Sunday, February 24, 2008

Waking the Dead


And listen to the way he talks about us: "You shine like the stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life" (Phil. 2:15-16). As Shawn Mullins sings, "we're born to shimmer, we're born to shine." You are supposed to shimmer. "Let your light shine before men" (Matt. 5:16). All this groveling and self-depreciation done by Christians is often shame masquerading as humility. Shame says, "I'm nothing to look at. I'm not capable of goodness." Humility says, "I bear a glory for sure, but it is a reflected glory. A grace given to me." Your story does not begin with sin. It begins with a glory bestowed upon you by God. It does not start in Genesis 3; it starts in Genesis 1. First things first, as they say.


Certainly, you will admit that God is glorious. Is there anyone more kind? Is there anyone more creative? Is there anyone more valiant? Is there anyone more true? Is there anyone more daring? Is there anyone more beautiful? Is there anyone more wise? Is there anyone more generous? You are his offspring. His child. His reflection. His likeness. You bear his image. Do you remember that though he made the heavens and the earth in all their glory, the desert and the open sea, the meadow and the Milky Way, and said, "It is good," it was only after he made you that he said, "It is very good" (Gen 1:31). Think of it: your original glory was greater than anything that's ever taken your breath away in nature.

As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.
Psalm 16: 3

God endowed you with a glory when he created you, a glory so deep and mythic that all creation pales in comparison. A glory unique to you, just as your fingerprints are unique to you, just as the way you laugh is unique to you. Somewhere deep down inside we've been looking for that glory ever since. A man wants to know that he is truly a man, that he could be brave; he longs to know that he is a warrior; and all his life he wonders, " Have I got what it takes?" A women wants to know that she is truly a woman, that she is beautiful; she longs to know that she is captivating; and all her life she wonders, "Do I have a beauty to offer?" The poet Yeats wrote,


If I make the lashes dark
And the eyes more bright
And the lips more scarlet
Or ask if all be right
From mirror to mirror
No vanity's displayed;
I'm looking for the face I had
Before the world was made.
("Before the world was made" from the poem "A Woman Young and Old")


Yes, that's it. When you take a second glance in the mirror, when you pause to look again at a photograph, you are looking for a glory you know you were meant to have, if only because you know you long to have it. You remember faintly that you were once more than what you have become. Your story didn't start with sin, and thank God, it does not end with sin. It ends with glory restored: "Those he justified, he also glorified" (Rom. 8:30).
And "in the meantime," you have been transformed, and you are being transformed. You've been given a new heart. Now God is restoring your glory. He is bringing you fully alive. Because the glory of God is you fully alive.

(An excerpt from Waking the Dead, by John Eldredge)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Inquire


Do you ever feel
like you're on the outside
looking in
at everything around you?

With the waves
I rock back and forth
my tongue moves
with a language I do not know
I cry to my God.

Wake up, wake up
oh, my soul.
These fears crush
every beat of my heart
and I wait
without words.

Stepping into the unknown
Behold
You are near.

God?
Where am I?

The heart is such
a fragile thing
It acts on its own
sometimes.

Where have you gone?
Why do you hide?

When there is no beauty in the day
when the weary, worn and broken
rises to the surface
you shake and shiver
you run away...

But I thought all was well
you say
the day was lovely
the birds were sweet in song

Now the night comes again
and the day seems
a faded dream
and my heart, was it numb?

You sigh closing weary eyes
for all efforts seemed to have failed
or is there still hope that
calls you to unveil your eyes?

What if you could still chose?
What if the day was not yet over?
And I tell you now
You can
and it's not.

Now what will you do?

Abba, Father, you are Beautiful Hope.
You are the only Constant.
The only thing in all my grasping
that does not slip like the wind through
these fingers...
Teach me, oh God
to feel again
the very beating of Your Heart
Your word is a Lamp unto
my feet
and a Light unto
my path
I shall not fear
for You are with me.
Always.
Draw me out
from the place
I hide away.

And glorify Your name.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dwelling in Him



For some time now
My heart has ached.

Aching for me
and for every other
living, breathing
rushing and running
man, woman and child.

I haven't been able to
put it into words.

I was sitting in my car
silently watching
the cars race by
one hundred lives
one hundred stories
one hundred hearts.

Rushing,
Running,
Breathing,
but not really
Living.



Slow
down
softly.



Let it go.



So how do we live
in that place of peace
and rest
In a world that is not so.



"I have told you these things

so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble.

But take heart!

I have overcome the world."

- Jesus



Beautiful stillness
spreads warmth deep within

the Word of God.

Eternal.

dripping on this surface
with constancy

ripples form
the vibration hums

teach me
the music of peace.
the melody of rest.



He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

- Psalm 91:1



This post speaks the words I cannot,
and stirs my heart with truth, be blessed.