Saturday, October 14, 2017

All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.

Steadfast love and truth and faithfulness meet together;
Righteousness and peace kiss each other. Psalm 85:10

Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it, mount of Thy redeeming love

But if we are absolutely grounded in the absolute love of God that protects us from nothing, even as it sustains us in all things, it grounds us to face all things with courage and tenderness. –James Finley

God does not protect us from pain nor brokenness nor loss. 

Flames nor bullets nor torrents nor tyrants.

And man, life is hard. And I just don’t get it a bunch of the time. But neither did Solomon.

And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.

And when we pray, “Jesus, help us to have just a really good nice day today,” that is not from Him nor His heart.

However He does promise to sustain us.

That we may face today’s pain with courage.

And our brokenness helps us to be tenderhearted.

As He is tenderhearted, knowing that we are but dust.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll even find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

May I walk in Your courage and tenderness today.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!

O God, when You went out before Your people,
When You marched through the wilderness, 
The earth trembled;
The heavens also poured down rain at the presence of God;
You, O God, sent abroad plentiful rain;
You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched and weary.
Your flock found a dwelling place in it;
O God, in Your goodness You provided for the poor. Psalm 68:7-10

I have seen Him in the watch fires
Of a hundred circling camps.
They have builded Him an altar
In the evening dew and damps.
I can read His righteous sentence
In the dim and flaring lamps.
His day is marching on.


Friday prayers once again, as I walk through the words that have taken root over the many, many years, perhaps pruned and snipped here and there, but for the most part, prayers that came not from my understanding, but from the Spirit within. For Colby and Karen. For Amy and Jackson. Sophie. Harrison. Even Otto the wonderful friend.

And my Friday prayer for myself stares up at me today. And I am a different person than I was just a Friday ago.

I pray that I will be a light to the nations as He declares new things. 

And new things at this moment, in a way that it has never felt before. is new things that you, Mz. Christy, do not even have the tiniest clue of what lies ahead. Not the tiniest.

And sure, I have been reading James and the admonition not to state with implied arrogance, “Next week I shall go up to such and so town and do business,” but this moment just before dawn feels much more wide open.

Even before I read Email Number 47 from Sally, Director of Mar Qardakh School.

And I have been reading Lamentations. And Ezra.

Oh yes, and I have been reading the headlines.

And God is so very beyond our small understanding as He works to will His good purpose.

And I read this morning that Abraham Lincoln wept the first time he heard “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah.”

His day is marching on.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Let no other trust intrude.

Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. I Corinthians 1:20

Again and again He speaks to us: Come unto Me.
Lay your burdens down.

And so many months ago and miles ago, He made me His challenge: trust Me, Beloved child. I AM the companion by your side. Before you and Behind you. Learn of me, what it indeed means to be meek and lowly of heart.

Release. And you shall find rest for your souls.

He will embrace me in His arms.

Monday, October 2, 2017


Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:2-5

Our goal, therefore, is to learn: to learn the curriculum of a truly spiritual life . . . grounded in love, mercy, tenderness, compassion, forgiveness, hope, trust, simplicity, silence, peace, and joy. To embody union with God is to discover these beautiful characteristics emerging from within and slowly transfiguring us to remake us in the very image and likeness of God. —Carl McColman

As I settle into this gift of a week of quiet beauty and solitude in Freiberg, Germany, I am pondering in my own heart on the cozy bed where I am recovering from The Gunk. The attic window overlooks fall-tinted rising hills with dollops of morning fog. Church bells ring out the hours all night long. Taize music chants in the background, and I just finished my second cup of Early Grey tea.


Let it have its full effect.

Steadfast in love. In mercy. In tenderness. In compassion. In forgiveness.

Let me ask of My Father, who gives generously and without reproach.

As I reflect on the Narrative of my life thus far, how can I not be but overwhelmed with gratitude at His heaped up generosity and goodness? Although I have stumbled again and again, He has picked me up, embraced me, brushed off the dust and set me on the new day’s path, right by His side.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Empty pockets.

Does a man harbor anger against another, and yet seek healing from the Lord? Does he have no mercy toward a man like himself, and yet pray for his own sins? Remember the commandments, and do not be angry with your neighbor, remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook ignorance. Sirach 28:2-3

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, Who forgives all your iniquity, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the Pit, Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy. Psalm 103:2-4

Then Peter came up and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Matthew 18:21

Everette got a little distracted by all of the goings on in the plaza on Sunday morning, so actually only Marco and Cameron and I made it to eleven o’clock mass. Where we were joined by the non-armed forces who restored the alps and its villages after WWII celebrating their 50th anniversary.

But God reached in and poked my heart and I wept over my Peterish question that has been taking root in my heart…how often?

And this is the first time that I have wept in over a year.

And Jesus could not have been clear. Every time we pray we are told to forgive those who trespass against us, as far as the east is from the west. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Show mercy and you will be shown mercy.

Every single time we pray, we are to leave those trespasses behind. Before we bring our gifts of worship to the altar.

And never ever pick them up again.

In His last conversation with His Father as He hung on the cross, He showed us how it is done: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

But no, I snatch those memories up again, and stick them back into my crowded pockets. And retell the stories to myself, again and again. Burnishing them, polishing them, until they are hard smooth rocks. To throw. To hurl accusations.

He who is without sin, throw the first stone.

I know a lot about memories because I helped a friend write a book about False Memory Syndrome, and the truth about memories, is that they are all false. Every time we relive or refresh a story and press “save” it erases the old, and stores the new in its place.

The new version, in which miscommunications and circumstances and back stories are carefully edited to make myself look better, kind and wise and gentle, and the other not so much.

How can you see to pull out the speck in your brother’s eye, when you have this big honking beam in your own?

Or maybe Jesus was talking about everyone else in the world except me.
Over and over again I retell these stories, me and my buddy The Accuser, to whom I have invited into these conversations. He’s pretty good at making up spicy details.

Platitudes abound as to how unforgiveness doesn’t hurt the other, just me. That unforgiveness is like one of those heavily laden roller suitcases, dragging behind us, boom bopitdy boom, up and down the cobble stone roads of life. We drag it everywhere we go. Sometimes we almost get used to the weight, until smash crash, it smooshes against our fragility, and breaks open the barely healing heart scabs.

But that is a big fat lie, once again a gift from The Enemy. Unforgiveness sours every relationship we with accusations, and the older and deeper and actually most important relationships can reverberate with the “You always” finger pointing in every interaction. And when the going gets rough, or things are tired and busy, things fall apart quickly.

But it is really not about me and my heavyladeness, or my busted relationships with the world.

It is really about me and Him. My Lord and My God. My Redeemer. My comfort. And nestling myself into His bosom. And resting my soul in His mercy.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30