Go on. B.” "Well, the believed would have to mean that you have some sort of religious system God, or gods or philosophy that dictates your actions and regiments. An organization of life…" "Who says that what you claim to believe affects your life? No, sir, what you believe is what you do. You believe there is truth, so you look for it. Or if you believe it is popular to look for truth, you will look for it and never find it, till you become this great and wonderful mess of cyclical, amassed, nothingness. If you truly believe that there is a God, then your belief will come out in the effectiveness of your hands." "You have thought much about this, I see." "Of course I have. You can’t simply accept something without weighing the cost." "Agreed." ”So The Concrete, if you are fine with moving on.” At this, he nodded, and absorbed the urge to ask her to just explain. “The scientific. The physical, the tangible, visible. That which holds form and function and is easily believable. But you will fill the gaps, I suppose.” He smiled. "Easily believable. You are very right. That which is simple and justifiable in our minds to be organic and chemical. That is what your theory here is based on." She pointed to the sentence from his textbook. "All your instinct and your heightened sense of self-preservation, that is tangible. A paranoia derived from scientific thought. However, I think that there must be more to life than science and ease. Somewhere along the line of living, the three points intersect. They form a unity, if but for a moment. And there, in that moment, a broader, more beautiful perspective emerges, and it takes all three to carry on from that collision. And where those converge, there is something greater than what we can fathom. And you either fight it, or you think it through, weigh the cost, and carry on."
When a newspaper posed the question, “What’s Wrong with the World?” the Catholic thinker G. K. Chesterton (friend of C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and member of the Inklings) reputedly wrote a brief letter in response:
Your inquiry has made me curious: When and how did the Father grab hold of your heart?
I’ve been sitting here in all wondrous hesitation attempting to answer your question for a while. Probably an hour. I believe it started when I was young, my realization that I was destined for a fate I could not save myself from, and that tug on my heart was real. I remember clearly the day I took myself from the pew and walked down to tell my pastor I wanted to be a Christian. But I think after that day, I only understood it to a degree that halted me at “relationship”. I was luckily, not a casualty of religion and legalism. If it was there, I did not see it. Instead, I was a casualty of peer pressure. I don’t want to say that I was unwilling, but I think I fed the desire for perfection in my life that is all together impossible for anyone, and I resorted to a slew of eating-disorder related actions to fill me up. The demons of superficial acceptance haunted me for a long long time. They are still there. But I believe that the presence of an addiction so harrowing in my life made me realize that I will be alone no matter how much I try if I am trying to fit into a mold that breeds unfulfillment. It was there that I came to conclude that the God that had saved me had perfected me as well, and the perfection of the Creator is eternal in the face of the fleeting things that are held as beautiful in this world. I went through so much, and God was there, each time, showing me that He loved me despite my blindness and my deaf ears. I have so much more in story form, but thats the short of it. I realized that there wasn’t anything save Him. And that was something I couldn’t ignore. He is it. The yesterday, today, and forever of life. He is it. And in that, the needless strivings which attempt to make us acceptable to a fleeting world are then swallowed up in the victory of Christ. He removed all condemnation from my life and allowed me to see that I can be free. The destructive occupations that lead to death we are so partial to without Him fade, and I just cannot stop knowing that He made me for Himself. ”For by one sacrifice He has madeperfectforever those who are being made holy.” - Hebrews 10:14
I have the actual story if you’d like to read it. I could send you the link.
I need You turn turn my darkness into Light. I am full of darkness. And if You alone can do this, then I will go to You alone. Alone if I must. I must, I must. It is the decision we must all make. That I cannot live without You. That this bleak and utter meaninglessness will never satisfy my heart. But You set fire to the hearts of men. You burn with wisdom amidst my folly. You turn the dead to life. You bring the match to the oil. You are the maker of right. And if every molecule is altered into brilliant flame, How great will be the ray that issues from the night. Wholly consumed by the Holy One. My God, I long to be filled up. My black and cold can be made bright. God, turn my darkness into your light.
I just started up an online store yesterday. I’m rather proud, even though half my bags are wrinkled from being stashed in the merch trunk. (Click the title, or go here: http://laurareitzel.storenvy.com)
”But it’s only fair to say that the whole attitude of the Inklings, which was sort of a loosely affiliated group of scholars who would get together and read aloud to each other the works they were writing at the time — which, by the way, was a very brave thing to do — was to tear the works to pieces and pull out every mistake they could find, with great humor at the same time, mind you. The result of this is that we have some of the finest literature ever written in the English language, such as The Lord of the Rings.
The whole of that situation was indicative of something that has all but vanished in the academic world today. Back in the 1940s and ’50s and ’60s, men believed that the best friends that you could have were the ones who would openly criticize your work and lay bare to you the mistakes and errors that you made, so that you might learn from them and correct them. In today’s world, if someone criticizes your work openly, it has become fashionable to hate them for it. That is extremely foolish. You cannot learn from someone who always agrees with you; you can only learn in the fire of disputation and dialectic.”