Monday, March 24, 2008

anticipation...abundance...disorientation...reorientation

I have tried to blog several times about my Come Before Winter renewal experience, and then about Easter, and The Shack, but I just don't have the words.
A friend asked me today about blogging about the Canada renewal and I said that I can't seem to find the words (which for those who know me, is funny, right). His response was spot on and I quote, "Transcendent events are hard to describe." That is it. Exactly. For all of the above.

I had such great expectations for our renewal and the women who would be attending. By the time they arrived at the site, I was almost beside myself. And God did the most amazing things. Life, truth, blessing, confession, sharing, laughing, love - it all happened in abundance. All expectations were shattered in amazing ways. Then when I arrived home, I realized that I did not have a way to share how I was feeling about the renewal. It felt so disorienting to have this experience that I could not translate into my regular life. Words just wouldn't do it justice. So, I think I have a treasure in my heart and in some strange way it seems most appropriate to leave it right there.

As for The Shack. Just go ahead and read it. You will be blown away and nothing I can write will make it more impactful. Now, do not think it is the final theological word on suffering or trinity - this is a novel. However, open yourself to the metaphor and allow God to speak to you and give you insights through it. What a blessing.

And then there is Easter. Reorientation. Nothing brings you back to center quite like the story of Jesus. Once again, a recurring theme here, my words are inadequate. Go to amarillocentral.org and listen to Dan's sermon from yesterday. God poured through him in incredible ways yesterday.
I am reminded of the hymn that says,
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin
Could we with ink the ocean fil
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song

I am praying for more opportunities with Come Before Winter and feel like God has led me to a ministry where my gifts are well suited and where I can grow and stretch in new ways also. Seeing the impact on these women who will impact their husbands, their children, their churches, their ministries, their world. It is such an incredible blessing.

5 comments:

preacherman said...

Thank you for sharing with us all that God is doing in your life. Encouraging words of Hope and recommending this book. It is on my list to get soon! I have heard nothing but great things about "The Shack".
I hope you have a wonderful week.

Amy said...

I am overjoyed for you, Arlene. Sometimes there are no words, and those are the best times, really.

songbirdintl said...

I know that feeling all too well. It took a few renewals to help me form the words to even begin to give a glimpse of that God does during that week. I am so thankful to God that He used you in Canada and look forward to possibly sharing the experience with you!!

Jana

btw-did you get the card :) John certainly got a chuckle!

Arlene Kasselman said...

Jana
thanks...I thought I was going to Bosnia but I am not on a US passport and the visa situation got almost impossible for me, so I will trust that God has another plan for me.

Yes, thanks for the card and now that John has you over on the dark side.....who knows.

I totally cracked up and it gave me some lighthearted relief on a pretty heavy day!

HNewman said...

Comment on The Shack - ditto. If anyone out there has not read it - take this as a personal invitation from Him to read it. I promise it deserves it. Don't just take it from me - read it for yourself!