Monday, February 24, 2014

No such thing as dueling crosses

We do not have dueling crosses
And it is not flame against fire
We both fall before the Lord
And are branded for eternity above
We fight for what's already ours
Because we cannot fathom such a prize
I hurt because I hoard the prize
Denying that the portion is also yours
I don't know how to believe humility 
When "humility" slapped me in the face
I don't know how to piece a puzzle
With two different shapes
The cut in my heart
Is not a scratch
It requires healing from an everlasting Love
Let me be
To grieve my last grief
To shed my last tear
To wail of my last sorrow
To express my final anger
To fell my finite shame
To blot out my fear
Let me be.
Then we can walk the frontier together

We do not have dueling crosses
Because we share the same
And they fell at the same time
Because we also share the same
We shout,
You are the Christ. 
And he came to us both.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Graceless Days

It's been one of those largely reflective days where you sit in bed with a strange bitterness lodged in your throat. Bitterness birthed from haunting questions, and injustice, and fear, and doubt, and loneliness.

I have come to call these days my graceless days.

These are the days when I'm just sick of feeling stuck while watching the lives around me take shape into something stable. It's the days that an endless loop of all the ways I have felt wronged runs on repeat in my head. It's my moments of entitlement, of self loathing, of defeat. My selfish beliefs that I deserve better than I have been given. When the growing pains seem too much to bear.

I'm thankful for the Holy Spirit on these days. To painfully remind me of the rubbish I am believing and to challenge me to step out of my apathy and feed myself something hearty.

Truth. And the truth is that I deserve what is fair for the sinful way I live my life. I deserve death and abandonment. I have been given life and adoption. And this life is rich. It is hard, yes, but oh, so richly seasoned with abundant blessings, joys, and sorrows.

So on days like these I'm thankful that I can cry out and be heard by my God.

Because there is abundant grace-- even on my graceless days.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Monsters and Men

I covered me with you.
I hid in your bright places
            your funny spaces
            your anxiety cubicles
            your opinion pools.
I ran with you
   yet I was paused inside.
I didn’t churn
   nor speak, nor shift
      nor keep my insides fully in.
They seeped, they crept,
            they pushed themselves in
a corner in the hollow of my heart.
I trashed the treasure inside
  for pauper parts.
And though I was poor
   I sprinkled what food I had on the floor.
And the me that was me
            was now a monster, so it seemed.
I am not a monster,
            I whispered, but your fears and mine
   slipped like ghostly fingers into
                        our ears
and shouted otherwise.
And I was left
knees boring into the hard cold floor of truth.
At least truth was what it seemed.
And the monster dragged me
  like the dead and showed me off
as dark victory would have it.

I am not covered.

But you are.

And I was naked.

And you were clothed.

And I was hungry.

And you were satisfied.

And my eyes stung with
    sadness, with hatred
  with the smell of rotten flesh
  where my heels had burned
from my monster dragging me.
I had not love.
And I stared into the Son
            and I could not see love.
I said, Leave me. Leave me here to die. For
            my insides to cease, for my soul to
I pushed the seeds into the ground
            believing that they could not grow.
  Yet someone came and watered them
And the sprout spurt pain across the dirt
         to make its stand in the world
   that could swallow it whole.
  But it did not swallow
  but the world wallowed at
        a plant that dared face the vastness
     of earth.
  And the seeds were me, truly.
And I could not water except with
       salted drips from my weeping eyes.
But the purest of pure water
flowed over me like, crisp, clean breath
And said, Live.
     And I Lived. Sometimes I
scratch at the dirt.
Sometimes I stay low for fear
    that anxious men and crippling monsters
will rip me out.

But He said, See me here.
   And this time I looked into
          the Son and I saw
I reached for the nail.
It looked painful.
   And he curled his fingers over
      mine and He said, No.
    That nail, that monster, is mine.
   And he said, Look down at your
            And I looked.
It was the cross engraven on my palms.
   He said, Put your hands before you,
And I did.
  And Love stood before me.
     And the fearful men,
     The monster, driven into me,


like rain out of the clouds. 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Wreckless Wild

I grabbed the cup and tipped it over in my mouth. Hoping for a last droplet of water at the bottom. As if the mere molecules would restore me. 
I watched that town disappear yesterday and I'd give anything to have the power to have stopped it from sinking. 
I sat at the edge of the cliff with the dirt crumbling under me, with a swirl of tears and dirt on my face, with a twisted look of pain on my face, watching that town sink. In other parts of the world they just call it "another town" gone. But each one I watch, hurts more than the last. It's not just people who are lost, but memories, communities, smiles and trials that have been dug deep into the crust of the Earth. You can never get those back. You can't pack them away and hide them from a dying Earth. 
No one knows but me which place will sink next. It's a gift of a curse to know the end. And I tell no one (not even myself). I bury the prompting deep into the chambers of my heart only for them to be pumped out, for the blood to rush into my head and scream to me the location until I accept it. 
I can't tell anyone. I can't save them. Before it happens I grow mute and weak, like the energy of the Earth and I are connected. When it starts to drain, I drain and I can only watch with tears. 

We are at the beginning of the Wreckless Wild and I am scared to know what becomes of us, what becomes of this world. When the Earth is watered with the planted dead, what will sprout from the ground? I know the Earth will mourn, will growl at the stench of death at its core. Who will tame the Earth? Who will tame us who grow delirious with worry, who fear our inevitable ends? 

What will happen when I have the prompting and I have nowhere to go but in the angry bowels of the Belly? 


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Better Things

I'm heavy with the weight of myself

Dusty with my own sin and unbelief.

I'm steadfast in my pursuit of lonely things

An enemy

Of the light that You so tenderly harvested in me.

I shrug You off--

And put on me.

I let the pain grow strong,

And nurse the tears till they grow bitter.

There in the bleakness of my sorrow,

I wail and weep—
Lamenting over the silent heartbeats

Of my stillborn dreams.

"Why?" I scream in anguish.

Waiting. Impatiently.

With palms marked

By your steadfast pursuit of broken things

You allure me-
Keep me close until the tremblings cease,

And let your Life overflow 
Into me.

"Because, Beloved, I am teaching you to long for better things."

And there-beside my muted dreams




Saturday, February 1, 2014

Looking back 1 year ago

I'm sharing this post from one of my other blogs that I wrote about a year ago. It was a very difficult time in my life but even when my heart hurt so much, it's neat to see how God resonates through my soul and tells me the truth. Something that was so hard to believe back then is a refreshing glass of water to me now. I hope you find your worth in Jesus through these words. 

We'll call this a little update from the last post. There have been some ups and downs since last time. One thing God graciously reminded me of was that although my despair and my pain came from within myself and the idols within my heart, he sees that pain and still called his Son to die for me. The Son didn't die because sin was his fault. Even though it was my own bringing, he still calls me my child. What greater love is that? For God in the flesh to take the pain of those who caused the pain? I couldn't ask for a better Savior.

I realized I was selfish. Yes, I already knew that but he hit me over the head with it this past Sunday. The depth of my sinfulness was obscured by the pain I felt and the pain I felt was just a mask for my selfishness and pride. I realize that beauty, approval, desirability, man--cannot bring me happiness and so I ask for something more, something more cosmically satisfying than that. God says, Look, here's my sacrifice, here's my Son. And I say, That's not enough! Heal me, now. Give me something more than you. It's not enough for my longing and lonely soul. And God says I approve of you because of my Son. And I say, that's not enough! Can't you approve of me because of me? Can't you desire me because of me? Heck, can you make someone on this earth to see my worth? It's not enough that you're in heaven. I need something tangible to believe. It hurts to much and I'm weary of telling myself that you see me and love me.

But here's the deal. God made a covenant, a promise, and he cannot break it. My name is graven on his hands and he will pursue me and he always wins. When I decide I want to give up, he doesn't. He calls me by name to his side. And he graciously reminds me that yes, He, the God who made everything, is enough. He reminds me in silly ways like in the movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Lucy, doubts her worth. She wants to be beautiful and desirable like her older sister and she is close to choosing what is evil in the world to try to fill that hole. Yet, Aslan comes to her and says to her that she "doubts her worth". And God told me the same thing at that moment. Who better to tell me than God himself that I'm worthy?
And yes, I was the one who scoffed at the cross. Yet,  Jesus said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." And if he didn't come to me first, I would have never sought him out. I can't cry "Abba, Father" without him saying, "God, forgive them". And right now and I cry "Abba, Father!" Thank God for that!
He reminds me that he is that thing that I need to fill me up. That there is no one greater than him who can see the depths of my soul and love me this completely.

This is the Truth that resonates in my heart today:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:6-11