Thursday, April 17, 2014

the perfecting of us


Father, we come . . .

weary slaves to our desires.
our burden is our lack of patience.

You remind us that we have the power to live free.

we do whatever we think we can to feel better.
our pride makes a fool of us.

You remind us that this life is about persevering.

we are inept to contain even our weariness.
our character is shaped by our disappointments.

You remind us that our hope comes in the breaking of us.

wounded soldiers we press on.
our gratitude is for the process.

You remind us this is the perfecting of us.

amen.


linking with Jennifer, Emily, and Holley today.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

may we not be distracted


Father, we come . . .

with hearts once so full of hope,
and now nearly emptied.

You tell us to pursue hope;
to chase after it.

but we feel deflated
from all that has distracted us.

our eyes were so fixed on
what we saw before us.

we thought there was evidence our
hope was going to be fulfilled.

it felt like maybe,
just maybe our hope would be realized.

we allowed ourselves to feel excitement,
though we were afraid that maybe it wasn't time.

the journey has been long
and we've sought to honor You.

we had chosen to accept
Your perfect timing.

and then the signs seemed to say,
now might be the time.

but now isn't the time,
and we still wait.

we need You to keep us patient.

may we not be distracted
by what tickles our senses.

You bring good things
in due time.

widen our capacity to trust.

and continue to grow our faith,
as we wait.

help us to stay so close
to You.

amen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

convert us



Father, we come . . .

lead us through the fog.
lead us through the fire.

You expand our capacity to trust.

be our destination.
be our determination.

You really do matter most.

refocus our feelings.
refocus our failings.

You are the center of everything.

remind us.
restore us.

You are more than what we want.

dissolve our loneliness.
dissolve our lack.

You conceived us and grow us.

awaken us to Your stretching.
awaken us to Your shaping.

You designed us.

might we know Your purpose.
might we know Your peace.

You redeem every part of us.

might we remember our sacrifice is planned.
might we remember our sanctity is pursued.

You make Holy of us.

churn us.
crucify us.

You make more out of us.

make beauty from our fears.
make beauty from our failings.

You know our struggle for control.

break us.
bend us.

You desire more than what we can even imagine.

might we have perfect surrender.
might we have perfect solace.

You allow us to wait so our faith can expand.

keep us waiting.
keep us wondering.

You make us dependent.

spin us.
sputter us.

You purpose us.

convert our energy.
convert our efforts.

You make something of us.

slow us.
steady us.

You are the power in us.

alleluia.
amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

resting in us, as we are


Father, we come . . .

wanting a break from ourselves.
wanting a break from others.

You tell us we have a place in this day.

we are enough for ourselves.
we are enough for them.

You tell us we are enough, as we are.

might we rest in our messiness.
might we rest in our mucked-up-ness.

You tell us we are perfect enough for today.

quiet the chatter for us to rest.
quiet the chatter for us to trust.

amen.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

growing in our trust


Father, we come . . .

You have given us merely a glimpse of perfect peace and trust.

     we think we've seen fully.
     we think we know fully.

You've helped us to trust You more than ever before.

     we've come so far from where we've been.
     we're happy and grateful for this place where we are now.

You've given us an overwhelming amount of joy.

     we want everyone to know how we got here.
     we want everyone to experience this peace.

You tell us that not everything needs to be spoken of our story, though.

     our story is our story.
     our lessons are our lessons.

You tell us that You will appoint a time and a way to use what we've learned for them.

     it could be that our story is just meant for us.
     it could be that what we know and see might not be meant for them.

You tell us just because we've learned so much doesn't mean we have to teach them.

     their needs aren't for us to figure out.
     their needs aren't our responsibility to fill.

You give us a unique role and we don't even know what it is.

     teach us what our part is, Father.
     teach us where You begin and where we end.

You've used our storytelling to help people to see You.

     we've become addicted to how You move for them.
     we've become addicted to telling how good You are.

You are the Bread.

     we've tried to give them what we think they need. 
     we've tried to give them what only know they need. 

You discipline us to be quiet and wise warriors who wait. 

     we struggle to let our stories sit still. 
     we struggle to let You move as You will.

You discipline us to teach with love and less words.

     we've become blabbers to some.
     we've become gong-like to some.

You show us how we need You to help us rest.

     might we not feel the compulsion to fix them.
     might we let them be as they are.

You are teaching them just as much as You're teaching us. 

     might we let them learn at the perfect timing meant for them. 
     might we let ourselves trust You for all of us.


amen.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

the struggle to hope



Father, we come . . . 

You know we don't want to, though.

     a part of us wants to sit in our bed all the livelong day. 
     a part of us wants the covers more than we want You today. 

You know we're mad at You and we struggle to admit it. 

     we ought not to be upset at You. 
     we should trust You. 

You know we're a complicated mess. 

     our hormones do this to us. 
     our humanity does this to us. 

You know we want to shut everyone out.

     we want to lie and say we're fine.
     we want to lie and say we're okay

You tell us that our best selves are our real selves. 

     we don't want to let ourselves be messy. 
     we don't want to let ourselves be mucked-up. 

You make us warriors who don't need to hide who we are. 

     we feel a compulsion to put on a certain kind of armor for them. 
     we feel a compulsion to put on a certain kind of armor for You. 

You know we expect a lot of ourselves. 

     we think we see fully. 
     we forget we only see in part. 

You know our fears. 

     we're afraid of going backward. 
     we're afraid we'll forget what we've learned. 

You've given us peace, but only in part. 

     we think it's in full.
     we think it's in whole. 

You've brought us to a glorious place and remind us that this isn't the end.  
  
     we're still human. 
     we're still mess up. 

You've done a remarkable thing in us. 

     we idolize this mere semblance of goodness in us. 
     we idolize this mere semblance of grace in us. 

You show us how it's our feelings we've idolized more than You.

     we've clinched hard to this peace. 
     we've clinched hard to this hope. 

You strengthen us to persevere even when our feelings change. 

     we struggle to trust.
     we struggle to obey.

You discipline us to hope, even when we fear we could be wrong.

     we think we can know everything. 
     we think we can control everything. 

You love us as the messy creatures we are. 

     we forget our hope won't be perfected in this world.
     we forget our self won't be perfected this side of Heaven.

You know we're disappointed and sad. 

     we expected something. 
     we expected certainty. 

You never said we'd have comfort, though. 

     we're angry because we wanted that. 
     we're sad because we wanted that.

You never said we'd have certainty, either. 

     we hope with stilted confidence. 
     we hope with steady fear. 

You know our tendency to shut You out. 

     we stepped and hoped and we're disappointed again.
     we stepped and obeyed and we're distracted again. 

You help us to trust You and come, as our raw-real selves. 

     we need You to help us to accept Your will and trust.
     we need You to help us to hold onto our cup and hope.

amen. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

being a warrior


Father, we come . . .

reminded of Your words to:
pursue hope.

it hasn't been beautiful like we thought it'd be.
it's been a journey and so different than we imagined.

there wasn't a cascade of ribbons or pretty puffs of colorful clouds.
we didn't feel particularly better.

it was a journey we faced with uncertainty and trepidation.
being people who habitually pine for control, it seemed so impractical and stupid.

hope seems so crazy.
ridiculous and foolish.

we hear people say that process matters.
that the journey is almost more important than the arriving.

yet, it was a road we didn't know and that we weren't prepared for.
the view was unfamiliar and daunting in its length.

there weren't any signs of water or bread.
and even if there were, we would have to be careful.

the water could be tainted.
and some of us are allergic to wheat, anyway.

the road was threatening.
and we are natural defenders.

so it seemed smarter to pull out whatever weapon we could.
even to hide and take cover.

we were aware of the risks to our safety.
aware of how vulnerable hope leaves us.

we were in need but we didn't know of what.
so we grabbed anything that made us feel comfortable.

You allowed us to be in want.
You allowed us to sojourn in places that were idyllic in nature.

but we learned happiness isn't everything.
it leaves us feeling hollow.

You taught us there is joy in trudging through the mire.
experiencing grit again and again eventually makes us expert-like.

the fight trains us.
it specializes us in stick-with-it-ness.

we've wrangled and wagered.
and we've wandered and waited.

we've spun ourselves in circles and made a mess out of ourselves.
our tongue has even gotten all knotted up like the yarn we try to knit.

it's not fun doing this pursuing hope thing.
it's hard.

You use the battle to teach us who we are, though: beloved Warriors.
a Holy title.

You teach us that life isn't actually about what we'd been thinking all this time.
You tell us that living grows us stronger and that matters more than growing bigger.

we learn that maturing in strength is being mindful of our place.
it's listening and abiding.

we've thought it's about raising our hand first or being the expert.
and You've taught us that it's really about being a wise listener.

You teach us that being a warrior is about being wise.
it's choosing a soft voice and calling that success.

it's persevering.
it's praying.

You teach us that being a warrior is about loosening our grip.
and loosing our dreams.

it's about loosing them and their fears.
and ours, too.

You teach us that being a warrior is being ourselves.
a Holy honor of service and a blessed offering to You.

might we encourage others through their sojourning.
bolsterers of courage, might we be.

warriors who wait.
warriors who walk.

boldly.
bravely.

fear-laced, yes.
but the kind of people who step anyway.

might we be warriors who work with our fear.
who give thanks for it.

might we know that even this brings us to You.
no matter who, what, when, where, why, or how . . .

might we warrior on.
amen.