Sunday, January 14, 2018

Unflappable God, December 28

I myself am feeling strangely vulnerable right now. I always seem to be shaken by unbelievers - if they're not outright antagonistic or selfish, which makes their mistakenness obvious.
But I am shaken by people who feel relatable, who are like me, but come to a different conclusion.
Why me? Why not them? Why me at all? Do I want the narrow way?
I want the right way. And I want everyone with me. I'm not as brave or as loving as Paul; I don't think I'd take hell for anything or anyone. I mean, I'd take hell: neatly off the list of options.
I understand You so little. I don't know how to trust You and not let part of me - what feels like ME - be macerated. Or is it You inside of me telling me I've simply got You wrong? That I have to let my cheap idea of You die, to know You and see You and love You as You are?
I won't believe because I "should". I'll believe because of You. So show me.
You are big enough. The God I know, that I've loved and lived for, isn't stumped by anything. Is patient. Is kind beyond expectation. Is firm and unflappable and irritatingly (relievingly?) observant. I can't kill You.


To Want and to Work For, December 24

Please stir up our longing for You, the longing that can't be satisfied by food & drink & laughter.

Forgive me for my hard-heartedness, my fear of man, my pride.
Please take me in hand tonight.
And tomorrow, please help me to be a blessing. That is, to see and respond to those around me. To want and to work for their welfare. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Under the Tree, December 23

It does feel like the end of something. The beginning of something, too, I guess. Being adults. Not having everyone home for Christmas. But it's so good to have J home.

Please help me know how to love well. Give me new oceans of hesed.
I feel pretty dried-up and brittle. I need reminders, I need hope. I need faith, and I can't see. And I forget that some (all?) of the best parts of my life were courage and faith and trust in the midst of the unknown. Help me to enjoy the journey. And please bring me forward (I would say back) to a place of confidence, of being excited about You, swept up in You.
Going to go sleep under the tree. 

Turn Around and Love, December 10

These cynic songs are coming to me pretty easily. But they're also helpful - showing me what I'm not. Help me see the holes in cynicism.

Recorded music here at home, "What Your Heart is For" and "And Now This". Planned with Mom and Dad. Watched, "My Santa", a vapid B-grade on Netflix. We were going for entertaining, and at least it was laughable. My favorite scenes were the string beans steaming and Chris putting his costume away in the trunk.

I'm so glad You are not a sinner like the rest of us. That I can turn from trying to please all these froward humans and come to You. But I'm also afraid of You, because of Your power to judge, and because You will undoubtedly tell me to turn around and love... humans, again.
Messy miserable humans.
I don't understand much. Have mercy on me. Protect my spirit. Purify me. Make me brave, and whole-hearted. And self-forgetful. 

Missed Some Boat, December 7

Reading K's letter and talking with A today were strong, sharp reminders of Your activity. Of Your power to move and draw people to Yourself, and to actually change things. Actually.
Convince me of this, when I suddenly feel tired and used up, and like I missed some boat. Nope.

I need Your help not to be so bitter and angry. About my circumstances. About the fallibility and mortality of everyone I love. Of the failure of everything to satisfy me. But You. You do. But I'm still afraid of You, and mistrustful. Wear down my guard, please, and make me brave.


Zion for Whom No One Cares, December 4

I'm back home after NYC. Finished re-reading "Silence" on the ride home, and had to restrain myself from weeping in 30th Street Station.
There's a lot to write. But there's something on my mind:
Jeremiah 30:17.
"...Because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares."
I remember reading this freshman year, after eating dinner with Zion after NT class. He was the sort that gets ostracized. He was telling me strange things about the spiritual significance of triangles, and I seem to remember some boastful/ambitious talk that left me perplexed. I didn't know how to respond to him. I was both stung with compassion and repulsed. He didn't stay long. I don't even know his last name. But I can still see his topknot and startling face; pulpy, with red-rimmed eyes. 

Malleable World, November 28

Tell me all the things I need to know.
I need to trust You, for NYC tomorrow, and so much else. Help me to believe Your many promises.
A. made some comment before we hung up, about how I would be fine tomorrow, You would take care of me. Just hearing that was immensely heartening. Like R. telling me I'd be a good driver.
Not, "I think you will"; "you will".

My faith is so small. I also hesitate from making claims I can't guarantee, or that might really shake me if they didn't come to pass. But remind me what kind of God You are. Give me Yourself. That's what I really want, anyway. To give You all of me, and have You. To begin to see the world...not as safe, exactly, but as malleable. As responsive to You. To really have hope.
Do many miracles because of our faith.