Curiosity Journal: March 28, 2012

Each Wednesday (or thereabouts) I’ve been recording a Curiosity Journal to recap the previous week using these tag words: reading, playing, learning, reacting and writing.

:::

Reading

I got some books from the library, mostly cookbooks and light reading because I’ve got no energy to slog through something profound. So far I’ve come across nothing worth reporting from the cookbooks.

Learning

Peel garlic in ten seconds or less. (Disclaimer: brief video demonstration does contain a minor crass word that in fact rhymes with crass.)http://vimeo.com/29605182

Playing

One afternoon while on a jog, I slowed to a walk. To think. To pray. Blue skies and shimmering afternoon sunlight invited reflection.At my feet, where grass meets asphalt: petals. Soft pink petals, fresh fallen, collected by the wind along the edge of the road.”Like a wedding,” I thought. “Flower petals for the bride’s shy steps toward her groom.”It was a forced image, though. The symbolism was obvious. I thought of the bridegroom, Jesus, and His bride, the church. It was all right there, easy pickin’s.Just then, a gust of wind nudged branches and a flurry of petals danced around me, swirling, fluttering, brushing against my forehead and cheeks. Just as I grinned at the timing, another breath-breeze lifted thousands of petals, raining like confetti, each small petal dancing to the ground, landing right at my feet as I walked toward home, scattered by an unseen flower girl shaking out baskets full of pink.As I was processing that burst of joy, yet another gust lifted up thousands more petals that drifted down, resting on my hair and kissing my bare arms, until so many surrounded me and lay on my path, I accepted the gift with laughter, embarrassed by the attention, thanking an attentive Savior who ensured that I was given a carpet of soft pink on barren asphalt, assuring me of His love.

Reacting

On Friday, our family saw a passion play put on by a local church. “Behold the Lamb” explained the thread of sacrifice throughout Scripture and led up to the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Through narration and music, the story unfolded. Jesus, played by a tall, white, brown-haired man, communicated with gestures and well-timed looks of compassion, anger, or suffering, depending on what the scene required.We sat in the very last row, taking it all in. For some scenes, characters would enter from the back of the auditorium and make use of the long aisle to head toward the stage. For the Good Friday scene, two Roman soldiers stood holding Jesus who was lashed to a beam of wood. They stayed in character while awaiting their cue: the Roman soldiers looked cold and fierce, ready to shove people out of the way. Jesus hung there, bare-chested, completely coated in streaks of red, a crown of thorns jammed against scraggly wet hair. He was waiting to be dragged the length of the auditorium, across the stage, and up stairs to a second level where they would hammer him onto the cross.Just before the music swelled to mark the long, humiliating journey to the cross, the man playing Jesus turned his head and looked down our row. In character, the man of sorrows locked eyes with one of my teen daughters. Just then, the soldiers yanked him along and we watched the suffering unfold.When the play was over, the pastor invited audience members to a reception down the hall. We could enjoy cookies and punch and interact with some of the characters. The kids wanted to go, so we headed down to meet and greet and eat. As we munched iced sugar cookies and sipped punch, my son recognized his AWANA leader dressed in first-century garb. He was in the choir. We met him and his family and thanked them for securing tickets for us.We watched as some of the children’s choir came out still in costume. We saw the man who played Peter and the boys who held live lambs throughout the performance. Finally, we decided we’d better head home. We worked our way through the crowd and just as we were about to leave the reception area, I saw the man who played Jesus. He was wearing his white “New Jerusalem” robe and a blue cloak that he used during the scenes when he was teaching.I had the passing thought that I might say something to him. Thank him. Tell him how moved I was by his portrayal. I thought I might mention how stirring it was when he brought the dead child back to life and when he rescued the woman caught in adultery. I thought I might thank him for hanging on the cross so long so that we could take in how terrible Jesus’ suffering must have been.But I couldn’t easily get to him, for he was surrounded by children.Children were rushing up to him, laughing and hugging him, and he bent over and nodded, answering their questions. He tousled a blond kid’s hair. He looked exhausted, but he grinned big and let them wrap their arms around him.My family was ahead of me. My husband was scanning the crowd, looking for me.I looked back at the Jesus, the children giddy with being right next to him.That’s how I wanted to remember the night.I turned to make eye contact with my husband. I waved. He spotted me, nodded and grinned, waiting for me as I moved through the crowd to my family.

Writing

Thank you for reading my words here. You are such faithful friends.

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All images by Ann Kroeker. All rights reserved. You may “pin” in a way that links back to this post.

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  • Comments

    1. This is such a lovely post, Ann. Among other things, the image of all those petals is so beautiful!

      • annkroeker says:

        April, thank you. And what’s funny…today I was looking around at the spot where it all took place, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what tree it was that would have held such an abundance of petals. I think they would have had to blow over from some distance.

    2. Both of these stories were breath-taking, Ann. The image of the petals dancing before you (and on you!) as you headed home was just gorgeous. And the Jesus play story? You turned it around perfectly! My very favorite text so far – of this entire daily Lenten discipline I’ve been doing this year – was this last Monday’s. It came from the Markan version of Jesus and the little child…something about that particular image just really hit home this year. Thanks for this.

      • annkroeker says:

        Diana, that moment in the play was amazing. How they got the little child to be so limp in his arms, and then to land on his feet so confidently, so alive, just brought that scene from Jesus’ life…well…to life!

    3. Virginia Hilbert says:

      Ann, what beautiful stories! I love how our Father makes his presence known through moments that truly speak to your heart.
      I experienced one last night that brought tears to my eyes. A group of high school choir students held hands, closed their eyes on stage and performed “O Magnum Mysterium” a cappella. Sung in Latin, the words extol the mystery of the new-born Lord. As those young men and women sang, you could see and hear their emotions pouring out. By the end of the song, the singers were crying, the director was crying, and many audience members were openly weeping. It was a beautiful performance I will not forget!

      • annkroeker says:

        Virginia, that sounds soul-stirring…the music, for starters, but more powerfully I would imagine is the young people revealing their hearts and emotions for the Lord. Thank you for describing it so vividly!

    4. Garlic! I love it.
      Have you seen Miss Mary An, Dawn Wells, peeling a potato?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4W0qIPJmoo

      • annkroeker says:

        Oh my goodness, David! You and this garlic dude are transforming my kitchen experience!! Both solutions are “magic,” as Dawn/Mary Ann said!

    5. A dead girl brought to life and an unseen flower girl, showering you with pink petals. I see a link here. Life and beauty and abundance and a little girl.

    6. Thanks for the imagery, I felt as though it was me. I love to read your posts.

      God is so good!

      • annkroeker says:

        Kelly, I’m so glad you felt as if you were there. It was powerful, giddy, intimate. We all need that, don’t we?

    7. You there with those petals swirling all around you, and Jesus there with all those children. These are definitely pictures of the kingdom, the kind that just make me want to say “yes!”

      • annkroeker says:

        Thank you for standing with me, petals swirling and Jesus hugging. Thank you for bringing a little bit of His Kingdom here on earth in my life.

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