Monday, October 29, 2007

+ isaiah rewritten + 1:1-15 +

{ re-writing the bible has always been the best way for me to really understand. too often we skim over the verses because they are written in the same writing style, the words we've heard all our lives, even if we've never read that particular passage. my november challenge to myself is to re-write the book of isaiah, and it's long, so i've started early. here's isaiah 1:1-15 }

ONE: Isaiah, son of Amoz, was given the sight and heart of God concerning Judah and Jerusalem, during the kings of Judah’s reigns: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.

Listen and hear me, both heavens and the earth! Open your ears because your Lord has spoken words from his heart that he desires you to hear and understand: ‘I brought life to my precious children and brought them up but they have turned and rebelled on me and my ways. Every ox knows his master and every donkey his owner’s manger, but my children Israel are clueless. They do not know, and my own people do not understand.

Oh, my children who live in their sin, you are a people with heavy, suffocating guilt. A group of you who simply do wrong, over and over, and your children are already set for corruption. You have forsaken your Lord, and ignored the Holy One who gave you your life. You have turned your backs on him.

Why do you insist on being beaten anymore? Why do you persist in this stubborn rebellion that gets you nowhere? The depths of your mind are injured, and the entirety of your heart is afflicted greatly. From head to toe there is no place in you that imitates life, truth, grace, or faith – only wounds and hurts and pain. These wounds have not been cleansed, your hurts have not been soothed, your pain not healed.

All of your surroundings – everything you know is desolate. The structure of your existence - your cities - has even been burned with fire. Your jobs, your “ministries,” your wellbeing is being stripped from you by those you do not know, right in front of your very eyes. Taken out of your hands by strangers.

Daughter Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a farmer’s field, like a city under siege. Unless the Lord had left us a few survivors who still fight for life through salvation, we would have been entirely destroyed.

Listen and HEAR what the Lord has to tell you, those who rule the dying people; listen to what our God has to say, you people of pain! “All of your countless sacrifices, what are they to me?” Asks your Father, in frustration. “I have more than enough of burned lives, opportunities destroyed, suppressed joy and the death that comes with sacrifice after sacrifice. I have no pleasure whatsoever in you stripping the lifeblood from everything you own. When you come to find me and attempt to speak with me, who do you think has required you to trample and destroy my home? Stop bringing me meaningless things! The scent of sacrifice and misery and suffering and death is absolutely detestable to me. Your “good Christian” events, Sundays, and legalistic get-togethers – I cannot bear your evil assemblies. The celebrations marked with sacrifice and that feeling of death – my soul hates. They have become a burden to me and I am tired of carrying the weight of what you insist on doing.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

+ thoughts on impatience, healing, and life +

i apologize for keeping these to myself...

i love my jesus.

and i love the evolution of prayer...


i still fight to understand. i still fight to be peace. but what have i to prove? i am made complete in a grace that is incomprehensible. i am defined as beauty while the eye still sees disaster. it is in this disaster that beauty is found and it is in the absence of disaster that beauty has no eager existence. and so the morning becomes new in it's state of perfected chaos. all will fall silent with the whisper of one unexplainable phrase: grace, provide what you require. contradictions of every nature are instantly held hostage by the cornerless blanket of grace. it is in essence the undoing of the root of separation. good and evil are the antonyms of 'all are accepted in perfect love.' we seek to label the right and the wrong yet grace fights its gentle battles slowly but surely showing us how weightless they are. so fight with grace, on the side the provides what it requires. fight against your mind's desire to understand the grief and the suffocated love. cry out for peace but only through grace, for it alone will heal the obsession of ending yesterday and today's uncontrollable actions. shed your tears to fill the artist's glass. he cannot move on to the next hue without your willingness to wipe the remains from the last one clean. and if you cannot find the strength to do so, you have only to believe that grace will take the power of your obsession and that with it, it will search for everything it requires.


Will I ever not be torn? Will these scars on my heart last forever? Are restoration and healing words that we throw around but never experience? I understand that death and pain can bring life and healing, but how much hurt has to come before I can feel enough to believe I am alive? I want real to be more than a four letter word. I want to give myself away entirely so that I can finally be free from the chains I keep myself under. Life is a state of being, not a continuum of days passing nights. How many days will I live before I find the state of being? Will I ever arrive there? Will it arrive here? I want pure joy, free from the tinges of pain and moments of surprise tears. I want to run in the desert and sing for the mountains and know that you see all of it and are laughing with me. I want to hear you say, "daughter, your faith has healed you." Do I not have this faith? Do I know that you and you alone bring everything I desire? I am only a little girl in a world filled with pretty things. I confess my forgetfulness and the distractions that so easily steal my eyes and sometimes my heart. Distract me; distract me with your beauty, your freedom, the blue skies that I pursued for so long. Fill me with your all consuming fire so that a cold flame will not ignite. Forgive my unspoken obsession with things I cannot see. Place your hand over my eyes and whisper in my ear of your love and your completion. I give you permission to take me over by force. I submit to your love. Protect me and strip the temptation from the beauty. Begin the evolution into the abundant life I have desired and sought for so long. Be my light during the nighttime and all that comes with it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

+ you are the father to the fatherless +

i don't pretend to be untouched. i don't pretend to be strong or stubborn. i don't even pretend to care more about myself than you. but i fear that silence equals the appearance of all these. i am a work in progress; a heart undergoing a great repair. i admit my frustration, my anger, my hurt, my pain, my disgust, and my disrespect. but i will also admit what sets us apart: my search for grace, forgiveness, change, and patience.

my sacrifice for you is my silence.

as a child, i learned that love is sacrifice. i also learned that we often do not understand the form that love takes, especially when done in sacrifice. so as i offer the deepest act of love that i can, i also know that you do not understand it. but it is my love, in it's truest form.

greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends. i lay down my life to find it - and in doing so, i become the living representation of my love for you. a misunderstood sacrifice, but existent and powerful nonetheless.

your acts of hostility do touch me, they expose my weaknesses and my indecisiveness; but above all, they give my the most treasured opportunity i desire: to express the immovable commitment i have to loving someone other than myself.

in light of this, i wait. i wait for your understanding of the sacrifice that begins with me, as an expression of my love for you, for them, and for Him. i hold his hand as i wait, and he waits with me. we wait together, in his timing, not mine.


be still before the lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their plans. - psalm 37.7

wait for the lord and keep his way. he will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it. - psalm 37:34

do not say, "i'll pay you back for this!" wait for the lord and he will deliver you. - proverbs 20:22

yet the lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. for the lord is a god of justice - blessed are all who wait for him! - isaiah 30:18

but if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. - romans 8.25

therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait patiently till the lord comes. he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. i cor 4.5

keep yourselves in god's love as you wait for the mercy of our lord jesus to bring you life. - jude 1.21

+ graceless children +

watch two young children at play. content with themselves, content with each other, content with their toys and the few simple requests of yours while they sit at your feet. but left to one another for even ten minutes, and one will find two small monsters, focusing all of their once-innocent energies on making sure the other follows the rules as his or her tiny, young ears heard and their nieve hearts interpreted. any outsider can watch from behind the invisible glass and see for himself that their adamant demands do not stem from a concern founded in what the best action is for the wisps of souls that they are, or in what the principle behind a command is and was. no - it becomes a miniature world in which perspective, reasoning, and purpose -and most certainly grace- is lost. there is an obsession with proving the other little one that he heard wrong and it was only 30 minutes, not 35. watching darkened eyes and hearing words that should never fall from lips as untouched as theirs is beyond frustrating to the observer. a disbelief towards the ever-growing childish fury raises silent questions in the heart. 'where did the child with a simplicity in his calm eyes disappear to?' 'what wordless force turned her tiny palm into a pathetic fist?' 'how are their world's so small and trite, yet have the capacity for a seemingly instant hatred on the shallowest grounds?' and the observer who is wiser still will probe further...'how do you teach a child perspective and purpose?' 'a concern for the rule he heard and not for forcing it upon the other?' 'how do you give a child eyes for himself but a keep his heart in tact for the other?'

but a question has not yet been asked that could change the grip on the observer's heart from one of frustration, anger, disbelief and near-disgust to one of quiet understanding and a compassion that washes over a fistful of sins. 'what if they never grow out of this? - what if -what if none of us have? -- not'

yes, observer, who is so wise beyond so many empty years - years that taught you nothing but better ways to disguise your obsession for ruling your playmate with the rules that "are right." years that taught you to replace your adamant squeals and tiny punches with smooth, 'mature,' yet biting and life-murdering remarks, along with attempting to drive wedges into the already bleeding holes in the other's heart. yes, observer, who is so understanding and gifted enough to view the world through knowing eyes - eyes that still insist on seeing only your foggy list of standards you thought you heard the Man speak before he left the room silently. the ones that you've repeated to yourself over and over and written down constantly for fear that - god forbid - the other didn't hear the gentle commands. your age has taught you to fight in your own way, one much more accepted. - no, not fight, for your rulebook cries out against such behavior. but perhaps justified by your motive. what motive? yes, i ask, what motive? but there is yet another observer - one observing you. one who already grasps the quiet understanding and embraces a compassion that has covered your fistfuls of sins daily.

you see now, that was never the objective.

he only wanted you to play gently with the young heart sitting patiently next to you - who has already heard his own quiet whisperings of how to please his father.

"...and i will write it on their hearts. i will be their father, and they will be my children. no longer will one teach another, or a man his brother, saying 'this is how to know the lord,' because they will each know me, from the very least to the greatest.' declares the lord. 'for i will forgive every action whether it be against me or not, regardless of it's motive, and i will forget every one of their sins.' - jeremiah 31.33

'oh chosen, chosen people, you who take the life that i offer to those i have sent you and throw rocks like children at my own, how often i have longed to gather all your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her motherly wings, but you have not been willing. look, and see how this has left your house as one that is desolate.' - matthew 23.36