A Risky Endeavor

Sometimes the naked cruelty and sin of others is like a jackhammer right over my heart. I am wallowing in misery. I want someone, anyone to get it. Sheep that I am, I need compassion, understanding, support; I cannot right myself when I’m flat on my back and feel oppression and the seeming tears of the universe battering me with more than I can bear.

Editorial pause here: I went to Google, thinking ‘bear’, above, wasn’t spelled correctly and a video I’ve never seen before pops up on You Tube of Kirk Franklin singing, ‘He’ll Never Put More on Me, Than I Can Bear’. I bawled my eyes out for about five minutes.

Lord, I know this. I know I am yoked with you, that you understand my heavy heart. The gift of this surprise video moment is that reminders of your boundless love for me bring me immediate connection to your empathy and validation of my suffering.

Way before I opened my journal this morning, to start writing to you Lord, I noticed a FB post from Renee Swope, Proverbs 31 Ministries, talking about how negative words can hurt us and cut us to the quick, ending with Hebrews 4:12: “The Word is sharp and active, sharper than any two edged sword” and I ran back to your feet, ready to learn. Your sword will cut through my cocoon of misery and sear the wounds in my soul with the white-hot power of your great love for me. Just typing this centers me.

I know whom I believe and I need to run to you alone, to your presence, and pour out my deep wounds and let you nurture me while I recover. Why do I do this again and again; expect people to do what only you can, simply to end up feeling worse for my trouble? It’s the awful, down side of isolating loneliness. When I am at my lowest point I turn inward and think the thing I need most is someone, anyone, to wrap their arms around me and say it will be OK, to make me a cup of tea, to let me pour out my tears and then point me to you. But human comfort is sometimes a risky endeavor. Baggage can come up and twist itself into an arrow pointed at me whispering a translation that pronounces ‘you must have done something to deserve this’ or, ‘I’ve had worse hurts than you, get over it’ or any other self-righteous, or even well-intended suggestions which my hyper-sensitive mind can pounce on and flail myself further. So human; so sheep-like; to want my Shepherd in person and because that’s just not possible, reach out to whomever is in the ripple effect of my dive into the black lake of misery.

So here I am, dry eyed for now. Sometimes the healing is quick, sometimes we have to recover. This complex wound will be a recovery and will take time, prayer, and all the moments I can spend in your Word. Instead of isolation and soul vulnerability, I need boundaries; to keep myself close to you, pour it all out to you, striving for gentleness to myself, in the process. When I do that, I can pray about those whom I am heartbroken over, then watch you do what only you can. How I love you, Lord. I can never repay you, but I can love you with all my heart, soul, strength and spirit, which is what you’ve asked for. I so look forward to the moment I see your face and hear your beautiful, kind voice.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Math 11:28-30

His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords. Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let he righteous fail. Psalm 55:21-22

Dark Night of my Soul

September 26, 2014 5am

I woke unguarded, loss twined around my heart like razor wire. Silently, I stepped out the front door, and raised my eyes to the magnificent canopy You saw fit to relieve nocturnal solitude.  A shooting star whizzed left to right, perpendicular to the swath of cotton candy that is the Milky Way.  Wish upon a star?  In this dark night of the soul, silent though you are, I know you are there and that you love me.   The unlit sky is the closest I can get to you, to your vastness; untouchable, unchangeable, unreachable proportion. The molecules in my body yearn for you; iron filings irresistible to your magnetism.

It occurred to me that Jesus surely lay on his back on the dark Mount of Olives and felt something akin to this need to reach you.  There were no streetlights in Jerusalem.  No lights at all to speak of, just pure, clean, unpolluted air.  Did he pray on his back with open eyes? I cannot imagine otherwise.

Your Word upholds me day and night; ‘the heavens declare the glory of God, the sky proclaims the work of his hands’. Contemplating your agony in Gethsemane.  Rejoicing that your divinity and humanity was revealed via the inhumanity of the cross; ‘Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani’, remembering with soberness that Paul did not live in ease, but suffered greatly in his passion for the great commandment; ‘for this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison’.

In ancient days the Holy of Holies was filled with the glory of your presence.  The High priests walked about with the soft tinkling of golden bells on the hems of their garments, ornamentation You required.  Pomegranates:  symbol of righteousness, representing fruitfulness, knowledge, learning, and wisdom.  Golden bells:  resounding the command to complete obedience to God – that he might not die.  Pomegranate, bell; pomegranate, bell; ringing the hem of his garment, encircling him in the commands of God, with each and every step he took.   Righteousness, fruitfulness, knowledge, learning and wisdom, appreciated by God, evidence to man.

I find conviction when I hear your commands in first person.  You live in me; my Christian body is your temple.  My Christian life is appreciated by God and obliged to be evident to man.  May my righteousness and the fruitfulness of knowledge, learning and wisdom be evident to others and fulfill the great commandment you have given me.  May my words be as sweet to hear as the golden bell, the way to Truth.

Even while you are silent as the black night sky, I will trust you, love you and obey you my Rock, my Strong Tower, my Mighty Fortress, my God and my King, the One and Only, Jesus my Savior.