Friday, January 29, 2010

Beautiful Darkness

My friend Erin wrote this beautiful post. After reading it, I knew there was a song there. With her permission, I put her thoughts to music. I pray she is blessed and that she knows it was a blessing for me to soak in this beautiful darkness as well.

Beautiful Darkness | Music Upload

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In the Deep End

You know me... I'm all about the deep end. The shallow end - it's a little boring, hard to swim, if you dive in you crack your nose on the bottom. No thanks... I'll stay out here, where the water bouys me up.

Relationally, I tend to stay in the deep end as well and I love to try and draw people into these depths with me. It doesn't always work though and sometimes I have to come in a little (or a lot).

But what about spiritually? How deep do I go? How much control do I give over to those waters?

Ezekiel 47:3-9
"As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measureed off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to my waist. He measured another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in - a river that no one could cross...He said to me, 'This water flows toward the eastern region...When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows."

In the shallow end, we control our movements. Our feet touch and we can cross from onw side to other without a problem. We can stand and hold our ground against the current of the river. We feel safe. We think to ourselves "I'm in the river - that's what really matters." But does it?

Will you stop at ankle deep waters and set your fishing pole up there? How about knee-deep? Is that plenty far enough?

I want to be in the place where the river is too deep to cross on my own two legs. Where standing on the shore is no fun. To be buoyed up completely by God and allow the current of this river to take me where it wills. To be emptied out into the Sea and bring fresh water with me.

Maybe you have a sea of something in your life that is a bit salty or stagnant. Do you want to bring fresh life to it?

Don't settle for ankle deep waters. Let's splash around in the deep end.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Do we really understand?

"Whereas the truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars." - Flaubert

So how many time did you have to read that to make sense of it?

Even before I really understood what he was getting at, the words stirred something in my soul. Which is exactly the point.

Scientifically speaking our brain converts images, emotions and thoughts into chemicals which we must then translate into the limits of our language. Is is even possible that something doesn't get lost in translation? Even more so when another takes your words and they go through the reverse process.

On top of all that, we filter and file things through our own experiences because those are what is stored in the reference catalogs of our minds. We can never experience the exact same thing as someone else. I never saw this more clearly illustrated than when I began interviewing my friends about our trip to Africa. We were all present for the same events, heard the same stories, and worked the same projects but each person told me a different story of their experience. It was a beautiful kaleidescope of life.

Sometimes this lack of understanding can be frustrating. We need each other. We all have a desire to share our true selves with another. We struggle to make them understand and to reveal ourselves to them. We are limited and thus left always with a sense of not being completely known. We tap out the rhythms we know over and over again.

I have found such freedom in knowing I can never be truly understood by another. Freedom to stop trying so hard and freedom from expecting the other person to "get it." I think God designed it that way- only He can ever "get" every part of you. He created it. He knows he put this piece with that one.. oh and that orange thing he connected to the elbow shaped one.

That doesn't mean I should stop trying to put my thoughts and feelings into words. To stop revealing myself. No, it only means I cannot control the interpretation.

As we all keep tapping out our rhythms... He puts it all together as music that really can melt the stars.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Faith Don't Fail Me

As mentioned before, I often come across a song that fits my present life so perfectly. Without further ado - my new theme song.

Faith Don't Fail

Why’s it gotta be so tough
I’ve yet to learn a thing about love
After all that we’ve been through
I still don’t know how to love you
Know how to love you.

I just wanna get this out
I wish I didn’t know what I know
These memories won’t let me go

It’s what keeps me in
It’s what locks me out
Oh faith don’t fail me now

It’s not your fault (it’s all my fault)
This wayward heart was bound to get caught
Red-handed and ashamed
I let myself get burned by another flame.

I just wanna get this out
I wish I didn’t know what I know
These memories won’t let me go
It’s what keeps me in
It’s what locks me out
Oh faith won’t fail me now

What can I say for this body now
While I waste away?
Let me out
I may fall apart
But even if I do
You’re faithful aren’t You?
(by Joy Whitlock)

* I know I have been less proflic here these last few weeks. Enjoy the quiet while you can. I'll be back in crazy full-force soon. In the meantime - find yourself a theme song and share it in the comments*

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Morning After

I was going to delete last night's post, but I have decided to leave it as an altar of sorts. In case, I should pass this way again.

Upon waking up, I was stiff and still sore. Eyes a bit blurried and burning. My cross was still there, waiting to be picked up and carried. But the morning light did illuminate a narrow, winding foot path. And so I am walking on. I don't know the destination but I trust Him who leads the way.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I Quit

I guess it's about time for a new post. I was doing so well. Except the problem is I really don't have anything to say. Well, that isn't entirely true, I have a ton of stuff bouncing around in my head; it's just not stuff thats in coherent enough thought to be put into words. (or posted on this blog)

I don't normally use this space for momentary blast of emotional outbursts or unthought through sentences, but tonight this is the place that seems the most viable option. Most likely by the time I wake up tomorrow everything will have changed - usually a good night's sleep has a way of doing that. So this may even get deleted when I wake up.

I have been on a journey of sorts in the last couple weeks. A journey of understanding. A journey of trying to find answers. Tonight I am ready to quit. It seems like no matter what way I turn, I hit a road block. Does that mean I need to go back to the beginning? It feels like I've been spun in circles only to be left unbalanced to find my way.

Tonight, my feet hurt, my legs are sore, my eyes are dusty. For tonight, I'm just going to sit here on the side of this path -or maybe I'll lie on my back so I don't have to look at the road block nor the road I just walked. I'll just look up... and maybe the stars will lend some guidance.

Hope it doesn't rain.

Friday, January 8, 2010

What a Shame

I love these lyrics:
Our sin doesn't shock you.
Our shame doesn't shame you at all.

And it really doesn't! Even when we live as though it does… we believe somehow it must.

How often do we say "Shame on you?"

We say it to kids who have misbehaved. We say it to others; maybe we even say it to ourselves. Sometimes we say it jokingly and sometimes we really mean it. All spoken words have power whether we intend them to or not. We take that shovel full of shame, guilt, and unworthiness and heap it on. Then we walk around in life, feeling like we are caked in dried mud. It makes us feel heavy. There is stiffness to our movements. It puts a layer between us and others. It might make us look fragile and after enough time we will begin to believe we are. Shame becomes the mirror for how we view who we are.

Job 10:15 (NIV)
If I am guilty—woe to me!
Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head,
for I am full of shame
and drowned in my affliction.

I have spent time living in a self-built fort of shame. And I have lived in freedom in the fields of wildflowers and then chosen to climb back into the fort. Why? And what does that say about my faith? We humans are so illogical at times. It’s time to come out, put on a white dress and dance and never look back.

God is ever faithful. The word is full of references to our shame. God does not desire us to live under its weight. The bathwater has already been run just waiting for us to climb in and rinse the muck off. Why are we still standing here?

Psalm 25:3 (NIV)
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.

Psalm 34:5 (NIV)
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame

Isaiah 54:4a (NIV)
"Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.

Even Jesus had to deal with shame. He could have taken the mud that was thrown at him and carried it around in self-defeat. Born in a manger. From seedy Nazareth. Hung on a cross, naked… as the Messiah. But He didn’t! He refused to take on its curse.

Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Have you gotten so used to the weight of shame that you no longer recognize it? Are you afraid the shell of mud is all that is left of you? That somehow you have disintegrated inside it? It’s just not true. The mud has clouded your vision. I've been there. I know.

He is the master cleanser. He might have to do a little scrubbing in places… but oh how you will shine when he is done!

Shame shackles us to the ground and keeps us from flying. We were all meant to leave the mud and soar.

It’s bathtime!!

(you can even take Mr. Peep the disco chick)

Monday, January 4, 2010

To Colette

This is my "till I see you next" message to you as you head off on your own.

I have been truly honored and blessed being your friend. I loved the afternoons and long nights we've spent talking and laughing. Thank you for trusting me and wanting to hang out with the "older crowd." I think back on bible study and swing dancing (the couple times I went) and the "boys" :D

I am super excited for you as you try your own wings out. I know this experience will shape you will become in the future. I hope you make lots of new, wonderful and deep friendship. Mostly, I know you will grow in faith and knowledge of the love of God. I'll be anxiously awaiting my first letter.

Soar high, my little bird!

(for the rest of you - here is proof of my hugging)