Sunday, February 05, 2017

Dear Friend,.....

There are so many things I have wanted to tell you, but then somehow never said. 
        If only I worried less about hurting you, and more about telling you the truth.  Because really, even on the off chance that what I might say would make you angry,......this truth that burns in my mind and heart couldn't ever hurt you. 

So listen to me, and give me a chance. I'm sorry I ever bothered to tread lightly. 

You. are. immensely. worthwhile

        When I see you, I see a wonderfully alive and strong-sensitive spirit. You love much, and you struggle much, and some days you feel hopelessly lost between the two, but you're hanging on anyway. You truly love what is right, but there is a whirlpool of blackness smothering that love,... turning you angry towards it,..... making you cry out against the loss of it. Some days there is a penknife lodged in the pit of your stomach, and when you think of forgiveness, it just sinks deeper in. All of the whirlwind and scatteredness of it all leaves you exhausted and wondering why you should even care.
        I recognize that in you, because I've been there. Don't reject me because my story seems different, and don't assume that I don't struggle too. Listen, by God's own definition I was once hell-bound, but by His GRACE, and His grace only, I have joy again. Maybe I can't relate in the exact way I want to. Maybe your own hurts will never sound the same as mine. But here's the truth: you and I are both human, and grace isn't partial to anyone.

You don't deserve grace? Good. Because if you did, you wouldn't need it, and you couldn't receive it.

Please, rest your mind. Sooth your heart. You are loved.

Friend. Beautiful. Priceless. Strong.

        You know what is true! But somethow the message was lost in transit from your head to your heart. God's love is every bit as much for you as it is for me as it is for everyone else. It has nothing to do with your past, or what you think you are, because He doesn't look at that. What He sees is who He will make you to be, and the future He deeply wants for you. 

        At the very least hear this; my life is so much better because of you. I can't handle the thought of the loss of you. Your existence is a bright spot in a world full of chaos. Your smile brings joy. Your laughter is contagious. Your spirit is tangibly real and endearing. The cry of your heart is audible, and I want more than anything to see it reconciled with your joy. If I could do any one thing with my own life, I would convince you to see how beyond-words irreplaceably wanted and valued you are. The fact that you would call me friend is a privilege and a joy. But answer me this; if I, a sinful, flawed, frequently selfish and prideful human being could look at you and see worth, why couldn't the all-knowing, loving God that created you? 

        Rise up Child of God, and be alive again. His arms are open for you. He is waiting at the doorstep of heaven, searching the roads, ready to sprint for you at the first sight of your silhouette breaking the horizon. Don't dare doubt your worth. Don't you dare doubt the love poured out for you. 

        Dear Friend,..... thank you for being here. Thank you for being my friend. I know I sometimes talk a lot, and I know I mess up frequently. But thank you for listening anyway. Thank you for walking with me. You are a huge, crazy blessing, no matter what, and I speak because I care. Please know that God loves you, and your smile is an irreplaceable part of my life. :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Spirit Never Ages

"I've been playing guitar my whole life,... and I'm ninety two now, I think, so that's saying something!"
The gentle rustle of the old man's laughter has the same contagious happiness as the gold-tinted leaves of autumn, which sway just outside and peek in from behind sheer, ivory draperies. Wrinkled hands grasp the contrastingly smooth body of a young guitar; colored richly both by orange hues and the sweetness of the tune reverberating on it's strings. Though the notes possess a tremble of age, they sing together with the energy and skill of a young man still in love with living.

"I've played guitar my whole life. I must have been six years old..."

He turns and smiles, eyes watery as he laughs again at the thought. "...and did you know that I'm almost ninety?"

Autumn leaves embody a bitter-sweet joy. The turn of the season means fiery colors and crisp, cool air and a vibrant display of nature's best as summer fades.... and grows old..... and dies. Green leaves forget their gentle beginnings in a last, violent rush of color and celebration of the joy of being; then fall.

And winter sets in. And we breathe a choked sigh.

Yet the joy of it is.... Spring is on the other side. We may sleep for a little while... Our memories may quaver... Our bodies may grow old and weak. But our spirit stays young. The soul that God knit together will awake to a new life; an eternal summer; a joy that will never tremble.

And the bluegrass guitar of a Tennessee boy will forever sound true and sweet upon the ears of the Lord.

The delight of it fills the heart of God.

- for Randy
and his young, beautiful heart

Sunday, October 11, 2015

#PraiseRant/LifeStories - Laughter, and Singing

- 1 -
"Hey, Talia?"

"Yeah, what's up?" 

"I'm sorry I teased you yesterday."

"What? You teased me yesterday? I don't remember that......"

"Yeah, when you cut your finger on the bread machine, I shook my finger at you and went 'tsk tsk'. But then later I felt bad about it. So I'm sorry."

*surprised silence and then laughter* "Aw man, you're fine! I knew you were kidding, it's all good!! Thanks though, that was sweet of you."


~thirty seconds later~

"Hey, Talia?"


"Were you singing earlier?"


"On a scale of one to ten, it was maybe a 5.5"

...I guess there's only so many things you can feel bad about in one day. XD

- 2 -

For joy awakes as dawning light
When Christ’s disciples lift their eyes.

        The lights are on dimly in the audience, so the spotlight isn't fully on the stage. This is worship, not a performance. I listen as she sings the verse, waiting excitedly for the choir to step in behind her. She stands with confidence and joy, but also with a profound depth of humility. What a beautiful heart.

Alive He stands, their Friend and King;
Christ, Christ He is risen! ♪

          The thrill that comes with those words! Oh my goodness, I am so, so, excited. I grip my folder with sweaty hands, looking to the audience to see if they are catching this joy......
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!
Oh, sing hallelujah.
Join the chorus, sing with the redeemed;
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed. ♪

The smile will not leave my face as I feel the music rush to my heart.
Here comes my King! Look! The tomb is empty! What great thing has He done?

♪ He is Risen! He's Alive!
He's alive!

He's Alive!
He's alive!

Heaven's gates are open wide! He's Alive!
He's alive!

He's Alive!
He's alive!

Now in heaven glorified! ♪

"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!" - Psalm 95:1-6
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are" - 1 John 3:1