Sunday, April 21, 2013

psalm 107 (fall, 2001)

Some set out on a journey to who knows where,
     they set sail on the winds of God’s breath.
They weren’t sure where they were going or when they would get there,
     but they knew it would be good when they arrived. 
They saw things along the way that they never thought possible
     and discovered truths of the heart
     that had been buried within them for a long, long time.
What they saw and discovered changed them into something that more
     closely resembled who they really were.
And they realized that this journey was not about arriving, but becoming
     indeed a journey that would last a lifetime.
And in the end would bring them to the discovery of the truth
     that was whispered into them from before the foundations of the world.            
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
     and his wonderful deeds for men, for he knows us intimately
     and longs to reveal to us that which is most true about who we really are.

Friday, April 19, 2013

psalm 107 (april, 2013)

Some fought and wrestled
     and refused to let go
     even though what they were
     clinging to so tightly
     was only a shadow and an illusion
     a false and fleeting distortion
     of what the dreamer dreamt them to be
In fact they held on so tightly that
     in the end it had to be torn away
     pried from their tightly clenched fists
And when it all was over and the dust had settled
     they recognized that what God was freeing them from
     and what he had for them to receive
     was what they most desperately wanted all along
He was giving them the gift of their true selves
Let them give thanks to God for His unfailing love
     and His wonderful deeds for men
For His passion for us will not allow Him
     to let us settle for less than
     all of the beauty and delight
     that was in His heart and mind
     when He dreamt us into being



(Note:  Periodically I find it a helpful practice to try and write a psalm; something that speaks for where I am, or speaks to what God seems to be up to within or around me.  This piece came from a retreat where I was spending some significant time in Psalm 107.  It is my little portion.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

rest II

How is rest even possible in this chaotic and uncertain world?  There is far too much unknown.  And there is far too much known.  And then there is the whole world inside; filled with so many fears, and doubts, and insecurities.  I mean who really has a chance?  Who could even think of finding rest in such a threatening climate?  Unless of course our rest didn't depend on us; on what we can create, or what we can achieve, or what we can avoid.  Only if our safety and security was dependent on something, or better yet Someone, much bigger than we are.  Someone big enough to calm our deepest fears, and overcome our biggest insecurities.  Someone with a heart we could trust; someone with a hand we can be sure of.  Someone who calls us Beloved and invites us to find our rest in Him.  Someone who is big enough and strong enough to fully protect us, yet Someone whose heart for us is so full of love that more than anything he longs for us to come to Him, and lay or weary heads upon His chest, and find our rest between His strong and tender shoulders.  Let the beloved of the Lord find their rest in Him, for He shields him all day long; and the one the Lord loves, rests between His shoulders (Deut. 33:22).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

rest

Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12


When we are truly convinced of our own belovedness; then, and only then, will we be able to experience the wholeness, and the fullness, and the life that we were created for.  Then, and only then, will we be free to stop our grasping, and clinging, and striving, and achieving, and jockeying, and proving, and manufacturing, and protecting, and defending, and manipulating; and finally be able to experience the rest that we so deeply long for.  His love and affection (the word for beloved here is from the Hebrew root dowd, which means to boil; an extremely passionate love, used over and over again in the Song of Songs); His strength and power, will hold us safely and securely.  They will shield us and give us shelter from our deepest fears and insecurities.  Because of the truth that we are fully and radically loved, we can live in that love and lay our weary heads between the strong and loving shoulders of our Father, and find rest.  Thanks be to God!




All mature religion must and will talk about the death of any notion of a separate, and therefore False Self, while recognizing that only a deep security in a Larger Love will give you the courage to do that.  The True Self can let go because it is radically safe at its core.  

                                                                           ~Richard Rohr

Friday, April 5, 2013

the journey of resurrection

I've been wondering about something lately.  What does resurrection look like for us, this side of heaven?  What should we expect?  What should we hope for?  And how should we expect it to unfold?  My guess is that if we've learned anything at all these last few weeks from the stories of the resurrection in scripture, it is to expect the unexpected.  But I keep wondering, what does resurrection look like in our present lives?  Does it come suddenly?  Like the earthquake that shook the tomb and rolled the stone away in Matthew?  Or does it come in a more hidden way, as it did to the travelers on the road to Emmaus; so slowly and subtly that we will have to pay careful attention to be able to recognize it.  Or will it be a long, slow process; like a journey in which the destination appears on the horizon, off in the distance, but still seems miles and miles away from a current reality?  You know that it is getting closer, slowly but surely, but can't quite tell when exactly it will arrive.

I guess I'm wondering because of my hope that at some point this old, passing, manufactured, false self will finally be fully put to death and the new, eternal, God breathed, true self will rise from the ashes.  But for now I still have way more of one than I'd like, and less of the other than I truly long for.  The old just keeps hanging around, with nowhere near the amount of life it once had mind you, but still very present nonetheless.  And the new, although it keeps gaining more of a presence and a voice within me, still is not in complete control of my thinking and my believing; my being and my doing.  How much longer will this wrestling go on before I wrestle no more and am able to rest in the fullness of all that I was created to be?