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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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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Iron Sharpening Iron


Iron-Sharpens-Iron-So-one-man-sharpens-another

What if we talked to each other instead of about each other?

I was recently blessed to have a sister in Christ approach me after I, in a moment of hurt, had done something in a public way that should not have been handled that way. She came to me and asked if she could share her heart, if she could speak freely to me. I told her to speak what was on her mind. She challenged me and asked if the way I had handled this event that had disappointed and hurt me was the way I should have done it. She reminded me that scripture tells us to go to each other with our concerns, disappointments, and hurts. She acknowledged my hurt and simply asked that I consider what would glorify God, what I could do that would be building rather than divisive.
I confessed sin, the error of my actions…I acknowledge that I had acted out of hurt….and I thanked her for her willingness to be vulnerable, to come to me, to speak truth, to help me to reorient my thinking.
Her actions and her words just confirmed for me a path that I am convinced we are called to follow. I mess up. We all mess up. What if when we saw sin in each other we talked to each other instead of about each other? What if we had the courage to go and confront the issue? What if we refused to gossip, to listen to gossip? What if we refused to let rumors grow? What if we loved each other enough to help each other change our harmful ways?
It is so easy to get hurt and go to others to seek affirmation, to vent our frustrations, to paint others in a bad light. It is so much easier to gather together and try to put together our puzzle pieces about a person or a situation to try to come up with a reason or an explanation for things we do not understand.
Can we find the courage, the resolve to love each other enough to talk to each other instead of about each other? Can we be iron that sharpens iron? Can we be the people who bring about healing, hope and reconciliation? Can we march boldly into the war and take away the enemies weapons?
To my sister, Thank you for reaching out, for speaking truth and for being a source of light in the middle of darkness.

Ephesians 4:2-3New International Version (NIV)
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.


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Inside the monster


 

She rants, she raves…her anger is fierce

She hides, she pulls away.

Those who would help, she pushes aside.

Because she cannot show the heart inside.

The heart so fragile, so tender and true

Battered and broken and misunderstood

She longs for connection, for people who stay

She wants to be heard and valued and desired

The wounds have been many, the challenges hard

Her heart broken too many times.

So vulnerable and scared

Alone with her thoughts

Alone with her tears

She acts out, her weaknesses clear

She fights for clarity

Yearns to understand

While the voices in her head only condemn

Weary of the battle

And needing protection

She becomes a monster

Paranoid and irrational

Fighting to survive

In a world that seems cruel

She sits and weeps

Trying to protect the heart too easily broken


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Wisdom…or the lack thereof


 

Your hair was gray and you spoke of your wisdom

But your words were condescending

Your message inflicted pain

The sting of your words went deep

And you uncovered wounds that had yet to heal

You were not the first and you will probably not be the last

 

I fought within myself to hang on to the joy

That had been mine before you came

To not let you rob me of all I had gained

But words are like weapons and your arrows dug deep

Leaving me sad and wanting to weep

 

Your words took the sun right out of the day

Turned joy to sorrow

And made me pull away

Inside my heart the battle began

To fight off the voices that always condemn

 

I fought not to hear the deceiver’s voice

But to cling to the truth of what I had learned

But seeing an opening Satan came full force

Replacing truth with lies

Making my heart doubt what my head already knew

 

Words are like weapons when not seasoned with love

Age and gray hair does not wisdom give

Words inflict pain and can cause such doubt

But my God is faithful and he will provide

Comfort for the wounds and truth for the lies.

 

So I walk in hope

And I patiently wait

The healing will come

And joy will return

Because my God is faithful  and has promised me

Life to the fullest and joy without end

 

 

 


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When it all goes wrong..


Empty, nothing in my hand
Broken, my heart on the ground in pieces
Still, nothing is right and the world has stopped
Tears, pain that cannot be contained, flowing from my eyes and down my cheeks
Empty, broken, still
Here I stand, all alone and filled with pain
Longing for answers, looking for hope
Fighting the fears,
Paralyzed,  I stop to sit
In the only place that can bring relief
Palms, turned up, asking to be filled
Eyes,  lifted
It is my savior I  seek
I stop
I wait
I listen
Waiting for Him to speak
to fill
to heal
And in the silence He comes to me
He wraps me in his love and reminds me of his care
Bringing peace and healing.
Speaking words of comfort
Reminders of His grace
Filling my heart with hope again
and strength to run the race.


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Whatcha gonna do


The load is too heavy

My strength is all gone

I am so far past weary

I don’t want to go on

My cheeks are wet with

the tears I cry.

I find little reason to

Continue to try.

 

Tomorrow will come

Whether I bid it or not

And I will rise to meet

the day and pray the God

will show me the way!