Saturday, July 4, 2009

Love of my life

Look deep in My eyes...
Beloved- Tenth Avenue North

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Age to age He stands and time is in His Hands

Beginning and the End, Beginning and the End
How Great is Our God- Seventh Day Slumber

I have never watched the Father cry as I have tonight. With clarity that can only be attributed to empathic connection, I can only stand in silence as my Dad weeps for me. For me.

He knows my hurt. The God of Creation is no stranger to my pain and I never realized that until tonight.

I was around someone I shouldn't have been tonight and I made mistakes I shouldn't have made. I didn't think it would affect me, I hardly ever feel guilt for anything. This isn't guilt.

A few careless words, a touch, and all the while, God ached for me. I knew it wasn't something to pursue and yet, I chose. Here's the thing, the kicker. God isn't punishing me. God isn't angry at me.

He's so devastated. Devastated that He isn't enough. So devastated that He turned away and said, "Here, little Israel. If you think you want this so much more than Me." And with that, I got what I thought I wanted. The whole time Dad sat down and held his head. To think that the God of the Omniverse pitied me, saw my loneliness, and put my feelings before His. How utterly ridiculous. Just as history has shown, Little Israel finds as many gods as it needs, and I, the lowest, am no different.

Elohim, Yahweh, I AM. That Which Was and Is reached down to me. The burning bush smiled upon me and offered me a dance in that River of Life.

I read some of Jeremiah a few days ago. God pleads with His people. Why? How utterly nonsensical? God, who placed such stringent laws on His Worship in the end chose to look past those to me, who could have never lived up to them.

I wanted another chance to make two worlds meet and now I realize how pathetic that is. It is a lesson I will have to learn again, and again. But perhaps this lesson, learning how my Father looks at what I want, what I ache for, and mourns that loss with me; perhaps that will remain.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Now it's you in the mirror and you don't recognize your face

And you're looking for a reason not to throw it all away
The Moment of Truth- Matthew West

As a writer, when I put words down I have to own them. It's something more for me to write something because, no matter what, it represents honesty. As I write for characters, I give them a sense of integrity by showing how they want to feel, by giving them life. As a poet (an admittedly awful one) I know the symbols that words can be. In my finite knowledge of what language is, I hold something of a firmer grasp than most. It is, after all, a hobby and a love.

Which is perhaps why it's taken so long from the last blog post to now. To say this would be to own it, which is something I'd rather not do. However, I'm finding that the longer I own it the more I'm messing it up. So, here. It's now in your lap to do with as you please. Mainly, my thoughts center around this: what has been lost vs. what has been gained, and not in the cutesy Jesus sense either. I'm afraid that side of it hasn't touched my thoughts yet. No, I'm possibly being extremely selfish in this.

It's about love. I know I've done it before, the whole emotional gushy stuff. It was an enjoyable experience despite my best efforts to make you believe otherwise. But I can't replicate it. I can't do it again. I'm afraid that if I really really give God everything, then He'll actually take it. If He takes everything, that means it's all His. This whole, "Maybe eventually God will throw me a bit of slack here and I can do what I want, which will make me happy and make me WANT to worship Him instead of just feel the need."

But that's not how it works. I don't like that.

I may not ever get over my sins enough to have a real relationship. I have to look at that as a real possibility. God isn't going to punish me for no reason, but He may be correcting me. Can I really do this? I can look back and see how easy it's been so far, at least to what's ahead. Even in all my screw ups, this is the beginning.

Which also means it's not decided yet. It doesn't have to crash and burn because I have doubts in myself, but it doesn't have to be a life lived in doubt either. I know that much. But it's these smaller things that get in the way. The things I want so desperately.

It's like I have to ask, can I really be pleased in life? It's like I'm always looking back. How passive it sounds, as if I haven't any neck muscles at all! As if I have no will of my own. You see, I can refute my own words, but I find it so much more difficult to live up to them. I'm on the fence, just looking for some sort of tangible hope either way.

God, hold me fast if I find it the opposite direction. I'm ready to bolt at something, anything. Don't let me run.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's not meant to be like this, not what I planned at all

Why make me feel like this? It's definitely all your fault.
The Walk- Imogen Heap

It's not really much that's kept me from blogging. A small thing that has started as all small things do and grew into a much larger thing that really had no reason to be. As mole hills become mountains I found myself at a very low state.

The smallest thing being shame. Interesting how that happens. I do something wrong and instantly believe that what I do defines who I am and since I'm stuck in a rut, I'm only a rut, and a rut isn't worth anything.

Amusing how fast one can get inebriated at a pity party. Let's just say I'm a good host and I make sure I have enough to go around. Being the only one here, of course, I can't let a drop go to waste.

Instead of two words I utter hundreds of ill-thought curses and frustrations. Instead of believing who I am I hide in the shelter of what I do, and as someone who is addicted to self-inflicted punishments, that's more a comfort than it sounds.

To be exposed for who I am, and to see myself in God's eyes, that is truly terrifying.

Not only because I'm loved, but because the God of the Universe took such a careful risk with me. Saving me over someone else, handing me keys to life and telling me to go and unlock the doors, and hoping I'll do as I'm told.... what an incredible heart-wrenching, edge of your seat suspense.

God is not a chessmaster, He is a lover of the most intimate kind. This intimate Partner banked love on my obedience and reflected love. What a destructive and life-giving responsibility. I carry around the death of Christ in my body so that I also can house the life of Christ.

I think now I see more as to why I'm afraid to see myself as God sees me. In shame, I know I can hold up the responsibility. I only have to hate myself. How much harder is it to love everyone, whisper the seductive secret to Life Eternal, to show just how God bursts with desire for all to be saved...

It's terrifying. It's almost paralyzing. No wonder Jesus had to leave us with comforting words. To die, knowing that risk was played out in his own death and life...

No wonder we're told to be bold and courageous and that we're given all the strength we need. It's one thing to know that, it's another to take hold of it. I thought you could grab the Sword of the Spirit and never let go.

What a gamble for the Father to risk His creation by His creation. He saw the fall of man and still banked the future on us.

I think, with these words, He made the bet.

"I love them. I love Chris and I know he will chose Me. In the end, it wont be his mind, but his love for Me that gives him the strength to endure. The world will see that love never fails."

And with that, He gave me all that I needed to prove Him right.

After all, I know I can't prove Him wrong.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm lost as can be, then you look at me

And I am not lost anymore.
Then You Look at Me- Celine Dion

Lately I'm struggling with this idea of who I am. I know, I guess that's not really a recent struggle, but it's been at the forefront. Who am I really? I feel as though I'm two separate people. I relate to Paul in that. I'm practically living Romans 7. When I fall it's not a quiet thing. It's loud, rambunctious, full of hatred and anger and self-loathing, and biting rage at God for being Sovereign over it all. I feel like I'm Christian Chris, who wishes nothing more than to simply love Christ, and F*** the world Chris, who indulges in sin like candy, then in anger, indulges even more in an attempt to anger God enough to disown me/destroy me. FTW (see earlier) Chris knows that God still loves him, but he hates that he doesn't think he's changed at all. He feels like he's always going to be the same sin, the same screw up. He doesn't believe he has faith at all, I mean, if he keeps going to sin, then how much does he really believe in God? If he had really been changed, wouldn't he care about what he did? You would think so. See, FTW Chris has a completely different demeanor than Christian Chris. Everything about him is different. There's no subtle changes, everything is a stark opposite. Middle of the Road Chris doesn't exist, it's always one of the two extremes.

But then there's Christian Chris. He doesn't read his Bible all the time, but he tries, not to check it off of a list, but to really study. He prays in an effort to really have communication with God and he's got his Jesus-centered playlist. It's not all to conform to Christians, but to really try to be like Christ. He's nothing like FTW Chris. He slips up, prays for forgiveness, and moves on.

So why the extremes? It's because there's something I've internalized, something that became so personal, something that inherently is personal. You see, we take certain sins and become an embodiment of them. For some it's alcohol (yes, let's use the obvious example). For me, it's sexuality. I don't honestly know who I am in that department. I try to be 'straight' but it just feels like I'm playing house or like I'm trying to conform. When I'm really upset, I go back to 'homosexual' thoughts. I want that sort of comfort because it's what I know and had appreciated. Yet now, that's not comforting. Neither sides of the fence appeal to me. Being alone seems to have it's perks, but I want so much to be a father at some point.

Some days one side of the fence feels ok, then other days, the other. Hence the confusion. But, as Celine reminded me this morning, I don't look for those labels to define me.

I look into God's eyes to define me. That doesn't always stop the hurt. Sometimes I'm searching His eyes for answers, but it's the moments that our eyes lock that define me. You see, I'm not Homosexual Chris. I'm not Straight Chris. I'm not FTW Chris. I'm not Religious Chris either.

I'm Beloved Chris. What an identity.

And you say you see
When you look at me
The reason you love life so
Though lost I have been
I find love again
And life just keeps on running
And life just keeps on running
You look at me and life comes

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thought I could do this on my own

I've lost so much along the way
Pieces- Red

From The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008).

Narnia is in grave danger. Telmarines (shown as a militaristic people) have attacked and taken over and have hunted down many of the remaining Narnian survivors. A rebel group is hiding in Aslan's How and they're speaking at the Stone Table about what to do about the impending Telmarine attack. They're all deciding whether to attack and get it over with or try and just wait everything out in their fortress. Either way seems like a dire situation. An argument breaks out between Peter and Caspian about what to do. They can attack a seemingly impenetrable castle or be attacked. This dialogue happens as Lucy, who has been silent, speaks up.

Lucy: Aren't you all forgetting something?
Peter: Sorry?
Lucy: Well, you're all acting as if there are only two options: dying here, or dying there.
Peter: I'm not sure you've really been listening, Lu.
Lucy: No, you're not listening. Or have you forgotten who really defeated the White Witch, Peter?
Peter: I think we've waited for Aslan long enough...
Who really defeated the White Witch? It wasn't military might, the strength of the heart, or even defiance. Who really defeated the White Witch could not be controlled, could not be contained or predicted. Who really defeated the White Witch was not made by human hands and it certainly wasn't human either.

Aslan. The Lion Created before Creation. That Which Was during the citing of the Deep Magic. The Mane-Shaker and Liberation-Bringer. Who defeated the White Witch didn't need human hands, but brought them along the way. Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy didn't go to find the Lion, Aslan called them. They simply found him when he declared so.

Peter stood his ground, but that final blow that defeated the White Witch that thousand years prior had been Aslan the Lion.

I hesitate to apply that to my God. I want to be the one to beat my sin. I want to do what's necessary and then stand victorious. I want to be the winner and then stand before Him and say, "Look, God! I won!" For some reason I think that will make my Father happy. For some reason, I think He would be proud.

Who really defeated the White Witch?

Or in my position, who really defeated pornography? Who really defeated homosexuality? Who really defeated lying? Who really defeated sin?

Deep down, I wonder how much I trust. I mean, look at it. I see the vast ocean of sin infront of me and begin to build my own boat. I'll cross it, I think to myself with the best of intentions. I'll really do good this time. I don't mean to be blasphemous, I just mean to be better. See, just like the White Witch, my sin comes back to me, encased in ice, and says to me, "Just take my hand. Just one drop of blood, that's it. Just a little." All I want to do is just reject it. That's all.

But who really defeated Sin?

This is where it gets tricky. We are called to be pure, but yet we are CALLED pure. We are called to live a life worthy of God, yet we are called worthy of God. It comes back to the trust issue. Do I trust that I am pure? Do I trust that I am holy?

Sometimes, it takes a shakey step forward. Sometimes, it takes a question mark at the end of the action. Sometimes, it takes wondering if it's right. No matter what, it always takes looking our Savior in the eyes. It always takes trust. Peter the disciple couldn't walk on water without looking into the eyes of Jesus. He defeated gravity and laws of nature by simply keeping his eyes locked with the eyes that saw him from before time began.

How much more can I live a life that is unmolested by sin by staring into the eyes of the One who saw sin and death defeated? I will fall, of that I have no doubt. But what do I have to fear? I still will, but why?

Tonight is just one shakey step forward.

Monday, February 16, 2009

When this life makes you wonder what have you got to lose

Just go back, go back to the moment of truth.
The Moment of Truth- Matthew West

I have, for probably all of my Christian life, thought God to be so much like Morgan Freeman. I think it has something to do with the fact that I've seen Bruce Almighty (and now Evan Almighty), but I seriously get that image in my head.

Something about his voice and demeanor and stance just makes me think that when I get Home I really want God to take the form of Morgan Freeman and welcome me.

This carries over into my reading of the Bible. So as I'm reading Isaiah 37 I have an amazing moment.

Some background, King Hezekiah is under attack by Sennecherib, King of Assyria. More importantly, YHWH is under attack by slander and blashphemy. Israel is slightly terrified at this point and they go to Isaiah, who reminds them that God is in control (if you cue a Twila Paris song at this point, I may slap you).

But there's this amazing moment as God makes His rebuttal to Senny.

Think back to Batman Begins as Lucius Fox (portrayed by Morgan Freeman) is fired and the mean boss man simply smiles and says, "Didn't you get the memo?" In the end, poetic justice is served and Mr. Fox gets to look that man boss in the face and ask the very same question to him.

Now, after Sennecherib has hardcore blasted God and told all of Israel all the things he's done as king against other countries gods, this is what is said.

"Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In the days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass."

And as, in my head, Morgan Freeman says those words with that soft yet smug grin, he ends with this statement. "Or didn't you get the memo?"

We go through trials and crazy crap in our lives and we wonder why. The worst things can happen and our faith is tested to limits we didn't even know we had. Whatever it is, our trials shake us and we're stunned.

But God just smiles and says, "Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass." It didn't catch God by surprise, just us. Though He threatens Sennecherib, He looks to us and whispers of salvation and how He's never going to let us fall. He speaks words of sweet redemption to us and wipes away our tears, saying, "Didn't you get the memo?"

It's in those moments where the Father laughs with us ever so reassuringly.