Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Hearth

Ok, I admit it.  I haven't been very "tenacious" for the past few weeks:  I haven't been blogging.  I haven't been to yoga.  My "to do" list is giving me dirty looks.  I've felt like my schedule has been out of alignment.  Not blown to bits, but just off enough so that my time doesn't clump the way that I want it to.  Does that make sense? Some of the distractions have been quite wonderful, but the end result is still there.

But thanks to Easter, Nexus, and Percy Jackson, (bizarre combination, right?) I feel like I've got everything back where it should be.

Easter is like my real Thanksgiving (In recent years, I've been away on Thanksgiving).  It's a day of family, food, thankfulness, and celebration.  People come home.  Families and communities have get-togethers.  And whenever I get to hang out with family, I always leave feeling a bit more balanced and energized.

Then, last night after Nexus (a time I've come to treasure each month) I came home and wrapped up the Percy Jackson series. One of my favorite moments happens in the final book. I don't want to give too much of the plot away, but let me try to paint this picture for you.  A battle of cosmic proportions, a hero with a fatal flaw, and homely minor god whose been basically overlooked with everything else that's going on.  Percy decides to leave something very important with this god.  When he makes that decision she asks, "Why would you leave me with this?"  He replies, "Because Hope survives best at the hearth.  Guard it for me, and I won't be tempted to give up again."

The term "hearth" isn't used much anymore.  What came to mind when you read it?  For me, I envision a fireplace in a family room.  Where adults recline while children play.  New pictures are constantly crammed on the mantle or on the wall.  It's where everyone crowds on Christmas morning or on Thanksgiving afternoon.  Or it's just where you sit and catch your breath at the end of a day.

And then it all clicked together.  Nexus is like coming back to the hearth for me.  Sure, I spend time with God throughout my regular schedule.  But it's like everyday running around.  "You need anything from the store?"  "Do you have something going on tomorrow night?" "Can I take your car today?"  "Did you hear that new song on the radio?" "Thanks for doing the dishes."  But those few moments at Nexus are like kicking back in front of the fireplace and catching up.  It's no wonder that I feel realigned!

Hope survives best at the hearth.

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