I understand more and more, the pain of this pilgrimage and the gravity of choices.
And God, relentless, weaves themes endlessly through my life forcing learning, stretching.
I tell Him that I want to, "rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy" but that it is not something I am so familiar with, this joy.
And so, I seek the new.
Maybe the stealing of my joy lays somewhere tangible. So, I make offerings of silence, deliberation, attention. Because I want to live for Christ. I want to follow Christ.
So, I say.
And then, I complain when I suffer, when I know nothing of true suffering. And isn't suffering a guarantee, no secret in the Bible?
So I pray, more unceasingly every day and I think I master silence. But then the thoughts invade. And I'm convicted anew that yes, even my thoughts must come captive. Must be laid down at the cross.
I see again, that I see nothing from God's eyes. I look at people through so much human glare and how can I ever learn to see, love like He does? To look inside a man? To eradicate judgment and say as Christ did, "I do not condemn you," to the woman at the well?
Yes, I see my lack of compassion, my heart of condemnation and then the weaving in of God's trust of me. Trust, which I feel so undeserving of. So much is left undone, untaught, unlearned every day. And still He says, "I will use you. You will be used."
Even as I'm wracked with anger, letting the sun set on it, telling Him, "No, I don't know how to not go to bed angry. I'm sorry. But I can't." And He answers, "I'll take it. I'll transform your anger." And He does. I wake and everything is different and I'm humbled by His morning mercies.
I give my writing to Him and stay stuck, silent, wavering, because it's not Him I don't trust, it's me.
And He weaves again, the concept of words, into my learning, and in class, we talk of using words ethically, telling the truth, and I know that this is what He requires of me but my truth is so ugly. And I, so tormented by wavering and confusion and disturbances and hypocrisy.
So, I say, once more, "Then I will only say what You would have me. Nothing else, Lord."
"Communicating with others requires that individuals become consciously aware of the power of their words. Seeing other people as created in the image of God, as unique people worthy of respect, is a practical way toward more authentic relationships and communication. In addition, when an individual sees himself or herself in that same light, it increases self-esteem and improves intrapersonal communication." (from a lecture)
Too many times, my flesh dictates my thoughts and words. I cringe, craving crucifixion, again, of this fated flesh. Why is it so hard to see myself and others as in the image of God?
Why do I say, think these things God would never utter against one of His beloved? And in all my wrong, I have the nerve to argue with Him. I say "boundaries" and He says "long-suffering" and I ask, "how long?" and He says "Endlessly".
Endlessly, I'll be giving it all up, Endlessly He will forgive, Endlessly I will be learning. Endlessly, His love endures.