Thursday, September 30, 2010

Secret Places

either showing exuberance,
graciously nodding
often pain oozing out of them
and at worst lifeless
tell a story.

pounding with unspoken but real experiences
untouched or even undiscovered.

lived by rote
patterns that annoy frustrate and pacify
yet when given the freedom to be
often launch passion in unexpected ways.

change everything.
Faces, hearts, lives are given context
truth emerges.
What seems is now rewritten as what is.

Once again
it is clear that what we think we see is not clear.
Within all humanity is the beating of a story yet to be spoken
because it is unsafe to speak.
Within all humanity is the desire for relationship yet to be pursued
because it is unsafe to feel.
Within all humanity is the secret place yet to be named
because it is unsafe to admit.

Faces, hearts, lives, backstories
nothing is quite what it seems.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Heart

I am pretty sure mine is physically not in great shape - my Dad died of heart disease at the age of 59. I am not working out regularly and I am carrying more weight than I should be, although that is slowly coming off - woohoo!

However, cardiology is not the direction I am going here. I am fascinated by the capacity of the human heart. A wall plaque hangs in my daughters room that reads, "think with your heart." That really is a goal I have for my kids. I want them to be heart driven. I want them to be so in touch with their heart that compassion, empathy and love overflow out of it. I want them to choose to do the thing that their heart knows is right even when their logic is screaming no. This is scary because when one lives from a place of passion/heart life gets messy.

I am learning to live with messy. Never thought I would. I am an odd mix of really spontaneous and out there coupled with a little OCD that needs my i's dotted and my t's crossed. Messy has never been my favorite because it does not fit into cute storage containers.
But life, the great teacher, has me transforming and I like it.

I am sure if most of the people that I interact with could see into my heart and see the muddled mess they would fear for me. They would counsel me or caution me. They would suggest I 'tighten' things up a bit. They may suggest I get rid of some things and replace them with different things. Lots and lots of advice about how my heart should look. But, honestly, I've never felt more alive in my life, right in the middle of the mess of life. With fewer defined things ever. With life plans that are in transition. With faith that is being called to something bigger and new but yet defined. With relationships that cause me pause. But there is freedom here. There is a sense of real, raw, nitty gritty life. I've been longing for this. I want to feel my heart beat in my chest and my pulse race. And I am.

When we open our hearts, life gets risky. But from my little corner of the world, life gets really worth living. Don Miller, in Searching for God Knows What, writes: What if the deepest longings of your heart were there for a reason? Small minded boxed in formulas of modern religion were not the truth? The gospel of Jesus was not "safe" after all, but full of intrigue, passion and romance."

Now we're talking.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


I am in the middle of a curriculum writing process and that is why my thoughts are turned to Exodus. I love a good analogy and thrive on a metaphor. Exodus feels like Theological Grand Central Station to me. It seems like every big theological idea flows through Exodus on its way to its final destination.

Moses' life
Moses' call
Moses' & Pharaoh
Plagues, Release and Red Sea
Desert wanderings and provision
Arrival at Sinai
God speaks and gives assurance of His presence
Plans for Worship
Golden Calf
Moses and God at Sinai

I keep coming back to chapter 24 and chapter 33. They are such powerful images of an intimate relationship between the Redeemer God and humanity. God seeks to dwell among His people. He promises that His presence goes with humanity. He keeps covenant in the midst of unfaithfulness. He gives consequences but He never withholds love. Law and Story are interwoven and instead of being oppositional they are both prescriptive and descriptive of our story with God. Immanence and Transcendence flood the pages of this book - Sovereign God who is above all speaks at the Mountain and humanity must turn its face from the glory, yet Sovereign God dwells among the people in their camp and at the tent of meeting.

It leaves one echoing the words one reads...The Lord...The Lord...The Lord!