Conversations With God Part One. Hurt.

I am calling you back amidst the pluralism and disparity of your mind. There is truth and you must turn to seek it again. Don’t Pontius Pilate Me. Don’t ask the question and walk away before getting a response. I am Truth.

But there is so much to trail off into. So many ways to justify everyone’s point of view.

You don’t have to be in charge of justification. Doesn’t the word sound like it belongs to Me anyway. Your intellectual energies are draining you into a ubiquitous ocean. I know the beginning from the end. I know how far the east is from the west. Sure, humans are like little gods in My image. Each one bears My imprint and My love reaches to each heart. But the turning of hearts to Truth is a mystery. I set every human free, freedom they sometimes use to blind themselves from hurt, fear, and beauty.

Hurt, fear, and beauty? What?

Yes. Odd threesome I know. The hurt comes early in being a human. Usually it starts with some little oversight of a parent that awakens the longing.

Longing?

Yes, the longing for more, for better, for possibly another world. Remember what you said you wanted on your tombstone? ”This Isn’t All There Is.”

Yes.

You know how you check the Obituaries every day and joke with your children that you are still alive? I hear you in the silence—in the middle of night when you realize if you make it to seventy that it’s only 16 years away. I hear you. Your life has meaning and purpose, but it’s not where you think. It’s not what you think.

Well then, what is it pray tell? Where is the meaning and purpose to fill this vacuous heart?

I Am.

Sigh. I know. I’ve seen the spectrum. From spiritualizing culturally contorted Christians to vague spiritualists. The ones who sidle up to You but don’t name You. I don’t know where I fall in the lineup. I keep losing my place.

Stop looking at them. The disciples kept wanting to know who would be the closest to me when the Kingdom came. They even bickered about John, the one I love so. Martha simmered the lentils for me all the while wishing Mary would get a clue and get up and get busy. The other brother that stayed home, faithful to the prodigal’s father, ended up disgruntled. He lost the heart of the relationship. I won’t even go into the Religious leaders and their runaway lips.

But I…

Wait. Wait on Me. Hold on. There’s more. It is a conundrum I’ve allowed. The hurt usually comes from the very people you hope to connect with. It’s a given. Know that you also will hurt others. I know you don’t wake up each morning thinking about how and who you are going to disappoint and hurt. Your heart is fallow at times and My wisdom sideswipes your consciousness as you move and breath and have your being. The truth of who you are comes out when trouble arrives like the sparks that rise from a fire.

Oh, the adversity element. The “life is difficult” as M. Scott Peck would say.

Difficult yes, but spread the definition out a little. Let’s say mysterious. In the mystery of humanness, in its base elements, there rests a tension.

“Rests a tension.” Rest and tension aren’t hand and glove terms. Paradoxical, juxta positional, maybe even oppositional, but their relationship is not on a first name basis.

In through the nose, out through the mouth. Breathe in the rest and tension, one for each nostril, and out through the mouth comes mystery. I can transform what happens under the sun. It is in your heart where I do my best work. I can help you find the rest in the tension of living an imperfect world. Whether you are the recipient of hurt or the dispenser of it there is hope. Do you believe there is hope?

I must or I wouldn’t be talking with You.

The hope lies in forgiveness. To forgive others and forgive yourself is important. To ask for forgiveness and extend grace and mercy to those who ask for it (Even those who don’t) creates space for the mystery. When mystery is allowed to fill the lacerations of hurt, rest and tension aren’t so far apart. You are still “under the sun” as Solomon emphasized in My Book of Ecclesiastes. There will always be tension in the world, and when you accept it, then My rest is a possibility.

Lord, help me lie down in forgiveness, grace, and mercy.

Come. Take a load off.

Field Notes

In the field

among varied grasses

she waltzed with her palms

brushing the buds bowed in prayer.

 

The late summer wild flowers

dipped in heated color.

Indian paint brushes

dabbed the sky

on the edges

of towering cumulus.

 

She lay

down

in embroidery.

They neither toiled

nor spun

around the edges

of her skin.

 

Sleep planted innocence

once again

and dreams fell on her

like a steady rain.

Beauty forgave

and golden hair

brushed by the breezes

painted the bottomless sky.

Perch, Hmmm, Fish Sounds Tasty, But This Isn’t What This Is About.

Surprise

 

 

See. There. Quick.

The hummingbird

motionless

on the dead spruce branch

above the bee

balm flame.

 

She is no blur

of wings.

 

And look.

Her long nectar-

loving beak—

She has tucked it

in the feathers

of her breast.

 

John Leax

Recluse Freedom Poems

 

I read this poem aloud this morning. Never have I seen a hummingbird perched. Surprise would be my response as well. No time to reach for a camera. Just enough time to file a few words.

Anyone who knows the life of the Barrett house knows it is like a hummingbird. Much movement. Little perching. Twelve chickens, eleven children, five ducks, three dogs, two cats, two turtles, a bass, and one mom and one dad make for a lot of molecule dancing. I imagine a butterfly deep in China’s interior being pushed around by our movement here in Michigan.

I have been thinking about focus and purpose and time management lately. Some of these thoughts come from Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Listen to this:

“I speak it to God: I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done—yesterday…who actually knows how to take time and live with soul and body and God all in sync?

I just want time to do my one life well.” Pages 67 and 68.

Did I just see you nodding? Yeah, I nodded too. Come here a sec. Let me tell you that I perch every morning. The first thing I do after I wipe the sleep out of my eyes and put on a pot of coffee is sit out on the back deck. I have three or four books. A bible, some books of great inspirational writing, and a book of poems are set on the picnic table. It is there I ask God to come to speak to me while my wings aren’t flapping. I read out loud to quell any A.D.D. tendencies. The reason I share this with you is because we aren’t designed to hover around this gift of life of ours. We need to perch on a regular basis. Hey, even God took a break after six days. Rest. It’s in the design.

“Be still and know that I am God.”

“Lead me beside the still waters.”

“Restore my soul.”

Are you making time to perch? The flitting will come soon enough, eh?

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