Chased. Captured by Grace

” And by Your grace I’m made what I’m not. My unrelenting, ever creating, my ever chasing God. ”

It only happens when I’m captured.

I wait to write. Until I can’t wait any longer.

Because it has to be authentic. Artificial has no place here.

I heard it this morning.  Grace in the showering, hair and toothpaste. Grace in the making of bed…

The music captures, his voice and lyrics.  “At the well, I heard You call my name”.

Calling me by name.  Grace

“I drew You water but You drew me further”

Can it be?  He chases?  He redeems?

Being made into what I’m not.

This I know for sure.

Listen.

 

 

Raspberries and 100 degrees

I remember begging.

Begging,

pleading,

wheedling.

Hot tears, blonde curls, big blue eyes.

And the reluctant “Yes” that he finally spoke.

So I rode my bike to the patch, so excited to be 13 with a job….picking raspberries at 7 cents/pint.  oh, and all I could eat…

The patch sat in the bright sun and black dirt, plump red raspberry dots on brambly bushes with sticky stickers, ready and waiting.

It was so fun, those first few days of hot skin sunburning and mouth full of warm fresh berries.  Picking and filling the pints, proud of quick, fast fingers.

The heat began in earnest on day three, beating and relentless on bare shoulders already scorched and sore, The stickers felt prickly, and fingers didn’t fly as easily.  100 degrees by noon.

Mrs. Farmer was screeching, urging us to work harder, faster, with less eating.

Day after day, dropping my bike to go out in the patch.  Hot sun, tired.  No longer eager.  The raspberries began to taste sour.

Begging again…this time to quit.

Please, dad.  Please.

Tears.

More tears.  So many more tears.

Please let me quit.

And his steady gaze.  Looking straight into me.

“No, you may not quit.”

“You will finish what you started.”

I couldn’t be in the presence of a raspberry for years.  Years.

But I didn’t quit.

I saw it through, that 13th summer.

Failing

In the last several days, some dear ones have admitted to struggle. To getting it right, but also getting it wrong.

Painful struggle to believe in Good when so much of what has …been….has been failure. Even epic failure.

In the last several days, some dear ones have admitted to struggle.  To getting it right, but also getting it wrong.

Painful struggle to believe in Good when so much of what has …been….has been failure.  Even epic failure.

So I’ve done that.  Epic failure.  Sad outcomes, ruined relationships, heartbreak.

If we caused pain, we will embrace regret. And when pain is inflicted on me, that “undeserved” pain, we embrace painful wounds.

But the most painful pain, even if unintentional, is when we have hurt someone else, because that  is an aching hurt. A hard to heal over cut.  A sore. Self-pain.

And Pain will reach, if we can’t let it go, uninvited into our futures.  The dark seeping into expectation, into joy, to pry the joy away.

I think the admission of struggle is itself an admission of hope.

Pain won’t win.

Change is possible.

Healing triumphs.

God was always there.  God is always there.

You have been my God through all of it.

It is well. Is it well?

I have a screen.

It’s the sifter of experiences, and the setter of my perspective.

All that happens goes through the screen before I… act or react. And it’s unconscious because that screen has been in place for a looooong time.

My eyes were set on Him many years, many, many  years ago. And somehow I received the gift of a theology of suffering.

Came to understand that I could expect difficulty, loss, anguish…in this life.  And came to understand that anguish is an opportunity to hold tighter, walk closer, and learn much from Jesus.

I want that, so the screen interprets what is happening through the theology I hold dear.

My eyes are on You.   My eyes are on You.

My eyes are on You. My eyes are on You.

In my soul….it is well.

 

No Reserve

I am suddenly and without warning in a season of need.

Actually, how often is there a warning…an alarm…an alert or a heads up …

that the boat is about to capsize.

I’m about to take on water and its a long way to swim to shore.

My season isn’t life.

Nor death.

Rather,  inconvenience. Just simple inconvenience.

So I’ve been thinking about provision, about resources…about need meeting provision.

I am clearly a limited resource, and so are you.

I’ve got, in the human realm, finite resources. There is so much to go around, and that, as they say, is that.

So I have this tendency to see from that perspective, with limits at the edges.  Limits at my edges.

But God.

Unlimited describes God.

When His provision intersects with our need, whatever it is, it never empties the coffers.

He is never depleted.  Never limited.

His provision for you and His for me has zero impact on His resources.

unlimited…

Forever.

Love.

Enough.

 

 

Disrupted

Back in the day, I taught childbirth classes, preparing new mommies and daddies for an amazing transition of life.

We talked through the mechanics, the choices, the fear, the excitement, the moment

And we talked about birth plans.  How they wanted it to go, the dreams they dreamed and ways they hoped to experience this…this.

The thing is,  birth plans almost never go as “planned”.

Unexpected outcomes are part of the process.  Part of the Plan.

It’s a great life lesson, a good thing to ponder and reconcile.

A maturity milestone, I believe, is faithful flexibility.

Despite disruption and unexpected outcomes, faith confronts confusion.  Faith intersects with reconciling.

Faith says ok…not my will but Thy Will.

Faith disrupts the “But…”

Faith looks at the intravenoused arm and magic-markered foot and yields to the Greater One, who sees with no confusion.

Faith accepts the unexpected with tears.

And with trust.