Naked

Will I give people more power than God? Will I let the opinions of others keep me small and silent? What if God says I am loved versus just being tolerated or appeased? What if God says I am accepted and included? What if God is proud of me? How much more weight will I give to the words of others versus God’s heart for me?

I’d gladly speak without showing myself for all to scrutinize. For all to judge and pick apart. I don’t want to bear the attention. But I feel like that is the easy way out. My version of Moses saying, “But they won’t listen to me, Lord.”

What if it is our perceived flaws that God is so eager to celebrate? Not to shame us. But that through us others may see and feel real hope? What gospel would it be if it only offers hope to those who already seem to have it all together? What gospel would it be if it is only for those who have enough strength?

I have prayed way more than three times to come to you as a different person. A more sanitized socially-acceptable version of myself. But He changed my heart. He showed me a different perspective. And so here I am.

If God is for us, is that enough? If the Creator of the entire universe is for us then is that enough? It was enough for David. It was enough for Joseph. It was enough for Gideon. It was enough for Ruth. It was enough for Esther. Is it enough for us?

How much wasted time have I spent agonizing over trying to fit in when maybe God absolutely wants me to stand out? And so here I am. Vulnerable, but not alone. Giving all my fears and feelings to God. Who better to speak to my heart? To penetrate the years of discouragement?

What shame will we ask Jesus about today? What shame will we bring to Holy Spirit for healing today? God already knows. He assures us that we are welcome. That we are His kids and He does not do abandonment. He will never leave us alone.

Hell

Since y’all want so badly to go to hell, I’m going to stop trying to keep you from going there. Just trampled and spit on every time I try to “save” you.

Maybe I’ve had it wrong all this time. Maybe I should have let you be from the jump. Maybe trying to save you from the consequences of your choices was actually hindering you from your healing; not helping. Extending the time it will take. To bring you back – what I’ve wanted all along.

We don’t want to say “no” to people we love. It feels so unnatural. We don’t want to turn our backs and go on without them. It feels like part of your heart is being ripped away in the process. But do we trust how much Trinity loves them? How hard it is for us should be proof of how much more God loves them. We are created in Their image.

I want to be whole with you all. But what if this is better? Where there becomes healthier coexisting versus gnawing codependency.

I feel like God keeps showing me that I can be patient. That no matter how bad it looks, I will get through on time. Even though it doesn’t feel that way. Even though it feels like we are way far behind.

Don’t rush the process. But even if I insist on running myself in circles, we’ll still get there. Because this is God who loves us so much.

It’s hard to feel like the bad guy. To keep your mind about you when everything feels like it’s telling you otherwise. When the other rages when we won’t give in. Maybe like we used to all this time.

You can’t do it very long on your own. This is bigger than all of us. Ask for Help.

We want to be liked. Instead of doing what is right. What is better and best. Because it is a fight. A knock down drag out fight. Not safe. Very personal. Only a vision of something more beautiful and true hope will get you through it. The persecution you’ll receive is very real. The coldness. The loneliness.

Even in this we can look to Jesus. How He loved us enough to tell us no. For what lay before Him. Not our destruction.

We do not want this way. How many times have we tried to avoid this way. But you insist. On hell. On the hard way.

I guess we can find comfort that only the unhelpful will be burned away. That Trinity refines versus destroys. That only the good is being preserved.

I wish y’all would join me at the table. I look forward to the day. To celebrating. This time genuinely. This time without reservation.

Our hearts yearn for what is authentic and real. Will you risk what you settled for in order to get more? Do you trust Love that much? Unfortunately you can’t know without doing.

I hope you’ll choose Life. I hope you’ll join me. I live in such a way as to hopefully be a constant invitation. That there isn’t anything to be afraid of. That the work is worth it. Any frankly nothing else will suffice.

Brad Jersak – A More Christlike Word – My Reflections #13

I am reading A More Christlike Word by Brad Jersak as part of a study group I am attending. I am going to be sharing some of my reflections as I read the book. Here is my 13th reflection:

I used to think that everyone had to believe even this new-to-me way. That it would do them best. And maybe it would. But if God isn’t in a rush, then why do I make the whole world my burden? Maybe to love. But not to change their minds. In due time, if we trust Spirit. So how do I see the process now? I say go on, to the person who insists on a god that barbeques children at their first mistake. The same god they insist hates abortion, mind you. Don’t kill the babies in the womb, but kill them the first second they mess up outside of it? Really?

At any rate, I think of approaching God more like looking at a prism. You can never really take God in all at once. You can never really see all of God from one angle. And yet you still see God as long as you keep looking. So, just look.

So to the people who really believe that God barbeques children at the occurrence of their first mistake, I say at least be intellectually honest about your theology. Follow it all the way to its logical end. Not literally, of course. But really, you can’t just camp out on outlandish statements like that and dismiss any challenges without fully considering them. It either holds water or it doesn’t.

Not that arguing is the way to go. I’m just saying even God lets us wander around and around in the desert as long as we want. God lets us walk off if we want to walk off. That’s not the end of the story, but sometimes we insist on learning the hard way. Sometimes love is not enough – for us. Sometimes healing blind men isn’t enough. Sometimes we insist on a transaction. So God gives us as many opportunities as we insist on in order to try to satisfy ourselves with our self-sufficiency. Sometimes it’s not enough for us that God embraces the ones who have come back home. Or the women who get by how they know to get by when we’re fine with letting them suffer and die. That’s not enough for us. We want revenge. We want praise. We still think there isn’t enough for all of us.

And God lets us go down that road as long as we insist upon it. Never leaving us alone. Always inviting us to come back inside. To join the party. To eat and be full. To lay down the hope for one day. And instead rest in all that is today.