Posted: May 20th, 2015 |
Filed under: life | Tags: faith |
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How often can a person sing about redemption without ever believing it for themselves? I see broken people pretend to be healed, turning circles in the make believe dress, and drowning empty’s echo with religious propaganda. How many times can you wipe yourself down with dollar store healing waters without ever letting the real tsunami inside? I see desperate people close their eyes and sway like they’re slow dancing with a cartoon version of the spirit instead of waiting in patient honesty. How many times can you recite the script before the words lose their meaning and the fire you refuse to let in scalds your skin thick? I hear people say the words that ended the War, but the contextual inflection reveals the incomprehension and makes the words ping out of tune.
There is a Roar so deep that we have to train our ears to hear it. There is a Presence that so permeates all of existence that we have to train our eyes to see it. Like fascia over muscle, the sea swelling around the continents, and black matter encasing reflected light, we miss the whole picture by focusing on only what we understand. It could swallow us in an instant, but instead it knocks. That which connects and holds us all in place is knocking on every door to your inner most and asking for your utmost. There is an enlightened awareness that renders everything you know to be just an elementary introduction to the big picture.
It’s like fighting to stay in a dream so you can finish the task. Open yourself up to be really awakened. You’re not going to miss anything…
Those who were never told of him—
they’ll see him!
Those who’ve never heard of him—
they’ll get the message! -Romans 15:21 MSG
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Posted: May 16th, 2015 |
Filed under: life | Tags: hope, hurting, purpose |
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“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the one who invited us to God. The best invitation we’ve ever received!” – 2 Peter 1:1-3 MSG
You’re in that moment when the record of your disappointments is in the “shredder” pile and the robe of “something more” is being held out to you. The metaphysical invitation draws your attention in such a way that you have to turn your back on the physical realm to get a better look. Turning away from life as you’ve always understood it and opening yourself up to the possibility that there is another dimension to discover is intoxicating because it doesn’t hide itself well. There is a bigger narrative to tap into and it’s been calling you like a playmate mid hide-and-seek. Come find me.
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. – 2 Peter 1:5-9 MSG
If you must busy yourself, then busy yourself with kindness, be disciplined, and patient. It won’t make you a better person, but it will untangle your mind so that you can explore the spiritual side of existing. Be generous with your friendliness, warmth, and love. It won’t make you extra spiritual, but it will allow your imagination to be filled with wonder as you start to become fully awake.
So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.– 2 Peter 1:10-11 MSG
I know that life cracks open and things we love get lost, but there is sense to it all. There is a bigger picture. Moments like these call us to it.
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Posted: May 13th, 2015 |
Filed under: life | Tags: hope, hurting, personal |
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I put on my tattered black and lay by you while the reality works its way through your veins. Breathing the creeping emptiness to keep it from making your room cold. I’m helpless to the loss that scathes your innocence inside out. The cruelty is unmatched as I lie helpless. The strength of my love cannot shield you. I can only lay beside you and watch you try to be strong.
Your pain is a badge over my heart. I let it wound me knowing that it won’t keep it from wrecking you. But I can’t let you suffer alone. I would suck it out like poison if it would save you. Your pain burrows like tentacles and wracks me like it knows my name. The hunger is enough to eat us whole.
I watch the trees to see if they quake with us. I look into the eyes of the moon to see if he knows. I look in to the depths of creation to see if she will gather us to her breast. I call on Him to be a better Father than I am a mother.
I’ll wear black as long as you wear black. Nobody gets through without feeling this, but knowing the Heartbreak Road is well travelled doesn’t make it easier. Everybody has to scratch their own name at the finish line. I’m torn between wanting to save you and knowing you’re earning your depths. I try to find solace in knowing the pain is digging your heart deeper. It means that the coming joy is too big for you as you are. I know it seems unfair, but this is how we become.
I watched as you, my selective one, gave away your heart. I followed behind and the longer you walked, the deeper you went, and I knew. I’m watching you, my solid one, trying to figure out which pieces are yours and which are his. I’m breaking, my determined one, as I watch you ready your glue and line up the shards like puzzle pieces. I’m staying back, my girl, knowing that you’ll do what you need to do. One day you’ll be able to thank God for the things you suffered so that you could have the space you needed. I’ll hold your hope for now.
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Posted: April 19th, 2015 |
Filed under: life | Tags: faith, grace |
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I’m a fraud. Where do I begin tell you all the ways? I blur my age and make it look natural. I pretend I don’t care, but refresh fifteen times before walking away. I delete things. I call midnight “tomorrow” and start early. I let myself sink into anger and baseless jealousy because I can make art out of it. A decade slams into me and makes me cry holding the miniature clothes in my closet. I refuse to replace what I’ve outgrown because I’m holding on to something that I leaned on too hard. I sweat and sacrifice my sleep to get it back. I’m ambiguous because nobody really likes honesty.
I make friends, resent them for needing me, and feel rejected when they don’t. I write words I don’t want anyone to read, then feel useless and invisible when they don’t. I work hard to make people ask for me only to be disappointed with who ends up in front of me. I push them away and then want them back. I’m only just now awakening to the unquestioned guilt that religion has burned into my synapse and had me tied up. The white walls and tall ceilings and heavy seats made me feel like I needed to take another shower or just sit in the back.
You can only cage a bird for so long. You might think it cruel to place me next to a window, but that’s what kept me focused. I kept my eyes on the horizon waiting for my moment when no one was watching and the cage of lies was open. When I fly, I try not to think about the blades that tried to clip me or the feathers I lost. I try not to let my memory borrow any extra pain. But even a Phoenix gets bored and the man who used to be amazed at the art can critique the lines and find fault in the shading.
Sometimes I think I’m elegant and I notice the skin and muscles on my own arms as I stretch them around Grace. I smell my own perfume, check my own reflection, and laugh at my own undelivered jokes. I envy people who know the space they occupy when I’m making my way back to mine. I sabotage myself at the onset so I have an excuse for the failures that only I seem to notice.
I’m on fire and the light that came to me now comes from me and I hoard it because I’m waiting to find the peaks again. I end up camping sideways and losing the words. Light breeds light and keeping my mouth shut is dimming the reciprocation. I get lost in my own head. I stumble around thinking you already know what I want to say. I want it to be clever so I don’t start, and if I start, I don’t finish. I’m writing this from my sideways tent. It’s the middle of the night, the peak is nowhere to be found, but the child of light is writing.
Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light. – John 12:35-36 MSG
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Posted: April 17th, 2015 |
Filed under: life | Tags: faith, freedom, grace, judgment, sin |
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“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.” – Romans 6:6 ESV
We know that our old self….
My old self was a tangled effort. The right numbers never came up when it was my turn to be measured. I would paint inside the lines, whitewash the shadows, and candy coat the rain. My insufficiency wasn’t a question of my devotion. It was just that I was born beneath the surface and thought I had to work harder than everyone else to catch up to zero.
My old self was a flailing, unswaddled infant. An old woman trapped in a body that defied her dignity.
…was crucified with Him…
Love knocked hard enough to get me to shave my legs and buy new perfume, but left with someone else at the end of the night. I was a pawn in everyone else’s chess game. I eventually stopped waiting for the phone to tell me why it stopped ringing.
They conspired against me and planned an elaborate going-away party without telling me where I was going. I thought it was finally my turn. No longer held back, I would be an equal. Legitimate at long last.
I was too far from the shore when I realized someone had removed the lifeboat and the roundtrip ticket was missing the return flight. I put on my life vest as I shoved feelings of betrayal with the sun beneath the horizon and waited for it all to make sense.
I was no closer, nor further from “right” no matter what I did. It took failure to realize that all of the sacrifices I could offer would never be enough. The betrayed became the betrayer. The cheated became the cheater. The pawn pulled up her skirt and walked herself off the chess board.
… in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing,…
I buried my pathetic efforts to be a good girl and haunted my grave long after the grass grew in knobby tufts over it. The old girl died hard. I finally realized that I had to get out of the passenger seat because the driver’s self interest never took my destination into account.
Nobody was left to judge my efforts. Nobody lengthened my hem, counted my buttons, or made sure I matched. Like being reborn into a parallel dimension where the streets are the same, but the road signs are missing. I was reborn into a Kingdom where Sin has been stripped of his heavy crown. I’m invisible in the world where Sin still gets the last word. He stands in his elaborate shoes and raises his gaudy scepter over the fearful masses to demand death and threaten penalty of penance. But he can’t see me. I’m free from his reign.
…so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
The “Do This” and “Don’t Do That” life is a façade to mask the innate ache for wholeness. Sin wants Christ’s Bridezilla so consumed with external décor that faithless effort wreaks through her pores as she walks, unwashed, down the wrong aisle.
The reign of Sin is only an echo down the canyons and corridors, but nothing more. The old self wants to climb the heights, run the distance, and build itself into a tower of righteousness, but something keeps moving the finish line further away. You think you’re building something for yourself, for God. But when you’re motivated by sin-avoidance, you’re a slave building someone else’s empire.
There exists a life where the wasps no longer patrol the streets waiting to sting you when you swerve. Law offices have been abandoned and the uniformed have found other passions. You wait your turn because you want to, not because you’re afraid not to. You stay in your lane because that’s what you would want someone else to do for you.
You’re not afraid of the judgment of someone in the old life because it doesn’t apply to you. You’re not afraid of God judging you because He has already passed it. Your only concern, now, is to figure out what you’ll do with your freedom.
The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.– John 5:22-24 ESV
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