Searching

Poetry and other random thoughts from a wandering mind and a searching heart!


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Authenticity


Tears are running down my cheeks
Heart is broken
No words to speak
Stretched myself to honor a friend
Aware the night held potential for pain
I was not surprised when the moment came
I took the steps to protect my heart
Refusing to pretend, to play a part
Now I am the villain
How can that be?
They abuse me and I am to blame
But I will stand my ground and I will not be shamed
I cannot play this nonsensical game.
Love me or leave me
But don’t pretend
I don’t need your fake gestures
I need real friends.

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I Don’t say “I Love You”


I don’t say the words “I love you”
I’d rather let my life show you
Rather give you the respect you deserve
Than speak the words and offer the hope
And let you find that it was an unforgivable joke
Too often I trusted the things that were said
Only to find no reality there
Words thrown about with such great ease
But lacking in meaning or acts or deeds
They say I’m too serious, too intense
But words have meaning where I exist
So I choose my words carefully
Let my actions speak
Try not to make promises I cannot keep
Friendship is a precious treasure
Love a sacred bond
Hearts were made for tender care
Not to be trampled upon
So I do not take it lightly
This offering of my love
I just do not say the words “I love you”
I live my life to show you!


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Someone Prayed for Me


When God answers prayers I did not pray
Someone prayed for me
When the despair I cannot seem to escape
Suddenly disappears
Someone prayed for me
When everything is dark and I cannot find my way
Then the light shines bright and the darkness goes away
Someone prayed for me
When I think there’s no hope and I’m about to give up
And peace creeps in like a welcome friend
Someone prayed for me
When the pain is so deep and never goes away
But I find joy in my unstructured day
Someone prayed for me
When I have lost my ability to speak with my God
The words won’t come and the desire is gone
And I find myself smiling, the dark clouds gone
Someone prayed for me.

Too many times in my life I have found myself without words to pray, bogged down in darkness that seemed it would never go away. Then one day I would realize the fog had lifted, my motivation had returned and I felt peace again. The change comes so gradually that I am unaware that it has happened. There comes a moment of revelation when I know that God has brought about a change in my mind, my heart, my soul…and I know it is answers to prayers I did not pray. It is then I know that someone or maybe several someone’s have prayed for me. Whoever you are, wherever you are, my profound thanks for those prayers. Our God is amazing and those moments when he reveals to me that He has done what I could not imagine always make me smile with delight.


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Can you hear me?


Can you hear me?
Do you see?
Will you sit in the dirt with me?
Even if you don’t understand,
Can you offer your presence?
Will you be my friend?
Can you save your lectures,
Your miracle fix?

Can you let me weep
And acknowledge my pain?
Can you come back tomorrow if I feel the same?
Can you hear me?
Do you see?
Will you sit in the dirt with me?


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Even if it’s true, is it loving?


This Meme  angers me every time I see it.  For me it makes it worse because it is christians who post it.  This week I found it on the facebook page of an elder and a ministers wife.  As of today it has been shared from the original site 39000 times.   I am stunned.

At first reading it sounds possibly a correct assessment.   If you got hurt by “the church” or by those who go to churches…and you lost your faith in God, then perhaps you had faith in the wrong thing.  But how do I know that and who am I to judge?

In my younger days I was a part of a movement that turned out to be more of a cult.  They were legalistic and demanding…even controlling.  At first this movement brought lots of people into the church.  The message was good but the implementation was bad.   As time went along many people became disillusioned, hurt and left.   Some left the church and some left the faith.   I do not believe their initial faith was in men.  I can think of a specific young lady that was brought into the fold.  She was as excited about reading the bible and learning more about Jesus and God as anyone I have ever met.   There was nothing in her response for me to ever doubt that she fell in love with Jesus and wanted to follow Him.   But the practices of this group left her with a different vision of the Jesus she found in scripture and she was hurt and abused by the group.   She left the church and her faith.  I ran into her about ten years later and the hurt was still real and she had no desire to pursue God.   She still crosses my mind and I can only hope that in the ensuing years God found her again.  She was just one of many that struggled with faith after becoming disillusioned with the people who she thought knew more about walking the path than she did.

By way of disclaimer I will state that I have been hurt by “the church”…too many times.  I come from an abusive family but the hurt I have experienced from those who claim Jesus is far worse than any I knew growing up.   I never lost my faith in God but I did at times have to fight my way through a crisis of faith.  I was blessed to have Godly people who stood by me, stuck with me when I seemed to be going off track and who loved me back to higher ground when I had been so wounded by “the church”.  But the sorrow and anger I feel when I see this is not for me.   My relationship with my God is solid.   But for all those who have been hurt, whether young christians like my friend, or those just weak in their faith…or those whom satan managed to entangle,  my heart breaks.   This meme marginalizes those people, it blames the vicitim.   It reopens wounds.

I understand that sometimes there have been trivial issues that people allowed to pull them away from church…or their faith.  That should not be.  We should all be focused on God and never allow anyone or anything to pull us from that focus.  But the reality remains that “the church”, that christians have hurt people.  And too often it has not been small misunderstandings.  The pain is real and the damage is huge.

I am not a scholar but I do know that God calls us to love…all.  He tells us not to cause others to stumble…more importantly He calls us to humility.  If the actions of this thing we call “the church” has caused pain, enough pain to at least some people to cause them to doubt our God, should we not be concerned, humbled, gentle, repentant and do whatever we can to lead them to a purer faith in God?

This meme comes over as arrogant and mean..or that is my opinion of it.   With almost 40000 people posting it on facebook it helps me to understand why we are unable to reach the world with the message that Jesus is love.   We are all broken and if we have not been part of hurting someone we probably will be.  That should humble us.   We should never put our faith in people and we should never let anyone change our relationship with God but this “in your face” message does nothing to help reach those who might have lost faith or never had it.   If they are lost, separated from their God and we are truly part of “THE church”, then our mission should be to find them and bring them into the fold.   This meme does nothing to accomplish that mission.

Even if this message is true, is it necessary?  And if it continues the pain that any person out there felt because of being hurt by “the church”, is it worth being right?   

 

 

 

 

 


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It is time to break down the walls that divide us and embrace the things that unite us.


I just got back from seeing “God is not Dead 2”.  I love going to these spiritually based movies because they make me think deeply about spiritual concepts.  Today’s movie reminds me that we are at war, a war against the forces of evil that are way more real than we like to think about or talk about. I think the time is soon coming, if not already upon us when we will be called upon to defend our faith, when our faith will be challenged in ways we have yet to imagine, a time when we will be persecuted, called names, and perhaps be confined for our beliefs. 

Having faith, being a Christian becomes less popular by the day and there is a movement to wipe it out.  While we as Christians know how the story ends and that there is not a chance that God will not maintain a remnant of His people as long as the earth survives, we are already seeing people in foreign countries dying for their faith.  I believe the time is now for those of us who claim the name of Christ to unite together, for us to break down the barriers, the walls that divide us and embrace the things that unite us.  It is time to drop labels, to stop idolizing the particular brand of Christianity we adhere to or the buildings where we gather to worship.  We must be the church, God’s church.  God’s church includes all of those who have understood their need for him, have recognized their own sin and repented of it and who have committed their lives to following Jesus.  It is not confined by titles, buildings, denominations or styles.   

It is time for us to show the world Jesus.  He says that the world will know we are Christians by the way we love each other.   If we are going to be prepared to fight the forces of evil and stand firm in our faith we must figure out how to unite in love.   We must stop fighting each other, we must hold each other accountable to live in righteousness, we must be kind to each other, help each other, offer grace to those who stumble and we must walk in humility.   We must settle our disputes, we must practice reconciliation and forgiveness.  We must learn to love as Jesus loved and commanded us to love each other.

The movie also made me realize how much I hunger for deep, spiritual community, for people to talk with about truth, the challenges of walking in faith….people who will help me to be accountable and who are willing to be held accountable, for a safe place to explore the world around us and the loving response to it.  

If you have not seen the movie check it out.   And if it challenges you or causes you to think, let me know what you take away from it.

 Ephesians 6:12  New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.


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When joy and sorrow collide.


I don’t’ remember another time in my life when extreme joy and profound sadness occupied my heart and soul simultaneously with such intensity.  I have known my share of grief in life.  My first experience with the death of someone I cared about came in my teens.  As the years have passed and I have lost other people in my life to death, I find that grief seems to multiply and that each new reason to grieve seems to resurrect all the others.

This time my grief is because I lost a friend, someone very dear to me. But death did not claim this friend.  The relationship ended for the reason many relationships end, the evil one, Satan, found a way to use his lies to destroy what was once a loving, caring, fun friendship. Because we were not only friends, but sisters in Christ, I believed this one would last forever.  The friendship had survived so many ups and downs across better than a decade and a half.  The pain I feel has no words I know how to express and my heart is broken. Right now it feels like it will hurt forever.

At the same time I approach a new freedom, a dream come true, a totally new adventure.  I will retire at the end of this year and I am filled with such joy, such peace, such hope.  I count down the days and as the time gets closer my excitement grows.  I find myself giddy over the prospect of no longer having to work.

If all of that were not enough I am experiencing God’s transforming power in ways that are filling me with awe.  I feel God’s presence and power working in me, guiding, providing.  I truly believe that my best years are yet to come.  I know that he has a purpose and a plan for my life and I wait with great anticipation to discover what it is.

There are moments when my heart is filled with joy and wonder.  In those moments I cannot keep from smiling and my eyes shine bright with the excitement I feel.  There are other moments when my heart is heavy with grief and sorrow.  At those times I cannot keep the tears from falling and it feels like my heart will never be able to withstand the depth of this pain.  But what has left me in awe of this God, this creator of mine, is that there are moments when my heart holds both in equal measure, when I feel both the depth of sorrow and the height of joy and I cannot figure out whether to laugh or cry. I do not understand how that can happen but it leaves me in awe of the one who created me.  I know that both of those emotions are real.  I know that he catches every tear I cry.  I know that he already knows what the future holds and I know He is in control.

So I embrace the pain as I embrace the joy. I give thanks for all He is doing in my world and I face the future with hope. For the first time in my life the past is not a chain and the future looks bright. But I still miss my friend.

joy and sorrow


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Forever


My heart is broken

My grief is deep

I am drowning in the tears I weep

Darkness penetrates where light should be

I lost something precious to me

Questions linger

Sadness reigns

I do not know how to deal with the pain

Never planned to be here again

Promises broken

Trust destroyed

 

“Forever is from now till someone changes their mind”