Faithful.

Faithful. Steadfast to affection or allegiance. Firm in adherence to promises. True to the facts and to a standard.

Countless verses in the Bible speak about faithfulness. Some though, speak directly to the source of faithfulness. The fulfillment of the word faithful. These scriptures direct our focus directly to the faithfulness of God. It is this faithfulness that grabbed my attention this morning. “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”

Our world is anything and everything but faithful. I suppose it always has been, but lately it seems treacherous. Not much is steady. Consistency is hard to find. It leads the soul to unrest. Poses questions and doubts. Sparks fear.

Yet this scripture. These words. In an instant, grant the ability to find rest. They recall, recount and rehash the truth that is His faithfulness. They release the noose of fear and capture truth, that He, is in control.

Immediately, I am thankful for what is so easily forgotten. Faithfulness. Steadfast to a promise. Not changing, not unsteady. Consistent. As the things around me rattle and shake. As unsteadiness creeps in. A promise made so long ago, is so prevalent to today. A promise He knew I would need this day, the same promise another may need tomorrow.

Thank you Father for being faithful when I am not. When we are not.

Thank you for speaking a promise so long ago, knowing I would need it today.

Broke without breaking.

I hear the news reports, ringing in my ears.

I see the devastation happening, blazing in my eyes.

I feel the unfathomable impact, weighted in my soul.

For days it has rendered me speechless. Unable to form a sound opinion, unable to gain reason. Grieving.

Grief, unbearable grief.

The lyrics of a song roll round and round in my mind.

Broke without breaking.

We are broken. So broken.

Our country. Our communities. Our lives.

The brokenness creeps closer and closer.

Not physically broken by an outside force, an internal breaking at our own accord.

From the inside out.

Broken without breaking.

The worst kind of broken.

Oblivious brokenness.

Like a vase, still intact, on closer inspection reveals utter decimation.

Cracked in all directions.

Shattered on every surface.

Rived deeply within our core.

In the midst of my grief, I can only whisper, Father we need you.

On this beautiful morning

On this beautiful morning, I am reminded of my mother.

I am reminded of the power and beauty of our relationship.

I am reminded that in hard, difficult, and ugly times, our relationship was formed. Like a rock, it was solidified.

I am reminded of how, through what was, the worst time in my life- she stood by me in strength and dignity- she held me up when I could not stand.

On this beautiful morning, I am reminded of the whimsical, creative, joyfulness that flows forth from her soul. Like a bubbling brook.
How everything that she touches breathes new life.

I am reminded of how she can receive what is broken and create exhilarating, breathtaking beauty.

On this beautiful morning, I am reminded of how she prays.

I am reminded of the many times, hearing her cries in the basement or seeing her submerge with red nose, knowing, instantly, she was on her face, moving God with her fervent prayer.

I am reminded of her unending faithfulness, her ability to cling to hope when all seems lost.

On this beautiful morning, I am reminded of my love for this woman and my hope that one day, I will obtain, even a single ounce of the beauty she obtains.

Penetrating beauty, deep inside.

Water

Because I live in Louisiana, rain is a overwhelmingly common theme in my life. I have learned it doesn’t really matter the season, the rain isn’t picky. Spring, summer, fall and winter….Rain.

Along with rain, we also live on the lake. On the lake, in the swamp, with constant rain. Needless to say I am familiar with water. Lots of water.

These facts are what forced me to locate and hire a mason. A mason to build a wall, a mason to join forces with me, to take a stand, in one last feeble attempt at controlling the water on the lake. Yes, I realize the severity of this oxymoron.

It was while this mason was assessing the situation, compiling an action plan, I was inspired. “One thing about water”, he said. “It goes where it wants.” So nonchalantly.

I pondered. How, with aggressive fervency, I am trying to control the water in my life. With sheer tenacity I attempt to contain it, to make it go where I see fit and keep it out of where I believe it does not belong.

I pondered. “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

How often do I too, attempt to control the living water inside of me?

Contain it.

Control it.

Change it.

Change this, but I’ll keep that.

Fix him, fix it, but don’t show me, me.

Do a new thing, but not like that.

Has my heart become a series of walls, built by my own hands?

God says, “Live.”

Our eyes are open, they stay open. Explains frankly why we stay so tired. Exhausted. It is our hearts that are shut. Boarded up hearts. Hearts closed for business. Too much hurt, too much pain, too much unknown. Some hearts closed and we are unable to remember when it happened. Others closed and the shutdown relived too many times to count.

Without seeing, we cannot live.

Our ears, like satellites, search for the latest signal, the latest update, the newest news. Constantly roaming, hunting, chasing- to hear it first, be in the know, never miss out. Hearing so much, that the hearing has become muffled. The volume on our souls speakers have been muted. Unable to recognize truth.

Without hearing, we cannot live.

Our touches morphed, digitally mastered and sped through without significance. Embraces, if existent, often mimic actors unable to capture their audience with realism. Authentic touches nonexistence, reveal spirits that too, fall short of authenticity. Spirits unable to feel the touch of our creator, the gentle move of His presence.

Without touch, we cannot live.

God says, “Live!”

How Father?

How do I truly Live?

Touch and actually feel.

Consume and really taste.

Embrace and truly feel.

Unlock, unmuffle, unshackle.

Un-assume, un-automate, un-choreograph.

Live.

God says, Live!

HOPE.

Can you imagine what they felt on this day? After the painstaking devastation their souls and eyes witnessed just hours before. I wonder, did they sleep? Could they close their eyes without reliving every heartbreaking detail. Could Mary even breathe?

Coming into this weekend, I felt the word HOPE rising within me. Felt the word HOPE stirring me to deep thought. Felt the word HOPE driving me to wonder. When they woke on this day, did they have an ounce of HOPE?

HOPE is wanting something to happen. Wanting something to be true. To expect with confidence. Can you have HOPE when all hope seems lost? When the very thing, the actuality of hope is ripped from you, can you still generate, muster or feel hope?

Amongst their abundant grief did they remember the words He spoke? Did their souls long for something to be true? Could they even fathom, after the tragedy witnessed, that the promises were not just lost on the wind? Would their heart allow them to cleave to the anchor of HOPE?

On this day where the sun still rose, where the birds still chirped, where others went about life as usual, could they look past what was and cling to the HOPE of what was to come? Could they set aside the deep, gut wrenching anguish and find a glimmer of HOPE?

Can you?

In the pit of your deepest despair, can you remember the words that He spoke? Can the promises that He made be an anchor for your soul rather than a ship passing in the night?

“I will never leave you, or forsake you.”

“I will fight for you, you need only to be still.”

“He gives strength to the weary and power to the weak.”

“Do not fear, for I am with you.”

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…”

“But those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”

Choose HOPE.

Choose to anchor.

For tomorrow is coming.

#Easter#HOPE#Heisrisen#Jesus

The mirror

This moment in time, this forced halt, this unchanging red light is forcing time for self reflection. A preverbal look into the mirror of me.

Previous to this juncture, self reflection could be bypassed by numerous vices. It could be scheduled around, ignored, or attended to by a masked attendee. For countless hours upon countless hours, the haunting bellow from the mirror of self could be distorted by whichever distraction selected. Ignore what is. Portray what isn’t.

But now…the distractions are dwindling. As the days of social solitude progress, the mask of ignorance becomes more difficult to wear. Fewer and fewer implements available as means of escape. As the boundaries become smaller, the bellow becomes unable to be muted.

The mirror needs to be heard. If it were, hard questions would be asked. Terrifying answers might be exposed. Healing could begin. Healing for our souls. The souls we try to cover and appease. The souls that desire to blossom and thrive.

Do Not Rush This

January seems like so very long ago.

It seems years ago when I wished for slowness and stillness.

Longed for the quiet.

For life to hush just momentarily.

Willed for time to cease.

Now it’s here.

Now it’s calm.

Now it’s quiet.

Now I wait.

Oh my soul, let not the waiting become envenomed by impatience.

Remember the longing you felt only days before.

Bask in this that you are in.

Do not let it go.

Tighten your grip.

Comfort in the stillness.

Linger in lack of agenda.

Revel deeply in the freedom of nothing.

You have searched for this for so long.

Dreamed of a time when savoring was permitted.

Lived your life for the days that would allow rest.

It is here.

Be amongst it.

Be enveloped by it.

Find yourself inside it.

Do not rush it.

Believe.

“Everyone wants some magical solution for their problem and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” -The Mad Hatter

Magical solutions,

Magic potions,

Brews, elixirs, concoctions.

Bippity…boppity…boop,

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

Dreaming is a wish right from the heart.

Magic was so easy as a child. Do you remember? The belief of it was much easier than the possibility to disbelieve in it. It just was. A fact. No doubt about it. Real as the day is long.

Kids see magic in all things. In the snowflakes dancing from the sky, in the wand of a fairy, the probabilities of closet monsters, the enchantment and abracadabra of a rose. Never once questioning the possibilities. The wonder. The amazement.

When is it that we stop believing but continue wishing? Wishing for a prince, but stop believing in ourselves to be the princess. Wishing for a fairytale ending, but refusing to believe in the path to get us there. Wishing for beauty, yet not believing in the design. Wishing for transformation, but not believing in the power of it.

If you stepped outside the realm of your life, imagine it as a box, crafted of glass. Take a minute. Peer inside.

What are you truly wishing for but desperately failing to believe in? What wishes envelop your every waking thought, but disbelief suffocates their breath? What wishes, like candle flames, have been lit in your soul, but fear threatens to snuff them out?

Can you see it? Catch it. Wrap it up in your hands. Place it securely in your heart.

Believe in it.

Believe the entire, wild, crazy thing.

Most important, believe in you.

The Stories That We Tell Ourselves.

How much reality resides within the pages of the stories that we tell ourselves?

What monumental lies pollute the purity of truth?

Who is cast as hero or heroine, villain and superhero?

How long have these stories controlled endings and snuffed out beginnings?

Who decides the mask being adorned to cover that which lies beneath?

In the stories that we tell ourselves, what vibrancy have we become color-blind to?

What is now smeared with lackluster appeal, stripped of breathtaking beauty?

How long has the role of victim been on debut?

What subpar mediocrity governs our potential?

Which cries have been in vain and laughs been silently forfeited?

What fact has been traded for fiction and what faith has been traded for fear?

Is their room for the Author and Finisher in these stories that we tell ourselves?

Have we thought to remove ourselves from the story to see what He can do?

Can we ask for truth to shine bright and strip the story of deceit?

When we invite the Author to the story, can the truth not be set free?

Who, Father do you say that we are?

What, Father were we created to do?

How, Father can we stop these stories that we have told ourselves and rewrite the truth?