Friday, December 30, 2016

It was a good year!

Feeling incredibly blessed. 

Looking to finish out the year well. 
I imagined having a day 
when I applied all the wisdom gained, 
by all the mistakes I've made
(all year!).
Could you imagine getting it right once?
One day with no mistakes,
no foolishness,
no insensitivity,
no waist,
no ingratitude.
So maybe I'll wake tomorrow,
and I'll try.
Try to be kind (at all times).
Grateful (for all things).
Purposeful (in all my effort).
Prayerful and obedient.
Abiding and generous.
Brave and bold.
Humble and meek
(NTS figure out what meek even means)
Patient and long suffering.
I think after an entire year
of working on these things,
I'd be farther ahead?
But I still have so far to go,
and some days it feels like such a battle
just to stand my ground.
Maybe it's not about how far I traveled
but who was in the car with me,
and what we talked about.
God, we have had so many great conversations!
I have shared with you the deepest hardest things,
and you have helped me trough each one.
I trust you more than I did last year.
You have shown me you are trustworthy.
I am less fearful this year,
as you have helped me be brave.
I have learned to trust you more
more than I mistrust myself.
I love myself more now.
It might sound strange,
but the more I love God,
the more I experience His love for me,
the more I realize I must have worth.
And I am who God made me.
And he likes the way He made me.
I'm better at believing that than I was last year.
Sometimes I just hope things (like that) are true.
But the more times God tells me,
while we travel,
the more I know it's true.
He whispers to me
in His Word and by His Spirit.
Some days I've been so busy,
I missed His whispers.
God I'm learning,
there is no more important thing
than listening to you,
and walking in obedience.
I'm learning fear is a lie.
Fear says you wont always be there.
It says you wont always provide.
It says you don't really love me.
It says you will only love me if I lose weight,
or get something right.
Or avoid something wrong.
But you told me you wont ever leave me.
You said you would give me everything I need
for life and godliness.
You said there was no greater love
than to lay down your life for a friend,
and then you laid yours down.
You said your power is made perfect in my weakness,
and that you (intentionally) put your all surpassing power
into this clay pot,
to show that the glory was from you
and not me.
It's been a great year, God.
Thank you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

This is not a political post

This is not a political post
Last night I watched a documentary about some Native Americans. I don't remember what their clan name was but one had asked if mining could make fish sick. "It could!" said the scientist (come to test the land). He also tested the water and people of this town. They had been “relocated” from their land 7 times and refused to leave the last time it was "requested". So the land owners mined copper and gold right on the border of their land. In the process of the half hour show I was in tears to see the damage greed had reeked on this land and these beautiful people, 4 of the main characters in the documentary were dead by the end of the show, I grieved. I repented for the way WE have harmed the earth, and cared so little for those beautiful people whom God created.

This morning I read an article written by Steve Locke called "I fit the description". More tears. I just wanted to find this man and tell him "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry."

I didn't mine for gold next to a native population and poison them, I didn't racially profile and strike fear into this beautiful black man, and I wasn't sorry because I am white. I'm sorry because both of those injuries were done by humans, and I am a human. I associate with the greed and carelessness of the polluters, so I repent. I associate with the Natives, so I grieve. I associate with the officers (there to protect, but clouded in their vision of what is fair and dignified) so I repent. I associate with Steve, so I grieve.

Sometimes I wonder when I cry during worship or when scripture is read, if I look more guilty than others, but I don't care. It's right to grieve what is wrong. It's right to cry because God is so beautiful and holy, and yet He allowed himself to be born to the poor and week. He allowed himself to be broken for us. ~more tears.

I was at a woman’s event once when a man took the stage. To be honest, I'm sorry to say I was a bit annoyed at first. But then this humble man, began to pray for us. He began to apologize for all of the harmful, hurtful, callous things the fathers and brothers and boyfriends and school-mates, and male friends had done. It was one of the most powerful, healing, beautiful things one human has done in a 10 minute prayer time. He didn't say all men are horrible. He just said “I'm sorry. I'm so so very sorry.” There was not a women in the place who was not weeping. Grieving. Forgiving. Healing. Being set free.

There is no us and them. Only us. And God.

There is none righteous, no not one, all have sinned and fallen short.

Just some thoughts. Some that move me to pray. Some that explain my tears. Some that say "I'm sorry", because sometimes that makes it easier (for us humans) to forgive. I have apologized for Christians before. I hope (if I've caused injury in my foolishness) others have done the same for me. Because it's part of loving justice and walking humbly with our God, to desire healing and health and forgiveness for others (even as we long for it for ourselves).

So why did I say: This is not a political post?
Because it's too easy to isolate folks in our mind and disagree with and hate and judge and stand pridefully against them. But we are warned about this. So many warnings. If we are judged in the same measure that we use to judge others, if we are forgiven the way we forgive (in the same way and with the same contingencies) None of us will stand, in the day of judgment. If we are told to judge not, lest we be judged, if judgment begins with the house of God...Wow. Let us rend our hearts and spend some time in prayer.

May He bless you richly dear friend. Thank God that He has been gracious to us. God help us. God forgive us and heal our land.