Chasing Joy

"I am guiding you on the way of wisdom and I am leading you on the right path." Proverbs 4:11

Category: Life (page 1 of 2)

pathways

i’ve heard it said; “obedience is the pathway to blessing.”

“blessing” is a tired word, as my children’s 4th grade english teacher would describe it;  “a word that has become so overused, it’s lost it’s meaning.  it is tired.  it needs a rest.  we need to find alternative words to use, so that our audience will actually know what we are trying to say. “

i do believe obedience is a pathway, just to something else.

over the years, He’s reveled to me all the ways my obedience has been a pathway to knowing:

knowing the nearness of a Savior whose love does not fail.
knowing the help of a Shepherd who gently leads those with young.
knowing the grip of a Father who never lets go.
knowing the comfort of a Creator whose knowlege knows no bounds.
knowing the safety of a King whose throne is approachable.
knowing the rest of a Spirit who guides.

He’s been inviting me deeper now, the pathway is opening in a way.

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i want to see.

full of doubt much of the time these days, i have been asking my Shepherd to open my eyes, that i might see Him.  it’s a different plea than to know Him.

i want to see miracles
i want to see a generation finally waking up inside *
i want to see evidence of God’s grace**
i want to see the Spirit moving, creating revival
in my church, in my community, in my world
but mostly in my home.

~~~

and He whispers;  return to Isaiah, and remember.
and then continue on in obedience, regardless of what outcomes you immediately see
you will know Me there, yes, but you will also see Me there.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn darkness into light before them
and make rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.

….

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of His servant?
Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

////

 i want to feel.

in my reading of the work of the Spirit, i long for the evidence of His work to be felt in my innerman, enabling my obedience when afraid, unsure.  continually, i cry out; “i believe you Lord, help me overcome my unbelief.”  i think what i’m really saying is; “i want to feel You.”

i want that peace that passes understanding; that comes from complete trust in a Father who holds my tender heart in His hands. regardless of the outcome of being misunderstood.  of being rejected. of something painful.

i want that hope that anchors; assuring that my obedience isn’t a waste,  accomplishing nothing, isn’t too tainted by my doubts and unbeliefs to really count.

i want that  joy that cannot be taken; that exists right alongside every other emotion that lingers while traversing this earth. that gives endurance, even anticipation of what a mighty God can do when powerless and weak vessels avail themselves to His call.

~~~

and He whispers: come to Me and find rest.
and then continue on in obedience, regardless of what the outcomes cause you to immediately feel.
you will know Me there, yes, and you will see Me, but you will also experience Me.

Come unto Me all who are weary and heavy laden.
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon thee and and learn from Me
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls

…..

The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.

///

He gives sight to the blind, i am convinced of that….in general.
He gives joy that cannot be taken.  i am conviced of that too….in general.
He makes Himself known, to unworthy followers.  again, i am convinced.
but it gets personal, the convincing.   appropriated, i am learning,
through my obedience.


to draw further up and further in:   *Switchfoot where i belong;  **Acts 11 esp verse 23
Mark 8; Isaiah 30: 15-18; 41:16-17; 50:10-11, Matthew 11; Isaiah 58

 

hope for the hopeless

dener rescue mission

about an hours drive from here there is a place that offers hope and healing for those facing homelessness and addiction.  their newsletters remind me of the possibility, remind me that Jesus Saves.  i need to be reminded….often.

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in the morning light the sky is grey and cloudy, my little city full of contrasts.  the deep red of the train car and the yellow lights of the mini school bus stand against the snow that has become grey and black.  the colors of the houses seem muted with the grey empty trees that tower above them.  but as i drive further out towards my son’s middle school i get a glimpse of the mountains.  those mountains have ministered to my heavy heart before and today is no different.  the entire mountain is shadowed and deep blue…but the snow-capped peaks are glowing.  somehow the sun is breaking through the clouds just enough to shine on those peaks.  my son’s school is only 2 miles from our house which sits right in the middle of town,  yet from that vantage point 2 miles out i can see those sun kissed peaks.

my heart is heavy today over someone i have grown to love caught in the web of addiction and homelessness.  the small hope from last night has been crushed under the weight of the phone call this morning.  getting a glimpse of those peaks as my son and i wait our turn in the drop off line causes me to catch my breath and  i quickly call out ‘l love you, have a good day’ as the tears begin their release.  half of me has been listening and engaged as i make the pb&j and get my kids out the door, the other half has been in the depths of prayers reminding myself and my God of His sole Ability and Power.

but truth be told, my heart is full of doubts and hopelessness.  i begin to listen to the wondering if Jesus is able to save, if He is able to rescue, if hope is even possible?  as i drive back home, those peaks begin to be hidden behind the tall ancient trees,  i catch glimpses of them only because i now know to look.  but by the time i reach home, they are completely hidden from my view.  This world is grey and dark, shadows of addiction and sin and a myriad of problems we all know so well hover.  but somewhere the Sun is shining on the mountain peaks.  whether i can see it or not.

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.

Because of His great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.


 

to draw further in:  Isaiah 40:26; Romans 7:21-8:39; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 12:10-11; all the ‘To Him who is Able…” verses.

 

dominoes

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they line them up oh so carefully, pleading with everyone near to “please don’t stomp and keep the dog out!”  if they can keep their hands steady, the dominoes snake around and about for a long long way.  if it all goes according to plan, one tap on the first tile will bring about delight and wonder.  if not, well, they re-position and try again.

my boys love this activity.  so much so, one boy bought the other boy a complete set dedicated to just such purposes.  no number dots on these ones, just wooden rectangles that can be stacked and wound around for hours on end.

~~~~~~~///~~~~~~~

obedience is like dominoes i think…..except i don’t really believe it.  at least when it comes to me and especially the things that are hard to obey.  i behave based on what makes sense to me, the problem is the places where my thinking is off.  the places i’ve concluded don’t matter, except that they actually do.

remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in…the face of suffering.  do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded.  you need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised…we are not of those who shrink back.

i’m talking about all the things.  doing the dishes types of things mostly.  the lie is it doesn’t matter, the truth is it does.  it matters if i show up vulnerable and authentic to a conversation, it matters if i take a deep breath and pray and then pursue my child i just wounded…or my child who just wounded me.  it matters if i do the dishes…or don’t depending on the need of the moment.  and it matters if i follow my Shepherd into the places He’s calling me.

the tiles -they are strategically placed and tap-taping along. removing myself from the path brings the whole thing to a halt along with the reward of delight and wonder.

i believe You Lord, help me overcome my unbelief!


to draw further in:  Hebrews 10, quoted above vs. 32-39;  Mark 9:14-24; Hebrews 12

 

life | the days of the small things

feet in snow

i once tried to explain snow to a little dark skinned girl living on the equator.  in that moment i wished my college creative writing teacher had given me that impossible task of searching out words that could adequately explain snow to a child who had no reference point to comprehend it.  ‘a snow man is a man who brings the snow?  or sells the snow?  or takes the snow away?’  ‘cold like ice, but fluffy like cotton?’  giggle giggle giggle; she looked at me with those laughing eyes.  how i wanted to just scoop her up and bring her somewhere that she could experience the wonder of snow.  then, and only then would she really understand and would my words make sense.

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two boys whose houses are only a blocks apart sit at their desks on a random crisp-air filled day.  they are to be writing away about what they experienced over their break from school.  one is writing away, the other… not so much.  the writing one happens to belong to me and i know all about what his words are describing.  i was there when his eyes beheld the wonder of a new place traversed and his heart drank deep the joy of long days of freedom at home with no place to go.

‘experienced on my break?  go somewhere?  something to write? i got suspended from the boys and girls club for punching a 6 year old in the face.’  his feet shuffle and he stares at me with those angry empty eyes.  my words are inadequate to describe the wonder of the big world that exists around him.  he’s no reference point to comprehend it. how i longed to scoop him up and bring him somewhere where he could experience joy and wonder and freedom.

joy for the one boy and grief for the other flood my soul and i’m unable to tame it.  longing for relief, i dream of something to DO.  some program, some ministry, some big agenda to fix this.

Who despises the day of small things?

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i do.

i discount what i’m already doing.  fully aware in the ocean of need all i’ve got to offer is such a small droplet, and i despise it.

as i focus on the inadequacy of my words to describe snow, i lose sight of the fact that there is a little girl on the equator who’s heard there is something in this world called snow.  as i focus on the inadequacy of my words and time to describe and reveal life, i lose sight of the fact that there is a little boy in the 4th grade who’s encountered something other, something different than the broken places, noisy screens, and chaos his world encompasses.

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when i despise the day of small things, i deny the God of might and power.  i forget the Spirit of the LORD Almighty, the Author of space and time* who has the capacity of full comprehension and infinite power.  i expect little, instead of trusting Him to accomplish much.**  i daydream of bigger impacts, new programs, ministries to the children at my neighborhood school that could accomplish so much more than my weekly hour or two of help with their math and my own boy’s friendship.   i dream of making a difference, instead of giving careful thought to the reality of the difference being made by the Captain of my days.

‘Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work.’  For I am with you,’ declares the LORD Almighty…. ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

-haggai 2:4, zechariah 4:6

my words and work are inadequate in and of themselves.  but in the hands of this LORD Almighty?

He brings forth Life

 

 

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.


*JJ Heller from the song Fully Known  **a reverse of the thought in Haggai 1:9

to draw further in:  the book of Haggai and Zechariah, especially Zechariah 4 and Revelation 5.  my cross references connected Zechariah 4:10 with Revelation 5:6.  i don’t claim to comprehend the complexities of these chapters, but i did find them to speak to me on the smallness of a man named zerubbabel, and a people living long ago, coupled with the mighty and mysterious plan of the God of the universe.

 

life | down paths i fear to see

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I said, “Let me walk in the field.”
God said, “No, walk in the town.”
I said, “There are no flowers there.”
He said, “No flowers, but a crown.”

I said, “But the sky is black,
There is nothing but noise and din.”
He wept as He sent me back,
“There is more,” He said, “there is sin.”

I pleaded for time to be given.
He said, “Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in heaven
to have followed the steps of your Guide.”

I cast one look at the field,
Then set my face to the town.
He said, “My child do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for a crown?”

Then into His hand went mine,
and into my heart came He.
Now i walk with a light Divine,
The path i had feared to see.

-What Christ Said by George MacDonald. 
find the complete poem here

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ten years ago i found myself in the middle of packing boxes preparing to move into the tiniest house ever right smack dab in the middle of town instead of the dreamed and worked towards log cabin in the mountains.  i remember clearly hearing the Lord’s whisper; “I am answering your prayers”  It made no sense at the time for it felt like He was answering my prayers with a big fat NO! still i pondered His whisper in my heart and watched and waited.  now, these 10 years later, i can see it.  how my deep heart longings and desires for my children and family were answered with a big YES! via a path i would never have known to choose.

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the children have grown from toddlers to teens, yet following my Guide down paths i fear to see has remained a consistant theme for me.  what i’m beginning to grasp is that these are becoming the very places where He does His best heart work.  where He grows us and heals us and frees us.  these paths are often neither easy nor comfortable, and at times i’m being led straight into the valley of sorrow unable to comprehend the rivers of joy that await me on the other side.

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recently i found myself praying during the long dark hours of the night.  unable to sleep with an ache that can only be quieted by the One who knows, i walked circles in the floor and laid my heart bare before my faithful and wise God.  daylight came and life continued on as it does, but there was a settling and a watching and a waiting on my capable Father.  doors appeared and decisions were made completely unrelated to my late night longings….or so i thought.  as far as the eye could see there was no connection between the ordinary goings about in that day and the restless wrestling of the night before.

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but the One who governs the sun, moon and stars-He knew.  and today i find myself completely amazed at the way He orchestrated such a perfect answer to those prayers that night.  i’m in awe at the ways He is responding to the desires and secret petitions of my heart.  here again it is on a path where i have said-out loud to other people-that i would not walk.  a path i said wasn’t a good fit for our family.  today-this particular path-is precisely what our family needed.

what if the thing we think we need will actually prevent our true longings from being fulfilled?  what if the things we think will ruin everything will actually give us life?

could it be that some of the places we run away from are the very places that hold the deepest treasures, deepest freedoms, deepest joys?

 

He’s teaching me to go where He says go, when He says to –not because i understand, or even expect anything but more pain or frustration, or even have any notion of the connection between the latest command and prayer of my heart –no, i go because my Guide can be trusted where He leads, because He is for me, and He knows better how to fulfill my heart longings than my small brain can comprehend.

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where is it for you?  is there somewhere you are running away from, turning back because what is ahead is a valley of sorrow and you are afraid? confused?  take heart!  there is a whole cloud of witnesses cheering you on.  david was afraid too as he trusted in his God.  Abe was confused too when he reasoned that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead.  and dear ol’ Paul, through learning, was persuaded that this One he knew and believed was able to keep that which he had committed to Him.  and then there is JJ Heller….

He is able.  i know Whom i have believed.  i will trust.

 

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.


to draw further in

Psalm 37;  2 Timothy 1:12, Genesis 22:5; Hebrews 11:19

life | running

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the alarm goes off in the dark of summer.  the inability to quit on my girl is stronger than the mighty ability to quit on myself, so i get up and rouse her out of her slumber.  we push it to the very edge, she and i, giving ourselves first 20, then 10, and then 5 minutes to get ready. yes, 5 minutes will be enough, our sleep hungry bodies think.  this is the logic of one whose natural body rhythm does not include mornings.  so we run late and we don’t comb our hair, but we show up.  she has a swimming class.  and i will run.

my health is not where i want it to be.  and i am a simple minded person, not one to cook complicated food or start complicated plans.  i know two things that need addressing, an addiction to sugar and a lack of exercise.  there are more, but two things are enough to focus on for the time being.  so for the sugar addiction I’ve replaced my daily chai tea lattes with just tea and for the exercise, i’m running.

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i want to quit.  i really do.  mightily when the alarm goes off yes, but even still after my girl has sauntered off to class. i rationalize other things to do during this hour, maybe stay in the car and read, or go sit next to the other moms by the pool and get to know them-that would be neighborly and right wouldn’t it?  no, that still small voice replies,

run.

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I’m Brennan.  I’m an alcoholic.
How I got there, why I left there, why I went back, is the story of my life.
But it is not the whole story.

I’m Brennan.  I was a priest, but am no longer a priest.  I was a married man but am no longer a married man.
How I got to those places, why I left those places, is the story of my life too.
But it is not the whole story.

I’m Brennan.  I’m a sinner saved by grace.
That is the larger and more important story.
Only God, in His fury, knows the whole of it.

-Brennan Manning from The Furious Longing of God

there is a storm swirling around inside, dark clouds looming thick and strong.

and when i run it rises up from those deep places within and spills forth into view and i see it.  like Brennan, this is not my whole story, only one part of many other parts that make up the whole of me.  but it is an important part to look at and sit with.  today, however, i resisted for 30 minutes.  i just sat in the car and kept the storm just below the surface, glancing at it a little, forming words around it a little, only a little.  but the One who always wins had His way.  knowing the invitation for what it was, i opened the door and got out of the car.

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too often i think satan is winning.  too often it feels like he is winning.

he is not winning.

he does not win.

O LORD, the king rejoices in Your strength.
How great is his joy in the victories You give.

-psalm 21

i am no king, but i too rejoice in the victories He gives.

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today as my feet hit the pavement the tears flowed freely.  out here on these public streets we wrestle, He and i, deep calling to deep, mining for the treasures He’s promised in the dark places.

personal words with real and deep laments brought before me to hold in my hands and look at from all directions. invited to know that He is the Lord, the God of Israel who summons me by name.

i have no hope for change or remedy or relief.  these are the places the fight has gone, He knows this.

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but i am still running.

and there is hope in that.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.


to draw further in:  Psalm 21:1 and Isaiah 45:3

 

life | in anguish

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God does not keep a man immune from trouble; He says -“I will be with him in trouble.” It does not matter what actual troubles in the most extreme form get hold of a man’s life, not one of them can separate him from his relationship to God.  We are “more than conquerors in all these things.”  Paul is not talking of imaginary things, but of things that are desperately actual; and he says we are super-victors in the midst of them, not by our ingenuity, or by our courage, or by anything other than the fact that not one of them affects our relationship to God in Jesus Christ.  Rightly or wrongly, we are where we are, exactly in the condition we are in.

“Shall tribulation…..?” Let tribulation be what it may-exhausting, galling, it is not able to separate us from the love of God.  Never let cares or tribulations separate you from the fact that God loves you.

“Shall anguish….?” -can God’s love hold when everything says that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?

“Shall famine….?” -can we not only believe in the love of God but be more than conquerors, even while we are being starved?

Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver and Paul is deluded, or some extraordinary thing happens to a man who holds on to the love of God when the odds are against God’s character.  Logic is silenced in the face of every one of these things.  Only one thing can account for it-the love of God in Christ.

“Out of the wreck I rise” every time.

-Oswald Chambers

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.


 

to draw further in; Romans 8

life | dreaming

 

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my boys, they talk of firemen and joining the army and playing baseball for lots of money.  my girl, at the wise old age of 2, announced she wanted to be a garbage man when she grew up.  “cause then i can make all the children of the neighborhood happy.”  fully believing that every child enjoyed watching that garbage truck come and pick up the trash in its especially interesting way.

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she glowed with excitement as an eight year old girl, when she described what she dreamed of becoming when all grown and out on her own.

and i did what any mother of an eight year old does.  shared her delight and encouraged her in her dream.  not because i thought she knew anymore than that 2 year old aspiring garbage collector knew.

i delighted in her dream because i delighted in her.

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here we are, this grown taller than me fifteen year old and i, and that eight-year old dream still resides in her heart.  she’s more passionate now and carries more wisdom than her eight-year old self.  she’s experienced more of life and more of joy and more of sorrow.  the dream has taken the shape of a calling, a calling from the One who knit her together and mapped out her course.  and the invitation has come to this mother to watch out for the opportunities to spur her on into who she is.

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those watching seem to find themselves perplexed and needing to form conclusions.  we visited a campus this past weekend, you see, and i’ve heard so many declarations of; “wow, you are on top of things” as if we held some superpower they lacked.  or; “a campus visit as a sophomore?  why didn’t you wait?” as if we lacked some wisdom they held.

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the truth is i don’t know what i’m doing, mothering these kids.  what i do know is that the One who knits together and gives desires is holding their future in His hands.  and He’s entrusted me with walking alongside them as they journey into who He is making them to be.  and He’s been teaching me about becoming.  about becoming more fully myself.  about listening to the desires of my heart and unpacking them in His presence.  and as He’s gifted me with encouragers along my way, i have drunk deep from refreshing springs when the journey feels foolish and stupid and wasteful.  so why would i offer my daughter something else?

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i have no idea how we ended up far from home in an airplane hanger listening to all it takes to become a missionary pilot.  i don’t recall how we learned of this school.  or why, when the postcard came inviting us to Experience Spokane!, we took notice and decided to go.  this wasn’t a well-thought out plan.  i’d like to think that this is the movement of that Spirit who hovered over the waters and brought forth light.  that the One who called to Abram to leave and go to the place He would show him, calls forth Abraham’s children to follow step by step still.  that maybe He who breathed the starry host into existence, can enable an absent minded mother to tune into the symphony He is forming within her daughter….. His daughter.  i have lived long enough to know that it is entirely possible that this movement towards flight school may or may not produce a missionary pilot at its end. regardless, any movement towards the direction of the Spirit contains its own promised end….

…the eyes of your heart enlightened
in order that you may know the hope
to which He has called you,
the riches
of His glorious inheritance in the saints,
and His incomparably great power
for us who believe.

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maybe, just maybe, a dream is an invitation from the One who gathers the waters of the sea into jars.  “Take Courage,” He says; “it is I, don’t be afraid.”

step into your dream, my child, and live

 

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.


to draw further in: Ephesians 1; Psalm 33; Genesis 1, 12

1st – 4th and 6th photos taken by Hannah, 5th and 7th by me on our recent trip to Spokane, WA

 

life | when you’ve really screwed up

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he took something that didn’t belong to him.  when caught he lied.  when sent to the principle’s office he got scared and confused and went back to class instead.  i discover this last bit on the way home and turn the car around and walk beside him as he reluctantly faces things.

this 12 year old is having a very bad day.

this mother of a 12 year old is having a very bad day too.

the problem is that the thing he took is lost.  somewhere in his room.  so he’s tasked with cleaning, looking as he goes.  after dinner i decide to join the hunt, only to discover how my boys have been cleaning their room.  you know, grab a handful of stuff and shove it under or behind or i know, these dirty socks and odds and ends will disappear nicely into this empty Lego box.

now there are 2 boys having a very bad day and one mom who needs a time out.

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while the boys clean their room like they’ve never cleaned before, i pray the prayer that never fails.

Jesus, i need help.

He leads me beside still waters and i sit with His words and let them soak and settle in.

gathering the boys to my side we kneel to pray- the thing we should’ve done in the first place-regarding the lost toy.

the first offender begins, and i hear the words he’s been telling himself all day.

he wants to be a better person.  he wants to be responsible.  he wants to think before he acts.  he wants to want to return to school instead of dread it.

underneath those words i hear the self-loathing that i know full well.

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i move toward him, i cup his head in my hands and look straight into his red puffy eyes. he tries to look away.

“son, look at me.”

our eyes lock

“you are my son and I love you.  this does not change that.”

he melts into a puddle of sobs

i rub his back and speak the words that give life.

words of Jesus seeing over the span of time to that day last week when this all began.

words of His deep love.

words of the cross.

words of a standing that is secure.

“you are His son and He loves you.  this does not change that.”

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 yes, the wages of sin is death.  oh don’t we all know it?  haven’t we all felt it?  especially when we’ve screwed up?  screw-ups of the 12 year old sort and screw-ups of the beenwalkingwithJesusalongtimeandknowbetter sort.  the weight of the death feels heavy on the chest.

and we want to be better, more responsible, think before we act.

and it’s easy to slip from real sorrow and repentance down down down into the self-loathing.

that’s a sorrow that leads to more death.

there is another way.  a locking of red-puffy eyes with the eyes of a Father who knows it all.

and breathing in His words….

you are my child and I love you.  this failure cannot change that.

….His words that bring the dead to life.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.


to draw further in, Isaiah 53, Psalm 32, Romans 6-8

 

 

life | through grief

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Three days of mourning have been declared in Haiti after a power line fell on to a carnival float in the capital, Port au Prince.

-bbc news

Moses was 120 years old when he died… The People of Israel wept for Moses in the Plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.

-Deuteronomy 34

OSO, Wash. — Washington residents paused Saturday to observe a statewide moment of silence at 10:37 a.m., exactly a week after a devastating mudslide tore through this rural mountain town.

-LA Times

I remember when i first read of Haiti’s 3 days of mourning in the aftermath of the carnival tragedy.  not only did they cancel the last day of the event, but 3 whole days of mourning?!  i wondered what that must look like.  businesses closed, schools closed, families gathering together talking about it, openly weeping? i only imagine-not having ever experienced such community grieving.  i read of how Israel mourned for 30 days when Moses died. 30 whole days until the days of weeping came to an end.  wow.  this contrasted against how we do it in the States.  we pause for moments.  and they are moments of silence.  that feels like a slight acknowledgement and then back to work and moving along as ‘normal’.  i have felt the shock of that.  in the face of deep personal loss, i can recall being perplexed by the moving about of others-folks who know nothing of the loss i’ve experienced-doing normal things like getting groceries and picking up their kids from school.  i know in my head; “of course they are, why wouldn’t they be?” while my grieving heart can’t figure out how to make one foot move in front of the other and my grieving mind can not be trusted to work the stove.

our bodies are made to feel.  and some feelings need time.  life follows death, healing follows brokenness, rivers of joy follow valleys of sorrow.

i learned as a child that pain and grief were not to be felt.  count backwards from 10, breathe deep, but by all means, don’t cry.

it takes courage to feel.  i come from a family of wimps.  i mean no offence by that, we wanted to be strong, it’s just that the understanding of what real strength is got mixed up somewhere along the way.  and so i grew up stoic, priding myself on my lack of tears and pretend indifference.  but the color of my world grew more and more gray.  and my heart shriveled.

Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right And redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”

-Isaiah 35:3-4

This One who wept and groaned loudly, He did come.  and He taught me how to grieve.  and through grieving all the losses past, and continuing to grieve losses big and small as they come, color has returned to my world.  and my heart has opened…

…and i have come to life.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.

a series exploring the concept of life- what it is and what it means to have it.


All photos except for the first one taken by Hannah Lucas

To draw futher in:  John 11, 16:20-22; Hebrews 5:7; Ecc 3; Deuteronomy 34

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