Wednesday, June 13, 2012

...and then you bless me...

"When i was beleaguered and bitter, 
totally consumed by envy, 
I was totally ignorant, 
a dumb ox in your very presence.

I'm still in your presence, but you've taken my hand. 
You wisely and tenderly lead me, 
and then you bless me." 

Psalm 73:21-24
 (The Message)

The difference, the place of "life" --- rests in the second sentence --- "you've taken my hand..."
The norm, the place of "wandering" is in the first sentence --- it's where most of the scowl-faced-walking-wounded --- flesh out their days.

But oh God, you've taken my hand and You wisely and tenderly lead me --- and if that's not enough -- dear Abba --- then You bless me. You ---- bless me.
Me -- the one that is so tiny, i often lose myself. i lose myself in the activities of the day, in the dishes and the laundry and the garbage and the doing. 
Then i come to you with all that concerns me -- and i ask You to increase, and to help me to decrease. I've breathed long enough to know --- i want more of You Lord and less of me. My way will end in a void, dry, empty place. It might be well-decorated and sparkle with cleanliness, it might even look good to others -- but you and i -- we know the emptiness that resides there -- it was you who taught me Lord.
Fine castles usually feel very drafty and hollow -- words spoken in them echo off the walls because no skin-covered-broken-soul felt comfortable enough to stay there long. You Lord, birthed your Son into a simple carpenter's home. And then you gave Him no place of His own except for the one He knew in you.
Your ways, Lord, your ways --- i've fallen hopelessly, helplessly in love with what comes from the overflow of your ways. And i've come to understand, it usually doesn't "look" great or "feel" great or sometimes even "smell" great. i knew this through and through as i stood in the middle of Kibera slum, in dying Teresia's dirt floor hut. A rusty nail was her only lock on the bent tin door. One cot was her only piece of furniture --- and she lay on it weakly, waiting for that last breath to finally arrive. Surrounded by stick framed rusty tin walls covering a 10'x10' span --- there hung one piece of paper. i strained in the darkness of this windowless place to make out the words.
It read,
"Christ is the head of this home,
the unseen guest at every meal,
the silent listener to every conversation".

You work magnificently in the messy places of this world don't you Lord.
You - the God of order -- the One who put the world together in 6 days -- the One who parted the huge Red Sea and fed thousands and thousands of people over and over again with things like manna and quail and loaves and fish. You can manage BIG situations. You put the universe in order, You raise the sun and chance the shapes of the moon and cause water to pour from clouds to feed the flowers you chose to give color to. 
We are hopelessly, helplessly in love with what comes from the overflow of your ways.

But we get caught up in our feet-stuck-to-the-ground tiny little worlds. We become "beleaguered and bitter". We feel beset with difficulties and downtrodden over the weight of hurts. We see what others have and ponder over what we do not have -- forgetting that we do not actually need. We wonder ---- and then we wander. We are such Israelites --- we forget -- we complain -- we overlook all that is good and right in our blue-sky-world and we focus with binocular-strength-settings on what is wrong.
And You - our great, mighty Jehovah - You tell us, you warn us, that in this world we will have trouble. Then we shake our fists at you as if it were your fault, but under those tiny fists ---
You know ---
we tremble.

Your grace is breathtaking and life-giving.
Why do You bother with us at all?
Why would You put another breath in my lungs?
Why would You even pause to look our way?

But not only do You look our way --- You reach towards us. You take our hand. You whisper to us as a shepherd calming His lost lamb. You don't scold the lamb for being dumb enough to wander off and get lost. No. You come for us, you weathered the storm on that day the sky went black and the veil was torn. When rain fell hard and Your blood flowed with it. You were being my Shepherd on that day. You weathered that storm - You were not timid to step into the dark chasm --- You had sheep that needed to be saved. You could hear me bleating even then. You knew Your bleeding would stop my bleating.

You reached out your hand --- and they pierced it through.
You reached out your hand --- and "i" pierced it through. Oh God - i'm so sorry...
But You -- in your beautiful grace ---- 
You reach out your hand --- still --- and take ours.
Even after the ugly flow of bitterness and envy --- the complaining and whining. When the storm is at it's worst - You reach into the darkness with Your beautiful, gentle, powerful hand -- scarred in the middle -- grace.

... and you take my hand
... and you wisely lead your ignorant, foolish, whimpering lamb...
... tenderly --- not roughly --- oh God -- i deserve a harsh hand --- but you give me exactly what i do NOT deserve --- grace.
"it's your kindness that leads us to repentance oh Lord"...

Tenderly You lead me from where my tininess would take me  --- and You open windows up to a view of what my mind could have never imagined. grace...
When "the one who is like a roaring lion" is breathing down our necks -- You remind us that YOU ARE THE LION OF JUDAH --- You move with power. You are with us, You are mighty, You will not be hindered from accomplishing your purposes among us, in us, with us, for us.

and for me --- because you made me and know me completely --- you send 3 tiny sentinels to gush out the simplicity of your sure love --- 3 tiny kittens thrown away by someone else --- became tear soaked fur balls in my arms as i felt your love in their purring and remembered --- remembered deeply --- you are my Lion of Judah --- what others would throw away --- you take into your arms and caress tenderly --- my weakness only magnifies your strength --- my neediness magnifies your ability --- You are my Lion of Judah -- you will not be held back --- not even by my tininess... 

And then ---- oh then ----- 
"You bless me..."

©2012 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe

1 comment:

  1. LOVE THIS! so much here to chew on...and now i know the backstory on those cute kitten pictures maggie posted a few days ago.