Cheap Chaos & Tantalizing Grace

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Trapped.  My mind a cave.
Thoughts like floodwater, rushing in.

Heart racing, body tense, mind ablaze.
Paralyzed by my striving efforts.

Blatant silence.
Prayers ricocheting off an invisible ceiling.

Desire to control and to know tantalizes and tempts.
Darkness creeping in quietly beckons and sickly woos.

Questions, dreams, and ‘what ifs’ vie for attention.
Romancing the dark, I stay in a place of cheap chaos.

Running.  Running in my mind.
This way.  That way.  Running into walls on all four sides.

I’m a slave to my thoughts.
Self-obsession the bolt to my self-made prison.

A sinister dead end in every way.
Still I wrestle.

I lie down to rest, but I am awake.
Running, rushing, thinking, grasping.

A pinprick of light.
So small I nearly miss it.

Light.  Focus on the light.
Slowly, as slowly as ice melting in winter’s sun it grows.

My mind begins to clear.  Thoughts still.
I breathe in the light, I breathe out the darkness.

My heart slows to a steady rhythm.  Peace stirs.
I breathe in light, I breathe out darkness.

My body calms.  Striving energy turned to stillness charged with joy.
I breathe in light, I breathe out darkness.

Another light.  Brighter.
I reach out to it.

A feeling of love sweeps through like a warm gust of wind.
Spiraling toward me and into my soul.

It steadily grows.  Stronger and stronger.
Wind so warm and strong. I close my eyes and breathe it in.

Love like a faithful companion, I know I am not alone.
Love that delights in me, I know I am seen and known.

The wind strengthens.  I can feel it stir inside.
I surrender to this wind.  Light now radiates within.

My mind awake with its reality.
My heart at rest in its certainty.

My body resonating in its presence.
My soul pierced with freedom.

Love.
Pure, sweet love.

Wrecked by grace through winds of mercy.
Undone by love through purest light.

I am His and He is mine.

Mary

5058706As Christmas rapidly approaches, my thoughts turn toward a humble hero of that blessed night.  A teenage girl who spoke to an angel and believed without question.  A young Jewish girl who leaned in to the promise of God and said yes.  A young mother whose cries, sweat and tears brought Life into the world.  Let’s step back into history and walk in Mary’s worn sandals.

Daughter of Nazareth, will you be the one?
Will you carry life both now and for kingdom come?
My Son will be yours to love and to hold,
My trust in you is complete and twofold.

Will you say yes to trials, confusion and heartache?
At times you will feel lonely, but daughter you will be awake!
Will you say yes to joy, love and grace abound?
In you my presence will always be found.

Precious Mary, so pure and strong, will you be the one?
Will you nurture love both now and for kingdom come?
Will you carry my Son in your arms and heart,
Even when His body is laid down in the dark?

Honored Mary, so young and sweet,
Did you give up dreams to be made complete?
Soft baby hands grasped your finger and called you mother,
You watched him share, play and explore with others.

A little boy’s scraped knee meant tearful eyes pleading for your kiss.
You watched him learn, work and grow with bliss,
He crafted wood and looked into his father’s eyes for advice.
Did you know he would one day pay the ultimate price?

Lovely Mary, so true and brave,
You stood near as your Son was laid in a grave.
You suffered at the foot of His cross, His pain was your pain,
Heartache in your deepest soul, love flowing through every vein.

Imagine your feelings when seeing him risen,
His body bright and healed, no longer crimson.
Once more you held him in your arms so near,
His loving eyes looked into yours with joy and a tear.

Faithful Mary so obedient and blessed,
Mother of our Savior is no gentle quest.
The vessel of all greatness and our redemption,
Mary, chosen woman of love and truest gumption.

From the Depths of the Unknown

5964074Those who have ears to hear, listen to this.  Your Heavenly Father created you for a life of intimacy, joy and freedom.  He created you to live life to the fullest.  You were adopted into a powerful kingdom.  Greatness and love await.  Will you come?

Take a moment to be still and listen.  Are you being called forward from the edge? The past holds only the power you give it.  Lies speak louder when listened to.  Security, power and comfort will eventually suffocate.  Will you jump?

Lean in and listen.  Are you being beckoned to go higher and deeper?  Do you hear your name and a familiar voice calling you from the depths of the unknown?

Will you risk everything?  Will you risk what people think of you?  What you think of you?  Will you let go of your control?  Will you move from a place of playing it safe to a place of risk?  Will you let go of the past that drags you down, the present, which overwhelms and the future that worries you?

No, there are few feelings of magic in the freefall, but there is life.  Great life.  Deep life.

So come with me to a place where you can take deep draughts of unadulterated life.

The free fall can be scary and painful, yes.  Like being thrown into a deep ocean, tossed around, you don’t know which way is up or down.

But once you drink in this ocean, currents of grace flow through your veins and love becomes a never-ending tidal force pulling you deeper and deeper.

Come to this place where you are seen and known on the inside and out.  Where love summons and grace knows your name.

This is where you discover you are His beloved.  Will you come?

Awakening to Glory

809880We look within.  Obsessed by troubles, doubt and human goodness.  No light within.  Trapped in a cell of our own bodies and minds.

We look out and see the face of God in Christ our Lord.  God living and breathing in me.

Delivered from my state of death.  Awakened to Christ in me the hope of glory.

We stand not within ourselves, but out in an open free space where He has been waiting all along.

“Light up the darkness, Little One,” is what He said.

Light pours forth.

Light impacting me, light streaming from me.  Light surrounds and abounds from all directions.

Light pulling others in, its magnetism inviting them into the kingdom.  To come, rest, and just be.

The promises of God in my open palms.  Hands and heart extended to heaven as one.

He takes my frail human dreams and expands them into the universe.  No longer my dreams, but His.  Glorious in nature.  Far greater than I could imagine.  More extravagant than I would ever dare to ask.

I see a glimpse, a glimpse of what is promised.  That promise rests in my heart and spurs me forward.

We recognize the song of heaven sung out across the open space.  A familiar tune we were born to hear and embrace.

Light from His Being, His Spirit strengthens me.  Not rough, but a gentle constant inner strength.  Light softly pulsating from within.

Letting go of my small life and pathetic control.  Surrendering to Him who is greater.  Fully impacted by Grace.  Full breaths of blessed air.  Fresh, full draws of grace mixed with glory.

Awakened to the free life.  Lean in and listen to His call.

Christ cultivating a free spirit within me. Living unreservedly, energized and stirred by God’s Spirit.

His Spirit.  My closest companion, my heart’s guide, my mind’s sculptor.  Power and light collide within me.  He whispers to me of glory unseen and grace to be consumed.

His love has the first and last word.  Hemmed in by grace.  Overflowing with the light of His being.

I am His and He is mine.  Life, together, in the open free space.

Dancing in light that arouses His glory in me.  Breathing in love so pure it hurts and yet heals.  Embraced by grace that draws me in deeper and higher.  Awakened by the Father as He covers me with His dreams and delight.

Christ in me the hope of glory.

“Wake up Little Light.  Will you come to this open space with Me?”

Awakening to Wonder

6492478What if life was more than what we see with these saline eyes?  What if there was more just beyond the surface of reality?  What if we prayed an audacious prayer to go higher and deeper into that sphere?

Imagine what you might see.

Would you see beauty and joy in its purest form, blinding in its purity and radiance?  When laughter rings out, would the sky explode with brilliant color?

Perhaps you would see the pain and sorrow of this world marked by sweeping blue hues gently streaming from men, women and children alike.

Would you see the intensity of hate and evil sneak about in inky smoke?  Would you see evil seductively striding from person to person?

Would you see good encircled by an army of light?  Warriors.  Men, women and children of story who dance and fight as one light.  Can you hear them call out to you?

Lean in and listen.  What secret is he whispering to you?

Embrace the wonder.  Enter this story.

Don’t be disillusioned.  This is no fairytale.  This is light and this is darkness.  A narrative of all that is evil and all that is good.  This is where light tells a story and darkness must listen.  This is where beauty dances, joy sings and passion fights.

Will you awaken to this world?  Will you awaken to wonder?