Faith Friday: The Paradox of Life

I was falling
Falling so deep
Into a world I wanted nothing of
Pain
It was everywhere
Despair
There was plenty
So very much to spare
Jealousy
Raging inside
Tearing me apart
Why? Why did it have to be?
Death
I deserved it. I wanted it.
Enough to bring it upon myself
Or try to, anyways
Leave me, I’m fine
Everything’s ok
Lies
All around, from them, from me
Go away, just let me be

I am falling
Falling so deep
Into a world I want everything of
Love
Abounding, radiant, shining
Evidenced in grace, mercy galore
Freedom
Chains broken, heart lifted
Free to live life as it should be
Blood
Poured out freely, with the greatest of love
Washing me clean, making me white as snow
Death
Bringing life to all
Wood
Nails
Thorns
Gasp
Breath
Died
Life
Jesus

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Sinner to Saint

Run, run, fall away
Down I am, down I’ll stay
Darkness engulfing, flickering flame
Nothing changes, nothing’s the same
Mass confusion, screaming, crying
Cackle, fire, pain, and lying
Flat on my back, gazing up high
Nothing but black, no glimpse of sky
Long way down, no way up
Empty and dry becomes my cup
Much time to wonder, questions of why
“Help me, Lord Jesus!” Finally I cry

Piercing light, bright as the sun
Peace overtaking, no reason to run
Screams of agony fade slowly behind
Calmness, gentleness, serenity of mind
Lifted out, set on rock, miry clay now gone
Truth becomes reality, no more reason to con
Presence of God surrounding my life
Putting to death hopelessness, conformity, and strife
To hell is no sting, no hold on me now
At the foot of my God do I humbly bow
Thank You for salvation, my rescue from the grave
Mighty are You in victory, mighty are You to save

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Guide

The road is set before me
Though a fork I’ve come upon
I know not which way to go
But I know I must go on

I strain to see what lies ahead
But all stays dark and deep
I cannot see the mystery beyond
This dim light before my feet

I want to stand and contemplate
The road that I should take
But allowing my past to catch up with me
Would be my biggest mistake

I whisper a prayer for You to guide
Choose a path and make my way
Hope the choice would prove right
At the dawn of a new day

I have no clue what is to come
Nor the how or the where
But the one thing I know for certain
Is that You are always there

**”Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1

Thank You, Lord, for Your great love, guidance, and care upon us, even when we have no idea what we’re doing.**

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My Reflections on Haiti

**I am still really not all that pulled together right now, so forgive me the repost. In May of 2010, five months after the earthquake in Haiti, I had the honor of being a part of a team that went to minister down there. We worked with a missionary family, the Wrays, in Les Cayes. They have an incredible ministry there. It was my first missions trip out of the country. What a break-in for me. What follows is my heartache for Haiti put into the most healing way for me: a poem. I hope to be back to full blogging force soon. Thank you for bearing with me. Please continue to pray for the Erskine family, as well as for several friends of mine that lost everything in a terrible fire on Tuesday night in Sussex, New Brunswick. So much heartache right now for so many…**

When I think about our mission to Haiti, words to describe what I experienced just don’t come to me easily. The second day I was there, the only phrase I could come up with to describe what I was seeing and feeling was “devastatingly beautiful”. I tried, being who I am, all week to put my thoughts into poem form, to no avail. Finally, the night before we left, God brought the words to me. Here it is:

“Devastatingly Beautiful” ~ May 28, 2010

From the peaks of the mountains
To the lowest flooded vale
The beaches and the city streets
They all have their own tale

Devastatingly beautiful
Is the land so stripped away
Never knowing whether it might
Provide for another day

See the streets crowd with people
Beloved creatures of Your making
Forget their roots and know You not
While through them evil roots are taking

Devastatingly beautiful
Are the people plagued with doubt
And though their lips may stay silent
Their eyes are shouting out

Rise up, people of our Lord
Can’t you hear His children crying
They need us now, their darkest hour
Sacrifice of yourself and save the dying

Devastatingly beautiful
Is this country desperately broken
Now is the time, the harvest white
The hearts of His people are open

Now Your people have answered the call
And are raising the banner of Your name
For when Your word has gone forth
Haiti will never be the same

Devastatingly beautiful
Out of the ashes she will rise
Praises for You will ring anew
From a country once despised

Devastatingly beautiful
Shall soon be in the past
And lovingly blessed shall become
The legacy that will last

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He Does Indeed Now Live

I have not much to say today. I am still in shock over the news of the loss of a dear friend from college. Only about my age – young 30’s. He was as healthy as could be. We constantly hear the phrase “You just never know” in times like these. And it’s true. You don’t know. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Those you love – tell them. Those you need to forgive – forgive them. Those bridges that need to be rebuilt – rebuild them. Do not say you’ll do it later. We all think later will always come. It won’t. Soon you won’t have a later. Do it now.

In honor of you, Lynn. My friend, my encourager. You will be sorely missed.

He Does Indeed Now Live

If God had given me the news
Of what would happen that day
Then I would have begged of Him
To hear what I had to say

I would have told Him of great works
You had done in His holy name
I would tell Him all the reasons:
Your family, friends, loves, and aims

I would do my best to make Him see
That to take you would be a mistake
Surely He would see it my way
And leave you and His choice forsake

But the news God did not give to me
And here we are left to grieve
To wonder why God had decided
That it was time for you to leave

But even if I’d had my chance
To fill God’s ear with my thoughts
He would have just looked at me sadly
And said “My child, you think I know not?”

“For it was I who gave the life
Of which you now for plead
I directed his steps and laid the way
And there he followed My lead.

I’ve watched him fly; I’ve watched him fall.
I’ve seen all his heartfelt deeds
And though so many love him dearly
Not one loves him more than Me.

So please do not be angry with Me
Do not despise the choosing I’ve done
For all have a time, and this was his
The time to call home My son

But peace I leave you, comforting grace
And strength I do now give
For though he is gone far from your sight
He does indeed now live!”

So we cling to the promise, cherish hope
And hold our memories near
Until our time comes to be called home
And see once again you, most dear

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Blind Eye

I see my world going astray
It becomes more corrupt by the day
But I don’t know what I need to say
So I turn a blind eye

I see my brothers being despised
My sisters are falling into lies
But to help I don’t know what to try
So I turn a blind eye

What once was wrong is now all right
What is right is seen as now too tight
The world is quickly putting out the light
Still I turn a blind eye

My soul is screaming deep inside
My discontent I can no longer hide
But I don’t know how to start turning the tide
So behold my blind eye

It’s in our homes, it’s in our lives
It’s in our churches of all size
What will it take for us to realize
The cause of death is our own blind eye

So with injustice flaring all around
My purpose now I will surround
I have a voice, it will resound
Lord, forgive my blind eye

I’ve made my choice, I take my stand
I’ve drawn the line upon the sand
I will live to take back the land
Goodbye to my blind eye

And now the choice has come to you
You have a voice, you know what’s true
Your heart is tugging, so what will you do
Do with your blind eye

You Tell Me Jesus Loves Me

You tell me Jesus loves me

How I want it to be true

But how can I believe it

If you don’t love me, too?

You see me begging on the street

A little food is all I need

But you mutter accusingly as you pass

While your own mouth you overfeed

You see me as a lazy one

But you have not a clue

You would think much differently

If you knew what I’d been through

But you take a trip and hold a track

And for an hour we see eye-to-eye

But how can I believe He loves me

When every other day you pass me by

You see me walking, belly big

Yes, I’m young and I made a choice

But instead of helping what’s been done

You hold a sign and raise your voice

I feel your disapproval burn

You cannot imagine the shame inside

All I want is someone to love me

But the gossip makes me want to hide

You walk on up and pat my arm

Tell me He can forgive and restore

It’s what I want, so desperately

But it’s your back I see far more

I scare you and disgust you

When you find out who I am

Cause I’m a (s)he and (s)he’s a (s)he

And you refuse to understand

You see me as the utmost sin

Your words of hate pierce the soul

You tell me that hell awaits me

And empty stays my God-sized hole

“Jesus loves you” is your refrain

“He wants you to turn” you say

And maybe I could believe it

If you weren’t yelling from ten feet away

I am too weak, I am too strong

I am too young, I am too old

I am a freak, I am so poor

I do not fit your churchy mold

A little respect is all I ask

It’s all I desire for you to try

And when you tell me Jesus loves me

Try to look me in the eye

You tell me Jesus loves me

How I want it to be true

But don’t you dare say He loves me

Unless you’re ready to love me, too

 

CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: People aren’t going to care about what we have to say until they know that we care about them where they are. We tend to think people need to change before God could expect us to love them. Remember, God loved us while we were still sinners. We didn’t have to change before He loved us. So why should other people have to change before we love them? Is there someone God is asking you to love, but they are not what you would normally find loveable? Burst that bubble, step out of that comfort zone, and take the chance. You may be just what they are desperate for. And your love may be the only way they will ever see Jesus’ love. Do you want to be fulfilled by helping them find Him, or held responsible for their eternity because you weren’t willing to step out?

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