Friday, May 29, 2009

"it's not my fault I'm such an awful mess and more."

Why does everything in my life seem like such a battle? I don't think there is one thing going on in my life right now that doesn't require me to fight with all of my might. I do not ask out of complaint, but I ask out of pure wonder. It's not all bad I suppose, but it is tiring! I know very well that the life of a follower of Christ comes with risks, persecution, and hardship. It is not something you choose to live your life by if you want life to be easy. I don't want my life to be EASY. But shouldn't some things be a little easy...? Because it seems like nothing is easy anymore, nothing. Not one bit. I'm fighting for friendship and humanity, I'm fighting for love, I'm fighting for the principles and the people, I'm fighting for morals and ethics, I'm fighting for trust and respect. I'm fighting against consumerism, against hate and torture and murder and doubt, I'm fighting against lies and disease and emotion. Everything I'm fighting for and everything I'm fighting against leads me to one very weary road of exhaustion. But I won't stop, I swear. Nothing will ever make me stop. Maybe. Maybe except death... that would probably make me stop..... only probably, though.

It's funny how someone who really hates dissent and arguing and battles and war pretty much deals with it all on a daily basis. I never really feel the peace and harmony and love that I believe in so much. Sometimes I get glimpses of them. But they never last long. I guess that's why true faith is believing in the unseen.

I want a gentle revolution. I want a worldwide transformation. I want to disturb the order of society and infect the world with God's love. I want pop culture to suck it. I want a lifetime of love for others and ourselves. I want to give and not receive and be satisfied with that. I want unity and interdependence to outshine survival of the fittest. I want to love the hard people, the child molesters and the physically deformed and the Hitlers and the Osama Bin Ladens of the world. I want to know what makes the USA the best country in the world and why people are so proud to wear red, white, and blue while we murder and torture humans just like us. Sometimes I lie in bed in the middle of the night and get the urge to purge my entire wardrobe and live in the same outfit every day if it will help clothe people who have nothing. Other times I think I would miss my pretty dresses, though. I want to be pure in thought and body and soul. Sometimes I wonder if that is possible. I want people to come first, not profit. I want to never sell anyone anything ever again. I want one man to show me the way God says men should treat women and to stick around. I want to honor my husband someday and never stray from the sanctity of marriage. I want reconciliation to overcome all the brokenness. I want people to know that no one is beyond redemption. I want to get inside your head and rearrange all your doubts and perceptions so that things would make sense and this would work out between us. I want to close my eyes and not be afraid to open them up to see what is in front of me. I want to love people until the sun dies.

I don't feel like I fit into this lifetime, this world. I feel like a circle that is supposed to be a square. I don't want to live the American Way. Sometimes I think capitalism makes sense, and other times it makes me cringe. I wonder how some people have so much while other people have so little. Sometimes I cry about it, thinking about the weight of the world on my shoulders like I somehow manage to do way too much of the time. I'm no Jesus, but sometimes I feel like your suffering is my suffering along with my own suffering, and then I feel that all of that suffering doesn't even come close to the amount of suffering that's going on all over the world. Maybe I don't belong in America. America is eating me alive along with all the fried food it can produce. I feel like my body is here on earth, but my soul is somewhere very distant. My soul faints and cries out for heaven. I am really feeling the weight of the part in the Bible (if I had my Bible in front of me I could say where exactly it says it, but I don't), where God says this is not our home, we are foreigners in this world because our real home is with Him. So we should feel strange living here. Oh, please bring me home, Lord.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

it's true I failed, but Your love covers me.

I write with love
and I write for free
this way is death
please come with me
my words are true
and my eyes are soft
this is your chance
come with and see

thy worth is great
thy heart is pure
my arms stay open
so please be sure
I wait for you always
and offer you my love
but the only love you know
left you pain to endure

this world is death
this world is black
you choose your way
and never turn back

your heart is empty
your soul is dark
you see the light
and ignore the spark.

A mother that loves her own
but she cannot plainly see
the death in her mouth
rotting root and tree

of sky and earth
so spreads the dark
it leaks from her face
always finding its mark

oh mother, oh mother
your love is like no other
it slaps the face of who you love
it takes and takes and takes and takes

oh mother, sweet woman
do you know what you do
your arm a fine lover
your hand waiting to smother

oh mother, my mother
it was me you were loving
it was me you were loving.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Love until it HURTS.

Some of the best stuff I've read in a long time, highlights from the book "Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne.

"The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian Scholarship. Christian Scholarship is the church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament." -Soren Kierkegaard.

"We are not a voice for the voiceless. The truth is that there is a lot of noise out there drowning out quiet voices, and many people have stopped listening to the cries of their neighbors. Lots of folks have put their hands over their ears to drown out the suffering." -Shane

"It is a beautiful thing when folks in poverty are no longer just a missions project but become genuine friends and family with whom we laugh, cry, dream, and struggle." -Shane

"Charity wins awards and applause, but joining the poor gets you killed. People do not get crucified for charity. People are crucified for living out a love that disrupts the social order, that calls forth a new world." -Shane

-I want to live out a love that disrupts the social order. And there is never a better time to start doing so than right now. :)

..."But today people crave the spectacular. People are drawn to lights and celebrities, to arenas and megachurches. In the desert, Jesus was tempted by the spectacular, to do big, miraculous things so people might believe, but Jesus has called us to littleness and compares our revolution to the little mustard seed, to yeast making its way through dough, SLOWLY INFECTING THIS DARK WORLD WITH LOVE." -Shane

-I love using disgusting words to illustrate something beautiful. What would the world look like if everybody woke up every morning and thought, "how can I infect this dark world with love today?" I think it'd be pretty amazing.

"...We've just fallen in love with God and our neighbors, and that is transforming our lives." -Shane

"We are the richest and most miserable people in the world." -Shane

-we have the highest suicide rates and depression and yet we keep our misery around our wrists like handcuffs, this is probably the most true thing I've thought about it a long time. And we love staying miserable. Time to break the cycle, America. Time to break hearts, followers of Jesus.

"I feel sorry that so many of us have settled for a lonely world of independence and riches when we could all experience the fullness of life in community and interdependence. Why would I want a fancy car when I can ride a bike, or a TV when I can play outside with sidewalk chalk? Ok, sometimes I still want the hottub on the roof, but the rest I can live without. And I mean LIVE without." -Shane

-This is the epitome of what I think about on a daily basis, haha.

[Referencing Matthew 11:28-30] "...One of the things I think Jesus is doing is setting us free from the heavy yoke of an oppressive way of life. I know plenty of people, both rich and poor, who are suffocating from the weight of the "American Dream", who find themselves heavily burdened by the lifeless toil and consumption we put upon ourselves. This is the yoke we are being SET FREE FROM." -Shane

-Matthew 11:28-30 is my "life verse"... for so many reasons. But it's interesting how the deeper reasons are becoming more and more apparent to me the older I get and the more I keep coming back to what Jesus tells us in this passage.

Mother Theresa: "Following Jesus is simple, but not easy. Love until it hurts, and then love more."

Dorothy Day: "Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."

"This love is not sentimental but heart-wrenching, the most difficult and the most beautiful thing in the world." -Shane

"There are plenty of people who are miserable in their jobs, for they have not listened to God's call. And I would add there are many Christians who are not fulfilled in their spiritual lives because they have no sense of their gifts or purpose, and they just run to the mission field to save souls rather than transform lives and communities using their gifts and those of the people they live among. Both lead to EMPTINESS and BURNOUT." -Shane

"Some may leave their jobs. Others will redefine them. Many of us feel an inner collision between the old life and the new one." -Shane

In relation to the fuller awareness of notorious human rights abusers (Coca-Cola, Nestle, Disney, Gap, etc)... "Not everyone responds in the same way, BUT WE MUST RESPOND."

Over 20,000 children die each *day* from curable water-borne disease because of the problem for access to clean water.

"Jesus was crucified not for helping poor people, but for joining them. That is the Jesus we follow." -Shane

"We've got to unite ourselves as one body. Because Jesus is coming back, and he's coming back for a bride, not a harem." -a gospel preacher.

My mind is spinning, kids.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The lion lays down with the lamb.

What if we all realized what this toiling and consuming is doing to our world? It won't ever happen unless we stop covering our ears to drown out the screams of our neighbors, and it won't happen unless we open up our eyes, and I mean really open them. We all see what we want to see. People don't want to see people suffering. Because it might make us feel really guilty and it might make us have to change the way we live our lives. People don't want to see death and they don't want to see poverty, they don't want to see people naked and hungry and crying.

Maybe love doesn't mean happiness. Maybe it means you're going to hurt. There is so much more to happiness than just feeling good. More than not feeling bad. What if happiness isn't all there is to strive for on this earth? What if it isn't about making it to the next and higher level of happiness. What if we all stopped trying to become higher. Higher in our statuses, our wealth, our contentment, our security, our jobs, our place in society, everything. Haha, what if happiness really is a warm gun? ...kidding.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

so I'll stand, my soul Lord to You surrendered-- All I am is Yours!

what if we all believed in a God that could make our spirits dance and sing the way we do when we go to our worship services, when we're just sitting alone in a room... no band leading us, no friends next to us, just us and a chair. you know the worship services I'm talking about, the ones that rock us and make us scream and shout and wave our arms around for Jesus. the ones with the most talented guitar players that play our favorite worship tunes from Hillsong and Chris Tomlin and all the other Christian music resources. Cause I gotta tell you, I think when we do that every week, soemtimes we get into this rhythm. A rhythm where we NEED that amazing band, with the drums and the violin and the guitars and the piano and singers, in order to get really into the music and then into the spirit of worship with the Lord. Because as humans in these physical bodies we have, and our natural instincts, and just the way we are in our flesh... we associate things all the time with our feelings and our sentiments and emotions and experiences. And I think a lot of Christians walk away from these worship experiences so many times that it begins to feel like that's the standard- that's the way our worship time should be, at the least, to feel connected to God and glorify Him with our songs and our dancing.

And that leads us to a lot of disappointment, and unrest in our souls. What if we played that song from our laptops when we're sitting on the computer in a room all by ourselves, with no "introduction" of worship songs to get us into "the mood", or a youth pastor to pray and get our attention set on God for us. What if we just sat there doing our thing, and turned on a worship song through youtube. and what if that's all we needed to set our heart to dancing and make our souls sing for Jesus, and wave our arms around, and have an extreme physical reaction to the music we hear, and the words that we're singing. Because our God is just THAT amazing. He doesn't need lights and he doesnt need any of that extra stuff. It's just Him and us. Him and me. in a room, dancing. singing with all of my lungs.

that's the kind of God I believe in.

And having all of that "stuff"- the amazingly talented worship band, all the musical instruments, the sound system, the lights- that stuff is all good. It's GOOD. It's wonderful. People who were given great gifts get to use their musical talents to lead other people in worship to glorify God, that is good. and it is good to appreciate them and love the music they make.

but be careful not to fall into that motion, the one where you need THEM and all of that "stuff" to worship God. None of that really matters, except your heart, when it really comes down to it. And I believe that our God doesn't need anything to make Him look better than He already looks, and make His worship songs sound better than they already are. He is perfection. and He is all I need. I just wonder sometimes if anyone else falls into that rhythm, the one I described above, cause I know I have. I love music so much and I get really into it, but I gotta confess sometimes if that stuff isn't all there, it's hard for me to connect and worship. but you just have to remember it's about God, and nothing else.

I wonder how awesome it would be if we ALL believed in a God that didn't need anything but Himself to worship with all of our might. just sitting in a room with a computer and a chair and yourself- dancing and singing and worshipping Him. <3

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I picture you in the sun.

I think a lot about how things have changed. Not in a bad or good way, but just that there has been change. I see bits and pieces of the person I was one year ago, but thinking of everything together in one whole person is something I cannot remember or recall very well. I've forgotten, because I am so far away from that person in that body and mind. But I'll always remember the way I felt. I'm reminded of that when I walk by people, sometimes, and there eyes look like mine did when I looked at myself in the mirror. But I saw the mirror broken up in razor sharp pieces and none of the pieces fit together no matter how hard I tried to imagine them back together and whole. I couldn't even dream my life back together. I was so far away from now.

Whole. Beautiful. Radiant. Strong.

I don't want to experience the kinds of things I have gone through over the past year again, but if they did happen again, I'd be able to get through it. I know that. I know that now.

Sometimes I see faces of people that hurt so bad just to catch a glimpse of their pain, I wonder how horrible they feel in all their suffering. And I wonder how much of our suffering is caused by ourselves, and how much is caused by forces outside of our control, and how to deal with the two and how they differ and why they exist.

I think love sets us free. And anything that doesn't, probably isn't real love. It's probably just our own deceiving of ourselves, and confusing our hopes and desires and needs together in one big heap. That means I've been chained for a very long time, and I've been living disillusioned to knowing love and receiving it and giving it back. the only true love I've ever felt is the love of God that rains down on me when I sit in a quiet room all by myself and open up my heart to my Maker. And the love from my friends, the ones that walk in when the rest of the world walks out-those friends. All the rest is just pretend. And actually, thinking about this doesn't make me feel like I've missed out on experiencing real love other ways, it makes me feel special and chosen and significant, knowing that God loves ME for me. and if nobody else in this world loved me, God's love would be more than enough to live with forever. My cup runeth over, eh?

Yes, it does.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I said there would be more, and here it is...

-And then I started thinking about my own life, how I need people to love me and like me and how, if they don't, I feel miserable and sad and how I am tempted to believe what they are saying about me is true. It is as though the voice God used to have has been taken up by less credible voices. And when I think about this I know that Genesis 3 is true; I know without a doubt I am a person who is wired so that something outside myself tells me who I am.

-The thing is, if people are in a lifeboat, the reason they feel passionately about being a good person and all is because if they aren't, they are going to be thrown overboard; they are going to be killed. I realize that sounds grim, but I kept comparing, in my mind, the conversation that might take place in a lifeboat with the conversations I heard at Palio or at Horse Brass. Because when you really think about it, these wants we have, like wanting to be right, wanting to be good, wanting to be perceived as humble, wanting to be important to people and wanting to be loved, feel perilous, as though by not getting them something terrible is going to happen.

-...and if we don't get that love and respect, we feel very sad or angry because we know that our glory is at stake.... we'll be dead inside, like a little light will go out and our souls will feel dark, like nothing can grow there. We'll feel that there is a penalty, by default, for being removed from love.

-The most selfless thing God could do, that is, the most selfless thing a perfect Being who is perfectly loving could do, would be to create other beings to enjoy Himself.

-I feel like I am in a lifeboat trying to get other people to say I am important and valued and even when they do, it feels as though their opinion isn't strong enough to give me the feeling I need, the feeling that quit at the Fall.

-But what we really need is God. What we really need is somebody who loves us so much we don't worry about death, about our hair thinning, about other drivers pulling in front of us on the road, about whether people are poor or rich, good-looking or ugly, about whether we feel lonely or about whether or not we are wearing clothes. We need thisl we need this so we can love other people purely and not for selfish gain, we need this so we can see everybody as equals, we need this so our relationships can be sincere, we need this so we can stop kicking ourselves around, we need this so we can lose all self-awareness and find ourselves for the first time, not by realizing some dream, but by being told who we are by the only Being who has the authority to know, by that I mean the Creator.

-It seems to me that many of us just chose a team years ago and are unwilling to concede that their team isn't right. So often decisions aren't being made based on whether or not the ideas of a political party are good ideas; decisions are based on associations and dissociations in the lifeboat. It becomes very dangerous.

-It is no coincidence that Jesus talks endlessly about love. Free love. Unconditional love.

-Logic is thrown out the window, or worse, used as a tool to validate our prejudices. Philosophies, ideals, and even religious convictions become weapons for slaughter.

*********-I was asking myself while I was reading whether or not Jesus had many of the personality traits we have here on earth. And the truth is, He didn't. He had hunger and thirst and He slept and rested, but He had no regard for the lifeboat politics you and I live within every day. He believed a great deal of absurd ideas, such as we should turn the other cheek if somebody hits us, we should give somebody our coat even if they just ask for our shirt, we should be willing to give up all our money and follow Him, we should try out hardest to make peace, we should treat poor people the same as we treat the rich, we should lay down our lives for our friends, and so on and so on. It seemed He believed we should take every opportunity to fail in the lifeboat game, not for the sake of failing, but because there wasn't anything to win in the first place. It was as if He didn't believe the economy we live within had validity. No part of Him was deceived by its power. ********

-Several years ago I was getting to the point that the enormous, entangling religion of Christianity, with its many divisions, its multiple theologies, its fondness for war rhetoric, and its quirky, lumbering personality, was such a nuisance I hardly wanted anything to do with it.

-my gut tells me the key to life is relational, not propositional.

-To exchange heaven for a place, and to exchange eternity for time, was an act of humility I don't think any of us can understand.

****-I started thinking about how, if God is a perfect and loving Being, the most selfless thing He could do would be to create other beings to enjoy Him. And then I started thinking that if those creatures fell away from Him, the most selfless thing a perfect and loving Being could do would be to go and get them, to try to save them from the death that would take place in His absence. ****