Life 103

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

gertrude's rose

Today, I made myself leave home to find a quiet place to listen. Fortunately I have friends in high places that let me keep a key to our church and the back row of the balcony suits me perfectly for times like this. My friend Gregg (who I saw this morning and am sorry to report that he couldn’t keep that makeover up on his own so has let himself slip back into ordinary) recently asked me what I’ve been hearing from God. As usual, he is full of very good questions.

I told him that God has been elusive. Quiet but not in a bad way. My fault, not His. Last week I was thinking about writing a book titled, Listening: When all you can hear is an inner cacophony of gibberish, heckling and childish chatter.

So this evening, I sat with Gregg’s question in our empty sanctuary where you can actually physically feel the quiet when you still your mind and body enough. I asked God if he would repeat some of the things he’s been telling me lately because I might not have been paying close enough attention the first time. He mentioned a couple things then I thought about my last post where I said I had been connecting with creation and something deeper than words through photography.

This week I worked out a deal with the hospital gift store manager to sell some of my photo cards (blank cards inside with a picture pasted on the front – like you see in coffee shops everywhere for a couple dollars). The deal is this…she will buy them from me, I get reimbursed for my costs, and the profit is donated to the Family Friends program. The hospital doesn’t get anything. I don’t expect to raise our whole general operating budget this way but it’s very cool to be supported by my employer like this and finally get to do something good with my pictures other than look at them myself. My dad even made me the perfect wooden box to display them in. How much do you think we should charge?


Last night I printed out a proof sheet of the digital pictures I plan to use for this new venture. Gertrude's rose (above) is one, a few more are on Flikr if you’re interested. Putting two and two together, I started to think really hard about what many of my recent pictures say and what they hold in common. Long story short, what I see when I look at them all together is joy, light, contrast, openness, purpose, beauty, vitality, life, power, frailty, mystery, awe, ease, and depth. But most of all, joy. Then while I was busy being impressed with how good God is and thinking how incredibly visible he is in my pictures, he said, ‘Kathy that’s you too. You are those things too.’

How cool is that? Now, in the moments when my melancholy traits and migraine headaches collide like they did this week, I will remember something else God mentioned this week, 'Don't dwell on the pain and forget to live.' I have the sense that those traits of joy, light, contrast, openness, etc, have been above, below and around me all along. How nice to know that they are accessible when I am at my weakest and most pathetic.


  • Well, I can say that one of the drawbacks of such beautiful photographs is that one could fail to notice that it was a card and simply admire the photo until it was too late to acknowledge gracefully the kind message inside. It's true - it happened to me. I didn't open it until well after we got home. Oops.

    But I keep the photograph (and card) on the ledge above my desk as a reminder of you and our Spirit-filled time in Newberg. Thank you so much.

    Depending on the price scale of the hospital gift shop, I would think you could charge $5.00 each.

    You could probably get more from Gregg NOT to print photos of him.

    By Blogger Robin M., at 11:12 PM, August 23, 2006  

  • Robin, that's funny, a drawback I hadn't considered. I'm glad you are still enjoying it! You might be right, there's more money to be gotten out of Gregg than the customers at the gift shop....The end does justify the means, right?

    Chris, thanks for your comment on my last post too. Sorry I never got back to say hello.

    By Blogger kathy, at 7:01 AM, August 24, 2006  

  • Kathy, how good that God is speaking those very true things to you!! May that voice continue to prove louder than any others.

    And...would you guys have anybody else to tease if I wasn't in this world? :)

    By Blogger Gregg Koskela, at 11:36 AM, August 24, 2006  

  • Thank you, Gregg! And now that you mention it, we would be very hard pressed to find another like you to tease. Thanks for taking it so very well. :)

    By Blogger kathy, at 12:49 PM, August 24, 2006  

  • Someone once told me that one of the best things we can do for each other on this earth is to help people to see who they are in there amago dei, Who God Created them to be. I'm glad God showed that to you. I don't always do a good job saying those things to you but I think they are all true.

    By Blogger Steve Watson, at 6:25 AM, August 25, 2006  

  • A long, long time ago, I once came across this quote:

    God does not command us to be unhappy.

    Your tender post reminds me of those words and the power they held for me then and still hold for me now.

    Glad you were open to Gregg's question and carved out some time to Listen.

    Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

    By Blogger Liz Opp, at 3:03 PM, August 25, 2006  

  • Thanks all. I used to raise my eyebrow at people who said they heard God speak so I never mentioned it when it happened to me but when he's being so nice, it's hard to not mention it. Hope you're all hearing words of love and encouragement too.

    By Blogger kathy, at 6:56 AM, August 26, 2006  

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