Run To

It’s like dead weight being dragged along behind,

hindering the Now that has its own trouble enough.

How to forgive. How to forget.

Must; and yet . . .

I think it’s finished, this letting go jazz; but then,

all that trash springs legs and comes running after.

Should it be done? Of course, but I just can’t un-remember what betrayal felt like, what the loss of friendship and trust felt like, what harsh criticism and a kick in the spiritual teeth felt like.

It is the darkening cloud above my head, the heaviness pressing on my chest; and I should be able to let it go, but there is a disconnect between

what I know is good for me and

what I can actually pull off.

And I am alone in it because it is me who nurses the grinding grudges, me who fans the embers to a flame ready to burn down my own house.

If I let it go—let the doers off the hook—it will be like admitting that my life did not matter, that evil can win and go on eviling as long and as wholeheartedly as it wants. And yet . . .

there is enough trouble for this one day, You say. So at least for this moment, this one thoughtful pause, I am letting it all go,

the plagued past, the harms and hurt.

I place it in Your scarred hands . . . and now I run to tomorrow!

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“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34 (NLB)


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

Collector of Words

I am a collector of words, a hoarder of fractured phrases.

I scribble in the margins of my life words wild and wonderful that shout a divine “wow.”

Other words I grind down fine as they seep into my belly, lubricated by tears.

Waiting.

Some words roll off my tongue, like gold threads of morning light:

evanescent

breathless grace

forgiveness

Wave-walker

fellowship

freedom,

and Camelot days.

Other words stop at my teeth, choke the air right out of me, saved at the frayed edge of my life where tension lives:

savage

ugly

betrayal

myth madness

splintered hope

withering,

and nevermore.

My linguistic calisthenics and mad manipulation are not just a benign desire to create, but an insatiable desire to find the right label to organize this messy mind, this muddled life.

To form this twisting and turning earthbound into everliving everafters—

thoughts that matter,

truths that stand.  

And so:

unfailing faith

intimacy

willed reverence

wrecked heart

repentant soul

passion outpoured, and

open-chested praise.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart”

                (the inside and the outside of my mind’s mulling)

“be acceptable in Your sight,”

                (pleasing, lovely, thoughtful, and honest)

“O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

                (my Rescuer, my sustaining One, the Hearer of my wandering heart.)

Ps. 19:14

Betrayal

I have been thinking about betrayal lately—

the splintering of trust, the shattering of expectation.

You go along, accumulating pieces of relationship, of mission; and

you collect a colorful and varied panoply that looks like truth, feels like truth,

and maybe it is;

at least,

maybe it was.

But then, in what seems like an instant, doors close, walls rise, and

those you thought you knew, those who held your fragile trust,

look at you as if you are a stranger—the other,

those others that you talked about when you were once part of the group.  

The shared meal, the paths walked should feel no different than the kiss;

and yet, the faithlessness changes everything.

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 Mark 11:25 (The Message)

“If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.”

The One Next Thing

No matter how long I have lived and how many lessons I’ve learned, it never fails that my desires betray my selfish heart,

my answered prayers run smack dab into my control and ambition;

and once again, I find the need to humble myself before God,

just do the one next thing He has put before me,

and leave my future in His careful, tender hands.

A thought . . .

*

In my Scripture reading this morning in John 18:28-29:

“Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.

So Pilate came out to them and asked, ‘What charges are you bringing against this man?'”

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

I wonder how many times I avoid desecrating the religious aspects of my devotional life while at the same time betraying my Savior.

A Record of Wrongs

I kept diaries off and on as a kid, chronicling important stuff like supper menus, sibling squabbles, and crazy crushes; but it wasn’t until I began to travel and sing full time that I started journaling in earnest. Over the years, it has been a great way to keep a record of people, places, and important events. But . . . and this is the problem part . . . it also became a way of venting, praying, and scribble-screaming. When I was mad at my husband, Dear Diary got the full load of anger and frustration, but I was not as diligent to record the apology or act of forgiveness. When others wounded me or each other, I recorded the offences, but not necessarily the resolution.

In I Corinthians 13 in the NIV translation of the Bible, it states that love is patient and kind and also keeps no record of wrongs. A while ago, that last bit jumped up and grabbed me. Ouch! I began to realize that my record of wrongs was in a box underneath my bed. And I wasn’t sure what to do about it.

To be honest, it has been an effective way to work things out in my mind—to pray and vent without burning bridges; and it also has helped this non-confrontational person let the perpetrator “have it” without crumpling into a pool of tears, and then not saying what she really wanted to say. Cathartic!

I knew I couldn’t just shred the many journals. They recorded births and deaths, accidents and healings, failures and accomplishments. The history that even included betrayals is important to me, too, so as to keep people and timelines in order at those pivotal moments of my life. (May end up in a novel, after all!) But there were things I knew I had to make disappear—things that would be hurtful if ever read by family and friends. And so, I started the task of going through my adult life in print, whiting out and sometimes ripping out that record of wrongs.

It has been painful reliving periods of trauma and pain, going through them once again. Crying once again. It has been instructive, getting a glimpse into who I was and who I have become. A lot changes between 20 and 70! But most importantly, I have been able to once again forgive—to let go of the wounds that have a tendency to wrap their tentacles around a heart. Some situations were healed and some were not, but I can see that if God kept the long list of my wrongs, I would be forever lost.

In His book, He sees Jesus. In His book, I am covered. And I am thankful for that.

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I Corinthians 13: 4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.