Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The Lord is so good. We have prayed and interceded for these S. Korean brothers and sisters for weeks now and God has shown His mercy to all concerned.
Early on as we pressed in and the reports of hostages being killed started to come in the Lord spoke of how extravagant His love is for the Taliban fighters who did the killing. As He sacrificed the life of His own Son for us He showed that He is willing to spend our lives to see others free as well. The testimony of these brothers who gave their lives has gone not only to the Taliban, but to the rest of the world who are asking what provoked them to go to such a dangerous place. The answer rings back: The love of Jesus compelled them to go! This testimony is not lost.
Now we hear the glad news that the rest of the hostages are to be released upon S. Korea's agreement to withdraw troops from Afghanistan (which they were already going to do) rather than the original demand for a prisoner swap. They come home at last! We weep for the loss and we weep with joy for the gain. Welcome home sweet brothers and sisters!!!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Well, here it is, the end of the day again and for once I have some time to do a blog entry. Perhaps that niggly feeling I have about keeping this thing up is what I should post about. It isn't like I need to keep this up to keep people informed like my friend Pasha, or even that I have a great readership like my other friend Nathan who will be awaiting my next post. Sometimes it is as the title says, this is a place to let my brain drip dry. Other times it feels that I am doing this only because others are doing this and there is a certain level of social acceptance gained by doing it, even more so when I facebook. These socially antisocial activities yank on a need I feel to be accepted, and unfortunately there is a bit of conformity involved as well. That is the nut I am trying to crack today....conformity.
It is hard to get away from the forces that want to shape us into the likeness of someone else or even a group of someone elses. The safe places I have sought to escape this all seem to have slowly taken on the shape of a mold and soon I feel the walls closing in to press me into a conveniently understood little package of person. The primary one is the community of faith, mainly because that is where my heart primarily resides, but here I continually hope for something different. I guess the hope stems from the fact that while God is also busy molding us into someone else, He is not trying to make me look like the person next to me. What I mean is that as He presses me into the image of His beloved Son He allows my uniqueness to truly shine. He doesn't press me into a Jesus mold, rather He takes me and looks right into me and says...Hmmm... you look like the nose of my Son. He then proceeds to shape me and this is where the fight begins because so often I am worming around to look like some other part of Jesus' body. The other side of it happens as well, where part of Jesus' body tries to yank me in and make me look like them. Nooooo.....I'm a nose!!!! I shriek as the contortion begins. What is truly sad is when you see someone to whom this is happening and all they say is...Moooooo.
I hope to never offend someone for being a nose (or a heel), but it will probably happen. I hope there will be forgiveness then. I also hope I will never be found trying to make you a nose too.
Guess I wrote this to remind me that we are all beautiful as we join together to show the whole world what Jesus looks like. Shine on all.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I just finished reading C.S. Lewis' book The Great Divorce for the third time in 6 years and it still shakes me up. The views he shares in the book are interesting and as his muse George MacDonald states they are beyond our current understanding. We view through a glass darkly. The things that haunt me from this book are not the musings about the relationship between heaven and hell but rather the horror of the minds of those who stood at the shores of heaven, and rejected it. In each one I see an argument in me, a reasoning I cling to like a rope in the dark. The tenacity with which I take hold of these things must be broken in the same way as these ghosts had their reasoning's assailed by the heavenly spirits sent to invite them into all joy. I see here the tender holiness of God and the mostly belligerent fear He is asking me to relinquish one piece at a time. At times it feels as though I am reluctantly unloading my luggage while the boarding gates are swiftly closing. Other times I feel I have no luggage at all and the statement by Mr. MacDonald that those who enter heaven will find upon looking back that their whole life was already heaven. The key I have found to the latter is the same as the one the spirits were holding forth, look on God, look only on God. (By the way, grab those quick, scurrying little arguments that just ran out of the corners of your mind when you read that before they find another dark place and set them out in the light where you can see them clearly. Turn up the light and see if they will survive; if they do, keep them; if they don't, burn them.)
For myself, though, the hideous truth of how dearly I hold on to the trappings of my thoughts will always give me serious pause.