Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Letter to Anyone

Dear man-in-the-suit, to busy to notice all the people around you.  You are noticed.  Maybe not by all the people around us, but there is One.  I wonder if you know Him.  Could you tell me how to continue on?  Could you tell me how His heart is?  Or have you chosen not to notice?  I really don't know, I'm just curious.  I see you talking so passionately to whoever is on the other end of your headset; I wonder if my passion for talking to God looks like that.  Ahhh, is my worship more than just words or the occasional hour or two every week?  Man-in-the-suit, thank you for the perspective you will never know that you gave me.

Dear boy-finding-yourself, you walked in, I almost think you were scared of yourself and everything and everyone around you.  You timidly walked near a table that was a bit away from my chair, your actions speaking largely of insecurity.  I wonder how often the social aspect of school is hard for you.  I bet it's harder than you let on.  I think the lady that came and talked to you is your tutor and again those insecurities surfaced.  It made me wonder why.  I think if I knew you, I'd tell you that you are worth something and that one day you'll probably be that person that other people look up to.  I'd tell you to keep going and not to give up, that life does work itself out.  I'd tell you that Jesus really is the answer to everything.  I should tell you.  But, boy-finding-yourself, I totally understand fear.  So, I will sit here for a moment and simply pray that a man of God will be placed in your life to be your friend.  And, I will remember you, remember you so that I will make a practice of reaching out.

Dear woman-in-the-season-of-unknowns, you inspire me.  You encourage me.  I know you think you have very little connection to your Father at the moment, but you blew me away last night with how you recognized the season you're in.  You recognized the problem, you told me the solution, you acknowledged the tunnel of pain is a process.  Oh my beautiful Sister, this darkness can't stay, the morning will come again; and with it a bright new tomorrow.  A tomorrow filled with new mercies straight from the heavenlies.  Woman-in-the-season-of-unknowns, He's not done.  Your story, your desires, He can and will use them.  You are His Daughter; His grace is enough.

Dear family-pursuing-the-heart-of-God, you are blessed and highly favored.  You are getting to experience the greatness of our God!  No resume of great deeds done, you have only to trust and rely on His Hand to pour into your lives.  Oh, how you intrigue and inspire me with your hearts and your trust in Jesus.  I loved your stories, your words of restoration and freedom, I am blessed to have met more brothers and sisters.  I can't wait to follow your lives and stories and maybe even one day get to take part in a deeper friendship with you.  Family-pursuing-the-heart-of God, the shadows might close in, but the Light in your hearts is the Spirit of God.  I see chains breaking in the wake of you sharing the glory of God with those devastated and broken.  You are His hands and feet.

Dear Me, you know how you worry and wonder?  You know how you try so hard to be perfect?  Guess what?  You can let go of all that, today; and not even just today, but right now.  You know those memories you have of certain reactions you used to have?  You can look and give specific examples right now how there are changes now.  The thing is, those changes didn't happen by you being perfect.  Remember?  It was actually in your imperfection and searching the heart of your Savior that those changes happened.  It was in your brokenness and honesty that you started becoming who you are now.  No, you aren't done.  You never will be.  Will there be days when it feels like you might never get there?  Absolutely.  You are going to get upset, you might even relapse for a second, but Me, I've watched you stumble and get right back up.  You haven't given up, and He hasn't given up on you.  He loves you with that everlasting love that He talks about.  Are you able to grasp that Love deeply in your heart right now?  No, but He wants you to seek Him with your whole heart.  When you do that, you'll find Him.  So, don't give up.  Allow Him to call out the warrior in you.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Soot of Our Souls

Looking deeper into why the light wasn’t shining out of my black and white mosaic candle holder never occurred to me.  But, tonight was different.  A night to relax, burn some candles and just be.  I picked up the holder and for some odd reason decided to pull the candle out from its depths.  Making a mental note to buy a new candle, I stopped, looking in, I noticed that soot had entirely covered most of the top half of the inside of the holder.  I had been wondering why light was only shining out of the bottom half.  I grabbed a tissue and cleaned it, placed the candle back inside and lit it.  My heart was overwhelmed at the parallel that came to mind as the light shone out brightly.  And I had to wonder, is that how my light has been looking to God lately?  It’s how it felt to me.  That my light was dimly shining, so dim that I was wondering if I had His Light, was it all just an act?  And it occurred to me, that deeper look that I had been putting off, the one that I'd actually been longing to take, that one that I was so afraid of because God might bring me pain, that pain that I so feared even though it brings refreshing and newness and growth.  It was time to take a deeper look, to clean off the soot with the cleansing Word of God.  It was time to be refreshed, time to be restored even more.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Isaiah 66:9

And oh, how she wondered how to crawl back.   
She thought back to how she had once relished in His love for her, 
 yet how often she doubted it even this day.  Could He?  
 Would He welcome her?  Could His perfect love be the thing to fight against everything? 
 Moments of memory drifted through her questioning mind.   
That day when she sang in a field, tears pouring,
 trusting His heart because she had nothing else.   
That evening when she walked, heavily leaning in His arms, to a life-changing meeting.   
Those hours, endless hours that broke her heart.  
 But, in those hours how she had gotten to know His voice, knowing His heart. 
 So she sat, mostly motionless, almost numb for wondering.   
Slowly she poured out her thoughts, her heart questioning whether He would hear her plea for mercy.  Would He show up, once again to be her Redeemer? 
 She thought back to those days and evenings 
when she was taught about responsibility and being intentional. 
 Looking back, she saw how distracted she had become…distracted by everything but Him.   
Distracted by that performance she held so dear, 
distracted so blindly that she had only distant memories
 and whispers of His love and acceptance of her. 
 So once again, she allowed Him to pick her up.   
She longed for Him to say something profound, something that would heal the entire ache that instant.  Gently, He turned her around in the direction from which she had been wondering. 
 Gently, He took her hand, and reminded her she would never walk alone.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Knowing Him More

First post of the new year.  I’ve had to sit back and wonder what all it will bring for this new year.  More pain?  More joy?  More everything.  Maybe even more nothing.  But, always, always, more of the grace of God.  More of getting to know Jesus better.  More of reaching deep, digging into His heart, His word.  More of choosing to breathe in the knowledge and truth of His presence in moments when we can barely go on. 
And this Man of men.  He asks me to trust Him.  With everything.  All the broken bits that I’m not sure are fixable.  All the messy parts that get so muddied from sin.  Every last joy, every last pain.  He asks me to trust Him.  He asks me to let Him carry it.  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)  Rest.  There are days when I wonder if that rest is attainable and gently He brings me precious memories of His rest.  Rest that made me so fearless and courageous.  Rest that shattered fears of all kinds.  Rest that simply let me be me in Him.  Rest that didn’t make me strive for things.  Rest that gave me life.  With rest comes trust.  And with trust comes rest.  And as I reread the verses just above, my mind caught on the phrase “I am gentle and lowly in heart.”  Would that this next year in this journey I now know of as life, that in my treasure hunt to find His glory that He would instill that phrase into my heart.  That He would become even more the essence that makes me breathe.