Bloodied and Broken

It seems to me that those closest to the battlefront often have blood and pain as their portion. It also seems to me that they have a deep capacity for both courage, passion and a stubborn faithfulness that makes them strong enough to bear up under it.

Those that live closely around us or even with us have long noted that the Smith family seems to be followed by the most painful experiences…too many and too sensitive to reveal here. We open ourselves and our home to those who are hurting or just really hungry for truth not religion knowing that we are likely to fight through the same pains and struggles with them.

A friend once saw a vision of two types of believers: 1) those who stand on a stage and preach to a crowd deeply trapped in a sea of mud, unable to free themselves from the muck, and 2) those who climb down off the stage, go into the mud and pour absolutely all their strength into holding tightly to the sinking heart as they struggle to be free…crawling and barely breathing, if necessary, along with them as they walk into freedom.  Both have terribly vital roles in the Kingdom!

This second believer will be bloodied, soaked in mud and struggle with the pain of those they crawl with, but they refuse to give up and back down or let go. This is the life I have chosen and my heart simply breaks over and over and over.  Then there are the days when someone breaks free of complacency or poverty,  depression or abuse, perversion or blind religion and I see my purpose again instead of the pain. I have learned only in the last few months to live looking beyond the pain…to find mental rest. I see one of these quasi sons and daughters as they become absorbed in the Bible-Nerd culture…listen as another one shares a very mental excerpt from Dostsyevski…watch another defend Godly standards and purity with passion.  These are the souls that make everything else worth the splatter and the joy.

If I can claim any strength trained into me and my trophy husband, it is courage, passion and a stubborn faithfulness that causes me to go back to the battle of mud and heart…just one more time for a million times.

Matthew 11:28-30 

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

28 “Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.[a] 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

So Go Ahead…Don’t Believe

“…choosing not to believe in the devil doesn’t protect you from him.”  A brutal truth spoken by the role of Father Lucas, played by Anthony Hopkins, to his doubting apprentice.  I wonder if a similar truth also holds…true?  Choosing not to believe in God doesn’t protect you from Him?

This is not a post for the weak.  It is not for the saved who believe in a good, good Father as I believe.  I know that God is good and kind and patient.  I also know that He is jealous and hates and can be angered.  He is jealous for the affections of His children as a good parent longs for the affections of a child.  He hates the things that harm those He loves even as I hate the things that hurt not just my sons, but my spiritual sons and daughters as well.  He is angered by the lack of justice in the world, the misrepresentation of His Name, the deliberate rebellion inspired by the adversary.

I write this for you, the one who sees the evil in a world inspired by the adversary, yet refuses to acknowledge the source of this evil.  You see the addictions, the abuse, the selfishness, the complacency and hypocrisy, yet you refuse to believe that there is a voice that speaks into the weakest of minds. You know the stubborn refusal of a shattered heart to feel the pain caused by your own daily choices, yet you refuse to see that your will was ruled by an unseen advisor.

Choosing NOT to believe in the devil, the Adversary, did not protect you from him.  He has done the unspeakable and you don’t know which way to run…what voice to listen to…how you can be free of the nightmare.

I know the answer…

Choose to believe in God.  Choosing not to believe in God doesn’t protect you from His intensity…His existence…His pursuit.  You are sought after with a pursuit born out of the deepest love, an honest, pure and clean jealousy.  You are harmed by the things He hates and He fights against the adversary with a vengeance that belongs only to Him.  You are watched over by a fierce, and sometimes, angry Father who sees the injustice you do…the way you misrepresent Him in your weakness…the deliberate rebellion as you chase after your own identity while listening to someone or something else’s voice.

Believe in God.  Choose God.  Be broken and shattered, but be His child.  Listen to His voice.  Be loved, not tortured, because all this time…the long nights and lost days…all this time He has been watching, waiting, pursuing you in a way no parent ever could.  He has followed the evil that has hurt you and executed a hidden vengeance fueled by the intensity of love.  Risk facing the One once angered by the things you’ve chosen, because the peace on the other side of forgiveness, release of the anger and pain of separation, is the only answer you need.

So go ahead…

The water falls…

Something I’ve always loved about my friend’s photography is the perception of flow, the peaceful movement of rushing water. How can something that flows with such intensity and stubborn persistence be peaceful? It knows the direction it must move and simply obeys with no thought for what lies behind it or what obstacle it may encounter. The water falls…

Richland Creek – Photo by Bryan O’Dell

If only I could get my heart to fall like water! I could move and obey with intensity and persistence with no thought for what lies behind me.

…the pebbles thrown into me only serving to make me more beautiful

…the bedrock that guided my path only serving to make me more determined

…the edges that I’ve already fallen over only serving to make me more courageous

I could face what lies ahead of me, flow around and through obstacles in obedience to the design of my abba, my Father.  I could be at peace.

Ms Rebecca