Wednesday, April 20, 2011
"Hey Chimp, You Look Like I Feel."
Head clogged, eyes heavy and itchy, sleep still dripping from their lids, breath atrocious, sitting, wondering and heart-aching for reality. Here I sit in all of my humanness, just a small, weak and tender creature, buffeted like the wind that stirs the clouds outside the coffee shop.
Here I sit, and I wonder, "Is this all there is? Is this what I'm called to?" Faithlessness, restlessness, running, busyness and escape, life bleeding opportunities passed and relationships spurned. Here I sit a human.
A small ripple swells as I remember the words "As the Lord has compassion on his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he remembers our frame, he knows that we are dust."
This frame quakes today. It shakes at the prospect of a day full of attempts and setbacks, responsibility and weight. The frame quakes, shakes and falls in a cloud of dust. And here I am, just a pile, but a pile that is loved.
A pile loved deeply beyond my deepest hopes and desires. This is Good News. That God loves his precious piles.
I wasn't sure what I was going to write about today. I just started writing and this is what came out. Obviously, I'm tired and worn, wondering how God will preserve, strengthen and awaken this soul of mine today.
He will, he always does. He will because he's a "dread warrior." He is furiously, passionately and even wrecklessly in love with his people. My calling today to email people and get the word out about what I'm doing - writing in ministry. But I'll be honest, it seems pointless.
The imaginary people in my head don't seem to care. I shape them from my own responses to ministry, and it's not a pretty shape. I don't want to be bothered by stuff from outside my sphere, things from outside my own personal world. Challenges to give and "opportunities" are annoyances, a mosquito I simply want to swat away and get on with the business of me.
I know I feel this way when others come-a-calling. I feel like an annoyance. And I don't want others to annoy me with their problems and needs.
But still God patiently calls. He reminds me that my story isn't mine, I'm a part of something bigger now. Something far more bridingly brilliant than I can handle: "Here's your sunglasses Philip. You better put them on."
So as God and I gaze into the real reality of his kingdom coming my grumblings fall away and I begin to feel a little silly. This pile of dust needs this gaze today. A vision of the kingdom. Jesus' kingdom, coming to make all things right.
I always think of myself laying brick or stone when it comes to building the kingdom. And I'm no brick-layer or stone-mason, and I feel the cement dripping off my wobbly pallet even as I write. It's frustrating this kingdom work. God can't you see that my section of the wall is wobbly. Can't I just push it over (I like seeing things go crash anyway) and go elsewhere?
"No, find your strength in me. Rest in me. For your burden is my burden, we shall walk this road together."
"But God, as I look at our foot-prints in the sand, somethimes two (when you carry me) sometimes four, what are those other prints - those two round prints so close together?"
"Oh that's where I got tired of your whining, and shoved you down on your buttoski."
That's what my imaginary God does. Thankfully I don't live in a world of imaginary gods and imaginary people, the real God can shoulder my grumbling. At least I'm counting on this today, but perhaps it would be clever to put on an extra pair of underwear for padding just in case. You never know in dealings with the real God.