Quiet Sacredness

I can talk a lot. A lot, a lot. And often my talk veers towards the non-sensible. I can go off on tangents and loose focus and babble unceasingly.

I am saying nothing.

Yet, I am saying everything.

Where my words can be incessant chatter, my heart is crying out, “Please listen to me!” Listen to the cry of my heart to be heard. To be validated. That I am, despite all my failures, enough. My talk is communicating the deep cry within – my soul desperate to break free of shame.

My precious mom has said this to me for years: I am not portraying myself when I talk so much. When I strive and fight for acceptance. When I attempt to show my worth through words and intelligence and learnedness. I’m not the “me” she knows. Don’t get me wrong I can talk joyfully for hours about something that excites me, but when it’s about being seen as enough? It shows.

I am soon walking into my 48th year. And I am tired. Tired of trying to measure up. To be enough. Or to use the shame language of Dr. Brown, shadowed by the cultural expectation of a woman to be – Thin. Pretty. Un-opinionated. It’s not me. However, being  bullish and chatty isn’t me either.

Instead I’ve decided to embrace who God made me to be. Not thin, but curved and vibrant. Not pretty, per se, but sometimes plain, sometimes gorgeous. Rarely not opinionated, but always graceful. Listening. Thoughtful. Passionate.

And to embrace quiet. To grow comfortable with waiting for others to share. To be less anxious about sharing my opinions than hearing the ideas of others. To still myself. Live into thoughtful response. To be, finally, who God has created me to be.

The sacred mess transformed into a quiet sacredness.

I’d appreciate your prayers.
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Forsaken

(Note: I’ve been reading through some of my summer posts and wow! Raw, but often a downer! Quite frankly, I am getting tired of myself! So to end off the season of my discontent I am publishing an older post. As we head into my favourite time of year I am hoping to explore the joy of life and the power of waiting on God’s best plan! Yippee!!)

 

Do you ever feel it?

That deep, deep disappointment with life? And maybe even with God?

Good Christians don’t want to admit it, but I’ll bet you it’s there. The desperate plea. The sorrow and suffering. The idea that “this” isn’t what we signed up for.

I felt it today. No reason. No cataclysmic event prompted it.

Sad. Lonely. Wondering when. Longing for heaven. For the pain to ease.

“My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?”

Am I not enough? Obedient enough? Strong enough? Disciplined enough?

For me it’s doing life alone. It was never my dream. For you it might be doing it with the wrong person. Or maybe that person is right, but never at the same time as you.

Maybe it’s not about a person at all. Maybe it’s your job. Or disability. Or sickness.

Maybe it’s unmet needs. Where you must, must, must have more, but it’s inaccessible.

Maybe it’s nothing concrete, rather a darkness, a fear, a doubt. Everything looks great from the outside, but inside it’s empty.

What do we do then? Do we abandon God and force our way into what we think we want? What we think we need? I’ve done it. It doesn’t work. Or rather it works for a while, but then it falls apart. And more brokenness occurs.

The truth (sadly) is we live in a broken world filled with sin. Some desires may never be met. Some relationships will be broken. Some darkness may lie in wait until we shrug off the corporeal.

What then?

Where do we go from there?

Eucharisteo. (Thanksgiving.)

“Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle.” Ann Voscamp 

Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle.

What we realize is the miracle may not be (or ever be) what we deeply hope for. Yet it is always what we need.

Today my miracle was not my heart’s desire. Rather it was agreement. It was an important person in my life agreeing with me.  A person saying to me that they concurred – my pain was valid. My heart had every right to be broken. My situation sucked.

And, in that agreement, came the miracle. Not the outcome I desired, but the reality that I wasn’t in this alone.

And sometimes amid it all, that is enough.

 

 

The Holy (or Set Apart from the Mundane)

Darkness.

Trudging through a slough of disappointments.  Mired in sorrow.  The winds of confusion swirling around.  The path is no longer visible.  Direction unclear.

But up ahead a pin prick of light.  A shadow of a glimmer of a reflection.  A hope.  All is not lost.

The shining grows bigger.  Not an illusion.  Something to aim for.  The path is illuminated as if with the light of one tiny candle.

But it is enough to move on. To go forward.

~~~

Be holy as He is holy. Be in the world, but not of the world.

I remember the first time I heard the definition of “holy” – pretty sure it was my youth pastor a million years ago explaining holiness as being set apart.  Now, I don’t know about you, but when you’re a teenager, the last thing you want to be is set apart.  The implication is that you have been set apart by others because you don’t fit in. And oh how desperately I wanted to fit in.  To be included.  At that age I never understood that I could want to be different. That being like everyone else wasn’t such a great thing.

Now that I’ve had 25 plus years to ruminate over this definition I get it.  Holiness – what sets us apart – is a tiny pin prick of light in the darkness.  Sometimes only candle light on a path that is no longer visible. I long to be that pin prick of glimmering hope. A light at the end of the tunnel – miles away, yet bright enough to lead the mired out of the dark.  Not the light itself – but a reflection of the light.

And this journey I am on seems to be directing me towards being that reflection.  I find myself bemused by the concerns of some Christians in my community:

They worry about Muslims taking over the country.

Or progressive politicos.

Of the media.

Oil prices.

The loudness of worship team.

The need for a 10 million dollar new church building.  Or protest against the same building.

Don’t get me wrong.  We should have concern for some of these things.  We should be aware.

But above all we should be determined to be holy.  As Jesus Christ was holy.  We should be in the world, but not OF the world – Christ-like in all we do.

Sometimes we need to sit near the back.  To pray.  To imagine.  To wonder.  To resolve to be nothing more than that little light shining in someone’s darkness.