Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A city *under* a hill.

This thought came to me today. What if... and this is addressed to Christians, so you're welcome to read this if you are not one, but it's not really being sent to your mailbox... What if, the only time we gave words of encouragement was when we were ready to physically back it up? I wonder how much more seriously we would weigh our offerings.

I mean.. it's not that we don't mean well. We definitely *want* our neighbor who's sick to get well. We want our friend to find another job since he was laid off. We want that couple to get pregnant, they've been trying SO long. But... sometimes we just... say things. We tell them to be strong and know that God is on their side. (He is.) We tell them all things will work together for their good. (It will.) We tell them we'll pray for them. (Sometimes we remember to do that too.)

But what if we met them somewhere? Or took some sort of something to their house? (Christians are good at casseroles. Don't knock the power of a good casserole.) Or what if we... dare I say it out loud... invited them into our home? WAIT A MINUTE! Now that's getting a little personal. We have jobs and kids and no time to clean and our house is too small/lacking in proper furniture/filled with kids etc., etc, etc. I definitely struggle with that. I am a total recluse. Three years now. If I didn't have FB to remind me how to speak to other ppl I would be curled up in a ball in the corner every time the doorbell rang. So if anyone understands not reaching out... I understand it. But the words come easy cause in our hearts... we really do care. I love ppl. I enjoy them, they make me laugh and cry... I love their stories.. I just love them. But to invite them into my safe place... that's scary.

A few years ago I decided I'd had enough of friendship. I'd been burned so many times that I knew I couldn't face one more let down. My heart was broken and empty and that's when I went into my little turtle shell. I didn't trust women anymore, nor did I understand them. I loved ppl.. was I really so hard to love in return? What I wouldn't have given to have had someone meet me for coffee, follow up an invitation, or the big one... invite me into their home. My marriage fell apart, and I felt fully alone. I talked so little that there were times I did not recognize my own voice. A puppy we had was my solace when the kids were tucked in and I was alone.

Does this sound beyond pathetic? I'd be ashamed if I believed I were the only one. But since being on the Internet, I have found there are more like me than not. The world is alone and hurting. It's not because God doesn't love us... it's because His hands and feet (the church) is secluding. We're becoming hobbits living in shires. I encourage you, if you have the strength, love on ppl, however you can. And if words are all you can offer... let that be your last resort.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sink or Swim

Did you ever look at someone you've looked at a thousand times before and wonder who they were? I tend to do that when I look in the mirror. Who am I? I thought I knew. I was on a path. I knew where I'd come from, I knew where I was and I had visions of where I was going... where I would end up. How is it possible that smack dab in the middle of your life (or what you hope is the middle) that everything you knew, could be erased? Who hit the delete button, how did they get my password? I don't remember anyone asking my permission. I feel hacked.

That's my new focus, or what I'm hoping will become a focus. How do I become the sole bearer of my password? How do I find the strength to accept that who I was... was not what decided me anymore than who I am now decides who I will be? Am I able to decide who I will be? Is it OK? Whose permission am I looking for?

I was in church Sunday and waves of emotion were pouring over me. "Who will save me?" was the question washing over me until I thought I would drown in sadness. At the alter call I wanted to run forward to our sweet pastor and sob "I need to be rescued! Who will rescue me now? I'm alone... I've been alone and the loneliness and hurt are going to destroy me!" But I didn't. He's just a man like me. He can't save me.

I know what some are thinking.. that only God can save me, but I'm learning something more... He wants me to learn to swim. He doesn't need my password. He has full access without it. He wants to teach me to stop giving the password out. Really Lord? I mean I was always strong.. it's not that I didn't know how to swim. But now He tells me I never really swam... I was only treading water. A person gets tired treading water. Furthermore, they never go anywhere. They just stay in that spot... waiting... fearing the occasional shark... never enjoying the water... anxiously awaiting the day their strength will give out.

So here I am God. You know me. You know who I thought I was, You know who I wanted to be... but far more important, you know who I will be. You want me to learn to swim, with You as the strength in my legs.

There are so many ways to numb myself. I want so much to head for the cold, frigid waters where I'll soon lose all feeling. But that's not why You made me. Why did you make me again? Oh yeah... I have to swim. I have to feel the pain of unrelenting movement if I'm going to find that out. I'm so scared.