Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who is this man...

Wow, am I getting jumpy. 
I must be on edge from all that happened today. 
It was really,
a day like any other.
With the angry crowds shouting at some criminal 
and demanding we “Crucify Him!”
Pilot seemed scared of this man though,
Handing down judgment
he washed his hands.
He received the most severe beating,
one lash short of death.
Mind you,
I normally like my job,
but somehow,
it all felt wrong today.
This man didn’t turn away
or try and hide his face,
even when we mocked him
and spit in his face.
He was not ashamed of his punishment,
or insulted by our hatred of him.
He didn’t curse us
or plead and beg us to stop.
He made no threats.
he received
his wounds
and looked at me
with a loving gaze.
I couldn’t stand it!
At one point,
I blindfolded him
and covered his eyes.
Why didn’t he hate me?!
I’m good at what I do.
I’m the strongest man
In my (regiment)
I knew by his behavior,
He was stronger than me.
He wasn’t angry.
He embraced this punishment,
I don’t get it!
I just don’t understand.
Who is this man?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The two of me...

I saw myself and the sins that seem so easily to entrap me and the thoughts that I shouldn’t think and I didn’t like my identity.
I imagined “me”, next to myself, always making the right choices, always able to think the right thoughts and I wanted to be that “me”.
The more I looked at the sin in my life and the patterns of thinking that I know is wrong, the more I just wished I could transport over to the other “me”.  
Even just for a day. 
Could you imagine it? 
Me, always making the most of every opportunity.  
Always rejecting the enemy and choosing Gods way;
in speech,
in action,
in thought.
Oh, I wished for that life. 
God, even just for a day!  
I think it would feel so good.
I wouldn’t miss a thing.
I wouldn’t regret any part of what I gave up.
This desire to transport was such a powerful alluring picture for me, it stayed with me all day, honestly, it came and went and came again.  Like a persistent hunger pain that goes away for a while if you drink soda or nibble on some chips.  
But when it was quiet, again, I faced it, and talked with God about it.  I heard things like:  If my words abide in you and you abide in me…and…those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled
And as I listened, the two of my lives began to merge.  I fought the image at first, thinking, “No! God, no!”  I don’t want to tarnish the good life with my bad choices and sin.  But the truth is and was He has always been there wishing I would listen and rooting for me to make better choices.  He has been sad about the joy I have missed out on by the thoughts I’d been thinking.  
So I spent time repenting the things that easily make me stumble, in thought, deed and word and I knew God was always with me.  The “life” I wanted was always there waiting for me with every moment of my day.  I pictured God with me in this righteous life I desired and indeed God showed me that I already had (to some degree).
I pictured messing up in conversation with someone and gossiping or just not honoring someone else. I would know it was wrong and stop myself, apologize to the listener and start giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, and even admit my weaknesses and Gods grace to forgive us all.  Maybe we would even pray repentance together and pray a blessing on whomever we had dishonored.  
God would be glorified,
faith would grow,
love would grow,
the Holy Spirit would move,
the Father would be so proud,
Jesus would be more in love than ever.
More prayer...
God I want to listen better.  
God I want to obey faster.
God I want to honor you more faithfully,
abide in you more constantly,
make the most of every opportunity.  
Here we go, God!
Thank you for your abundant grace and mercy
and love for me and for all your children.