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Braking Points

Exploring the Adventure of Aging

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Lent

Sorry

SORRY.

I am so sorry your dog died, but sorry you cannot spread his ashes here. It really is a sorry state of affairs and I am genuinely sorry to be the one to refuse but ‘I am sorry.’

I overuse this word and I misuse this word. It can become if I am not careful an empty expression. How can I change or at least modify this habitual expression so that I better convey my true heart. What if I consciously consider what I am trying to say, like in the example above. What if …

I am sad for you that your dog died, but the rules prevent you from spreading his ashes here. It really seems a bit harsh. I am regretful to be the one to to refuse, but I apologize ‘rules are rules.’

Ok, sounds a whole lot more stilted; however, if I dig a little deeper to grasp what I am trying to express can that digging increase my self awareness? With God’s help can I cut to the heart of the matter and discover my motives? Will I be able to separate genuine sorrow, remorse from superficial politeness or politically expedient apologies? Who knows? Not I, but it is worth the experiment.

Words matter, but what drives our words matters more. I can put on a series of masks and filters and abide by all the societal and political rules of public and even private language. OR, I can choose to completely let every preconceived notion, prejudice, and unapologetically offend bunches of people. Or, I can open myself to hear others, I can seek to understand even when I don’t agree, I can allow the Holy Spirit to show me the darker corners within and strive to become a life affirming person within.

Maybe then Grace and Blessing will naturally come out of my mouth—BUT I AM NOT THERE YET!

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Broken Thoughts from a Broken Woman during Lent 2019

After the feast, the over the top indulgence

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Comes bloating, the hangover, the off kilter feeling of having pushed a few limits best left unpushed. Grabbing that last piece of chocolate off the plate and holding it in your mouth, letting it melt there on your tongue until it’s gone, you or, should I say I, sigh.

After the feast, the leftovers, the crumbs, the broken pieces litter the table, the floor, the parade grounds, scattered morsels to be swept up by broom or wind.

Around me are those who feel like the leftovers, the crumbs, the debris left behind to be swept up and scattered on the wind.

As I see it, we are broken, but it is brokenness and how we respond to it that makes all the difference.
The laws of physics says that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time–and yes, for all the science buffs out there, I know there are exceptions, i.e. Electromagnetic waves.

In this season as I approach what many have termed the Passion of Christ, a season holy to Jews and Christians with both Passover and Holy Week linked, the lamb, the blood, the deliverance, the Feast, I find myself considering how best to occupy my space in this world.

Recently in my devotional time I discovered that the Hebrew word avanah עֲנָוָה translated as “humility,” literally means “to occupy your God-given space in the world—not to overestimate yourself or your abilities, and to not underestimate them either.”

What if I FULLY occupied my space?
What if I ceased comparing my space to others’ spaces? Could I learn to loosen control? Could I learn not to interrupt? Could I touch more hearts with grace rather than stepping on toes as the dance of life carries me forward?

What about you?
In 1989 we were traveling an unfamiliar route when exhausted we stopped for the night. Checking in at the desk, the clerk on duty applauded our decision to pause our journey, stating that we would not want to drive the treacherous stretch of road ahead with a sheer mountain cliff on one side and a raging river on the other. Ding! Ding! Ding! My overactive imagination revved up and kept me up most of the night.

The Hebrew Children recently delivered out of Egypt found themselves camped on the banks of the Red Sea, with mountains flanking them and Pharaoh’s army closing in from the rear. I understand their fear, their confusion, their grumbling…Believe me I have been there–ok, not exactly THERE, but certainly surrounded by insurmountable forces including my own overactive imagination of outcome. And just to be clear here I would have been quivering, eyeing the walls of water on both sides of me, as I crossed.

I AM NOT NATURALLY BRAVE! And yet I have done brave things–for me. I am not nor have I ever been an adrenaline junky. I have missed out on a lot of peaceful dreams while waiting for the other shoe to drop. And yet, as I grow as a believer in Christ, I have arisen on mornings to walk through the raging waters and fires of life.

I do this knowing I have a Savior who spent a sleepless night in a garden, weeping tears of blood over what awaited him before dawn, then rising to meet his betrayer.

On that morning in 1989 after stewing all night over the fearful canyon we had to drive thru, I got up, pulled up my big girl pants, and off we drove.

The absolute beauty of that drive still amazes me. Yes, there was the mountain wall. Yes, there was a raging river, but the road was good, and it was beautiful. I had lost sleep worrying about nothing.

Be Brave Today! Go Forth! [saying this to myself right now]

Full disclosure: Thoughts have entered my brain and even lingered there at times that would shock the crustiest among us. Words have exited my mouth that are reprehensible, filthy, hurtful, and frankly the very remembrance of them shames me, as they should. My actions over the years, well, let’s just say, do not reflect the person God intends me to be. Due to these facts, I am very careful in conversations to say, “Well, I would never do THAT!” ‘Cause I am here to tell you, my darker side …Well, IN SHORT, I AM A SINNER.

So, what are my options? What if I have improved ? What if I truly see how destructive my darker side has been to others and myself? What if I have genuinely put all that behind me? What if, I see myself as others do, as God sees me and want to close the door to that former person?

What if I am like the World Leader who having enticed another man’s wife into his bed, a man who was a soldier fighting in this World Leader’s Army? What if she became pregnant? What if this WL set the soldier up to be killed in battle and then married his widow? It was spring, a time when Kings go to war, BUT DAVID DID NOT. [2 Samuel 11:1]

What if a brave friend came to me as Nathan did to David and confronted me with my SIN? What if ? There are options, depending on my response* to the confrontation.

I could categorically deny it!
I could stuff it down and ignore it.
I could kill the messenger–David actually had that option.
I could cover it up with lots of good deeds and words.
I could rationalize it. I.e. ‘I was young and stupid. I was under a lot of stress. I deserved to get revenge. I didn’t mean any harm. They are just too sensitive.’ You get the picture.
I could hire an image consultant to put a new spin on my persona.

So many options. But in a world where everything could play out in the realm of public opinion and there is no ‘statue of limitations’ on what you did at any point in life, no man conceived option worked for me. Although I tried a few. I wasn’t good and I knew it. I could fake it in hopes of making it or I could decide not to give a rat’s patootie what I sounded or acted like and go on without a single consideration of anyone but myself OR I could be a David in his lowest and finest moment [Read Psalm 51] and choose God.

God, who forgives my sins [daily, past, future]. God, who separates me from my sins as far as the east is from the west…
God, who forgets my sins whether I do or not.
God, who loved the world including me to send his son to die for it.

Public Opinion still wields power as a false god in the world. But Jesus overcame the world. I may suffer ridicule and condemnation for my past transgressions or my current and future ones, but rather than bow to throne of Public Opinion which brings a deadness to my existence, I will bow to the God of Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness.

Echoing the words of Moses and paraphrasing, Today I have laid before you , Life and Death, THEREFORE ( I )choose LIFE!

And as my friend and former boss, Anne used to tell me ‘try not to get your picture under a headline in the Louisville Courier-Journal.’

FATHER, ALMIGHTY, CREATOR–EVERYTHING I AM HINGES ON WHAT I BELIEVE ABOUT THESE WORDS

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I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. Do you? Do I? Or, do we equivocate? The extent to which I believe this initial statement in the Apostles’ Creed establishes the lens by which I see the world, history, science, education, conservation of nature, people. Indeed the lens by which I view everything. C.S. Lewis and Eugene Price both avowed atheists before their conversions FIRST came to belief in GOD as the origin of all creation before becoming Christians. Their stories are found in SURPRISED BY JOY and MY BURDEN IS LIGHT.

In the commandments given to Moses it is what hinges all the commandments together. HEAR, O ISRAEL. THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE.  YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE HIM.

SO, to recite these words while holding views that eliminate God from creation or limit God’s role in creation, or question his parenthood over All then I would be better off not saying them. Not because, the Creed says that, but because the Scriptures say that. Do I believe science and God oppose one another or do I believe that God created the clues in the Universe and the curiosity in humankind that seeks answers and solutions and knowledge to unlock the gates to discovery and invention and scientific processes? Do I believe every human carries within them a spirit stamped with the DNA of God Almighty. Do I believe the words of Genesis, ‘Let us create mankind in our own image. So male and female, he created them.’

So, is it empty recitation or awe filled proclamation. Do I speak a truth I believe or bear false witness while blasting the whole idea of God Almighty creating heaven and earth in favor of man’s theories which discard or dilute his power and action?

I believe in God the Father Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth!

What is your stand?

I BELIEVE IN . . .ADJUSTING MY VIEW OF THE APOSTLES’ CREED

 

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I believe in. . .thus begins the Apostles’ Creed, the oldest of Christian creeds. Millions of Christians around the world recite these words in church weekly, others more often, some never and some use other Christian statements of belief [Nicene] to collectively declare the tenets of their faith.

IMG_6107I grew up in a church tradition where such liturgy had been discarded as unnecessary and frankly, a bit suspicious, especially if it was merely rote recitation or used as standard for acceptance or rejection for church membership or access to Communion. From an early age I heard, ‘no creed but Christ’, no book but the Bible’, ‘we are Christians only, but not the only Christians’. I grew up believing and still frankly do that Jesus established Holy Communion [The Lord’s Supper] as a Sacrament, though I admit I never heard that particular word until I was well into my teens. We celebrated Communion every Sunday and often at special services. Baptism was by immersion at the age of ‘accountability’ [usually 11 or 12 years of age following a Pastor’s class] on a statement of faith—did they sneak a creed in on us—that went something like, “Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, and do you accept him as your personal Lord and Savior?” The appropriate answer of course was, ‘I do.’ After which baptism occurred.

So while other Christians were baptized with less water and some as infants, while others celebrated their first Communion around 7 years old, followed by Confirmation classes at what my tradition called the age of accountability, I have discovered that we are more alike than different. Some of us have drifted from the faith of our childhoods, some have deepened faith, some struggle to find their faith footing among a plethora of world views, many non-Christian or even anti-Christian.

I am sharing this so that whoever reads this can understand that the path I have traveled to embracing the Apostles’ Creed as a powerful way to succinctly express Christian doctrine.

As I age, rather than closing up, huddling in my self built bunker, I want to open my heart and mind and body to receive ALL God has for me to grow in Love. . .His Love, His Grace, His Power. I want to firmly plant my feet in the concrete of Jesus, but to open wide my eyes to see and embrace life rather than just waiting for ‘Heaven’. Living here, eyes open, heart open, loving, laughing, suffering, from the hour I first believed prepare me for EVERLASTING LIFE. I won’t say heaven will be less wonderful, if I waste time or hide out here on earth, but I do believe personally it opens my eyes to the blessings here and now. I want other Christians and even those who have other faith traditions or no tradition at all to see and understand God’s love and action in their lives. And as I age I have more opportunities to bless others, even if it is only to pray that they might know God loves them.

That is one reason I presenting this commentary and Terry and I are hosting a two week Lenten Study on the Apostles’ Creed at 6 PM EDT, Sunday in our home in Florida. And for those of you in Kentucky, I hope we can do this for a longer period of time when we return. Among other resources we are using Matt Chandler’s study guide along with the Bible. This is not a lecture, but a sharing group and all are welcome. This is not a gathering that seeks to pull anyone into a specific church tradition, but instead to celebrate the Oneness with Have one with the other as Christians.

IMG_1105The Apostles’ Creed is not merely words generated by men, nor does it have special mystical power, like an incantation. The words find their origin in Scripture, both [and this may surprise some] Old and New Testament. The words for me embrace the whole of the Bible beginning with Genesis, ‘In the Beginning, God’, the ‘Word became Flesh’, and ‘Come, Lord Jesus, Come’. Not only do they center me on the Trinity, but on the importance of the Church [the Body of Christ with its many parts, UNITED, UNIVERSAL], the reality of our own accountability before Christ and EVERLASTING LIFE.

SO consider yourself invited.*

*NO ONE PUT ON THE SPOT OR PREACHED TO–PROMISE!

 

The Hour I First Believed…

I have spent way too much time in my life chasing after people who caught my attention and seemed to have everything I did not have. It wasn’t so much that I wanted what they had as that I wanted to be included in their circle of friends, to be included so that others would view me as having value based on my proximity to them. It wasn’t that I had NO friends, but it seemed that I always fell short of the golden glow of popularity. It wasn’t that I had NO successes in school or life, but let’s just say I wasn’t Valedictorian or Homecoming Queen or Star Basketball Player…and somehow that seemed to be very important at the time. Of course, I blamed it on the fact that I was ugly, short, poorer than a church mouse, and believe it or not, that I did not have a boyfriend. I decided to change that status when I got to college and I did. Found my man and low and behold after 50 plus years still have him.

Unfortunately, I still found my self circling the ‘golden’ people working to fit in, wanting to get close enough to feel valuable, funny, and accepted. Sometime in my early thirties someone made the statement that ‘the person who loved the least in a relationship, had the most power’ so I adopted that attitude. I realized the formula worked fairly well but I did not like the effect it had on me. At the time my life was pretty much in turmoil in just about every area except education….I was acing that track…I was number one in my field of study at the University of Tulsa and I was owning it. I was also failing in my marriage, failing as a mother, and in general a pretty pitiful person. I hit a wall after I got my master’s degree, even though I got a really good job.

I met a woman at work who rubbed me the wrong way. She was always talking about her faith and God. Now don’t get me wrong I was attending church at the time. Why! I was even active in my church, but hey! She just rubbed me wrong. I suspect I do that to people now. I am ashamed to say, I even mocked her behind her back, rolled my eyes and even baited her. All the while my LIFE was in shreds. I was hurting others, people I loved, and they were hurting me as well. I found my self one step away from annihilation. Then Dorothy’s grandson David was hit by a car and left brain dead on the same day that his Uncle David had died in a car accident 16 years before. In the midst of my personal turmoil I witnessed how she responded and handled this horrific event and relived as her grandson died the loss of her own son. I watched as she and her husband comforted their son and daughter in law. What she had, I wanted but I had NO IDEA how to get it. I MEAN HEY! DID I MENTION I WENT TO CHURCH!

One night driving home from work, 50 miles on a two lane road, I sobbed so hard I had to pull over to the side of the road. I could not see. I prayed…not the first prayer of my life, but the prayer that saved my life. “God, if you are real as Dorothy believes, show me how to get through this time no matter what happens to my marriage or to me. Forgive me. Show me!” I did not even say Amen. As I sat there my tears slowed. I felt a peace within unlike any I had felt for a very long time. And as clear as a real voice in my head, I heard, Be Still and Know that I am God!

Spoiler alert: I did not immediately become BETTER, still letting God work that out in me.

What I did become WAS HIS! That is when I knew that the saying I had been relying on in all my relationships that the one who loved least had the most power was WRONG! Oh, it works if you want manipulate people, but NO ONE CAN OUT LOVE GOD AND HE IS ALL POWERFUL. So my goal is to become MORE LOVING of others and MORE LOVING to others…some days are better than others.

As the first few months of my new faith took hold, I sought out Dorothy and we became the best of friends. As I applied all I was learning to changing me, as I let God lead, as I opened the Bible and studied, I found myself hungry to know more. And low and behold, events occurred that changed my closest relationships and changes began to happen that I had only dreamed were possible. None of that came without some pain and suffering, but it allowed me to love my husband through a very difficult hurtful time in his life. Without God I could not have done that, but God gave me a new appreciation and love for the man I had married. He helped me to be a better mother, still screaming at the top of my lungs at times, but still better…and they all made it to adulthood.

I am sharing this because my granddaughter opened up and shared and I felt it was time for me to share this story. Perhaps that is what Lent is about, looking deeply at our journeys of faith or for some lack thereof and telling God how we feel. He knows anyway. Perhaps Lent helps us focus on what Love really is and HOW POWERFUL AND BLESSED THOSE WHO LOVE REALLY ARE…Whether they are in the Popular circle or Not.

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Wait, Wait, Wait–One of My Least Favorite Things to Do! Preparing for Lent, 2018

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I am pretty darn sure that the purpose of waiting extends beyond simply getting on my last nerve.  Indeed some waiting periods involve little more than tapping my foot or glancing at my watch every few seconds while sending a slit eyed look at the closed door in say the doctor’s office.  Having experienced some gall bladder issues lately, some waiting involves letting the pain subside or the nausea to pass.  Some waiting involves getting through cancer treatment and then holding one’s breath until the tests reveal whether or not you have beaten the beast.  Some waiting periods anticipate good things, the birth of a child, Christmas, family visits, vacation trips, the return of a loved one from deployment overseas.  Whatever the anticipated event or the delay, waiting demands to be reckoned with!

This Lenten Season I want to consider the wait.  I invite you to join me. Why? Because God seems to have a purpose for waiting.  Plus it appears he likes the number 40, because he kept the Israelites in the wilderness with Moses for 40 years and Jesus in the desert for 40 days.  So Lent’s 40 days stretching from Ash Wednesday  to Palm Sunday give time to pause and reflect on how the sacrifice of waiting can build character and teach me how to utilize if not embrace THE WAIT!  Perhaps together we can even find the miracles within the time in the Waiting Room.  For as Isaiah wrote:

“He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy. Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. But those who wait [hope, trust] for the LORD’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:29-31‬ ‭NET‬‬

Surely WAITING has a PURPOSE in God’s economy…just saying.

What I Learned about Heaven and Hell from Jesus’ Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man

Jesus said, “There was a rich man who always dressed in the finest clothes and lived in luxury every day. And a very poor man named Lazarus, whose body was covered with sores, was laid at the rich man’s gate. He wanted to eat only the small pieces of food that fell from the rich man’s table. And the dogs would come and lick his sores. Later, Lazarus died, and the angels carried him to the arms of Abraham. The rich man died, too, and was buried. In the place of the dead, he was in much pain. The rich man saw Abraham far away with Lazarus at his side. He called, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am suffering in this fire!’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember when you were alive you had the good things in life, but bad things happened to Lazarus. Now he is comforted here, and you are suffering. Besides, there is a big pit between you and us, so no one can cross over to you, and no one can leave there and come here.’ The rich man said, ‘Father, then please imagesend Lazarus to my father’s house. I have five brothers, and Lazarus could warn them so that they will not come to this place of pain.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets; let them learn from them.’ The rich man said, ‘No, father Abraham! If someone goes to them from the dead, they would believe and change their hearts and lives.’ But Abraham said to him, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not listen to someone who comes back from the dead.’ ” (Luke 16:19-31 NCV)

Recently, I heard a sermon at a church we were visiting that brought me back to this parable of Jesus. I realized the parable had SO much to tell me about heaven and even more to tell me about hell. Imagine that, there is still capacity to learn at my age and even more that God wants to teach me.

The first part of the parable deals with two men living very different lives on earth. One has money, privilege, he is living in the lap of luxury and whether he simply cannot see the suffering right outside his gate or he simply chooses to ignore it. I don’t know, but what I do know is that the man suffering in poverty and poor health has a name, which gives him greater distinction in Jesus’ story than the rich man. His name is Lazarus.

While the rich man disregards Lazarus, Lazarus sees the rich man and longs not to bring him down to his level, but to merely have crumbs from his table, discarded bits of garbage from the rich man to eat. Street dogs give him more regard than the man with plenty.

BUT, both men die. Jesus tells this part with the matter of fact attitude death deserves in the God’s Grand Scheme. Rich or poor, all flesh eventually fails and dies. Here is where the heaven and hell stuff begin and here is what I learned.

Angels carry Lazarus, not a nameless beggar, but a person whose name God knows to the arms of Abraham (heaven). There he is alive, comforted, and sees only the beauty and grace of God. In hell, on the other hand, the rich man suffers physically, mentally, spiritually.

So much for the attitude that says “I’d rather party in hell than strum a harp in heaven.” The rich man in hell is very aware of heaven. He sees the lavish life Lazarus is living. Like Lazarus once longed for the rich man’s crumbs, he longs for a single drop of the living water of heaven. Imagine the torment in hell as the damned see heaven constantly from the pit. Imagine realizing that the chasm between cannot be crossed after death, but also imagine the rich man’s anguish as he recalls his brothers who are still living on earth without benefit of salvation.

Hell isn’t some good old boy’s club or “Cheers, where everybody knows your name”. In hell you don’t even have a number let alone a name and like the rich man in his torment, no one there wants to see the people they love join them. There is no party! There is loneliness and regret. One may never have cared whether family or friends found Jesus on earth, but based on Jesus parable, in Hell they are begging for their redemption. If we Christians had one ounce of the passion for the lost that the rich man exhibited in hell, we could change the world.

Once in heaven we cannot see the other side. We will not dwell on the citizens of hell, but in hell those citizens see what they rejected, pay the price, and long not to have another person join them. We see glimpses of this desire for others to be saved here on earth…people who have experienced hellish life styles that destroyed themselves and others before finding Christ usually make the most passionate evangelists.

I really don’t like thinking about hell and yet here in this week before Palm Sunday, I realize Jesus thought about it, taught about it and experienced it for ALL Creation, so I cannot ignore it. So today I am praying for the Lost…especially, those who think they have it all together and simply do not need God and for those who think God doesn’t exist and that death is simply switching off the lights.

 

Lenten Reflection: And We Didn’t Even Notice Him

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He was hated and rejected by people. He had much pain and suffering. People would not even look at him. He was hated, and we didn’t even notice him. (Isaiah 53:3 NCV)

Bruised and bullied, crying softly where he lay
Left to suffer by his taunters, battered child, jar of clay
And we didn’t even notice him, we looked the other way
Not a hint of recognition, not a single glance his way.

Wounding words on her Facebook page, No not another day!
Cannot face the ridicule and shame waiting in that hallway!
And we didn’t even notice her, we looked the other way
Not a hint of recognition, not a single glance her way.

Tiny heart beating, tiny product of a night of play
It doesn’t fit, wasn’t planned, just make it go away
And we didn’t even notice them, we looked the other way
Unborn infant, frightened mom, not a glance their way.

We shouldn’t be surprised at the headlines of today
We, too, are battered, bullied, broken jars of clay
The pattern of our brokenness makes us want to look away
But the Savior of the world has something else to say,

“In every tender battered shoot trampled on today
In every broken heart, in every fractured jar of clay
See me, see me, see me where the wounded lay
See me, see me, see me don’t look away.”

For every teardrop, every sin, He died to pave the way
Bloodied, naked on the cross, He didn’t look away
He saw the thief, He saw his mother, He didn’t look away.
Mockers, skeptics, pagan soldiers, all within his sway

And YET He stayed, He didn’t look away.
He didn’t look away! Can I not stay?
Can I not look and see beyond my mirror everyday
And see the suffering, tend a need for other jars of clay.

“In every tender battered shoot trampled on today
In every broken heart, in every fractured jar of clay
See me, see me, see me where the wounded lay
See me, see me, see me don’t look away.”

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Ten Days In, Need a Promise for Lent?

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For those Christians participating in this season of Lent through intentional soul searching, sacrifice, and seeking, frankly, even those who are not, today is the 10th Day of Lent, a quarter of the 40 days leading to Easter.

One beautiful and tragic truth about the calendar and time

It marches forward, there is no going back

Time for those of us in human form marks the days, the hours

And it does so relentlessly

Without any “hitting the pause” button or “rewinding”, without my control

Like the poem, “Into the valley of death marched the six hundred”*

Marching like the Grand Old Duke of York’s men, “up the hill” and “down again” **

Reaching that magical peak of life, younger for some, older for others, before the after,

beginning the downward march or on more days than I care to admit the “SLIDE”

I can look back, but I cannot go back

So forward I go….whether through Lent to Holy Week or through Advent to Epiphany

Season after season of life in this fragile flesh, with a finite mind and limited mastery

Remembering, Reenacting, but not Returning

So it was when the Incarnation occurred, Suddenly God became man

Christ Jesus, The Lord in the form of a baby and grew up to be a man

Came to be trapped by the movement of time

He Who knew the freedom from the calendar chose to be tied to the days and nights

Of human fleshly existence, no going back, no going back

Eyes fixed on a Cross, unlimited power and authority self-limited for those few years,

So that beaten, battered, bullied, the brunt of mockery stinging,

He struggled up the Via Delarosa, up Calvary’s hill bearing my sins

He struggled upward on the downhill side of His life as a man for you and me

In the darkness of despair, with the ugliness of all sin from beginning to end on him

The weight, the ways of the world infusing His dying form, God Left HIM,

Still human, Still divine but briefly separated from the Father

MY GOD, MY GOD, Why have You forsaken me?

He knew it was coming and still he continued…..

So here I am 10 days into Lent, considering the work Christ has done for me, the sacrifices made, the power of the Cross, the power of his resurrection. And then in Philippians I read:

For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 NET)

And I am reassured by the promise. He continues to work in me…to perfect me, to lead me to stand closer to the Cross as He leads me forward in time to that level land.

Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God. May your kind presence lead me into a level land. (Psalms 143:10 NET)

*Charge of the Light Brigade” Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1854
**The Grand Ole (Noble) Duke of York, English Nursery Rhyme

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