Watt's Well

Room to Be, Space to Create

Category: Story

A call to connect and celebrate

We spoke Egypt living and Turkey adventures as we drove the highway connecting the two influential cities.  We could taste the tantalizing foods of the middle east.  Fresh juicy fruits, just baked warm bread, peppers with just enough kick, and tomato stuffed eggplant.  While we sat in our steel carriage, in our minds we traveled the other streets filled with familiar sounds and people.  Colors and trials alike filled our mind’s eye.

Then we halted in the present as we pulled up to the Mosque.  It stood out like a sore thumb in all its beauty among the shiny structured towers.  We covered our glory and removed our shoes as we entered into a room full of Pakistani friends and family of the beautiful bride who was sitting in the middle of the room.  Her eye was ahead on her groom in the other room as she recited her vows. She was stunning in her baby pink Sari.  Only after the ceremony were we allowed to intermingle with the men in the stunning artfully constructed area of the mosque.

Later that night we dolled ourselves up, mascara lining our eyes and legs showing modestly.  We entered a room full of lively colors in celebration of the new couple.  Some women dressed in the most bright of Saris and smiles, happiness emanating from their hearts and faces.  The table where I sat added a touch of white and black to the sea of brown.

After a grand meal with spices that illuminated the senses, we danced the night away to lyrics without interpretation.  I made eye contact with several people I never had spoken to but we were speaking the same language as we danced for the same reason.  We did not have a need to speak formalities, for that moment in time we were family.

At midnight while I was jumping up and down waving my hands in the air and laughing at who knows what, a joyful American friend hugged me and shouted, “Merry Christmas”.  I had forgotten it was Christmas Eve when we started our adventure.

What a way to spend Christmas being a minority, in the midst of the rich community of my Pakistani brothers and sisters.  For Jesus came into a world on the fringes as a babe, humbly.  Id gladly give up my tradition again to experience another’s tradition.  He came as the greatest gift the world has ever known and not realized.  He came to be the link, the networker, the connector.  He reconciled us to the Father.  His death birthed life giving connection between Heaven and earth.

What a way to end 2016 dancing those nights away to honor and celebrate a lifetime friend.  But even more what a great beginning to the new year.  This is the reason Jesus came to connect, to engage, to celebrate.  But how often do I just dance it out, sing it out, celebrate with no agenda?

Photo by Jerrika Morrell (click photo for more info)

Here’s to more unconventional moments in 2017.  May you not think you have to have the right moves, or shoes.  Enjoy the barefoot random dance in your kitchen, in your living room, in your yard.

Life is worth celebrating, abundance is worth experiencing through the One who came to connect us to a Kingdom beyond our own.  May we dance and celebrate more this year than any previous year.

Day 15-16:: A mirror like no other

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.

-Albus Dumbledore

One of my favorite quotes of all Harry Potter history.  And yet, not one of my favorite realities.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, let me fill you in on this golden bit of it.  I believe we can learn something from the encounter that unfolds.

In the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, roaming around school at night, Harry comes across a mirror like no other.

The Mirror of Erised curiously startles him at first as figures are shown in the mirror that in real life are not standing beside him.  He becomes enamored by the mirror as he recognizes the other figures to be his deceased family who he never got to meet.  In the reflection he sees his mother and father, of whom he has always longed for their affection.

On night, Harry plops on the floor in front of the mirror with all intent of remaining there for the night staring at the reflection of his parents. Dumbledore appears interrupting these plans.  He comes to sit with Harry to explain the mirror’s mystery.

Dumbledore explains that it is a mirror that shows the deepest desires of the beholder’s heart.  And he warns that many have wasted away before the mirror staring into the reflection, not knowing if what it reflects is real or possible.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”

Somedays all I would like more is to sit on that floor in front of my own Mirror of Erised, staring at dreams and desires.

I am a dreamer.  A creative.  A thinker.  My imagination has color.

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But then there is the nitty-gritty of the process in fulfilling dreams.  And sometimes I just frown at the process.  But the process is where the living happens.

I heard someone say that God is not so caught up in our destination as much as he is concerned about our journey.

There is a tension between dreaming and walking towards those dreams.  Walking towards the dreams requires tenacity, hard work, support, and feeling uncomfortable.

We get nowhere by sitting in front of our mirrors.  It may feel like the safest place, but we will surely waste away there.

It takes bravery and sometimes risk to walk towards our dreams.  It’s scary at times.  It seems impossible, especially when insecurity comes creeping.

But it is living.

It is worth it.

There in the journey of working out our dreams and desires, is where we experience life.  The good news is we do not have to journey alone. Holy Spirit joins us every step of the way, and we can lean into that reality.IMG_1289.JPG

May we bravely step forward trusting He is for us, and that the desires of our hearts will be realized as we walk day by day.

Fresh wind in my sails

I saw Him standing before me with a tender smile upon his face. He approached. Before I knew what had taken place there was this big part of what I believed to be me in his hands. It appeared to be a solid stone birthed from the soil of the earth. A common pebble only a child would find significance in. On this stone was written a word I had not thought of in a long while: victim-less. It was hard to decipher; was this one word or two?

I realized I could not raise my right arm for long, as if my strength had failed. Not only so, I feared my chest would collapse if I held my hand in the air at length. I looked and found the place from which the stone really came. A hole straight through my body just below my right shoulder spanning mid-way down my torso was left in place of the earthen stone. The gapping hole looked weak, unsupported, softly vulnerable.

Then I saw as if the zoom lens had been spun, him working in the hole of emptiness. His hands moved as a skilled mason, creating walls of support. Smoothly cementing the walls of my chest hole so that the tissue around would be held up and not cave in. Already I felt life flow returning to the muscles of my arm.

But he left the hole and giggled in joy as he did. He had no intention of sealing it up with cement. I could feel wind blowing through me. I saw him rather proudly full of laughter reach his arm through the cement lined hole and out the other side of me. It brought him a ridiculous amount of pleasure.

Then I saw something so out of place it made me glance twice. Out of the cement through the tiniest of cracks peaked greenery on all sides. My mind befuddled, I thought, “I haven’t even soil in me to grow such lush green”. So there I stood gapping in amazement at the hole in my chest filing with green life. Things that appeared as trees grew.

I looked at him as he delightfully smiled back at me. His eyes were soft yet full of adventure. And he said, “Do you wanna see?”. Before I could answer I could see through his perspective, as if in his very body. I was starring, from his eyes, through the hole in the bodily form of me. I did not see the wall behind where my body stood. But instead beyond the thick bright brush I saw a world bigger and brighter than I had ever seen. A stream wrapped down the rich landscape with rolling mountains to one side and a beautiful colorful sun dancing its light upon the clouds on the far side.

I returned to my body, but as I did I heard him expectantly believing. He said, “Show them eternity, Lauren Elizabeth.”

  

     He is waiting to speak over you. It is you who are more than enough through the Son. More than a conquerer, you are being made brave. He removes what does not bare fruit that lasts because he excitedly desires the finest of foods for you. Filthy rich in mercy is this jovial king. Rest assured your mind will be blown; he does not dissapoint. He reaches from earth into eternity. Why not through you? He will show you things you cannot imagine, grow things you never thought could bare life. Come Lord stand before us, we want to see.

Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!

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