Psalm of the Heart

Image result for woman praying

Abba, I’m down on my knees reaching my hands to you.

Hands that once were fists clenched against my chest

Holding fiercely to my anger and stubborn rebellion,

Not willing to release my grief, distrusts, fears, doubts, and dreams.

I’ve raged at you for past betrayals.

I’ve pummeled your chest for taking my dad away from me.

I’ve labeled you abusive and controlling just like other “spiritual” authorities in my life.

Where were you when I was hurting and lonely?

Do you still look the other way when those feelings wash over me?

Sometimes you feel so distant and cold; I cry out your name but only dead silence answers.

Do you really care when grief drowns me and anger squeezes the breath right out of me?

How can you possibly love a bedraggled, wary stray like me?

But Abba, you love me, you dream wild for me, you long for me.

You never walked away; you never turned your back on me.

You sat down beside me in the numbing, addictive muck of sin where I wallowed

Your arms of grace open wide waiting for me to turn to you.

No matter what I do, no matter what I say, you never stop loving me.

Thank you for always being here with me.

Abba, please forgive me for hurting you, for not trusting you.

I fall into your arms of mercy, resting in your love.

I hear your heart beat delight in me; I hear your whispered longings for me.

And without a doubt I know I am Abba’s daughter and I am loved.

 

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Provide

Isaac walking with Abraham to the altar for a time of worship

He says, “Father, we have the wood and the fire but where is the ram for sacrifice?”

Abraham says, “God himself will provide the ram.”

Isaac had no clue that his father was prepared to sacrifice his only son;

Isaac thought God would provide.

Abraham thought the provision of a promise was going to go up in smoke in front of his eyes.

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When it looks like we’re giving all we’ve got

And we’re putting our very heart’s desire on the altar

Where’s our statement that God will provide?

We want only good things provided for us

But what if God’s good provisions don’t make sense to us?

What if it looks like God only provides tough trials, strong temptation, difficult decisions, and hard choices?

What if God says my heart is to provide with your inherent good in mind but first you need to trust me?

What is God asking you to trust him to provide on your walk to the altar of worship?

(This post is part of the Five Minute Friday Link-up with Kate Motaung)

Conflict in the Calling

The conflict inside of me:

Conflict of beliefs, of calling, of invitation.

Conflict of stay or go

Conflict of doubt or believe

Conflict of question or trust

Conflict of safety or adventure

Conflict of tradition or reckless faith

Conflict of family or true belonging

Conflict of logical understandings or heart yearnings

Conflict of the old me or Abba’s dream for me.

The calling within me:

Whispers of calling, of the Gentle Voice of invitation.

Whispers of outrageous love

Whispers of gentle wooing

Whispers of brave courage

Whispers of relentless grace

Whispers of eternal redemption

Whispers of greater purpose

Whispers of reckless passion

Whispers of fierce peace

Whispers of “Come to Me”

Whispers of “Stay with Me”

Whispers of “Walk beside Me”

Whispers of a calling beyond my wildest dreams

A song of intimate invitation

A song of delight breathed over me by my Abba

Abba surrounding me with his whispered love song.

The Consult with the Master Surgeon

Pain deep inside wrapping itself around the center of my heart.

Anger wrapping its tentacles around my heart, squeezing the pain inside.

Distrust oozing throughout the depths of my heart.

This trifecta of infection slowly eating away my heart.

The infection spreading to my thoughts, my feelings.

The center of my heart hiding a gangrenous wound

When in walks the Surgeon.

The Surgeon tells me he sees me, the very center of me.

He knows the oozing wound;

He feels the steady, spread of my pain.

He senses the anger radiating from me, the distrust making me recoil from His touch.

He sits down on the edge of my bed where I lay nursing my pain.

He looks me in the eye and He tells me gently what He sees.

His x-ray vision missing nothing, His diagnosis right on target.

He knows better than I do what lies deep inside me.

I want to stay in a fetal position, curled around the wounds, protecting my pain.

But He takes my hands; He exposes my vulnerable, hurting heart.

He explains that I need to trust Him, trust His hands wielding the Surgeon’s instruments.

He tells me He’s performed these surgeries many times with great success rates.

I tell Him I just want to stay numb – He tells me He wants me to be present with Him.

I tell Him I’m scared the healing process will hurt too much –

He tells me He’ll be right beside me all the way.

He tells me the debridement of the infection will hurt but He’ll be gentle.

I tell Him I really don’t trust Him.

He says, “That’s okay but I’m not leaving because you need Me.”

 

 

Runnin’ Ain’t the Answer

Pain is deep

Emotions run amok

Sobs surface guttural and raw

Tears trace rivers of sadness down your cheeks.

Runnin’ from life’s betrayals beckons as survival.

Driving on the highway and the song “Daddy’s Hands” starts playing on the radio

Bringing on the waves of pain, sadness, and grief.

Grief that you keep hoping would stop feeling so raw at moments when least expected.

Sadness and feelings of debilitating loss hit me in the pit of my stomach

And suddenly I want to push the speedometer to the max

Then maybe, just maybe, I could outrun missing my dad.

Sitting across from the therapist

Finding the voice of who I was meant to be.

Speaking out of who I’ve been all along

That person who’s been kept under lock and key

The hurts rising out of the depths of my heart and shown the light of truth.

The lies tell me if only I would run back to my addiction

Then maybe, just maybe, I could numb the pain; the emotions wouldn’t hurt.

But runnin’ away from the pain ain’t the answer.

It’s never been and never will be.

Running’s only an answer when I run the right direction.

Run toward the open arms of Jesus.

Run toward him even if I’m dubious of his love, his intent.

Run toward him even if he seems too far away; he comes to meet me where I am.

Run toward him; he’s the only hope and strength I’ve got left.

 

In the Waiting

Take Courage by Kristene DiMarco

Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope, as your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing, He’s never failing

“Stay steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting”

But what if the soul is on shaky ground?

How does one stand strong when He’s not around?

Stay: “remain in position”

Even in the position of vulnerability? in the position of wearying battle?

Remain when doubts wipe away my faith?

Remain in the position of steadfast when surrounded by loneliness?

Steadfast: “resolutely firm, unwavering”

Resolute in the face of strong temptation?

Unwavering though the questions are a whirlwind of persuasion?

The meaning of steadfast is lost when in the heavy despair of waiting.

Waiting: “the action of staying where one is…until a particular time”

How can it be an action when it seems I am stuck?

How can I stay where I am when the in-between seems uncomfortable?

How can I know when the particular time has arrived?

Is He really here in the heavy silence of waiting?

Is He really sitting with me in the murky depths of doubt?

Is He really beside me in the battle?

Does He really surround me dispelling the loneliness?

“Hold onto your hope, as your triumph unfolds”

Hold on when your last shred of hope is slipping from your grasp.

Hold on when you’re too weak to believe.

Hold on to His promises when He seems to have forgotten you.

Hold on to hope when you forget all else.

Hold on to the promise of presence when you feel as though you can’t go on.

The triumph of His presence unfolds in the hope you clutch in your grasp.

He unfolds your triumph in the waiting.

The waiting you soldiered through

In hope

In triumph

In the waiting

He is here.

Jesus, our Shepherd, has been here beside us all along.

Comfort: (FMF Link-Up)

This post is part of Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday Link-Up community:

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Comfort in the wake of a loss that rocked my world,

Comfort not through words but actions,

Hold my hand in this journey through grief.

Please just sit in silence with me; cry with me.

Words aren’t needed to comfort my weeping heart.

Your presence is comfort to my soul.

Comfort in the soft nuzzle of my horse and the kisses of my dog.

Comfort in the routine of life when grief claims the joy of a new day.

Comfort in the memories of the loved one I lost.

Comfort in the arms of Abba Father:

“I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.”

Comfort in the midst of my grief.

 

The Day of Waiting

His friends had just witnessed his brutal death.

Their visions of greatness in his earthly kingdom sealed in a tomb of stone.

Three years of faithful discipleship and they’re all alone.

They left the comforts of family and business

And for what?  To get ridiculed in the end?

Against the majority, they believed in his cause.

They all agreed he was the Messiah.

But that was then.

It was easy to declare sworn allegiance to the cause

When he was walking on the water and visiting with celebrities on the mountain.

Now in the emptiness of grief and loss

The life of before beckoned as comfortable and predictable.

Even though it meant eking out a living on smelly fish.

But anything was better than sitting and waiting on stirrings of the heart.

The boats with their tangled nets beckoned.

The call to the safe comfort in the mundane of daily action

Action that would squelch the holy call to follow the heart of the Father.

Monotonous work that he had called them away from,

Called them to a higher cause, filled them with a burning desire.

But that was then.

Here in the now, in the dark of the waiting

The questions quench the fiery zeal of mission.

The doubts drown out the call of their Master.

The hours drag on, the day grows long and still they wait.

They sit in their grief and the pain of hopes dashed.

The sun sets on their tear-stained faces.

The dark sorrow of the night shows no promise of joy in the new day.

This day of waiting, day of abandonment, it visits us all.

And in the in-between space we wait with heavy hearts.

The questions, the doubts, the tears hang low over our souls.

The loneliness of sorrow erases the Presence of our Master.

The day of dark sorrow leaves us feeling betrayed.

We thought we knew the plan of the Kingdom

But suddenly our Master is gone from our presence.

God is silent and we have nowhere to go.

We left another life behind to follow his call

But the call goes silent and the former life beckons.

The life that was predictable and comfortable, it seems like the only recourse.

In the waiting, our hearts yearn for the silence to cease.

In the waiting, our tears course hot down our cheeks.

Tears of confusion, grief, possibly even tears of the anger of abandonment.

In the waiting, the heart is haunted by the doubts.

Doubts of is God really who he says he is?

Doubts of have we really been following the real Messiah?

In the waiting, the questions threaten our hope.

In the waiting, the questions drown out the still small voice.

The voice of our Master.

The voice we thought we knew.

The voice that used to bring us comfort and direction.

In the waiting, our souls despair

And yet the darkness of the night brings the promise of the dawn.

The dawn of a new day.

A day in which we hear his voice once again.

A day in which he reveals himself once again to us.

A day in which he calls us to an even deeper discipleship.

In the waiting, may our souls find peace.

In the waiting, may our hearts grasp onto hope.

And in the waiting, may we sense the Presence of the Master.

 

Wholeness for All

brokenness

“I cry to the Source of all life, to the Eternal One whose Plan is Wholeness for all…Help me to live the Oneness we are eternally with Love Consciousness.”  –from Psalm 57 in Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill.

Wholeness when brokenness is all I feel;

When shards of regret cut to the quick;

When bad choices of the past shatter the good intentions of the present.

Wholeness, when who I thought I am is in pieces all around me.

Broken walls of the soul scattered on the ground

Exposing the brokenness of a life being worked over by God.

How long until the pieces are crafted into a beautiful mosaic?

How long will I sit here holding the fragments left by surrender?

How long until I feel this wholeness promised by the Master Artisan?

How long, O Love Eternal, till the wounds of brokenness become beautiful scars of the warrior?

How does the soul in shards live the Oneness of Love Eternal?

Who around me will display their brokenness being made whole?

Who will offer to hold the pieces of my brokenness?

Where is the community of broken souls being pieced together into one with the Trinity?

In the midst of grieving the broken pieces can I sense Love Consciousness?

Can I welcome the promises of wholeness even though I don’t understand?

Can I welcome the Presence of the Healer even through the fog of pain?

Through my tears of pain I see the broken body of Jesus embodying wholeness.

I see my broken soul, he sees my beauty.

I feel the sharp pain of the pieces, he feels the pliancy of surrender.

I sense the silent cries for relief, he hears the desire for healing, the longing for wholeness.

Surrounded by the pieces, I invite isolation but he offers the invitation of Oneness.

Love Consciousness pushes away the dust of the pieces to reveal the beautiful mosaic of a broken soul being made whole.

“Help me to live the Oneness we are eternally with Love Consciousness.”

 

 

Where is Heaven?

On days when heaven seems too far to find,

On days when grief shrouds the sun

On days when not even the clouds will cry for you,

Where is God?

On days when the battle is too hard,

On days when lust overpowers love,

On days when doubt crowds out belief,

Where is Freedom?

On days when exhaustion rules over zeal,

On days when the soul aches,

On days when loneliness floods the heart,

Where is the Comforter?

On days when addiction sucks you dry,

On days when your drug of choice seems the only way to cope,

On days when temptation surrounds the way of escape,

Where is the Savior?

On days when loss of a loved one cuts to the core,

On days when the honest truth exposes the heart for all to see,

On days when past mistakes slice open the wounds once hidden,

Where is the Healer?

When heaven seems to far away to find,

When God seems to have hidden his face,

When Freedom seems to slip your grasp,

When the Comforter seems to disappear,

When the Savior seems to forget how to rescue,

When the Healer seems to have lost his healing touch,

Lift up your head; raise your eyes to see Love.

Open your clenched fists; reach for Hope.

Find your voice; cry out for Peace.

Get up off those knees and stand to your feet.

Stand to receive Grace and Mercy.

Step from the arena of hell into the chapel of heaven,

The Savior and the Comforter illuminating the path to the presence of God.