beautiful

Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne

But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
Psalm 141:8

Upon what thing beautiful shall my gaze alight? Something in the shallow, alluring and beckoning, places welcomed by bidding hands to guide my path? Where soon after a joyous arrival there is acute disappointment and an unsatisfied feeling of despair and ugliness wrought from all things faded. I thought once the glimmer seen in the lonely moon in whose light was sufficient to shine upon a path I walked to beautiful joy only to find a light-hearted fool with a condescending laugh, making merriment at my poor expense. From what source does true beauty arise and please both the eye and the heart?

Yet as time’s very nature and true essence feeds my confidence that if one bad moment is endured, soon a good one shall follow. I found this untrue. For following the shallow host I first approached, next was a steep slope of sand and eroded granite so fascinating from afar but in reality the characteristic of a rude and tawdry fellow. He begs rest from weariness and I fruitlessly with unforeseen gullibility climb to reach him only to slip farther away from his outreaching hand  – wishing my company yet always a bit out of reach. I seek beauty to fill emptiness and I wonder if I might look deep into smooth onyx and find my reflection. Alas not for self-absorption is narrow, naive, and egotistic. I have seen the smirk of falsehood on the face of an invitation to self-gratification. Soon light turns to dark and beauty wrinkles, fades. Beauty is only skin deep, he lies. I know, only if eyes seek beauty for the sake of self-satisfaction.

Let my eyes fall upon the Lord. Turn to and return to Him. Gaze and gaze again for He always returns a welcome hand. He shows me that beauty is not the shine of polished stone or the glimmer of the moonlight upon the still waters, but is the cry of your longing soul met with compassion. It is seeing your vulnerable heart through a veil trying to conceal pain, but unable to, to the discerning eye. Beautiful is the soul that first shines and then urges the face to light up. The seemingly attractive surface is really a flame lit from the depths of the heart where only God has been to dust off things of old and reorganize things forgotten and unremembered. I have seen those things and cast those hurtful and malicious fragments of the past that attempt to carve me from the inside out, upon the shoulders of my unweary and willing Host.

The Spirit gives me eyes to see your truth and gives me motivation to ask if I should petition to God your needs over my own. How lovely your heart. I see you for what is inside where depth beyond shadows holds treasures of purity and unveiled light that is the beginning of time and the seed sown of God. Grow seed. Sprout and come to light and show life. Show that a torn veil reveals the inner room of your heart. Do not worry or fear, I am there and I will hold you forever.

(c) 2014 Rick Stassi

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fifty-five

Artist: Sean Seal

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you.

Psalm 55:22,23

If I look back even twelve years, I see a soul in death. One that looks inward to find the meaning of all things. It is the misconception of  spiritual reality to think we can reason a god without knowing God. Death is the eventual outcome of the inability to sustain life.

Yes, in retrospect, I was lost. So many are. I believed that what I saw and felt and cried and laughed were the direct result of god-in-me.

So sad that I was like this. Apathetic with no urgency to find God. Sympathetic to my meager self-reason.

Today is a day of reflection. I look back fifty-five years of life. I read Psalm fifty-five. I cry out to the Lord and thank Him that I am no longer counted with the deceitful and wicked. There is no pit awaiting. There is all good in You Father. So, I talk to You.

I cast my cares to You Father. Your burden is light as You bear the weight of all solar systems, galaxies, mountains, my heart… I cast my cares to You with so much love for me. I see it and I feel it and I cry and laugh in Your arms because now I feel with a real sense of being, of purpose. I feel. How great is the sensation to really feel in life. It gives me the ability to love and care. I feel for others. I walked the stone-ridden streets tripping and stubbing my toes, therefore I can have compassion. Compassion is the ability to feel ‘with’ someone which is one better step than feeling ‘for’ someone. I have walked in the shoes of the wicked and now in spotless white, my sin has evaporated to a cloud. Propitiation, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for all man-kind. Heaven is a place where hope shines eternal. It waxes infinite. God smiles from His place ever-watching. I can see.

I am sustained by the blood of Jesus. The Spirit abides in me offering confidence. Self-confidence is not what I mean. It is confidence that as I fall backward, God is always there to catch me. Not self at all. I am sure He is with me. The hairs stand straight up on the back of my neck. The Spirit is alive.

I am righteous because God made me fearfully and wonderfully to walk upright in the shadow of His wing. Yes words that, to me, mean He is with me. I know it and rest in that solace each day and night. It is blissful.

I am fifty-five today. Time passes quickly and there is still so much to do. Compassion will draw me nearer to one who sees no hope. The one who doesn’t care takes a little more time, but I remember I didn’t care either at one time in the past. I must speak the reason and rationale of God in the context a new generation will hear. God will give me this wisdom. I am happy with this task. “Lord use me” echos in the chasms of my heart and soul. I want You Father. I press in to You for closeness draws Your light to reflect off me. The Spirit inside, is the Light that emanates from me. It is all Your Light, Lord.

We grow older, but in the context of eternity, our life is fast. It is fast but God wants us to tarry at each moment. It just seems fast. He wants us to cherish each second with our wives and husbands and children. Do this: Cherish your day in the Lord for the past is gone, the future awaits, but today is our canvas on which we paint anew. It is the piano that sings out magical, wonderful worship. We all fit into these expressive acts. We sing a new song because each day is new. We paint on a canvas with all colors, warm and cold. They are the colors of God’s palette and they are pleasing to the eye. He is the painter, the musician, the potter, and we flow from His ever-creating heart. What a joy our lives are. Rejoice now.

Take the lessons God gives you and savor all. Crane your neck to see how He works. He will uproot us from our steadfast positions. Flow with His hand. Listen to the wind of the Spirit. Breathe in all the colors of His palette that is Life! We are living it and we are thankful.

So, cast burdens upon God. He gladly takes them. He is glorified by our obedience.

As for me, I will trust You Lord. I am a blessed year older in Your bosom.

Rick Stassi

October 2nd, 2012