Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2011

Thanksgiving

I have a lot to be thankful for today, and I don't mean in a shallow thank-God-for-the-air-you-breathe kind of way. I'm thankful that God is real and good and that love means much more than I ever thought it did. I'm thankful that pain wakes us up from the lethargy and numbness of despair and teaches us to look for something better. I'm thankful that God puts escape routes in place before we even realize we need them, and that we can change and grow stronger and suddenly discover hope inside us. I want to tell you something, dear friends: we weren't made to live with gaping holes inside. Half of you don't even realize you have them because of the layers of denial and defenses that scab over your wounds. Sometimes I go crazy, seeing the sadness in your eyes and hearing the real story behind the words that you say. The other half of you know that something is wrong, and feel the pain and questions eating you alive. What I want to say is this: be brave and face yo…

Shieldmaiden

I love the part in A Million Miles in a Thousand Years where Don Miller is describing a very painful time in his life, and he says, "I didn't want to get well, because if I got well, nobody would come and save me anymore." That sentence describes me and, I think, a lot of other Christians. For years I waited for God (or someone) to rescue me. It was partly because that's what I wanted. It's always easier when someone else does the work. It was also partly because my theology described God as the only one in the universe with the power and the right to act - all of us humans must submit mindlessly to His bidding. The way this worked out for me was that I waited and I waited to be rescued and things kept getting worse, and God just sat there for some reason. Finally I decided that I cared enough about my own survival to try rescuing myself. I guess that's what God was waiting for because after that it's been like a journey in which He says, "Here's…

Now I Know

Depression still comes. Dark days feel darker, my skin feels like it's being pulled off, my heart races in panic. Sometimes I'm afraid to leave whatever room I'm in, or venture out into town. Old patterns play out again, old triggers and symptoms that return and fight against my health and peace. This time around I let myself into the dark place to see what was there. I've changed. Fear and shame may still express themselves in my body and my emotions, but there is something certain deep inside. I believe certain truths now. I can tell you beyond the shadow of a doubt that these things are true, because I've lived the learning of them. Let me tell you what I know: That God loves us, that each one of us matters. We care more about rules than He does. He doesn't look at women as less, or single people or sick people. He wants us to grow up and make choices and be brave and learn to enjoy life, to have fun and get hurt and try again. Every minute He comes up with …

Theirs Is the Kingdom

Sometimes, coming home after a hard day, I have to look at myself in the mirror just to be sure I'm real. All day I dance between and through rigid social systems devised by people who have to define me, put me in my place. They tell me who I am when I follow the rules and also who I am when I do not. I realize this is a reality of the world in general, but within Christian communities it is a shockingly prevalent dynamic. And the failure of love hurts worse where the potential for love should be so much greater. All day I interact with people who paste smiles on their faces and spout biblical phrases, but I see the truth. I can read your faces, I hear what you are really saying, I look between the lines of what you write. Our rules are corrupt and our lives corroded. This is not what God intended, but before you can find what He really meant, you have to admit there's something wrong.