Friday, January 26, 2007

Considering lilies

This morning:

A beautiful dawn.
A garden sun-warmed.
A morning dew dance.

Tiny flower faces peer into the light.

Vapor still clinging as dew glitters.
Posted by Picasa
The sun's glow breaking through the dark of night, captured here in the tiny viola heart.

In my mind is carried a thought..."Consider the lilies..."

But there was more to consider today.
A tour has been arranged for some of us.
A visit, to the Star of Hope.
Houston's homeless shelter.
A one hundred year long battle ground against "addiction to concrete", the wrack and the ruin of drugs, alcohol, and poverty.
A Place for people in circumstances beyond their control.
Or for those pinned down by situations gone out of their control.

Three huge facilities to see, one for women and children, and two for men.
We tour for over three hours.
I learn some of the homeless come for a few weeks, only needing a short stay while a temporary setback is remedied.
Others come for a year, a year and a half, and begin to unwind the knotted twists of a lifetime through discipline, study, and counsel.

From plain grey dormitories filled with bunks covered with equally grey blankets, men work their way up to the relative luxury of a room that is shared only with one other.
Hard work, (emotionally, physically, intellectually...), and broken lives are reconstructed, (sometimes), sheltered within the shelter's boundaries and limits.
Sheltered for a time against ill-considered choices.

I was interested in the process, the computer classes, the Bible study, the meal preparations.
But was untouched.
I have worked with the "down and out", trained them, and helped them.
I'm a little hardened.

It happened as we walked the final hallway.
The hallway where the rooms only have two beds.
(That final level that a man can achieve before moving on)
That's were it happened.
I saw this room.

Posted by Picasa A tiny bear.
A Bible.
A cot,
A chair.
And five clothing items hanging in the open doorless closet.

My hardened heart was touched.

And a mist rises in my eyes at what I see in this room:
The dawning of a new life.

The shelter is downtown,
and tour over,
I have another errand to run.

The hat that "bucked me off" awhile ago has been awaiting me,
resting forlornly on the back seat of my car,
just in case I have reason to be downtown,
and have time to shop for a hat band.

The sky in town is beautiful.

At a stop light I think:

Inside every tower,
behind each window:

A man or a woman
finishing their week,
looking forward to returning

I've reached my destination.

I feel a familiar rush.
Like an addict, I take in colors and textures, using my eyes and fingertips to fuel my cravings for beauty.

High Fashion Fabrics the store is called.

And I am high indeed.
King Solomon in all his glory was still not arrayed in such as these.
Posted by Picasa This beauty is costly.
My boundaries are firm.

(My eyes take it in, but I leave it behind.)
Each creation has a glory.

The four corners of the earth.
Falling water, crevases of ice.
Posted by Picasa Lilies of the field.
Sparkles of light.
Undersea gardens.
Silvery fish of the deep.

What is beauty?
What lasts?
What is vapor?
What is mist?

What have I gotten, have done with my day?
Which things were like lilies, which has beauty, yet tomorrow is thrown away?
Posted by Picasa What of the flowers,
of businesses,
of homeless,
of hats?

What shall I say, what will be written when I blog this day at last?

(The curved silver building in the picture above was formerly the home of the tragic company known as Enron.)


Lovella ♥ said...

well my friend Jill, I am speechless.
I find it so amazing how we can wake up in the morning and we move through our day and all along, God is changeing our hearts.
I just bought Joyce Meyers book called Woman to Woman. It is a devotional book and I read chapter 2 called "Have you been struggling with yourself?" It talks about how sometimes we don't see what God is doing in our lives . . but doing it he is. We just don't see the progress. That is what I thought about when I read your post. It is so touching that God softened your heart. I'm like that too. (Hard hearted I mean). I sometimes feel so desensitized. Its sad.
Anyways, my beloved Mr. T and I just got back from the mall, and let me tell you we don't have a fabric store like that anywhere in these parts. I enlarged to photos just so I could see the gorgeous fabric just a wee bit better.
. . . later

Dawn said...

Wow, Jill..that was one interesting post! Love the flowers...makes me yearn for the spring. Soon enough..
Those fabrics, trims..(?) Amazing! I have never seen such things.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

FYI: The fabric store fabric pictures are shots of each fabric on its 60 inch wide tubular bolt. They are not trims.
I'm told this store is just a hut compared to what NYC has to offer. I don't think I could survive a visit to a NYC store.
I hyperventilate bad enough just visiting this store.
The velvets alone go for about forty feet, and there are three aisles of them.
I only showed one of the two rooms. The store has a three story home fabric building across the street. I've never even gone in there. I imagine would need a nurse and life support if did.
Worse now, I used to go there with Kate, and it now makes me miss my friend, and long for another friend with whom I can to go with to wallow in the splendor.
It helped knowing I could at least share the pictures with friends, and imagine us together there in my mind.