avercat

I stand on the threshold of an open door. Terrified. What do I believe? If I cross it, I claim it, I say it out loud, and then I’ll have to support the claim. I’ll have to live it out or be named a fraud.  But what if I already feel like a fraud? And even if they never see, still, a fraudulent heart… So I stand on the threshold of an open door. Terrified. Paralyzed by doubt.  I cannot live this way.

Choosing to trust, I step. Not caring what is seen, I step. Knowing the truth as fact, I step. Receiving Your Word, I step. Believing that You are sovereign and kind, I step. The threshold, 5 steps behind me. Don’t look back, don’t long for the safety on the other side of the door. There is no adventure there, no peace, no life, only numb limbs, a divided heart, and the paranoia that life will end before it ever began. You, Lord, You are the door.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmD85tKwf3k

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There are so many types of moving… walking, arm circles, jaw flapping, dancing, chasing your tail…

You come to a crossroads while traveling and some how no matter which road you choose it loops you back to the beginning of the same road you’re on now until you come back to the same crossroads and have to make the same decision all over again.  Eventually you begin to feel like it doesn’t matter what you choose.  And then you realize… it really doesn’t.  It’s all just movement.

Maybe behind door number 10…

“Oh my god, did you hear what she said?  What nerve!  She never pulls her weight.  She is such a little tattle-tale and a liar.  Ugh! I just can’t stand her!”  My co-worker slides a silver cup towards me, offering me a drink.  I hesitate only a moment, a very brief pause before greedily drinking down the murky water.  The mystery brew that stinks like sulfur tastes surprisingly sweet even though the texture is gritty, slimy, it sticks to your tongue; the thin-film floating on top clings to your upper lip, and the only truly identifiable element of the contents is hair.  The metal of the cup pings as I set it back on the counter-top.  What is that among the dregs of this sweet concoction?  Could that be… a rotted out human tooth?  Surely not.  I look up at my co-worker and open my mouth to speak.  “*Resounding Gong*”  My co-worker grabs her hears. “STOP IT!” she shouts, attempting to speak over the deafening frequency of my altered voice.  I try again to speak and tell her I can’t help it. “*Clanging Cymbal*”  Glass objects all around us start to shatter.  I feel as though my brain might burst through my skull at any moment, the pain is so intense.  My co-worker screams.  The overflow of my filth-filled heart has become evident to all.

Abram was named Abraham and his wife Sarai, Sarah.  Jacob became Israel.  Saul… Paul.  Who am I really? Am I the name given me by my parents?  Or have I been redefined?  What would it take to be defined?  The ideal career?  Fame?  The ideal body?  The ideal boyfriend… husband?  More money, more friends, more education, more power, more prowess, more readers, more hair product?  More, more, more.

Christ asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”  They all had their answers.  They knew what the world was saying about Him; they knew the possibilities of who He might be.  In any case, they knew He was much more than Mary and Joseph’s first-born, but Simon, he knew exactly who Jesus was. “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”  And what was Christ’s response? (My own paraphrase) “Simon! Yeah man! Thank you for not listening to the people and voices around you!  You obviously are paying attention because only my Father could have told you who I really am, and because you really know who I am, I’ll tell you who you really are!”  He gave Simon the name Peter, Rock.  What a cool name!  “Um, people are gonna call you Rock from now on, hope that’s cool with you.”  With this name he changed Simon’s life forever.  Christ transformed this fisherman into the foundation of His bride, the church.  He took a man with a solid career, steady income, and secure future and turned his life inside-out.  Peter would travel, perform miracles, walk on water, be a founder of a theological revolution, witness the risen Christ, be imprisoned, be guided out of prison by an angel, see visions, speak in tongues, and be crucified upside-down, considering himself unworthy to die in the same manner as the Lord.  He would know God.

All this did not begin with Simon knowing who he was; it began with Simon knowing who Christ was.

Oh, Lord I want to know You!  Teach me, show me who You are.  Who I am is entirely up to You.

April

Posted on: January 25, 2011

I sit in my car, dry leather seats sticking to the back of my thighs, scribbling in a journal.  Does God exist?  Sure.  Is Christianity ludicrous? Sometimes.  Is Christ for real? (this is the real question, the only question worth answering.)  I have to say yes.  It has ceased to be an opinion and has become the purest of convictions. Ink on the page. I know it, just as surely as I suck the air deeply into my lungs, milk it of oxygen and pollute it before pressing it back out my mouth. I know it like my tongue knows the back of my teeth, like my right hand knows the curves of my name. I know it and… I hear Him.  Am I going crazy or just having conversations with myself.  Am I obeying myself?  What is happening?  There is this impression upon my mind, my heart.  It cannot originate with me because it’s implying things I never would have come up with!  Leave your boyfriend.  Give away your clothes.  Smile when they cuss at you.  Do your roommates month-old pile of dishes. You don’t need the make up, dress down today.  Run. You’re beautiful.  Call her up, she needs a friend today.  You’re complaining again.  Come, sit with me a while.

How beautiful the quiet hours where communion is glorious and complete.  I walk through a park, a garden and marvel at the number of trees, the different kinds of trees, the number of leaves, the intricate leaves, blades of grass, ants climbing grass, warmth in light and cool moisture of earth. Dirt!  How have I not seen You before.  You are not me.  I am not You.  But You are making me again, and this time I will be more like You than the first.  And You will make me again.

I was five then, walking by myself down an isle with red carpet and blond-wood pews.  I stood until my legs hurt at the altar as people shook my hand over and over and over… The baptismal robes ballooned out around my body as I descended into warmer than expected waters.  I couldn’t swim so I stood on a cinder block the audience could not see.  Five seems awfully young to my eleven-year-old mind, to have made such a serious decision.  I weep with overwhelming guilt at the thought of not being able to remember more.  No moment.  No prayer.  No change. But what will the other girls think?  I’m already a Christian, not to mention this new-found dark pleasure with my blossoming body that I don’t understand, that I mustn’t utter to any other living being, for surely I’m the only one with such an abnormal habit.  I must be evil at my very core.  No.  I will stay silent and pray and weep here in my pew.  Fifteen does not care what anyone thinks.  There are no friends to impress now and I understand that I am normal, that I am broken, that Christ’s blood would be a new chance.  I will step forth, I will confess, I will beg Christ’s entrance, I will change… I will.