Yearning To Be Whole

Solitude breeds thought which brings forth perspective. 

He is heard in a still small voice, a gentle whisper, yet we search for the audibly, louder signs. 

He is felt on the gentle caress of a breeze, the solstice of a nighttime walk, yet we pay no attention. 

All day long we run the rat-race chasing things of little importance in hopes of having these gaping holes inside of us filled. We want to know there is a purpose for us. We yearn to be whole. Complete.

All around us negativity and fear is blossoming like sunflowers in the fields too numerous to count. Our world has changed a lot. We are looking at things square in the eyes that we hoped we would never have to experience in our lifetime. Pandemics, self quarantine, riots, incredible storms, murder, and lack of morals seem at an all-time high and so close to home. We want peace. We want harmony. We want security. 

I sit here and this chapter comes to my mind. Slowly I read and reread its content. 

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”  Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.  For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.   “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.   “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’   spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house.  Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!  Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.  For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.   “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.  At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you ahead of time.   “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.   “Immediately after the distress of those days  “ ‘the sun will be darkened,  and the moon will not give its light;  the stars will fall from the sky,  and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’    “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth   will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.  And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.   “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it  is near, right at the door.  Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.   “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,   but only the Father.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.   “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Matthew 24:3‭-‬44 NIV”

I encourage you to seek comfort in these words, to rest assure that the world may be surprising us left and right but God is not surprised.

Hold on my brothers and sisters. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.

Our Biggest Contender

There is a song I love by Andy Mineo called Wild Things, I guess if you were to ask me what kind of people I am drawn to it would be this group. They are the misfits. People who haven’t been to church in awhile due to struggles and addictions that keep them afraid of the church doors. Depending on where you are in life, you could be contending with your biggest giant just inside this building where fellow believers meet.

We fear ridicule, we fear blame, we fear judgement just inside these doors and because we already struggle with all these things in our minds without the help of anyone else, we shy away from church as we feel it will be more of the same. But let’s face it. I mean honestly, guys. Our biggest contender is our flesh. We can make all the excuses in the world but we are accountable for self.

Some of us have been through some crazy stuff. Some of us are going through rough stuff right now. We feel so foreign. We don’t come from homes where stability is (was) a factor. We hardly know what it is like to feel safe. We are on guard; constantly watching our surroundings.  We (would) have to question who was going to be home when we got home from school. Would mom have a new partner? Would dad have another girlfriend? Would they be sober? We prayed like crazy with anxiety that at times felt crippling. Often there was concern that there would be anger and we could get hurt yet again. 

We didn’t reach out when we needed someone to turn to and we caved in on ourselves. We cried a million tears. We cut. We drink (drank). We take (took) pills. We engage (engaged) in porn. We experience (experienced) sex. Constantly we are (were) searching. And even when the help comes (came) we (would) refuse it as this was our new state of being. We have grown (grew) accustomed. We are (were) comfortable in our chaos. The enemy has cleverly baited this trap we can (could) barely part from. 

Until one day, in a rare moment, we look up and a glimpse of freedom is caught. We observe.

 It stands off in the distance. It is stable. It is genuine. It knows all our faults yet never once has it dismissed us. It actually beckons us to stay. It reads us like a book and yet loves us. Convincingly. It saw our disease and revealed the cure. Sin. Repentance. Follow Me. Four simple words. That easy. 

For some of us, we ran. Terrified. And in the moment we looked back, we saw the dark venom pulled from the cankerous souls of the ones who remained. They then became radiant. They were changed. Just like that. In what seemed to be the twinkling of an eye. The sight froze us in place. We could not continue running. No. Instead our bodies turned to face this enigma. 

These newly transformed bodies started walking our way. We were mesmerized. And slowly, one foot in front of the other, we started advancing towards them. They were alluring. We wanted whatever they had in them. We wanted healing. So we were drawn to their light, and one by one, we all were relieved of the dark venom we allowed to pulse in our veins for so long. For too long.

Soon this group became our fellowship. It was a place we could be real. We could be raw. We could be vulnerable and be safe. We could cry out, cry softly and (or) just vent. Once we were unified, we were overflowing. We were passionate. We were intentional. We were commissioned.  We proceeded in movement to set the world on fire with the same radiance that coursed through us. And one by one, we continue to succeed.

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Wisdom

Random thought: There is a darkness among us, a parasite unseen. She beckons us deep from within to sup at her table time and time again. Each visit leaving a scarring regret.

I shall call her Folly.

There is a safe harbor. A place where we are welcomed and protected. A place to reflect and relax.
I shall call her Wisdom; Folly’s nemesis.

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