Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shining and Doing

"How do I let my light shine?"

He is intense and frustrated.

"How do I know that I'm doing it?"

He has a ferocious scowl when he's this serious.

I know, little son, I know.  But how do I explain it to you when it's a dance I'm still fumbling through myself?  I know the direction of the steps, but execute them better some days than others.  It'll be no help to explain the grammar of "letting".

I know it's not about doing.  And yet we crave the doing.



Got it right.

There's so much safety in defining the doing and then checking it off as accomplished.  Never mind the security of knowing that those who choose to judge me will come to the conclusion that I'm getting it right.

Therein lies the essence of the Pharisees.  And exhaustion.  It's only attractive to those with the same disease.  To everyone else it looks like oppression.

It's more about being...which feels a bit too vague until you get in the habit.  Choosing gratitude, believing that He is good and His plans for us are good.  Living aware of His presence.   Meditating on His love and grace.  Every act becoming an act of worship.  Falling in love all over again.  Joy begins to bubble up and suddenly the light is shining whether you're rescuing orphans or holding the door for someone. Scrubbing the floor (again!) or feeding the homeless.   Light is shining!

It's not an excuse for not doing.  It's just that the doing comes out of the being.  It's the response of a lover rather than a laborer.  It's joy.  It's a beacon of hope.

And so I told him about the moon and the sun and how the moon reflects the sun when its face is turned to the light.  How living with our faces turned to the Son is what makes our light shine no matter what we're doing.  That might seem too abstract and an adult.  His little brow smoothed and he snuggled in with a sigh.  He may not be able to explain it to someone else, but something deep inside resonated and he rested.

I'll walk with you, little man, and we'll learn the steps together.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No Emergencies

Once again, words popping out of my mouth that I'd never even thought of:  "God has never known an emergency."

Really?  They feel like emergencies to me.  Then again, I'm sure that has everything to do with my perspective.

The nasty thing about eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is that I'm constantly making judgments and decrees about what is good or evil, an "emergency" or "no problem".

And I don't have a clue.

How many times have I seen what looked like a huge problem become the platform for an incredible blessing?  I just haven't gotten into the habit of anticipating it.

I'm longing to live in a place of steady trust.  Rest.  Perfect peace that He's got it all under control.  I want my response to a perceived emergency to be expectation.  Expecting the unexpected.  Waiting for the miracle.  Childlike wonder.

"Come to me with your ears wide open.  Listen and you will find life...
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,'
says the Lord.
'And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.'"
Isaiah 55:3&8

Saturday, August 13, 2011

He Speaks

He's called himself a Christian for many, many years.  He knows there is a God and that in some way  He cares.  But there have been so many many times he didn't get the answer he was hoping for...some of the people in his past who had used God's name had been unkind, even abusive.

He was sitting at our table, shoulders slightly hunched, a twinkle in his eye revealing his delight in the chatter of the children.

The kids were talking about asking God for guidance.

The man blurted, "God doesn't talk to me!"  He was almost teasing.  Almost.

The little one turned to him, with blue eyes very wide, "Yes, He does," she said with gravity.  "You ask Him things and then later an idea pops into your head and you just think it's your thoughts, but it's really God speaking to you."

It's really God speaking to you.

Silence fell on all of us.  It was a holy moment.  Truth had invaded the space around us.

I was reminded again this week of how an idea can "pop into your head" and it's really God speaking.  Taking someone a cup of coffee is more than just a nice thing to do when it's divinely inspired.  The idea, acted upon, bears beautiful fruit.

Obviously, not every thought that pops into our heads comes from God! He would never tell us to do something contrary to His word.  However, I've been reminded to be alert, "listening," for the ones that are from Him.  Life lived this way is never mundane, always an adventure!

Listen.  He speaks.  Listen for messages of love, compassion, and hope...for the you and the world around you.

"But I will reveal my name to my people,
and they will come to know its power.
Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger
who brings good news,
the good news of peace and salvation
the news that the God of Israel reigns!"
Isaiah 52:6-7

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Balance is one of our cultural buzz words. Really, who doesn't appreciate the wisdom in making sure that we work and play, run and rest? It just makes sense. Usually.

However, there is this "other world" that influences mine. An economy that doesn't quite function along the lines of my natural, human logic. It's unbalanced. It calls me to places of extreme. It is in that upside-down, inside-out, illogical place of obedience I find a rest that "balance" could never bring.

Obedience is sometimes huge and difficult, but goes unnoticed by any other than the cheering angels. Sometimes our obedience is public and open to censure.

Our family is being called to some obedience that feels a little extreme and, by it's nature, public. We're going to home school two of our three children. The reactions of others and my own emotions have sometimes left me feeling wildly unbalanced. I dread the negative responses and I have moments of being uncomfortably aware that there are challenges ahead of me. Each time I go back over all that has lead us to this point, I find myself in a gloriously unbalanced place of restful exhilaration.

I'm starting a new blog that will be more specific to our adventures in homeschooling and I will continue writing more general posts here. If you'd like to join me on our journey and hopefully receive encouragement for your own journey--whatever it may be--you can follow on Wild Obedience.

I bless you with the courage live gloriously unbalanced in whatever ways God is calling you.

"I recommend we abandon the dream of balance.
Maybe you can attain to balance fleetingly, in Zenlike moments of personal bliss,
but generally the kingdom of God permits us no such inner quietude and windless poise. The kingdom of God since the days of John the Baptist,
Jesus said, has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people, violent people--unbalanced men and women, I take that to mean--lay hold of it."
~Mark Buchanan