Sunday, 30 September 2012

But If Not

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
(Habakkuk 3:17-18)
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18) 
Said Jim Elliot, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose".  Sometimes we have no promise from God except Himself. He will not be pinned down. He is Good, and what he does is Good. That is all. We would hold on, but we can't. We would run, but we can't. He corners us, and there is no escape, no figuring things out, no managing our expectations. He sees things too differently from the way we see them. We must simply accept Him, no matter what he gives.

He may break our hearts. He may lead us through the valley of the shadow of death. He may let us fall. He may let us despair.

But he will withhold no good thing. He gave his own Son for us. He will do right. He will give Good. What that good looks like, we don't know. With Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego we have to say that he is able to rescue us, but then we must make our choice, even if he does not...!

Father, I unclench my fists. Give me what you will, even if it means no grapes on the vines, no cattle in the stalls; even if it means the furnace, I will have You and the Good that you give. Only you can make me desire Jesus above all, but I can will - even against this clamour within that seeks self. I choose Jesus. Still this complaint in me the way you stilled the wind and the sea, and make my heart's desire match that will. But if not...!

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 43:5)

Friday, 28 September 2012

A Lesson in Hope

My grandfather had Alzheimer's disease. I didn't realize it as a child, but thinking of him now, I realize how bitter a thing that disease was to him. It separated him from us, and from everything, almost, that made his life worthwhile. He had watched his own father gradually fade from the world about him and recede into a shadowy realm of old memories. He hated the shame and the division Alzheimer's wrought, and prayed that God would spare him.

God didn't. Why? I don't know. I just don't know. But my parents, along with us four children, moved in to help take care of my grandfather, and four little girls watched every day as a man who had lived life with active gusto and discipline and patience and intelligence slowly but surely lost his independence and his confidence along with his memory. Four little girls saw the end of a life lived step-by-measured-step for God. Four little girls watched a man be broken down and closed in until he didn't know where he lived or how many children he had. And four little girls learned what makes a person beautiful and a life worthwhile. Four little girls had their hearts branded with what matters to God. Four little girls were marked and changed forever by the broken, faded end of a man who couldn't escape the disease he feared.

My grandfather spent his life traveling through the furthest and poorest reaches of Nova Scotia, preaching the good news of Jesus' death and forgiveness. He never preached to us at home, nor do I remember the days when he didn't have to pause in speaking to search his memory, stumbling a little and then suddenly unsure. Yet my life and my consciousness have been seared by the conviction and the peace that marked even the man undone by the bitterness of a disease like Alzheimer's. I think he would have called that worth it.

Sometimes I just can't imagine what God is thinking, or why his mercy seems so far away. Then I think of my grandfather, and the sermon his life preached when he could no longer remember the words. I believe it was the greatest sermon he ever preached. The message it spoke to my heart marks the borders and the foundations of my spiritual life even now, 25 years after his death. It remains strong and sure when my heart melts and grows limp in the heat and grind of life.

When the bitter thing I fear comes to me, and I am tired and sore, and I do not understand what God is doing with me, and I seem to be accomplishing nothing, I remember my grandfather and the deep beauty hidden in his "bitter thing"; the triumph in his breaking and his humiliation. God's mercy to me is not less. He is giving me the beauty that I seek. He has read my heart, and he will satisfy my deepest longing.
You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. (Psalm 119:68)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Looking for Your Promise

My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes fail, looking for your promise;
I say, “When will you comfort me?” (Psalm 119: 81-82)
I have strayed like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant,
for I have not forgotten your commands. (Psalm 119: 176)
"Steadfastness, that is holding on. Patience, that is holding back. Expectancy, that is holding one's face up! Obedience, that is holding oneself in readiness to go and do, or stay and not do. Listening, that is holding quiet and still, so still, as to hear." S.D. Gordon

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

What Can Make Us Whole Again?

Nothing But The Blood - Matt Redman
Your blood speaks a better word
Than all the empty claims I've heard upon this earth
Speaks righteousness for me
And stands in my defense
Jesus it's Your blood
What can wash away our sins?
What can make us whole again?
Nothing but the blood
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can wash us pure as snow?
Welcomed as the friends of God
Nothing but Your blood
Nothing but Your blood King Jesus
Your cross testifies in grace
Tells of the Father's heart to make a way for us
Now boldly we approach
Not by earthly confidence
It's only Your blood
We thank You for the blood
We thank You for the blood
We praise You for the blood
We praise You for the blood
Nothing but Your blood
Nothing but Your blood King Jesus

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Fragrant Aroma

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
“He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”  (Isaiah 40:29-31)
This world is ruled by power. It runs on the principle that power will get you what you really want. We learn it everywhere we go; it is reflected everywhere we look. The kingdom of God is ruled by love. Advancing his kingdom in a broken, warped, power-driven world costs. It hurts. Makes you feel foolish and insecure. Torn and trampled inside. Because at least in the short run, loving makes us helpless, vulnerable. It is tantamount to burning every bill of the currency we have in this world.
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.
Walk in love...a fragrant aroma...

It's hard enough to love the people we can trust to love us back; it's nothing short of emotional suicide to love the people we can't trust to love us back...unless God helps us. And he will, but he has his own ways, and they are different from ours. Even Jesus wept when he lived in this hard world, knowing that his priorities as God meant that he had to give pain to those he loved.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:32-37)
  It is one thing to believe that God will help us. It is another thing entirely to take a running leap off the cliff, knowing that God doesn't always help us in the way that we think he will.But if what we want is the reign of Love, we must be willing for risks. Hardness. Loneliness. Scars. We have a Father whose Love will win, in the end. And he is able to heal every wound.
Let us be brave and very courageous, taking up love to defeat every enemy, especially the enemy within. Let us choose, with Jesus who died, to bear the hurts instead of running back for hatred's armour.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. (I Corinthians 16:19)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Set Free

O break my heart; but break it as a field
Is by the plough up-broken for the corn;
O break it as the buds, by green leaf sealed,
Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn;
Love would I offer unto Love's great Master,
Set free the odor, break the alabaster.

--Thomas Toke Bunch

Father, glorify your Name! (John 12:28)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Your Kingdom Come

What is the "kingdom of God"? It is not a place, nor an age. It is the absolute reign of Love. I have longed for the day to com when that reign will be complete; when there will no longer be any more fear, for "perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18). There will be no more hurt, and no more misunderstanding, and no more fighting.

Yet God's kingdom has already begun.  If I choose, it may begin in me. The reign of love means death to self - death to me fulfilling my wants and death to all in me that is not governed and powered by Love. Actually, if I am to pray "Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven", I must be willing to let God's kingdom come to my life, and let love reign supreme in my own heart.

Can I give up my right to rule my own life? Can I sacrifice self to let Love have the first and only place in my heart? Can I accept the crossing of my self? Can I consent to look like a fool? Can I go back to learning how to do things all over again, like a child?

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1,2)

He said to them, "When you pray, say: "'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. (Luke 11:2)

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. (Revelation 12:10)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

In Everything, By Prayer

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is nearDo not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to GodAnd the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:4-7)

I am not sure why, but coming to Korea has brought back the teenager-me I thought I had left behind forever. And was I glad to leave her behind! She was moody, needy, wretchedly insecure, and melodramatic - a rickety canoe in an open sea of emotion. I can barely even pity her; I certainly don't welcome her return. I have struggled and fought to regain my balance, but my normal coping strategies are proving useless.

I went last weekend to see old friends in another part of the city. One friend had just had a baby. I wanted to watch someone else's life - to escape, forget myself, and just enjoy a friendship that is not in the building stages. They greeted me with hugs and smiles. I was glad I had gone to meet them. After the usual greetings and exchange, we settled down to tea and they began asking questions about my not-yet-year-old life in a new country: "Are you homesick? Lonely?" I planned on brushing lightly past these, but suddenly I couldn't speak. I stared for a moment, willing the tears back, but they came anyway, hot and streaming. 

There really wasn't much to explain. I miss the security of home...but it isn't just home that I miss. I am plagued by fears and hurts that have only small connections to my reality. I have been hurt here, and betrayed, by people I trusted too deeply for the short time in which I knew them, but such hurt doesn't warrant the grief I have experienced. I ride a rollercoaster of emotion that alternately carries me to into a sky of happiness and plunges me into black despair - sometimes with very little reason. 

Dear friends! They listened. They held my hands. Then they spoke. "We will pray." 
Oh, the comfort of being prayed-for. They reminded me that other people are praying for me, too. My parents. My grandmother. My sisters. My friends. One friend told me her story of being prayed-for, and the changes that have come to her life because of it.

I realized that I have been trying to guard my own heart - to steady it - with reason and self-talk. I have stationed suspicion and self-protection on the ramparts and built bars over the open spaces. I want to be free to love and forgive, but often I find myself trapped inside my own prison. 

This week, I have been praying for those who betrayed me, and bringing my requests to God. He is the One whose peace can guard my heart. It is truly a peace that transcends understanding. I have long depended on reason to manage my emotions, but reason has fled and left me lost and afraid. God never leaves me, and the peace that he gives is un-connected to my understanding or my ability to reason through my situation. 

It seems trite; a Christian truism, another bead on the rosary: prayer changes things. But it does change things, not like you'd expect. More than changing my situation, it is changing me. Undeniably, it's a better guard for heart and mind than suspicion and self-protection. 

And after all, just maybe I needed to know that God - and the friends he has given - love and care for even the teenager-me.

I will guide him and restore comfort to him, creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the Lord. “And I will heal them.” (Isaiah 57:18-19)

Steady My Heart

Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy?
Why is pain a part of us?
There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right
Sometimes it just hurts so much

But You're here
You're real
I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars

You steady my heart
You steady my heart

I'm not gonna worry
I know that You've got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment
What's good and what gets broken
Happens just the way that You plan

You are here
You're real
I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are

Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
You steady my heart

And I will run to You
And find refuge in Your arms
And I will sing to You
Cause of everything You are
You steady my heart
You steady my heart

Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
You steady my heart

I'm not gonna worry
I know that You've got me
Right inside the palm of your hand

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Everlasting to Everlasting

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. (Psalm 103:1-6)

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, O my soul. (Psalm 103:13-22)

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Into the Storm

In this world, hurt always becomes hate. It is the way of things.

Through the dark, Jesus calls us to a different way. He holds out his hands - pierced for us - and offers to let us love through the hurt. It is no simple thing. It is unnatural. It flies in the face of all that we have been taught, and all that we feel. It is perhaps the biggest fight of our lives, this struggle to give up our right to hate. It is also maybe the way we most exercise faith - faith that says there is a God of mercy who sees and allows; faith that announces the presence of another, spiritual realm, where heart-choices matter and Love always wins, no matter what the score looks like from here.

I feel so tired of this struggle. I want to run away. I am ashamed of my own weakness and small-ness. I am lost and weary and disappointed. Everything in me tends toward hate. No, not everything. God's Spirit is in me, and he longs for love to overcome. He trusts. Waits. Tugs me forward when I would fall down in despair. Touches me gently when the hurt grows too great. Draws my eyes from my miserable self. In his time, he will give me freedom and peace. He will give me new eyes to see and a new heart to love. He will quell the deep fears that shake my soul. He will teach me to dance a dance that will please the heart of God himself.

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest—I would flee far away and stay in the desert; Selah. I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.” (Psalm 55:4-8)

But as for me, I trust in you. (Psalm 55:23)

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)

I, too, will entrust myself to him who judges justly. I will fold up my jumbled fears and hurts and misplaced wants, and I will give them to him who is able to turn them into something valuable. I will call on his Name, that great I AM. I will bend myself before him and worship him with singing. I will learn who he is. Someday, I will fly free - not to escape the storm, but into the storm. I will bring God joy.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

A Message

I don't even know her name, but I have been drawn to her since I first met her - was it the first day I went tiptoeing, nervous and late, into the little church I attend here? The services are all in Korean. I can't understand very much, except the readings and the songs and some of the prayers. I liked her because she was real, and gentle - I don't mean gentle as people usually mean it, soft and weak and meek; rather, she has a sort of humbled strength. I knew she wasn't judging me for coming late.
She always greets me with a hug - odd in Korea and for her age, so worth even more than hugs usually are - but I am not her charity project, nor a curiousity, though I can tell for most people it is strange and maybe even a little exotic to have a foreigner attending church alongside them. She travels from the city, and takes care of her sick parents-in-law, so there is no time for us to meet outside the worship hour on Sundays. We hardly know each other, and we know little of each other's lives. Yet we have an odd comfortableness between us - this middle-aged lady and me.
Today I went to greet her after the service, and she wrapped her arms around me in a way that is always a surprise in this land of physical reserve, and then spoke quietly and quickly. Her tone was urgent, as though there was time for neither preamble nor the usual hesitance - an acknowledgment that we are speaking a language I am still not very good at.
"I have been praying for you," she said in Korean, smiling and looking into my eyes. "Trust in the love of Jesus. He loves deeply and truly. Don't trust people. They will let you down."
I nodded and looked at her. She took my arm and steered me away from the people that stood near. She seemed unembarrassed to be speaking pointedly for no outward reason. She had a message to deliver, and she would deliver it.
"Jesus' love will never fail you. Look to him, not to people. They mean well, but they are flawed. Trust only him."
She went on, saying she wished we could meet, but she had to take care of her husband's parents. Her father-in-law has lung cancer. I could pray for him, she said. It was her "army time", she explained. Every man in Korea goes to the army for two years of conscripted service. It is a time of hardship and loneliness, as the rules are strict, and they are seldom given days off to visit friends and loved ones - but most come out better for their experience, and with a greater sense of responsibility. She was taking responsibility like a good soldier, despite the hardship. Yet she had time to pray for me and somehow understand what I needed.
It was time for me to go. She walked me to the door, then put on her shoes and walked with me to the elevator. I motioned for her to go back inside.
"No," she said. "I want to see you a little more. I lived abroad for four years, so I understand a little bit what it's like." She smiled broadly and with understanding. "Remember, I am praying for you."
The elevator came and I stepped in, grateful to her but nearly speechless.
How did she know?
Dear fellow-servant of the Living God. You gave me strength today.

What Shall I Say?

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:24-27)

Jesus...withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:39-42)

Jesus knew the great disconnect in the human heart, between what we choose and what we feel; what we sense and what we know. He walked straight into it, and allowed it to cut across him and separate him from all that was his. Through his rending, we have the hope of reconciliation; of pure single-heartedness before God. When will that day come, when all is made whole, when life is no longer dogged by death and love no longer shadowed by self?

Friday, 7 September 2012

Christ in You: A Mystery

It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled, not outside my window, but deep inside my heart. I was hated. Me, God's favorite child, hated. Despitefully used. Hurt. It was bewildering, but I appealed to God. He would come to my rescue. He would deal swiftly and surely with such an affront, I was sure.
To my great confusion, he was silent. I was heartsore.
"Father!" I cried. "Come and avenge me! Fight for me - I am your child!"
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." (Psalm 91:14)
How could he refuse me?
At last, he spoke.
"If I am truly your Father," he said, "forgive."

Then again, I found myself overlooked, ignored, unloved. 
"But I have a Father," I thought. "He loves me. He will not allow such neglect of his child."
Again, he was silent.
Could it be that a loving Father would let me down in my hurt?
"Father!" I cried. "Come and rescue me! Surround me with warmth and love again."
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
Surely he would come. He knows what it feels like to hurt.
And again, I heard his voice.
"If I am truly your Father," he said, "love. And expect nothing in return."

If he is truly my Father, he can give me the power and the great freedom to will and to be like him. To seek not my own, even from him.

God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Hand in Hand

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31)

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands... (Isaiah 51:15-16)

Father, I cannot choose which way to go or what will happen to me, but I can choose to hold tight to your hand or go on alone. Let me keep my hand in yours, no matter how much I just long to run away! Help me to be humble and kind. Keep my mind on others, and not on myself. Show me your way, only-wise God. Conquer my heart.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Be Not Blind

Far in the future lieth a fear;
Like a long, low, mist of gray,
Gathering to fall in dreary rain;
Thus doth thy heart within thee complain.
And even now thou art afraid, for round thy dwelling
The flying winds are ever telling
Of the fear that lieth gray
Like a gloom of brooding mist upon the way.

But The Lord is always kind;
Be not blind, be not blind
To the shining of His face,
To the comforts of His grace
Hath He ever failed thee yet?
Never, never. Wherefore fret?
O fret not thyself, nor let thy heart be troubled,
Neither let it be afraid.

Near, by thy footfall, springeth a joy,
Like a new-blown little flower
Growing for thee, to make thee glad.
Let thy countenance be no more sad,
But wake the voice of joy and health within thy dwelling,
And let thy tongue be ever telling,
Not of fear that lieth gray,
But of little flowers beside the way.

For the Lord is always kind,
Be not blind, be not blind
To the shining of His face,
To the comforts of His grace.
He hath never failed thee yet.
Never will His love forget.
O fret not thyself, nor let thy heart be troubled,
Neither let it be afraid.

(from Kohila, by Amy Carmichael)

On the Road to Jericho

I'm all in pieces,
Pulled apart;
Strewn about,

Like the man who traveled the Jericho road, I have fallen among thieves. They have robbed me of peace, of certainty, of joy. They have left me all disjointed and unsure; hurt and weak and bewildered. I am wrapped in darkness and confusion.

I hear the voice of Reason, faint and weak and far away: it says that God is true and loves still, that he has not forgotten and will not forget, that he is here beside me and holds my hand. But, oh - my heart is a storming child who rages on and on, refusing comfort. And I can hardly hear above its shrieking cries...

Jesus, gentle Jesus... Come to me through the deepening dark; reach out your hand like the pitying Samaritan, and let your perfect love cast out my fear and my confusion. Remember the days when I loved you single-heartedly, trusted you fully, and matched my steps to yours? Remember when you whispered your love into my heart...we shared our plans and went forward hand in hand? Remember when I belonged to you - all of me - heart and mind and spirit? Turn me again. Let me love you with the love of a dog...devoted and unwavering and warm. Let me know and choose and feel without disconnect. Let me be whole again. Let me belong to you - wholly - again.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. (Psalm 38:9)

I have seen a little of the terrible beauty and vastness of God. Is this why I am so unsatisfied by the dimness and wretchedness of my own soul? I am so utterly tired of the smallness I find within myself: it hems me in on every side. Where shall I run from myself? With what do I clothe a nakedness of soul? 

I am weary of my own frantic scratching and scrabbling. I long to fly free. I long to love God as he meant me to love him. I long to see things in a right perspective. I long for Jesus to come across the water-filled gap, like he did to the man living among tombs in the land of the Gadarenes, and give me peace from the inside out. I long for his great Mother-heart to come in pity and soothe the fitful child that cries and writhes within me. I long for rest.

How long, O Lord? How long?

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry. (Psalm 10:17)

Sunday, 2 September 2012


I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. (Habakkuk 2:1)

Father, I will not do this my way. I will learn what you have to teach me. I will bend my heart to you. I will wait. I will listen for your voice. I will have your good. I will have You.