October 30, 2020


I have a confession. Our holiday lights have been up for more than a week. Naveh’s edges are bedecked with bulbs, its fences and frames woven with luminaries and a portion of its trees trimmed.  This wasn’t the most intentional of acts. It was simply because there is a deep discount for installation in mid-October.

One thing I didn’t expect when pulling in from Tuegather last week, knowing the lights would be up, was that they would be on.  I struggled a bit with the possible spectacle, but left them aglow.  Sunset fell the next eve and I entered full combat with the idea of leaving the luminescence.  I mean seriously, wasn’t I going to owe every passerby an explanation for our preempting of soon-to-come holidays?   Spooky season and Thanksgiving have yet to have their days. Wouldn’t every passenger and driver be deeply offended by our sudden holiday cheer?

I slid through a side door to discreetly TURN THEM OFF.  But. I. Couldn’t.  I went straight to swoon when I met the sheer magic of being loaded with light, in a season that has tried its best to be dark.  Was it just the night before that words were sung about a lifestyle of light being better than life?  And in that moment, hadn’t I held hands to heart because the very idea meant so much?  Now where I stood, I had the choice to undo the words I had echoed, given my breath to, after He had come and made it absolutely manifest.  For hadn’t I, years before, told Him I would only sing words that I longed for Him to make completely and utterly true?  And hasn’t He just done it? Every. Single. Time.

So, the lights ignite with every sunset.  In October.

There is a favorite spot I’ve found to take my stand for a lit-up life, where seven strands are strung.  Tree to tree, limb to limb, just over a cobblestone path.  Here I am aware that creation needs no sparkle to make it special and these strands would be but cheap strings if I didn’t so cherish the moon and stars above them, and the story they tell.  Yet, here I am below, with a heart to lift Him high.  I reckon here with how much hope I have, colossal hope.

These strands are my gold-dipped scarlet cord.  Baby flames of newborn light.  Sign and wonder of the only source of Light.  Like sparkles of moonlight, they testify that there is light for the eyes of the needy.  That rescue isn’t coming.  It is here.

Beneath branches and the world’s burdens, ground is gained in my heart.  I’ve been moved to a never-going-back land.  For I feel darkness stutter and light begin to speak.  I remember a word, ‘cashab’, which finds its origins in the idea of a weaver and fabric.  It’s meaning is “His plan”.  Strand by strand. Woven moments, days and season.  A tapestry with a strength sown inside.  The brawn of His presence in all.  We need only take hold of the rope and remain.

Soon enough, there will be the chance to get our tinsel in a tangle.  But we could choose God’s knot instead.  To be a light in the strand.  For if we are each other’s light, maybe darkness will dim.  Connected and candescent, we could call forth a season of amplified gratitude and silenced demands. Bowstrings, aimed at Heaven’s heart, heralding His hope.

There is a Psalm, the twelfth one, written to the chief musician according to the ‘sheminith’.

Simply stated, this means, “To Him who grants victory with the instrument of eight strings” or “the leader of the eighth string.”

Overwhelmed underneath seven strands, I wonder if I could be the eighth string.  If we all are.  For the glory of the Chief Musician.  In Hebrew, eight regards a certain circumference that reveals what lies beyond the perimeter of time and space.  Maybe this is the sacred place where we bare our own scars, bend upon bruised knees and let Him pluck the sinew inside.  Because I think the One who grants us breath, wants to make us His instruments.  Signs and sounds of His presence.  Could we be the harp of the Holies?  That which reminds and resounds that He is here to dwell? And victory is in His hand?

Here I am, stranded.  From here, I boldly asked if 2021 might have some unicorns and rainbows on its horizons. (It doesn’t hurt to ask!!!) I don’t know that He has gotten back to me on that, lol.  But He did share with me the covenant of our holidays here at Naveh, that seemingly tiptoed in with October.  Merry, which means “marked by great rejoicing” and “to be multiplied, made mighty.”  I’m here for it.  Holding onto that rope.  I hope you are too, because it seems, He might just have some mighty exploits for us to do.  Together. With Him.