Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ready or not, here it comes...

June starts tomorrow, and what does that mean?

Allergy season! Woot, woo!

The itching and sneezing started two days ago. Only 6 weeks of this left. Praise God for the vocation of pharmacists and His providence in creating antihistamines. I don't know how I'd make it through the next month or two without my Zycam.

This looks nice, but really it's a nightmare.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Praying for Rainbows

While it's been overcast and intermittently rainy for two and a half weeks, and the rain started in earnest on Saturday night or Sunday. Flooding began in Trinec on Monday to the point that the roads and foot-bridges over the Olsa River are impassible and school has been canceled now for two days. At this point, it doesn't feel like it'll ever stop raining, and the forecast has rain all the way till Saturday. There are rivers in every ditch and lakes in every little low spot.
I walk across this bridge almost every day on my way home from school. The water is now higher, probably up 15 or 20 feet from normal.

This flood on the road under the train bridge is the reason school was closed for us. The city buses can't get through, the children can't get to school.

This is a pedestrian walkway under the train tracks in a nearby village.

This is a view of the Olsa River between the Polish and Czech halves of the city Tesin. Normally, the water is REALLY far below the bridge and you could probably walk across on flat rocks without getting your shoes wet...

This is the pedestrian underpass at the Cesky Tesin train station. There's not really another (legal) way to get from one side of the train tracks (and therefore the city) to the other if you can't walk through here...

Yesterday I was feeling a little exiled in my flat, and it reminded me of competing in Serious Prose as a high school freshman (Thanks Mrs. G!) with a Ray Bradbury piece, "All Summer in a Day", about a little girl who lived on Venus where it always rained, and the waters only stopped for one afternoon, once every seven years. Well, when the day came, and though she'd been waiting to see the sun for nearly her whole life, her antagonistic classmates had locked her in the closet and she missed the one opportunity to see the sun in 7 years. Just feeling SO separated from the joy of pleasant, enjoyable weather reminded me of the poor dear.

On a more scriptural note, I've been wondering what must have been going through the minds of the people outside Noah's Ark when the rain started to come down and didn't stop. Some people claim that before The Flood that it had never rained, that the Earth had always been watered by springs from below rather than rains from above. They must have been VERY distressed when the wet sky started falling down on them. That flooding came on them as a judgment for their massive wickedness. The difference between us and them, is not that we are so righteous that God shouldn't wipe us off the face of the earth as He did with them. The difference is that we live in the time after the Flood and after the Cross.

After the Flood, the Lord gave the rainbow as a sign and seal of His promise that He'd never execute judgment on the whole earth with a flood again. We know, unlike Noah's contemporaries, that this flood will not end all life on earth (though, sadly, there have been several confirmed deaths in all the flooding throughout central Europe) and we eagerly await the time when the sun will break through the clouds. Then a rainbow may appear in the heavens and remind us of God's faithfulness. I'm keeping my eyes on the skies, waiting for the clouds to break and the sun's rays to shine, refracting through the drops and giving the sign of the promise.
After the Cross, we have the further assurance that the Lord is benevolently disposed to us, in spite of our wickedness and rebellion against Him. All of the wrath which He might have poured out on us, He instead directed at His precious Son. And after His death and resurrection, as Christ was ascending to heaven again, the angels told the disciples of another sign for which they could look in the heavens, the promise of God's faithful keeping of promises: Christ returning on the clouds of glory to begin eternity without such things as floods, or tears, or sinning.

For this reason, I turn my eyes ever more eagerly to the skies. I'd dearly love to see a rainbow break through the clouds tomorrow (it's too late for today, the sun has set), I'd love to welcome the return of the sun. But my deeper heart's desire is to see my Lord breaking through the clouds, to welcome the return of the Son.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

God has gone up with a shout (Ps 47:5)

Happy Ascension Day, everyone!

Up through endless ranks of angels,
Cries of triumph in His ears,
To His heav'nly throne ascending,
Having vanquished all their fears,
Christ looks down upon His faithful,
Leaving them in happy tears.

Death-destroying, life-restoring,
Proven equal to our need,
Now for us before the Father
As our brother interceded;
Flesh that for our world was wounded,
Living, for the wounded plead!

To our lives of wanton wand'ring
Send Your Spirit, promised guide;
Through our lives of fear and failure
With Your pow'r and love abide;
Welcome us, as You were welcomed,
To an endless Eastertide.

Alleluia, alleluia!
Oh, to breathe the Spirit's grace!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Oh, to see the Father's face!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Oh, to feel the Son's embrace! (LSB 491)

"So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:6-10

Lord Jesus, speed your return! Come on the clouds of glory to take your faithful home to you, to live forever in your presence and unending joy!