Designer Wear: Louis Vuitton or God-be With-ya ?

Did you know that clothes,one of our canvases for self expression, are actually a direct effect of original sin and our first parents' post-fall , new-found sense of a need for covering?

Adam and Eve chose fig leaves to cover their nakedness, but God gave them animal skin clothes.
I didn't know until I read this post that this choice of  different materials had any significance.

I am like Adam and Eve in that I always prefer to think that my mistakes or acts of omission will not have permanent consequences. I thought it was an unfortunate quirk of mine... turns out it's a trait of the human race from the beginning of time. Our first parents chose a less bloody solution to the shame problem, as the leaves of a tree are so many and trees keep on renewing their leaves. God probably wanted to show them that life-giving leaf regeneration was not intended to help ease our conscience with the metaphorical second chance mindset.God chose blood-stained animal skin,to remind us that actions have consequences, to teach us that seemingly harmless foolish choices we make in our moments of solitude, eventually will be paid the innocent! Metaphorically God used the innocent animals. Later Jews offered animal sacrifices .And then in fulfilment of prophecy Jesus was crucified.And in our present day, the poor whom we ,even though unknowingly or by creation of safe bubbles of existence, ignore or forget.

I don't know about all girls,but I personally am always in awe of beautiful textures, awesomely subtle neutral colours and unassuming combinations of stunning colours in an ensemble that bring out the wearer's eyes or hair colour. How insignificant in the grand scheme of things and how unimportant,right? So just when I was about to chide myself and feel real lousy for being soooo hedonistically inclined as to peruse look-book magazines, I suddenly find some excuses why this is not as bad a waste of time as I feel it might be(...ehemm...denial!) as I realize that God is also obsessed with and addicted to beauty.Beautiful colours fill his pallette,(have you seen pictures of summer transitioning to fall? or even just looked at a tree with dancing leaves reflecting several beautiful shades of vivid green in almost 4-D?! Sceneries that are breathtaking, simply because they are layers upon layers of colour tones and textures ,no layer individually impressive but in the well-set backdrop,the whole picture, so devastatingly beautiful.And we have all seen the flowers, beautiful butterfly wings,iridescent birds, reefs and fishes coloured with so much creativity (you wonder why!?) and then there are pristine forests and mysterious mountains and unfathomably deep oceans ,canyons and sunset skies! So I think, if God were a girl in today's fashion obsessed world ,His ensemble would have been quite a visual treat. However this superb insight of "If God were a fashionista" seemed slightly pointless in the light of an essay  IS IT TRUE THAT “THE WORLD WILL BE SAVED BY BEAUTY”? by Jimmy Myers .

So I crashed back into reality that except for utilitarian purposes and also to compose a beautiful masterpiece of art occasionally,clothing and beautiful paraphernalia is basically superficial and I would have to call it Level 1.

Hiding beauty in the un-beautiful is level 2.That is God's specialization.

Level 1 is "the right under our noses","in plain sight" ,very apparent kind of beauty. It's for the uninitiated,you know? The intoxication offered by this beauty is an invitation or (for those not quickly drawn to the spiritual) a ruse, to get the thinking man to ponder upon the Creator of that beauty. And if not pursued to it's source, these love letters written in carbon on the canvas of nature are like clues, strewn aplenty, all over the crime- scene by a game-playing God, whose crime is foolish, unconditional love...but overlooked by us ,so called "seekers of Truth" who are merely sham detectives.

Often I find lulling myself into spiritual slumbers, chanting "more intoxication,some more time free from the responsibility of performing the actions that witness to faith...more beauty...more clothes ( ...more fun" , as I lie down with belly full on the bridge,(yes,there's a passage out of Level 1: the Bridge)..desiring all the time, comfortable interior sleep.They say,"God  comforts us that we might comfort others",but childishness prefers that God comforts us just to make us comfortable.

I am so reluctant to cross the bridge out of childish behaviour onto responsible adulthood.I know the Author of this Beauty is real,but I'm too attached to his carbon finger prints. Grabbing hold of the hand He holds out,means leaving behind the things He created to attract me to Him.Why am I so scared? Why is my spirit yearning backwards to "Seen Beauty" and not propelled forward to set out on the new adventures to which the "Unseen Beauty" beckons me?

Guilty as Adam.
But covered by the Blood of Christ.(Not the fig leaves of human power but the animal skin of Divine Ransom)
Unsurrendered like Eve.
Yet mothered by Mary.

I have to mature to Level 2.
Level 2: Treasures in Clay Jars

Game play: Venture out of comfort zone.
Target: Meet the "un-beautiful" and give them Christ.
Training: Employ self in public service roles, get in touch with the sick,the old,the dying,and the living dead (privileged people overlooking even "SEEN beauty's " invitation.)
Mission Accomplished: When the "un-beautiful " become beautiful inside.
We have participated in the real work of God,hidden His beauty in the un-beautiful.

Let's play!
Game on.
God-be With-Ya ! ;)

Memorials and Sacred Fire

Sacred Fire  is a good book.

 How beautiful to come upon such edifying literature in the public library!

So Ronald Rolheiser says some very interesting things in this book,which got me nodding in agreement and I thought jotting it down here would be good for times when I might forget that I once knew such things to be true,because times of peace and tranquility tend to do that to us,they make us spiritually fat ...

(Here's an interesting fact: when you reach around the age of eighty and you see a new greyish coloured ring around your cornea, that is actually fat deposited deep in the edge of the cornea there!).Similarly,when we get old without too many hitches, our spiritual eyes get fat deposits too... and we begin to forget. Forget how God taught us so many truths through our struggles. When a mother delivers her baby they say she forgets the pains of the preceding labour because of the overwhelming joy of seeing her little baby alive! Forgetting  pains is probably a necessary God given blessing but the down side is that we often forget the associated lessons. Hence the need for memorials. It's all over the bible,it's God's brilliant corollary to the blessing of forgetting,setting up memorials!

To Noah he gave the rainbow* to the Israelites led by Joshua,the 12-stone monuments#...of course there is the Passover and the Lord's Supper...These are a few and I guess,the memorials for me are the posts in this blog :)

So Ronald says that depth of soul is directly proportional to any humiliating suffering undergone by the person.He becomes deep in a generative way if he responds to it empathetically,but deeply destructive if he grows bitter and cynical as a result of it.Ronald says that the anguish of Jesus in Gethsamane was not about whether to die or seek Divine intervention for a way out of dying,rather it was about "how to die".Whether to die in magnanimity of soul or cynical bitterness.We know what Jesus chose,now the question is what will our choice be?

He says that we must at the sunset of life,be prepared to forgive.Forgive everyone including God and ourselves.Forgive God?... But then yeah,we know how we often blame Him for things that are actually beyond our understanding.

Of course the book has more to give,I just remember these points poignantly.
God bless.

*Genesis 9:11,14,15 "I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth." ... It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.

 #Joshua3:13 The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.”
14 So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. 15 It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge,16 the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea[c] until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.
17 Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.
Joshua 4:6
" In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of theLord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”
So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there.