Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Tea

I started writing this before my blog break so if you will excuse just one more Christmas related post...

A Beautiful Ache... those are the words which came to my mind when I turned on the Christmas tree a few weeks ago.  I stood back and gazed at the sparkle of the lights, the pretty ornaments, and the nostalgia of decorations which are brought out each year for a very long time.

It was the tree which caused the ache.  It is particularly beautiful this year, the Charlie Brown artificial tree made glorious with its' additions of glitz and glitter.

I have written that this has not been the easiest of Advent seasons for me. There are many reasons I am certain but it still surprised me.  For I have had much more difficult years than this when the Season brought with it Peace and Joy.

I felt totally... worn out.

But as I talked to God by the light of the Christmas tree that evening, I truly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit... sometimes called the gentleman of the Trinity... touch my heart and whisper this reminder.

This Beauty is just a shadow of what is to come. 

Somehow it was as if He downloaded directly into my heart the wisdom from above.  That all I see in this world that brings about such a Beautiful Ache does so because it almost overwhelms my senses this side of Eternity.

I  am reminded of the quote I keep permanently on the side bar:

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
C. S. Lewis

I am certain such feelings are common to mankind (and womankind, of course) although most people would have no idea that their desires are for the Eternal.  For instance, I was perusing a cookbook on Amazon that I was interested in adding to my Wish List and downloaded a sample for the Kindle to check it out further.

It was a very nice book, filled with images of beautiful people sitting around the table enjoying their simple but quite elegant meals, often with friends and family... with a recipe or two for each chapter thrown in.   It's the kind of book I knew I'd be interested in but something bothered me about it, an uneasy feeling that seemed to come from nowhere... until I read a lengthy review of the book.

The reviewer caught the reason for my uneasiness immediately for while the intent was to show these people enjoying a meal in simplicity, what actually came through in their stories were well-to-do very young and beautiful people eating their organic meals in beautiful homes that together created the impression of a simple lifestyle.

It did not stop me from adding the book to my Wish List but at least I was aware that the images are there because the editor knows exactly what lifestyle photos draws many of us into purchasing such a book.

Some of it most likely was quite real but as I have noticed in books and online... not everything you are shown is what is really going on behind the scenes.  It is quite easy to create paradise in photos where none exists.  Especially in pretty magazines and lovely cookbooks.  :)

Now, I am certain the young people in these photographs are making an attempt to show their idea of simplicity.  They are authentic in their desire for Beauty and I quite agree with them, although I know few of their readers could afford their "simple lifestyle".  But why would it be so desired that a great number of people read their magazines and books?

Because our hearts long for Eden.  

We receive glimpses of it here and there through lovely books and art and music and truly delicious meals.  And I think especially at Christmas when we light the tree, and listen to the music of the Season, and fill our home with glitter and sparkle. 

We feel the Beautiful Ache but as those who truly love the Lord... we understand it is only a longing for what is to come.  His down payment so to speak on "another world".  And we can light our candle and sip our tea and enjoy our book and knead our bread and stir our soup and chat with loved ones and stroke the furry members of our family... and smile.

He has promised there is coming a day when all will be as perfect as our hearts desire.  In the meantime He gives us enough grace and fills us with His mercies which are new every morning on this journey called a lifetime.


Anonymous said...

Exactly. When I see something so beautiful here it takes my breath away I think OH what awaits us in Our Heavenly Kingdom. I will do everything to be there for eternity with our Creator. We can not fathom what He has waiting for us there. Our little puny minds and eyes can't begin to even try to guess what Heaven will be like. Oh Dear Lord may I see it all for Eternity with you when my time comes. God Bless you and yours and until we go to Our Heavenly home may you have peace of body, mind and soul here.

Vee said...

A beautiful ache...a beautiful euphemism if ever there was one. I have decided that this growing older (and sicker and more crippled in mind and body) is quite the journey. In our youth, we never could have imagined it, though we saw it all around us. It's going to require a whole lot of leaning and knowing that we were not created for this world. Thank you most sincerely for making me think again.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

A beautiful post, Brenda. It reminds me of the saying of St. Augustine, "You have made us for yourself, Oh, God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." said...

Truly a beautiful picture...even if it is your "Charlie Brown" tree, it is lovely and the lights and glass all sparkle. Just what our eyes crave sometimes.

Nana said...

Hi Brenda;
What a wonderful post! You put my thoughts into words! You always seem to post excally what I am thinking. Our tree and CHRISTmas decorations are all down and put away for another year, but the ache is still there, we can only imagine what heaven will be like. Be safe my friend, in this winter storm. Keep us posted on how you and Pete are doing. Prayers going up for your safety. Love and Hugs, Nana

kozimom said...

I love what you wrote. I know exactly that "Beautiful Ache" and have wondered about it. Thanks so much for the explanation!

hopeinbrazil said...

Another lovely post, Brenda!

Mama Bear said...

Dear Brenda, this is my first time commenting on your beautiful blog though I am a long time reader! I was so moved by your thoughtful and illuminating words. They have not only summed up what I too have been feeling for a long time now, but have given form to that feeling. You have reminded me too of the final verses of one of my favourite psalms - Psalm 27 - "I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" Thank you so much! I am so comforted and encouraged by your wisdom - thank you SO MUCH for sharing it with us. I feel as if my "longing for Eden" is a little easier to bear, knowing I am so not alone in this journey. With love, Ruby x.

Deborah Montgomery said...

this is such a lovely post, and captures what I feel many times when I catch a glimpse of beauty, like a tiny glimpse into eternity. those "beautiful aches" are gifts to treasure and carry us through the difficult times.