Monday, August 15, 2011

A Certain Rain in the Morning

"when everything in me is tightening curling in around this ache
I will lay my heart wide open

like the surface of a lake"
"from this one place I can't see very far
in this one moment I'm square in the dark

these are the things I will trust in my heart
you can see something else
something else"

This morning I listened to my good ol' friend Sara Groves. It was rainy outside, I cried. Obviously not because it was raining but because those lyrics articulated something I could not about what's happening in that place I call my heart. Her lyrics have been known to have that effect on me, and every time, I'm caught off guard.

Let me just say this: there is nothing more painful than living in community, and there is nothing more beautiful than living in community. We need each other but sometimes we hurt each other. Church people are still just people. Like so many when I get hurt I automatically never want to put myself out there again...but there is just as much pain in self preservation and isolation as there is when you make yourself vulnerable again. Living in community teaches me the real meaning of forgiveness. Let's be honest, sometimes I just don't want to keep forgiving.  Once is more than enough for me, but if we want to live in true community then we need to learn how to forgive over and over and over again. That does not mean being walked on but it does mean loving even to your own hurt, and Jesus loves us this way.

So Sara puts it best. I'm struggling to stay open, everything inside me curling in around this pain...I'm trying to stay open, wide open like a lake.

Has the Lord ever given you a crystal clear promise and then down the road you seem to be in exactly the opposite of what He told you would happen? Those are the times I would rather walk by sight instead of faith...but those are the times when I need to walk by faith the most. The only thing I can do is trust that He sees something else from this place when all I see is rubble and dust. From this one place I'm square in the dark. I can feel the testing of the word He gave, the pressure of His hand, the fire of the kiln...challenging me to completely love, completely trust, completely love....and then do it all over again. If we can overcome the offense of our challenges we will see that He will use it to teach us how to love better. How to walk in True Courage.

So crush me until I am a sweet fragrance.
Bring the rain until I am tried, and when it's over, let my face reflect the sky.   

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