Monday, September 17, 2012

If You Have a Crumb [Glorious Fast - Part VI]

"...Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry..."
- - - -

Arms open wide, I try to embrace them all.
Canis Major, Aries, Lepus, Orion, Columba...
All in their undimmed glory against the blackness.
And Venus and Jupiter, brightest of all.

Head tipped back, I spin; take it in.
Try to grip infinity while the earth grips me, twirls me through the universe like a daddy does his child.

And it's just me. Me and my dog.
On a 36 degree morning. At 8,000 feet.

I break into a smile.

And I whisper to myself; to Him--

No sooner has a child of the Highest yielded to transforming grace, than he is made an ambassador among men.*

No sooner!

- - - -

"But I have nothing."

If you have a crumb of bread, you have enough.

It doesn't say you must be a wholesale broker of baked goods.
Nor does it say that those goods must be the finest pastries.
Nor does it say that you'll need a flawless record of lifelong fidelity to be trusted with the job...

Because no sooner has a child of the Highest yielded to transforming grace, than he is made an ambassador among men.

What it does say, is that this bread, this simple fare passed down to sustain life--

It's not just bread you picked up somewhere for general distribution.
This was yours.
Your next meal.

"...Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry..."

Beautiful is this truth. A terrible beautiful.

If you have a crumb of bread to eat, (and most people do) you have enough to give away.
And if you would see men free, and full, and overflowing,
you must.

- - - -

At hill's top I turn, greet the dawn.
Embrace the empty expanse with my whole heart.
This is fullness.

*See page 2.1 of Mount of Blessings...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

To Finish the Job [Glorious Fast - Part V]

"... and that ye break every yoke?..."

This is no halfway freedom we're talking about.

This is undeniably the most audacious face of the conflict--
It's grace, returning to finish the job.

Because "if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

So it is that the trembling (but oh, so happy) child of God (only recently in chains) awakens one morning to a flurry of activity, and while yet rubbing sleep from the eyes an angel brushes by and says the Commander is waiting...

"For what-- 
        For me??"

Yes. Because just getting clear of the door of that prison is't enough for this General.
Today they're going back to crush the fortress to a thousand pieces.

And He wants to take me with Him.

So we set out. Me with my little coil of rope, and Him, strong as ten thousand times ten thousand bulldozers. And I look up in awe while we trek-- still thinking this is a dream. The One, the Invincible Soldier. The other, the admiring little boy, still in his pajamas...
And He looks down and smiles.

He doesn't need me.

But He glories in making the weak, strong.
            --in setting them over their enemies.

And after all, don't I know where the pillars in that place rest, better than most?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chained by Fear [Glorious Fast - Part IV]

"...and to let the oppressed to free..."

"There is nothing in the world to fear, but fear itself."
--words to a trusted friend those.

Fear substantiates the false claims of every captor.

Because when I fail, this jail I find myself in is horrible...
But even more horrible is the fear.

Fear keeps thousands in prison, when the door is wide open.
Because worse than jail itself is fearing "how God will treat me" when I get out...

But to say that God is anything like fear describes is as wrong as calling the devil a savior.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The truth is, God loves.
only. loves.

But the fearing can scarcely be blamed for disbelieving that at times...

We've taught them to.

Yes. You and me.
We teach the weak to fear.
By our actions. When we're supposed to be representing Jesus Himself...

And that keeps them in prison even when the doors are open.

"...and to let the oppressed to free..."

Not just by getting the door open.
By helping them believe they'll always find open arms on the other side of the threshold.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trophies of His Mercy [Glorious Fast - Part III]

" undo the heavy burdens..."
I love that word.

I love that word.

Schoolmaster holds up a bony finger and rants of paradises lost. Of opportunities wasted. Of moments, talents, thrown to the wind. Or worse.
Of the train of mistakes so long it takes an army of engines to pull them.
And that army of engines is me.
(And so, we get nowhere.)

Of the crushing weight of another failure.
Another moment I regret the second it is gone.
Of the shame that no one can understand because they know nothing of its source...

Schoolmaster's voice shrieks this madness,
this madness that is real,
and I cover. cower. cry.

And then in the midst of this shower of burning brimstone a hand is raised.
And teacher's tirade ceases on a goldfish-gulp of air, for sheer shock that someone might want to speak...
And the voice is quiet, but it is as solid as a rock.

"Is there no way to undo?"


-  -  -  -  -

I love that word too...

And it does undo.
The Hebrew word means more than just to untie one's shoelaces.

It means to utterly confound, baffle, unravel...

I know.
I know, in the present-progressive.
Because I pace too, lion-like. Fists doubled up. Star-studded blackness outside french doors to bookshelf, and back.
And I dry my eyes, drop exhausted. Only to cry some more.
And I whisper--

"He restoreth my soul... He restoreth my soul..."

I have heard it said that "There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us."*

I believe it.
Yes, there is a way to undo.

Oh, but schoolmaster shrieks again that the scars will always remain.

Yes. And even scars are trophies of His mercy--
A scar is infinitely better than an eternally open wound.

Thank you Jesus.

-  -  -  -  -

And so the soldier gets up from his face forgiven. Again.
Pure. again.

But only as he remembers what he himself has learned on his face will he be qualified to help undo burdens himself.

This is why we must never forget...

Be thou merciful. 

*Richard Sibbes

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Blind Cannot Lead The Blind [Glorious Fast - Part II]

" loose the bands of wickedness..."

If hacking chains is exhilarating work, it is also gut-wrenching. Tear jerking.
Soul taxing--

And full-filling.

It is neither for the faint-hearted, nor for the half-committed...

But it is brilliantly, brilliantly rewarding.

Little wonder then that many an eager recruit has taken to the field with clumsy grip and misfit armor to seek fame in such brave exploits. Only, without first counting (or even knowing) the cost.

These first six words betray one of the best-kept secrets of the dark side.

As regards [im]morality*:

License is bondage.

Lust is an iron chain.
And many, many beautiful people are wearing such fetters.

But these, my friends,
These are the first chains to go.

Only, they will never fall helpless before the faith (or the fervent fuming) of the faint-hearted,
or the half-committed.

From these same six words rings out to every soldier sharpening his sword for such a battle, this thundered imperative- a charge commanding every anguished drop of a soldier's undying commitment:

Be. thou. pure.

Be thou pure.

Because only purity is stronger than vice.

*Strongs: ["wickedness" from 7561; a wrong (especially moral)...]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...