There is a big however. It is this: We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God could not want that for the creatures whom He has given the breath of life. We die in order to live.
A seed falls into the dark earth and dies. Out of its death comes multiplied life.
"It is in giving…
Slowing down. Intentional reading through calligraphy becomes a prayerful moment of holding the present.
“Our art doesn’t need to be widely recognized. It needs to be deeply meaningful. Let’s make something we believe is honest and good and beautiful and true. Let’s grow and improve and help others grow and improve. If awards or recognition come, okay. If money comes through our art, so helpful. But don’t mistake money and acclaim for an accurate measure of Good Art. Your work can matter greatly without ever earning you a dime. YOU matter without any social media followers at all. Some of the biggest moments in my own experience have taken place in obscure moments in time with zero humans watching. Some of the most affecting people I’ve known have the least name recognition. Almost ALL of the most deeply moving songs I’ve loved were never radio singles.”
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate …
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.”
"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.
"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.
"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I’m waiting for what?"
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.
"You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.
"You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.
"You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.
"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still … Wait.”
With this weight she will never make it up, they said. she hears them, but the words dissolve between sense and knowledge. she is somewhere else. trying to keep alive the last time she was on a plane. keeping alive the seat and how her neck hurt after a few hours. the beads of condensation on the…
marking this day as one of those revelations long awaited.
"I was raised in a time man’s word means everything i was raised to believe that a man’s word is his honour. He said he would come back, I chose to believe him. If however he had not returned, i would have rather died than live in a world where what i’ve learned means, nothing where a man’s word means nothing." - Jan Blake (on storytelling)
“The very act of story-telling, of arranging memory and invention according to the structure of the narrative is by definition holy. We tell stories because we can’t help it. We tell stories because we love to entertain and hope to edify. We tell stories because they fill the silence death imposes. We tell stories because they save us.”
James Carroll, The Communion of Saints
quoted in Madeleine L’Engle’s book “The Rock That is Higher: Story as Truth”
“The secret to letting go of your past is to discover a purpose that supersedes your greatest fear. And that purpose is rooted in love.
The Bible says perfect love casts out fear. It cast out fear of other people, of sin, judgment and hypocrisy, because the more I loved, the more I realized my value was not measured by the Church’s standards, but by God’s sacrifice.”
How beautiful to see Your love God creep into the deserted areas of my soul. The Life in the Spirit retreat this weekend has been an ordeal to prepare for. Carrying weight after weight. Doubt after doubt. Burden after burden. It’s been like a sack of stones. But Your faithfulness had me undone. You have shown that no persevering ache and sting of brokenness will stop You from using my imperfections so that You can pour out Your love to Your children.
Through every memory that surfaced in me and reminded me of the times that ruined my own self-worth You have shown how these moments are connected with others who seek Your solace and together we are united in one large embrace whose tenderness will always reach the farthest and darkest places in me. I will never tire of seeing how You work Father. I hope that I will always see You in the places where I often doubt Your presence. Undo everything in me and let Your love be the anchor of my soul.
"I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed. I shall clean you of all your defilement and all your idols. I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh. I shall put my spirit in you and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances." - Ezekiel 36:26