No More Still

It’s been a long time since I’ve

had something to say

with these fingers and keys.

Yet, today, they skip and click

back and forth–

able, once more,

to press symbols into service

and mold memos into message

until silence takes its place

between the gaps

of a rising

voice.

The first notes of promise

cause the mind to stir with

confidence,

gratitude,

and dreams of discourse

that are

first, extravagant

then, reasonable.

The final conclusion

is this:

the words that come

must belong to today’s stage

and not one already buried by time.

Whatever untold,

but insistent upon expression,

will ultimately arise

at a relevant time.

Until then,

mysteries will

hold their tongue,

but no more

our attention.

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So Just WHAT Do I Need to Change?

Look at this:
Another
suggestion.
“God,” I whisper,
“You know that isn’t
what it felt like.”

I’m agitated about
the substance
of a conversation
with an acquaintance of mine.
She showed a keen interest
in learning my answer
to the Big Question
(“What are you doing
with your life,
hah-ney?”)–
that is, until she heard it
from me.

Then she seemed to
jump into gear,
prepared to fix
what wasn’t quite right.
Her advice came with a
subtext I had no
trouble absorbing
along with the words she spoke
(“This wasn’t a task
I was looking for tah-day,
but since you’ve
foisted
it upon me,
let’s try to work with me,
huh?”)

I don’t believe she ever heard
my heart.

Have you had a similar encounter?
You started out,
pleasantly surprised
by the attention
you were receiving
from someone
you didn’t know well,
but almost immediately
found yourself repenting of
your earlier gratitude–
wanting nothing more than
to welcome the disappearance
of your adversary.

Oh! The worst part
is when they do leave,
and we are left
feeling chained to
all the things they
said with the
skimpiest of words.
Where is the advice for that?!

I’ve been asking
that question,
and searching for its answer,
since the days
when I was
the little lady
the average adult didn’t
understand.
I felt the punishment
of every comment
informing me that
my atypical behavior
had not gone unnoticed
and, of course,
would not be free from
whatever
suggestion
seemed appropriate.

Years have passed
with little changing.
I’ve decided
there isn’t really
a promise
of escape
out there
waiting for me.

Instead, I’ve been learning
to walk through these
continuing confrontations
looking for God,
expecting Him to use
each one
as a backdrop
for the revelation of
something that only
the poor in spirit
wait to see.

Because I’ve watched Him do this
again and again,
I’ve learned to end
the prayers I begin
like the one above
with something like this:

“What could I gain
from this,
Lord?
What would you like me
to work through,
to learn by trying,
to act upon
that the change
You want in me
might take place?”

Where is Amazing?

Amazing. I like that word. I also like the idea of it labeling all the particulars of my life. It would just sort of be…right, you know?

Yet, the life I live is not always loaded with amazing. Sometimes the concept actually seems quite removed from what I am experiencing.

There is just too much boring and stressful and confusing–maybe even heart-breaking–in these days to match the dreams I had while I was growing up.

Rather than living what I have imagined, I am living something…else. I don’t really have words for it–beyond discussing what it is not.

It frightens me to realize that my lack of control over my life even extends to an inabilitity to describe where I am, what I’m living through, and why it’s not more in line with what I was expecting.

But, maybe all my problems with reality are one: I’ve been insisting that Amazing must be more than just the identity of my King, but that of my whole life as well.

In the end, though, I have to ask myself: What is my life, besides a vehicle for the Amazing One to make Himself known?

If obedience didn’t strain, could it really offer gain?

Okay, I’m back from my blogging sabbatical. Though my time away has been, for me, extraordinarily intense, I will not attempt to describe what made my heart too dry for blogging. Rather, in my gratitude for the ways I have learned to cope as well as blossom in this season of stretching-without-end, let me share one of the points of beauty I’ve received along the way.

Obedience can be a scary thing. For me, the scary part is that obedience is hard and God offers no excuse for the fact. Sometimes He asks the very hardest things of us when we are already in the midst of the hardest situations we could imagine. This does not seem right. Most days it does not even seem possible.

Yet, if we think of obedience as our hearts working out agreement with God, we cannot be surprised at its uncomfortable elements, its self-wearing-down results. We should expect to find the elements of an excellent work-out firmly implanted in its very nature.

Is obedience not designed to stretch us where we are inflexible so that we may become fully flexible? Would devotion not take us into realms that are un-mastered so that we might master them? Should my soul and flesh not be torn down more and more that my spirit might reign over them?

In short, if obedience did not introduce strain into our lives and hearts, could it truly afford us lasting gain?