Sunday, November 27, 2011


Some thoughts.  From about a month past.

Listening: "Your Hands," J.J. Heller
Where do I begin?  I don't know what You are doing with me.  I don't know that any of the gifts or desires or relationships or hopes I have are anything I can hold on to.  And that terrifies me.  If I really think about it, about the future and what might become of any of the above, I have a gut reaction similar to reaching for something to grab onto when you feel like you're going to fall.  But in that moment of terror I also remember God's faithfulness.  And that falling becomes a violent turning of my heart inside of my chest.  And I have to close my eyes to the open air and false emptiness.  You are there.
Here is what scares me: when I simultaneously see that my independence is illusory and that what I grab for is prone to collapsing.  I am like a little child that thinks she can pull her boat to the dock by herself, intent on her task, pulling with all her might; while an amused father stands behind, calming tugging the end of the rope behind her, with far stronger arms.  I can easily imagine such a miss, looking back in surprise only when her father begins to laugh, and turning red.  What chagrin.  To think you were doing something on your own, accomplishing, growing, coming to your goal, only to find you have proven nothing.  She would wave him away -- wouldn't you? -- and insist on doing for herself by herself.  Papa would let her too.  He wants her to learn well what she insists on knowing.  But the ebbing tide of the ocean is not something to be conquered even by the vast and glorious pride of a little child.  The unfortunate thing is that pride is resilient and it can take all of a soaking, a fall, and being dragged across a dock for it to die.
Enough of cutesy similes.
Here is what I was thinking about: I truly cannot depend fully on anyone but God.  But I truly must depend on God's method of working, even through fallible people.  So I cannot place my identity or my confidence on anyone, not my family, not my friends, not people who teach me.  But I must be willing to be taught by these people, to trust Christ in them, to care for them, to be open to God using these people -- who remain fallible, grace-needing, redeemed and not yet glorified children of God.  But I cannot lean on my own strength and I cannot lean on their strength.  But I must believe that Christ is in both them and me and learn to see and trust that.

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