Monday, November 19, 2012

The Time In Between

The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined...They rejoice before You according to the joy of harvest... Isaiah 9:2-3

I have a friend who has been chasing the moon. Sneaking out of bed to see moonlight and shadow, snow falling over the mooncast landscape outside her window; pulling on boots to crunch her way through to a good spot to cast her net. Her pictures are winter jewels.

She knows I am a moon lover as well. I love everything God flung out into space and commanded to stay put. I love the light He made to rule the day and the one He fashioned as a nightlight.

I love the time just before dawn when the birds are up and calling. I love the moments at summer sunset when bugs are buzzing and fireflies are blinking. (If you live where the fireflies do.) I love in between times full of expectancy.

We are approaching one such season, just past Thanksgiving- Advent. A forward looking time of preparation. Advent and Lent are treasures I savor. Looking to the time of planting or harvest, Easter or Christmas. The rising and the reigning. The miracle that follows the cleansing and the giving of thanks. A transition time.

Transition times can be wicked hard in life and dangerous. Some people liken them to desert seasons. Maybe so but I see it with different eyes.

Many years ago John wrote a piece of instrumental music and named it Penumbra. It means the shadow of a shadow, sort of. I add the definition here.


- A partial shadow, as in an eclipse, between regions of complete shadow and complete illumination.

- An area in which something exists to a lesser or uncertain degree.

- An outlying surrounding region; a periphery

Doesn't that sound like our transition time? The holiday season on the small scale and Christ's return on the larger. What a thrilling time it can be this time in our lives between complete shadow and complete illumination. Between salvation from sin and rapture. This time of lighting lamps and putting them out and relighting them a day closer. These are our days. Our warm hours. Our work hours. Followed by a celebration.

As I look to the days of holidays and holy days, I have cleaned the kitchen and swept my heart. I have set the bread to rise and let hope also leaven my spirits. Our King is coming and our reward is in His hand. This sad old world will change under the full sun of the Illuminator of universes beyond imagination. Blinding love in full gaze. Jesus! The Son to rule a nightless day.

Our praise and thanksgiving has the power to alter the course of rivers of sin and wretchedness. The scripture gives us a wonderful imperative:"Let us arise and be doing!" Let's do that very thing with all the thoughtful preparation and heart we can lend to the task in these middle hours.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him, purifleth himself even as He is pure. I John 3:2-3.

A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to all of our friends and family.  May there be a candle lighting ceremony in your hearts each day of Advent. A mystery wrapped in swaddling clothes to be discovered anew. You are loved by these two people who pray the richness of Christ's affection upon your lives.

Looking forward,
John and Kathy


Picture is Moonlightning from APOD web site

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Husband

Another "John LaMantia" story. Once upon a very loooong time ago when we had been married about a month, and I had been working in a new job at the Army hospital in Germany, and was exhausted from late night love and early morning work- I forgot to pick John up. We had one car and everything was so spread out and I was the one with a German driver's license. 

John was doing a Bible study in the evening for the soldiers in the Stockade. I took him there then went home to lay down for an hour. Except it was not just an hour. When I woke up it was dark and March cold and the rain was half frozen and pelting the apartment windows. I was in a panic.

I drove the ten miles to the Stockade. No John just sheets of cold rain. The night was a real stinker. I followed the road all the way into town and no John. I drove to our church, which was having a gathering for new servicemen, to get help looking for him. One of John's friends told me John would "kill" me when I caught up with him. (Such a help.)

I was already killing myself when in walked John soaked to the skin from a long, cold, wet walk. When he came over to me I blubbered my apologies, my regrets pouring out with the force of the rain. I told him how I was only going to nap for an hour. How I overslept. At the end of my speech John put two wet hands on my shoulders, looked into my eyes and said "Oh, I am so glad you got some rest. You have been so tired." I knew then whom I had married.

Fast forward almost 40 years. It is Nov 6, 2012. I have locked my purse, keys and cell phone in the car at the gas pump. It is the middle of a work day and a Tuesday, which is the busiest day John has all week, often without adequate help, and he is still fighting a cold. I borrow a phone from someone who says, "Girl, that man's going to kill you."

15 minutes later John drives up smiling and before I can explain how I had left the door open but it somehow closed on its own...the John from that long ago rain storm says, "It sure is wonderful to see your face in the middle of the day!"

In a world that is sometimes apathetic, often hostile and unforgiving, there is a constancy for me-
John LaMantia, a good man, loves me still.

my husband

my faults are invisible as glass
you look clean through

my graces you gently multiply
and those accrue

oh the blessing of living my life
palm to palm with you!


I urge you who have been chosen by God to live up to the life to which God called you.  Always be humble, gentle, and patient, accepting each other in love. Ephesians 4:1-2