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You Came

I have a new respect for songwriters and other artists.

 

This past Sunday, I wrote a spoken word style poem that was performed during our Sunday church service. I was terrified. Seriously. It is nerve-wracking to put something like that out there for people to see. I’m surprised I didn’t throw up.

 

So I thought, why not make it even more public by putting it on this blog? {Gulp} And take it up a notch by making it a vlog? {Double Gulp}

 

I’ve heard a lot lately about facing fears, so here we go…

 


This poem was inspired by the intersection of my faith story and the story of the man born blind in John 9. I hope it helps you think about what Jesus can do when He comes into your life.

 

(Note: I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to video. Sorry about having it oriented wrong. Hope all else works well. If the embedded video doesn’t work, you can also watch it here.)

 

 

You Came

The question swirled

What brought me here?

Searching

Wandering

Propelled by fear?

 

And then,

You came near

 

Who were you?

I didn’t know at first

But You reached down

Pulled me out

From the center of my worst

 

You came

Teaching

Healing

Loving

Revealing

 

You came

Put Your hands on my face

Delivered your grace

You came

Stretched into the muck

Broke me free

Released the future

And what I could be

 

You came

Generous

In the midst of life’s mess

You came

Light for my darkness

Companion in my loneliness

You came,

And changed my name

from “less”

To “righteousness.”

Your words poured out,

And streamed over my doubt.

Not to make it disappear

Or instantly make the cloudy clear

 

But to change

My heart

To rearrange

My life.

 

You came

Full of love with no condition

The way you saw

Restored my vision

 

You came

Into my crazy, You breathed peace

The grip of my anxieties released

 

You came

The search of my heart personified

The animation of hope that had petrified

 

Since You came

I know

I am

not dead.

Since You came

I know

I am

Your

beloved.

 


I am indebted to Maggie for her wonderful performance of this on Sunday at The Table, as well as her editing help. It’s an honor to be part of such a wonderful community.

A Prayer for Our Leaders

Psalm 72

 

We long for Your help, Lord.

The people of this earth are crying out.

Intervene.

Supply our leaders with Your justice.

Establish in them Your goodness.

Provide them with Your wisdom.

 

There are so many suffering

Wounded,

Poor.

Defend them! Save them!

Bring these weeping children into Your arms!

 

Use Your might to bring down the oppressors.

Topple the systems that crush Your beloveds.

 

Bring into power

Those who will lead

With the refreshing spirit

Of the rain.

Sharing.

Providing.

Relieving.

 

May the leaders of this earth

Begin to honor those

Who honor Your people.

 

Open their ears

To the sobs of the suffering.

Fill them with compassion.

Motivate them to rescue.

 

Fill this earth

With Your deeds.

Fill this earth

With redeemed peoples.

Fill this earth

With Your love.

Fill this earth

With Your glory.

 


 

Solomon prayed Psalm 72 as a request for God’s blessing and wisdom on His own leadership. At this point in history, I felt compelled to use his words as a launching point for a prayer for all the leaders of this earth.

Reading the news about the goings on of this world can be overwhelming. It’s difficult to know what to do, or what the answer is. Prayer is one place we can turn with confidence.

 


 

That was my reflection on Psalm 72. Link up with your own post below, anytime in the next week. Remember, it’s not about right answers, it’s just about engaging with the text. Please take a moment to read some other posts as well. And then join next week for posts on Psalm 73.

 

A Common Color

love and angerPerhaps it’s not a coincidence that love and anger are represented by the same color.

 

Red.

 

Red is the color that shines when Light gets under our skin.

 

When we let ourselves feel the effects of a God who would love us enough to die, it changes how we interact with the world. Jesus is filled with a fierce fiery red love for each and every person on this earth. He is also filled with a hot-burning red passion to break the evil and injustices that would hold those Beloveds back from being who they were made to be.

 

When we are filled with Christ, we are filled with His light, and His red-hot feelings towards the world are meant to shine out from within us.

 

I too often let my feelings shine white. With a light I am holding in my hands, not one that I have let get under my skin, and shine out through the blood that is pulsing in my veins. I care too little about injustices because I love too little the people that are being oppressed.

 

I need to let the Light get under my skin.

 

Five Minute FridayThis post is linking up with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday. A weekly prompt with strict instructions: write for 5 minutes and post. No over-editing. No do-overs. An practice of freedom. A way to let go of perfectionism. An exercise for some not often used writing muscles. Read more posts or link up over there. Today’s prompt was: RED.
(Full disclosure: I write the post in 5 minutes, but I take a little extra time to create a graphic to go with it. I think that’s still okay according to the rules…)

The Intersection of Our Desires and Our Prayers

Psalm 71Sometimes there’s an interesting discrepancy between our prayers and our desires.

 

When I read Psalm 71, I am once again struck by what feels like the Psalmist’s selfishness (and maybe anxiety?). It is another in a long string of Psalms in which David and other Psalmists pray for God’s protection, for their enemies to be defeated, and for their own victories.

 

It just gets a little old to be honest.

 

But then I think about some of the most beloved stories in the Bible. Like when God protects Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Or when God parts the sea so that the Israelites may cross on dry ground and flee from the pursuing Egyptians. Or when Jesus stops the storm that is scaring the disciples. Or when the very same David who writes many of the Psalms stands up against a giant, and wins.

 

We love it when God shows Himself faithful. When He protects and strengthens and upholds those who are following Him.

 

And if we are honest, don’t we want that for ourselves, too?

 

Because it’s much easier to talk about God’s faithfulness when He helps us stay married than His faithfulness when He is present with us in the midst of a divorce. God’s protection when He helps us heal from our illnesses is more clear than His protection of our hearts in the midst of the pain.

 

The intersection of life and faith is messy. It would be nice if once in awhile God would clean it up a little.

 

Sometimes we are afraid to admit that.

 

Maybe it’s because we’re afraid God won’t come through if we are bold enough to pray for things like healing and protection and victory. Maybe it’s because it feels somehow selfish to pray those things for ourselves.

 

But I want to more often. I want to mix the “but even if God doesn’t save us” faith of the three in the furnace, and the audacious request of the Psalmist who says,

 

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
    turn your ear to me and save me.” – Psalm 71:1-2

 

And as the “I will praise You no matter what” attitude mixes with the “show up and prove me right” hope, I dream I will be the kind of person who will boldly declare God’s faithfulness like this,

 

“Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens,
    you who have done great things.
    Who is like you, God?
Though you have made me see troubles,
    many and bitter,
    you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
    you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor
    and comfort me once more.” – Psalm 71:19-21

 

Show Yourself faithful, O God, because I know that You are.

 


That was my reflection on Psalm 71. Please link up your own reflection below! And join the #PsalmsJourney community next week with a reflection on Psalm 72.

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