Enough

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Known by many but known by few—image, identity, purpose twisted together, carnal and spiritual, an alienating stew,

feeling just as alone in a group as alone; and I thought

You would be enough, but . . .

The rants and rails of pundits are as unsettling as personal attacks. It is just like with lawyering where winning is more important than proving what is true. And

strangers take sides, and friends take sides, and what takes shape is a pulling and a tearing, and

I feel caught in the middle with no solution,

no resolution, and all of this when I thought

You would be enough.

And playing church stopped being an option, but I thought being more real would have less pain, but

the ragged edges of human spirits with or without acceptable doctrines is just as bleeding hard as playing the game and hiding the differences behind smiles and “God bless you’s,”

skirting round the edges of maybe relationships, and here, I thought

You would be enough . . .

But my need bumps up against inability to change how people feel, how people act,

how and whether people care—and the weight of emptiness haunts me in the night when I search the ceiling for release,

for answers, for a place to belong, and

I pray that with all of this,

You will please be enough.

———————————

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. ~I Peter 5:7

 

 

 

Reel Faith

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Many things you fear come to pass, but

most don’t; and

since you never know which will or won’t, it makes more sense to fear none. But

my Pollyanna is more my Puddleglum, and

my optimism quotient is tempered by what is truly possible on this broken planet; so

how does a glass half empty gal have faith without feeling like it is more about wishful thinking and cooked up certainty?

How to live in the real world with real faith when real is often reeling with the now and the what could be? Yet will I praise Him.

***************

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matthew 6:34

My Book of Uncommon Prayers: Easter Prayer

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Is it just another day, another ritual performed,

a chance to wear new clothes and serve festive meals,

a celebration to mark our days and orient ourselves in a new year?

Is it just another obligation,

a compartment to fit in all the praiseworthy things

we ought to feel,

hope to feel,

about One so distant, so long ascended?

Has the burning in our hearts been quenched by familiar practices

and institutions?

Has the finger-in-the-side-faith lost its exclamations,

replaced by programs, distractions, and holy soundtracks?

Has our communion in the garden become commonplace

rather than ablaze with revelation and intimacy?

Oh, God of the resurrection,

God of the unruly and easily sidetracked,

burn within my heart this day.

Renew this shabby faith, these tattered shreds of almost belief,

with an obsession,

a knowing,

a persistence,

and an urgency to love You,

to love the faltering, the lost.

To be the Kingdom person you suffered to make me

is my Easter prayer.

Asking you, asking me . . .

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Does your faith-life even require Jesus?

Got the maxims memorized.

Got the rules down.

Is religion more your bulwark than relationship—

behavior and image more important than face-falling service,

open-hearted devotion to His worthiness?

Has purpose surpassed person?

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate this substance-hoped-for idea.

Are we a scattered and lost flock, devoted to a text but without a message?

I think I would rather falter on a rough road than walk resolutely down a worn and wrong path,

stuck in a form of obedience . . . but without a desperate, clinging trust.

My will is contrary to my dedication;

my rituals supplant my connection, offering a form without reality.

Am I so right-on religious that as a Christian I can do this thing without Jesus?

*****************

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. ~Psalm 51:10

I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

~Romans 7:19

 

Dream Streams

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When light fades to black, and the chill comes,

when horizon and foreground meld to one, and minutes tick by slower than day;

I find myself alone with my thoughts—the rest of my world sleeps.

Invisible,

intangible,

dream streams of past, present, and never weave spells of narrative in my restless mind.

If I could make sense of it all, I could justify my tossing and turning,

my drifting and drama, but it all seems just a colorful exercise in nonsense-making—

so real,

but so not.

And I rise more weary.

I have done superhuman things in my dreams, but wake in silver light

as ordinary as when I went to bed.

And my dreams grow larger as my world grows smaller.

And my rest grows weaker as my need swells.

Are you in the visions, evanescent wisps, circling in cerulean night,

or is my unsettled soul strangled by the diary of a life housed in three pounds of flesh?

*********************

Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

A Limping Life

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I heard your whisper in the wind, and

I leaned to listen; but

my lisping voice rose rough and rasping, replaying all the shame moments,

the named moments—over and over,

owning their bite.

I glimpsed your face in the greening breeze of spring, and

I opened my eyes wide to see and be seen, but

the haze of doubt drifted down like a curtain, so I was unsure of what was there; and

blinking long and hard only tired my eyes,

my heart,

my will.

I put my knee to ground in weakness,

convinced that my limping life would never be anything more than this,

that tears would ever flow; but

you met me there

where

words are soft and

light is clear and

belief is birthed from unbelief.

*****************

Be still and know that I am God. ~Psalm 46:10a

Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. ~Mark 9:24b

 

My Book of Uncommon Prayers: To Live a Noble Life

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How can I make my ambition Your ambition?

Every now and then, unworldly inspiration and imagination penetrates

this sin-chained  mind, this bone-bound spirit,

and I rejoice,

respond;

but just as quickly, flesh presses in—

pride presses in,

puffing me up, showing me what a wonderful thing I did for God.

Is there any hope to live a pure life,

a noble life,

when wriggling in skin and bone, a soul enslaved?

But to be free.  

Oh, wait . . .

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I love to listen to those who agree with me;

I hate those who are oppositional. Oh, wait . . .

I need to listen to those who are oppositional so I can hone my arguments—

enough to win the debate. Oh, wait . . .

Winning is not all I am called to as a believer

so

how do I hold to a position and defend a position without being arrogant,

without appearing holier than thou,

with being open to learning a new point of view?

I love to be right.

I hate to be wrong.

But

how will I ever grow and know unless I listen.

Oh, wait . . .