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.

Fearing Him Is A Valley Job

Lord,
I’m recognizing
that I need
to fear You
more…

Barely begun,
my prayer
morphs into
a mental image of
God and I
cresting a mountain
from which He
unlocks for me
all the secrets
of His glory
and I stand,
dazed by His
brilliance
and might.
And it is
while
I am on
visual overload
that the fear
of the Lord
takes over me.

…To fast forward
a little bit,
so far God
hasn’t taken
my daydream HD,
but He has been
showing me that
He’s heard my
prayer
and He knows
exactly what the answer
needs to look like.
My heart has needed
some work–
a LOT,
to be exact–
and God has
been doing it.
None of it has been
natural
or sit-back-
and-watch-the-
show kind of relaxing.
But every moment
of it has been
a minute
detail
of a much
bigger miracle.
I am being changed
by the only One
Who could do what
God’s doing–
and that’s life
at it’s best,
isn’t it?

What if Your love…changed my questions?

What if Your love
is not meant to be contained
in a single day,
or revealed in the answer
to a solitary prayer?
What if Your love
is bigger, deeper
than the bite-sized portions
I make of my life,
when I try to judge whether
You are good
by what I like and what I
don’t?
What if my life is a whole
that was not meant to be divided
because You are most
personal to me,
when I stop trying to see You
through the details
and begin to see the themes
through You.

How far do I have to go to get beyond myself?

Note to self:
Think beyond yourself and you’ll be okay.

That’s a little too out of your league, right? I mean, you never signed up to be Super-Spiritual Man (or his knock-off, the infamous Super-Spiritual Man-Wannabe). All you want to do is make it through life the best you can. If someone like me can give you some advice that you can tuck into your pocket and find comfort in as you make your way, so much the better, but you won’t be too dependent on the possibility. But what potential for reaching a worthy destination are you assured by merely accumulating the pocket-change variety of spiritual direction and input?

If everything you do and are is spirit, how can you relegate such a small investment to what connects you with God’s Spirit? Truly, the opposite of actively pursuing connection must be consistently avoiding it. Therefore, how can you hope in a pleasant destination for your life if there is yet no link between you and the Pleasant One in whose quarters alone eternal joy resides?

Are my questions feeling a bit harsh? Maybe you’re thinking some of us just weren’t made for that sort of connection. Yet, how could that be? Rather than trying to reason with you about whether we were made for connection with God or not, let me ask you to consider instead how a true relational connection could be workable if one party were to exclude themselves from the union.

If my life should be a song–could I really sing it along with You?

What would be the soundtrack
if I should
one day happen to hear
God singing
the life behind my years?
Would the rhythm be composed of lilting melodies,
blended to lift the soul,
or would dark journeys of sound constantly converge,
bringing distress to the
very deepest parts of me?
Would it kill me to encounter
the unvarnished tension in the story
He would tell
or would I revel in the underlying current of strength
He held out to me
in every detail?

Would I long to join Him in the song
that flowed from His mouth
or would I faint at the idea
of being so personal with Him?
Would I let Him sing the song alone because I
was too afraid to lift my voice and let what’s inside of me
be heard?
Would I think it important enough
to expose everything that’s in me
to perform
this Original alongside its kind Composer
or would I prefer to sit back and critique
its taste
and discredit its potential for great acclaim?

I pray that mine should be a heart
that swells at the opportunity
to join my Maker in a song that bears His name
and reveals His heart in every
harmonized moment
between He and I.
I hope that I should gape in wonder at the interest
He would take
in my every weak attempt to carry the tune;
yes, wonder that He should
infuse each wayward note
with His own rich scales of
pure and undying Love.

With One like this behind the music of my life,
how should I keep from
embracing forever
this final lyric of joy:
…”Amen”?

Trading sleepless moments for a sweet embrace

“Alright, Lord,” I announce. “Rest won’t come to me in slumber and my heart is irritable with my restlessness, so here I lay before You.” With a sigh, I lean into hope: “I don’t know what Your purposes can make of moments like these, but I’d like You to make me a witness of a new form of grace, if You please.” The request is offered in weak faith, yet it is set before a positively powerful and earnestly eager God.

He waits on the wings of deepest night and earliest morning for requests like these. He whispers in the darkness a secret I can’t quite comprehend: I am one who has unconsciously been honored with the opportunity to engage Him at an irregular hour. It is my privilege to lay aside the thought of my own trouble and reach out for His unchanging mercies. As I do so, I will grasp in a new way the meaning of these gifts that wake the morning.

I twist and turn a bit, letting a thought or two of disagreement pass through my mind. I would like to be zapped with an appreciation for this blessed occasion, but the option is not presented to me. The only provision God gives is an invitation for me to exercise faith in what He declares to be true. I must act as though this is a period of time–however long it lasts–in which I can enjoy untold pleasures with my Lord.

He alone knows what may be–will I bank on that and put my heart in His hands? I do, and then He shows me something new–something that chases away all that made me blue.

This for Me, My child, is a perfect moment: My name is on your lips. The difficulty of the moment has sharpened your expectation for Me and there is no way that I will not rise to meet you in the midst of what I have ignited. Yes, dearest one, sleep is far away, but don’t spend your time fretting about it and wasting time. After all, I am up and I want to speak while no one else can yet be heard, lifting their voice in competition with the Divine. Yes, savor this precious bit of silence–the secrets that swim between us will more than make it worth embracing!

Love became home for me today

You have cleansed and purified my heart with hope, not because I desired it, but because You would put Your generosity on display in my life. You would let nothing conquer Your Love’s work in my heart. The inner sanctuary of my being You have made Your home and no one can trespass Your dwelling without Your word. Oh, thank You, Father, that You would treat me with such deference and care! There is nothing of my needs You do not take notice of and make provision for in the outpouring of Your glory. Tenderness has not been far from You, but joy-giving has been Your trade concerning me. Oh, I am a child well-fed and delighted-in beyond measure! What father or mother can match Your dedication, your remembering of me? None can equal Your praise.

If you find yourself longing to be cared for today, if your weaknesses cause you to fear that love has fled from your way, come cuddle up in the lap of your Savior. He knows what care looks like and He has been enacting this gift toward undeserving and guilt-ridden sinners for millennia. You will be safe in His arms; you will be made strong under His gaze and according to the Truth of His words.

You can do this–you can take your place in Him–because He reserved it for you. No one can take it away from you, but only you can decide to accept it and enjoy it. God wants you to be there and now He waits. Just say yes and let Him lead you in the rest.

“Take everything I have”

When I cry, the tears come without bidding. I have seen the glory of His face and my heart knows no other response. My Father has come close to me and He shows no sign of leaving. I, who have always feared abandonment; I, who have never believed I was truly worth staying by–I, I am the one to whom He draws near. More than that, He spends every day assuring me that I have been the only one who has ever been a proponent of our separation. But, in mercy He made nothing of the distance between us and quenched my rebellion in His love. Can you find a God like that in all the earth, who is worthy of all your praise because He has won your whole heart?