Friday, January 13, 2006

Who is this?

Mark 3:23 As he was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
24 At this the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?"
25 He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
26 How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?"
27 Then he said to them, "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
28 That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."

i have been asking and hear people around me asking, Who is this God we serve? how do we not offer strange fire? when do we know when we can eat the shewbread as david did? when can we approach and grab the horns of the altar and be safe? is there safety in the presence of God, won't His holiness just obliterate any trace of our being? hard questions, all. i do not have the answers.

but i find my safety in this. He knows you. He knows me. that is sufficient. i attempt to live my life so completely yielded (not perfectly, i could never do that), but so willing to forego my own agenda that the Lord God All Mighty can be the King. i do not need or want kingship. i do not desire to be in charge any longer. i'm fond of saying, He makes all the deposits, i make all the withdrawals. because it is so true. i bring nothing to the equation, i recieve all from the equation.

i wrote recently that i use God as a crutch. but not merely a crutch, he is the stretcher, the gurney, the ambulance, the emt, everything. He is the only reason breath fills my lungs and i am still a pulsing, thinking, reasoning (on occassion) being. and i am grateful for His infinite patience.

i say the wrong things, i do the wrong things, i act impulsively. the other morning i was standing in my bathroom looking at myself in the mirror. (we're not huge on mirrors, but this is the only one that is actually on a wall and it is massive). i'm standing there seeing my wrinkles, greying hair, knowing the stuff i am made of and saying, i am so horribly flawed. but then at just that instant the thought that followed hard after was, but i am fully loved.

i left that moment relishing life. cherishing God's great love for me. i have never walked in this place of utter awareness of both my lack and gain, my faults and merits (or God's rather, as i've mentioned above).

i was thinking and maybe someday this will congeal into a poem, in response to something a friend wrote:

we are all
blessed and cursed
whole and broken
empty and full
dark and light
we are all

the great paradoxes comfort me more than you can imagine. i cannot embrace a simple yes anymore. it has to be, yes and no. i cannot abide a simple no anymore, it has to be both. i know this flies in the face of let your yes be yes, but it is not getting around that. i am not speaking of paradox as it pertains to integrity (although i am sure someday i will). i am speaking of paradox as it pertains to life and the mysteries of God.

i am comforted greatly by honesty. by truth. even, and especially the hard, painful truths because i know those to be really true. many times when it is all joyous sweet, i know in those moments, this too shall pass (and it always does). but the hard stuff, i often feel is more the stuff that is present to us. ours to keep. flawed as that reasoning may be, it has been my experience. but henri nouwen takes it a step further and says, don't be surprised by the suffering, we'll all suffer. be surprised by joy. i must put the whole quote here and let you read it for yourself. i do feel the time of Peter is coming and we will have to abandon ourselves to the will of God. but do you know Him well enough to know it? well enough to know His will, even though it be a road laden with sadness?

let henri send you off today. blessings. suz.

From Finding My Way Home by Henri Nouwen

The third discipline is the hardest one. It is the discipline to be surprised not by suffering but by joy. As we grow old, we will have to stretch out our arms, be guided and led to places we would rather not go. What was true for
Peter will be true for us. There is suffering ahead of us, immense suffering, a
suffering that will continue to tempt us to think we have chosen the wrong road
and that others were more shrewd than we were. But don't be surprised by pain.
Be surprised by joy, be surprised by the little flower that shows its beauty in
the midst of a barren desert, and be surprised by the immense healing power that keeps bursting forth like springs of fresh water from the depth of our pain. And
so, with an eye focused on the poor, a heart trusting that we will get what we
need, and a spirit always surprised by joy, we will exercise true power and walk
through this valley of darkness performing and witnessing miracles. God becomes
ours and goes out from us wherever we go and to whomever we meet. ... But when we dare to let go ... empty our hands, and raise them up to the One who is our true refuge and our true stronghold, our poverty opens us to receive power from above, power that heals, power that will be a true blessing for ourselves and our world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear girl,
your writing moves me. i really enjoy reading your musings....Keep them coming.....