“Love fiercely, and expect that few will do the same in return…“ This thought ran through my head… tandem or inspiration? Maybe both? all the while, the sunlight hit your golden hair all aglow and resplendent at the peak of sunset on that cold October eve. My heart leapt as nature itself seemed to call out that exception, that ‘few’ kindred hearts…
I, transfixed, tried to close my mouth like some dumb ox of a man slipping and tripping head over-heels helplessly, heart-sick with wild devotion’s spell which had cast its power
deftly upon me.
And having seen you there, those words that had spilled from my mind were now void of truth or solace. New phrases welled up within me feelings that defied words far beyond their containment… and I, awestruck by your visage there, leaned in and shared that moment with you… all the while, determined to freeze time capture it in a bottle that is my heart and pray they it continues to shine into the very depths of my soul.
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14
I was cleaning our kitchen yesterday. With four children this is almost an everyday occurrence. If not, dishes tend to pile up and creates a chaotic leaning tower of Pisa sort of mess. Anyway, I digress…As I was washing off dishes and putting them into our dishwasher, I looked up at the windowsill and noticed our non-thriving plants. They were all dead. We might make excuses about these dead plants. Perhaps we might say that they are simply dormant in the winter. Or maybe they just needed to be pruned back for the season. A few more excuses come to mind, but in reality these plants are simply dead. They were once promising green, thriving plants in pots and sun lamps. Many on the cusp of producing some sort of fruit or vegetable. Yet, due to our travel schedule and our lack of green thumbs, they have shriveled up and were husks of their former living selves.
I am reminded that this is a living parable (pun intended)…for myself. I feel as if the Lord teaches us through the world around us – like my plant pots holding dead things in them. Caskets containing death instead of nourished soil of growth. I am drawn to this life lesson. It is something simplistic and yet stark in its reminder to me. For I am sometimes this casket containing death, when I should be a vessel containing life.
In my prayer life… My un-uttered words.
my parched lips and forgotten promises to God. My prayer life can look like husks of its former self. Dried up. Dehydrated out of lack of spiritual water and nourishment. Neglected and empty.
How many times have I forgotten to go back to the Living Water?
How many times have I gotten so busy in the concerns, fears, transitions and schedules of life that I have simply left my conversations to God to go fallow life I harvested fields? And before I know it, the once rich, dark vibrant soil is now cracked and as dry as bones in a desert. From this neglect enters apathy, harsh words spoken out of frustration and shallow roots.
Have you stood on this fallow ground? Is this you? I know that I have found my shamed identity here. what are the conversations that you have neglected with God? He desires to nourish your life again. He longs to shine on the soul-soil and help you grow once more.
For me? I am convicted here. I find myself licking my parched, cracked lips in longing for that Living Water once more. I feel the guilt and shame of leaving Him out of my life…and I must seek Him out again. I must return to His living water and replenish my mind, body, soul.
Prayer: Dear Lord, create in me a clean heart once more. Renew in my a right spirit again. Re-hydrate my broken, crumble soil. I long to find rest and rejuvenation in you anew. Re-ignite your passion and compassion in me. Take away the casket of death and flood my heart with life and love. Here I am, spark in me the joy of your salvation once again. Lord, bring your Living Waters once more.
Something more to ponder today. Be Blessed and thrive not just survive!
Ten…?! (has it really been that long?) years ago words evaporated… they were ushered off tattered pages… where silence, like a vacuum filling that space As if the Lamb, foretold in Revelation breaking that seventh seal and words failed then too. Words broken dared not uttered too immense the scene, too deep the stain of the end of all things…
We do not dwell here much… for pain still resides. lives here full time dark residue tarnished the festive multi-colored lights as one of its brightest was extinguished, how long will the shadow be cast long and mournful?
The words caught in my throat, ten years ago… I choked on them I couldn’t breathe as, eyes stinging, wet with tears buried the sorrow deep as the fallen snow. Words will never quantify such grief…
words are never enough they will not fill that void that shadow that empty space that bright star now missing, extinguished way too soon.
And still this space is tender and sore. The hurt runs miles deep where no light can enter, no utterances can reach its depths. Ah, but memories, still vivid brilliant and terrifying imbues us with its sorrow here… where words still fail us.
In loving memory of Deb Fiorini…we will always miss you, but in our rememberings you are still here in this space between in our hearts.
O Lord, do not continue this silent treatment for one more moment for my heart can’t take it any longer. My soul is a dried up husk of what it used to be. I cannot sleep, and when I do my rest is filled with troubled dreams.
I have been looking, ever searching for you… why are you hiding?
I can not take this hurt of abandonment any more, O Lord hear my gasping, lung-rattling cries. I cannot shed anymore tears, for the well has dried up.
And my thoughts, they are running circles around my broken heart…
I keep second-guessing you, I keep pleading for this horror to end How long, O Lord, will you let it fester and consume me? I don’t think I can make it much longer.
But even after all of this…
even if You never answer my cry…
even if I am left alone on this hill to die on…
I will trust.
I will put all that I have of my wilting strength into your Eternal hands.
But Lord, wake me up, Help me see even the remotest chance of victory.
Help me see the Light at the end of all of this… even if it comes in the last moments in the final dying gasp of these feeble lungs.
My enemies are already starting to jeer And they are celebrating my demise …and yours as well. They cannot wait for me to fall flat on my face in disgrace and embarrassment.
But even if that happens… even if I walk this cold, dark alley alone, I will trust in your unfailing, immeasurable eternal love…
I know that You will come You have always kept your promises to me.
You have always been good to me… even in this dark place… O Lord, please come.
(As I read this Psalm of David, I could feel the anticipation and fear, perhaps even a little bit of frustration. We have all been to this place, perhaps the circumstances are different than that of David’s, but within these phrases there flows an emotion that we can all relate to. It is within this vein, that I have placed my needle and poked us all…perhaps in the bleeding we might see not only the very real presence of pain and fear, but more importantly – God’s holy and eternal presence…He will never leave us or forsake us.).
“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” ― Shel Silverstein
I fear we have often times fixated on the impossible and the improbable in our lives so much so that we have been conditioned to dream limited dreams. We pay more attention to our limits while ignoring the unlimited creativity God has given to us. It is far easier to remain in the “what is known” which is a place of comfort and familiarity, as opposed to taking risks into the “what is unknown”, where our mettle will be truly tested and often times doubts reside.
Isn’t that where God calls us to?
We cannot always live on the mountain… for when we stand within the shadows of the valleys – our true persistence, endurance, fortitude and self-realization is put to the test. Rubber – meets road. Theories are naked and vulnerable. Dreams, and half-baked ideas are born, kicking and screaming and we are met with the ‘doing’, the verbs of our adjectives, the dirt under half-bitten-out-of-stress finger nails, the tension of the borderland of what is known and the mystery of the untested, yet-to-be-unleashed, uncertainty of tomorrow “unknown”.
It is in the throws of conflict, labor, action after dream, tumult after tranquility that we find exhilaration in actual living.
Boxes are ripped open… These four square walls of ruts and routines, well worn trails of tradition, shoes worn thin in the same hallways day after day…Is turned upside down. toss on its head. Head-over-tea kettle.
And we breathe deeply fresh, unknown air. God takes us onto these paths. Breaks our traditions. All the while constantly walking alongside us, whispering His love, and encouragement.
Without the tension – faith is fat and lazy. without the trials – persistence and endurance is sloth on the couch eating potato chips. without the fear of walking – the infant will never grow and develop into its full potential as an adult.
God leads us out of our boxes… for a purpose. So we don’t don the robes of comfortable Pharisees; content in passing judgement but never truly risking anything.
God leads us out of our boxes… so we can truly live. so we learn to actually walk on our own. so that we actually think for ourselves so that this faith… is our very own.
Are you in a box? Perhaps it’s time to be served our eviction notices… so that God, in all of His excellent glory might lead us into Greater things.
When the light
to wan and
the ember glow
was a child
towered over me
perhaps he wore
but his cape
were the stories
he would read
to Sherry and me.
but the steel
he would bend
were the words
of the page
or was it
Or Danny the
champion of the world
I lived there
among those pages
the light ignited
heroes to be grasp
Weaving in between my life
sun starts to wan
linger and groan
as if to reach toward
and I take up
my hero’s cape
crawl into my
and utter the sweet
song of fiction
in the hopes that heroes
will still be born
in their hearts.
There are days that I can’t be lone. Alone with my own thoughts. Thoughts that bind. blind. rewind my mind until I find that I am helplessly reliving regrets from my past.
Like a chain around my throat the thoughts haunt me. Thoughts that chill. See to kill. Fulfill all my darkest fears of “i’m not good enough” and “I’ll never measure up.”
It’s like I’m lost in the darkest cave no lights to light my way. I can feel it breathing deep creeping. Sleep is a lost cause until I find rest But, empty and cold I am attempting to deafen its voice.
My choice? I can’t divorce this escape this I confess I don’t want to be alone with my thoughts. So… Come talk to me.
What is it that drives you, motivates you, wakes you up in the morning?
What are your passions and goals in life?
To be successful?
To find happiness?
To be content?
To travel the world?
To make the world a better place?
What if within that pursuit you discover that happiness you’ve been searching for has been with you the whole time?
What if you got it all wrong, and had to start over?
Or would you simply settle?
I fear many people have given up on dreaming.
I fear many have simply settled for what they have, and bought the lie that the dream was too large, or too unrealistic.
What would it take for us to begin dreaming again?
I mean dreaming reality big…like when we were kids.
When there was no such thing as impossible.
When, if we dreamed it, it could truly happen.
No walls of “can’t” exist.
No prison bars of “You just don’t have the time or education” to hold you.
Could we begin to believe again?
Would we even know how?
Yes, Adulting is hard…but as we grow older the imagination of our youth becomes even harder to hold onto.
We need to redefine the impossible.
We must recapture the dream.
We should never just settle…
There is this deep, inky black-hole within all of us.
We can pretend,
we can play the charade..
we can place masks upon our faces…
and ignore that it is there…
That everything is “okay”, and yet, when it is late at night
and the sun has set on our false pretenses…
when the T.V. has been switched off and the vacuum of sound descends…
when electronic devices and cellular phones, with their glowing ambient light reflected in our zombified eyes have all been powered down…
it is then that we truly feel its ache within us.
the missing piece.
the black-hole within all of us.
We know that something is innately missing –
that our hearts are not as full as they should be.
That, despite our comforts and daily groanings –
we. are. still. empty. inside.
so we hide it.
we play hide and seek with it.
we bury it deep,
we attempt to just “live with it”…only to dig it back up when the silence is near
and care for it once more.
Could it be that we were meant for more than this?
Could it be that this black-hole is all that we were ever intended to be
and yet we ran from it?
that underneath it all – our prime directive was to fellowship
to walk with
to lean on
to spill our guts to
to share our secrets and dreams and hopes and yearnings with
to confide and love and cherish and soak up the divine in His eyes?
Could it be that this black-hole, this missing piece
IS all the difference
in the world?
Hate into Love
War into Peace
Night into Day
Sin into Holiness
why did I
is to love lost…
and found again.