Whispers

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Whispers thread through the flaming rage,

almost lost, almost imperceptible, drowned out by opinion, history, frenzied fury, and flailing fists.

The whispers tip toe in my tossing mind, seeking a place to land and be heard.

They are the filaments of hope, the clinging truths that cannot be destroyed by rhetoric or abuse or repeated dogma.

They are woof and warp, the solid underpinning of this spinning, unsettled mess.

Are you listening? Am I listening?

We are all the same—blood and bone.

We are all broken—body and soul.

We are all human—color and kind.

God loves. And

He whispers in the tumult

to see as He does and love as He loves.

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Romans 13:10 (NLT)

Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

1 John 4:7-8 (NLT)

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Proverbs 10:12 (NLT)

Hatred stirs up quarrels,
but love makes up for all offenses.

 

There is a trust . . .

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There is in trust a writing between the lines.
I trust you, but that trust expects an outcome acceptable to me. My blank slate of surrender has a lot of smudges around the edges—things like “Don’t make it hurt,” “Let all end well,” “Let love be stronger than hate.”
There is in trust a whining between the lines
that holds hands unclenched, but my heart is hidden behind my back with fingers crossed.
Is there a kind of trust without the small print—Yours and mine. A trust that knows I and my loved ones and my cares are in the arms of Someone not only able but willing to do what is good—
no matter what that looks like.
There is a trust, and I am learning and yearning for it.

My Book of Uncommon Prayers: Willing To Be Defeated

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I used to be cocksure,
willing to trample fragile souls for the sake of being right. And
it hurts to think I was so unlike Your sacrificial kindness, so unlike Your bleeding, selfless truth.
May I be willing to be defeated to win one. May I grow accustomed to embarrassment to at least appear humble as the pride prickles are chiseled away—one by one, by weary one.
My kingdom looks ever dim in the bright hues of Your shining presence—and may all see You
in spite of me.
If I would feed on Your words more than I feed on my need, I would be so much more nourished
with life to give.

My Book of Uncommon Prayers: There is a line . . .

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There is a line in the sand, and I dare not cross—
but funny thing about sand and funny thing about lines,
they wash away with beating waves, leaving a skimming reflection where surety used to be. So maybe instead of lines in the sand, I should head into the surf and just ride out these waves.
But some days I feel more infidel than faithful.
When the press is great and rescue far off, help me not to fail
but to fall
into you.
Without You, I will sink in the undertow and be lost.
Are Your arms bigger than my sorrows, Your view wider than my narrow vision, Your heart tougher than my doctrine, Your compassion deeper than my loss, Your love hotter than my tears?
If there is a way that I must walk, can it be a yes-way, a water-walking way—a path of fullness and yeses.
So often I walk in these in-betweens, chained to an accumulated load that fills my soul with the hollow No.
Piercing doubt, filling, spilling. Knocked sideways. Sinking in the swells.
But I am ready for the Yes, Lord, not a way that seems right,
but is right.
No variance to the right or left, but straight-ahead trust
to joy, unspeakable peace, unbreatheable, that just is.
When the press is great and rescue far off, help me not to fail
but to fall
into you.

 

Significance

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Sensing the need to feel

Important, –> that thoughts, actions, and

Gifts really matter, not just in the big scheme of things,

Not just ticks on nature’s timepiece,

Intertwined with myriad others, who

Fashion a purposeful life, a fanciful life, going somewhere–>

It is inbuilt, this need to belong, this feeling that

Creation matters, that we matter,

And that I as one lone voice matter,

Not just as a cog in a

Cosmic wheel–> but as imagio deo–

Everlasting because He has given me significance.

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Furious Words

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Words, words,

analysis, paralysis,

and the real needs of many

are displaced and replaced with swirling,

ever changing,

news coverage.

Money spent,

reputations rent,

as all of these Solomon moments,

as all of these vacuous comments

suck oxygen,

abandon needy.

Words, words,

agendas, careers,

all being built and / or destroyed

while bridges crumble and enemies rail–

imbecility, futility,

furious words.

 

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.

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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.

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“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?

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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