On becoming…

I recently came across the original Blueprints for our home. And it struck me that building a home is much like building a life. The early stages of the home building process do not resemble the final product. Without the blueprints as a guide, the beginning of a build job simply looks like a hole in the ground.

Without the finishing touches, even the framed exterior seems like a cold box with holes cut into it. But little by little, things begin to take shape. And as the process continues, what the home will be, but is not yet…begins to emerge.

Much like the human frame…as The Beloved John reminds us in his testament…”Dear friends, now we are God’s children, and it hasn’t yet appeared what we will be. We know that when he appears we will be like him because we’ll see him as he is.”

It strikes me that IF God is willing to be patient in seeing us through to the final stages of completion, we would do well to seek to extend this grace to others and indeed ourselves. #quote Common English Bible

The ruins…

Mayan Ruins Mexico 2012

Mayan Ruins Mexico

This picture of this spectacular structure was taken during a visit to Mexico.  It’s a tower that extends upward to heaven in a way that makes you marvel at the engineering feat for the time in which it was built.  Human beings are capable of great things because we have the imprint of God, the Creator in each of us.

Into ‘me’ see ~ The Gift of Intimacy

2846006325_9ea3b4998e_bTo see & to be seen are some of the most precious gifts in life. The gift of clear sight allows us to have a unique understanding and appreciation.

When it is obstructed or weakened, our view becomes distorted resulting in false perceptions.  Without correction, we eventually become blind.

When we see another with clarity, we precieve who they are. Like the American Indian proverb says, ‘you don’t really know a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins’.

 Right seeing of another human being requires the ability to look through the lens of compassion and understanding.  These two filters are vital.  Without them, the lens of human judgement tends to err by causing us to see what we want to see, what we’d like to see or what we think we’re seeing.

One of the most precious gifts the Heavenly Father gives to us is the fact that he sees us and hears us.  I remember the story of the servant girl, Hagar who was sent away with her son Ishmael to die in the desert after Sarah, Abraham’s wife drove her away from the household.  Parched with thirst and dreading the inevitability of watching her son die from thirst, she is met by a God who sees her the desperate need for physical water.  Her encounter with God not only challenges her fear and despair but brings spiritual refreshment to a soul which had been used and rejected and shores up a future destiny which seemed compromised beyond redemption.

Into that darkness, the God who sees and hears speaks hope and destiny to a situation which seemed hopeless. The gift of being seen is a refreshing cleansing that gently sheds the outer mask to reveal the vital beauty and incredible core of complexity within the human spirit. When one experiences this, it is like the soul is freed to simply be.  Because it knows that the true core essence has been recognized.  Where normal sight only perceived a forsaken mother and son duo, God saw the budding seed of a great nation in a young man who would become a skilled archer.

To truly see and to be seen require courageous fortitude. Because our fear of the unknown and the unexpected are some of the most formidable obstacles to insight known to man.  The challenge of an excellent life, is to be willing to not only see, but to be seen.  There is a vulnerability to allowing ourselves to simply be seen for who we are, not what we prefer to reveal.  God’s grace invites us to enter into relationship and to receive with humility, the gift of intimacy – into me see. Where our souls are free to be.

Read the full text of the story of Hagar here.

Phantom Fears, Fake Solutions and Real Answers…

iStock_000042975970MediumTurning on the news these days takes a strong constitution.   In large swaths of the country, raging floods have overtaken areas recently shrouded in deep drought and vicious forest fires. Today, hundreds of American children struggle to breath as they battle a strange virus, while on the African continent, the Ebola virus rages out of control without an effective cure or strategy in place to contain its spread.  Meanwhile ISIS and Boko Haram are seizing territory and declaring ‘statehood’ within the borders of sovereign countries in the Middle East and Africa.

From appearances, the world is in a state of convoluted chaos. There are many problems, but seemingly few effective or lasting solutions. Was this state of affairs what Jesus referenced when he said “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world”?  John 16:33

What does Jesus see and know about trials, sorrows and how to overcome them that seems so obscure to us?   When Jesus referenced the world, he wasn’t talking about the physical world of nature, rather he was referring to the world systems; the principalities, powers and authorities  that govern the way the physical world behaves and engages with life.  World systems are the organizing mechanics which underly education, government, politics, healthcare, commerce, economics, religion and warfare. They influence thoughts, ideas and perceptions and because of their pervasiveness and powerful imagery, impact every single human being on the planet.

While systems have their place in organization and governance, they are not the answer to predicaments; that is solutions to situations which completely defy the norms and principles of what is thought to be the established order.  It is in the face of predicaments such as pandemics, terrorism and entrenched poverty that we are faced with the limitations of fake solutions;  answers which lack the power and wisdom to change and transform anything for long, if at all.  We are faced with the recognition that our arsenal of weapons to defeat horrific problems which attack without mercy is very limited.  Dread, fear and panic are instinctive responses.

As Christians, our Peace is embodied in a person.  Jesus statement in John 16:33 reminds us that he is the overcoming power.  Not an idea, principle, strategy, dogma or doctrine.   To obtain this peace, we must be connected to him in the only world which is profoundly real, the world of spirit.  The Spirit of Peace invites us to step out of the hypnotizing drama churning throughout the world system and seek respite for our troubled hearts.

Trouble doesn’t just visit the word stage, it’s an intruder which visits all of us personally and persuasively.  Jesus frankly acknowledges the inevitability of trouble and points us to the real solution.  Good cheer strengthens our hearts and calms our spirits so we have the strength to face issues without the additional burden of undue stress, anxiety and fear.  Cheer embodies comfort, encouragement and hope as well as joy and happiness. Ultimately, Jesus points us to the fact that he has overcome all the situations that create trauma to the soul and body here on earth and reminds us that the peace in him and through him, is what we must and can connect to if we hope to live an overcoming life.

When Love Lets go…

2882672159_97609e4a20_oWhen you love someone enough to let them go, it does not mean that you ignore the pain & suffering that has occurred in the relationship or that you somehow develop amnesia about why it was necessary to part company.

The greatest service we can perform on behalf of someone who has wounded us to to let them ‘go’ and place them in God’s hands. It is not only the safest place to be, but it is the only space in the universe which deals through the hands of justice and mercy exactly what is necessary within the situation.

Even when the process may seem to take years, always remember – God knows, God cares and He will do right by you. Eventually. Always.

Be Still…

Bird on the Beach SM

We were at the beach the other day when this little fella joined us in watching the waves. He was so still. Even with all the beach goers around him, he was still. Contemplating his next flight perhaps.

Remembering the admonition “Be still and know that I am God’. For in stillness we are able to see and hear instruction. To see God, know him and therefore know ourselves in a more deliberate way. Nature’s complete acceptance of the life which is ~ that which exists all around us has much to teach us about relating to our environment in a wholesome way. (Psalms 46:10)

On Letting Go…

Let ‘GO’, Let ‘GOD’. The addition of the ‘D’ makes all the difference in the world! Letting ‘GO’ is often resisted because we dread the sense of a loss of control. We fear not knowing and not being able to predict the direction of something or someone. This fear comes from a misplaced sense of self-importance. The truth is we cannot control anyone.

Our bodies in large part regulate themselves without our interference. Our hearts beat, our muscles contract, our brains process, our lungs breath all WITHOUT our conscious control. Letting ‘GOD’ is the strongest most effective thing we can do.

It is GOD afterall, who controls that which is subconscious, beyond our reach and above our intelligence. Letting GOD is simply a way of acknowleding that ultimately the working out of life is a mysterious and awesome thing. And GOD who creates life is well able to handle what we let go of.