Archive for March, 2016

When someone dies, there is a period of disbelief. It is a hard thing to accept and our psyche fights against the idea with a tenacity that might be inspiring if not for the unhappy ending.
It is the same with letting go.
And the interesting part is that the healing will never begin if we can’t come to grips with and ACCEPT the death. Accept the fact that we will never see our loved one, this side of heaven, again.
And in the same way, there has to be an acceptance of the inevitable in letting go. Here, time is our friend and patient teacher. And likewise, we must become patient in letting him pass.
And a healthy grieving will one day give way to sunshine breaking through the darkened clouds. And we can sing. And our song is new; wiser, deeper, and somehow more beautiful.
When it’s time to let go, and we are ready, we hand it over to Him. The Lover of our soul. The Rain Maker and the Cloud Breaker.
I marvel always at Your Beauty, Your Peacefulness, and the many ways you replenish all the aching souls. Because You. Are. Joy, My Lord. You are Joy.

lettng go

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There is going to come a day when your life is going to derail.

derailedYou’re going to mess up a little and lose your center.  The conditions are going to be right to topple you. It happens to the best of humanity and I don’t envy anyone who is going through it. I am in the throes of it myself, even as I write.

And we’re not alone, you and I. The best that life has churned out can, and do, lose their way from time to time.

Just to list a few examples:

• The Prodigal Son
• Simon, named Peter
• Rahab
• The Samaritan Woman
• Jonah
• Gideon
• Samson
• King David
• Elijah
• Saul of Tarsus

And then, too, there are the private stories in every life that never make it into the pages of any book. The folly, the humiliation, the redemption, the victory.

Not everyone who falls rises again, however. Not everyone who slides down a slippery slope knows enough to climb back up on the side of the slope that is dry. And it’s a tough uphill walk. But the falling was easy-effortless and speedy. The climb back up, however, is painstaking and deliberate. It requires tenacity, discipline and character to make it all the way back to the summit.

tobaggan3But before any of that can happen, there must first be a humbling.

Because you might assume that you haven’t truly fallen in the first place. Or you might reason that you were blindsided-caught off guard. And maybe you were. You can say that the whole situation is ridiculously unfair. And maybe it is. You can blame it on circumstance, fate, or destiny.

But no matter your reasoning, there you are at the bottom of the hill. And you know you’re at the bottom of the hill.

Maybe it’s addiction that sent you there. Maybe it’s a relationship or an unfulfilled desire. Maybe it’s the result of chasing after money, or a misguided desire for the approval of man.

But no matter what it is/was, here is what I can tell you. It threatened and then overthrew the Lord- from His throne- in your life, didn’t it?

Somewhere along the way you lost your footing. Somewhere along the way Abba, Father was reduced to a distant memory. Where there once was an adoring couple, now one has departed- estranged from the Faithful One who still holds out His loving hands.

And you miss Him. But you also want what you want. So you drink from the fountain of addiction. You sup at table of your lover. You scheme one last scheme for that big deal. You flash one more move for your adoring fans. And you make an executive decision: You can have both. Why not? Once this settles down and you get what you want- THEN you’ll go back to your Original Lover. The Lover of your soul.

But you never get what you want, do you? You are never fully satisfied. And what you don’t realize is that you will never be satisfied, ever again, until you forsake the one and cling to The Other.

Recently I was in the fog. Deep in the fog. Oh, I did try to get out. Several times. I even offered up some fairly pious prayers. I made feeble attempts at reduction. But I didn’t know any long-term victory because my heart wasn’t fully in it. I wanted what I wanted. I wasn’t willing to let it go. My love for my Lord became secondary to that which I wanted.

Until the day that I became sick with longing for my Original Lover Whom I began to miss with all my heart.

As a child, my faith was as full as it was astonishing. I moved many mountains. I simply believed, and I only saw HIM. Little else distracted me or pried me away from His loving embrace.

But, now, I knew the journey back home was just too far. I knew I couldn’t make it on my own. And as I looked back, I had to admit that our affair started losing purity in various ways through a period of many years.

….Until that beautiful day when I finally fell on my knees and uttered the most genuine prayer that I had spoken in years, “Help me, please. I miss You. Please help me.” And then I cried….sobbed….right there at His breast.

woman praying3And it was the simplest prayer that I had ever said in my life. But the most heartfelt. The most earnest and….the most humbling. I was acknowledging to Him that this thing was bigger than me, and it meant more than all of the pious attempts at prayer that went before. And I knew it did. I felt the faith go out from me. I knew that it could not come back void.

And in the days that followed, it began….

I picked up my Bible. I began to fall deeply in love with my Original Lover all over again. I talked to Him in prayer about everything. I stopped trying to walk through everything on my own. Haughty is the heart that reasons, “I got this!” Foolish is the lamb who wanders away from the Shepherd. Lost is the sailor without a Compass. Dead is the branch no longer connected to the Vine.

He carried me out of the storm one step at a time. He showed me where to put my feet on the craggy rocks.

He goes before me. I follow.

I’m still following. And each day my gait is a little stronger. The light is beginning to open up again. The path is illuminated. I can feel His hand in mine. Safe within the fold, I sing- and relax- and see all of life beautiful. Innocent, like a child, I’m rejoicing. Not perfect. Not fully pure. Fully human and fallible. But I’m on my way home. I’m climbing that hill. I can see the summit.

summit climb1And you can get there too. Your love for Him has to exceed and supersede your love for your addiction, your lover, your desire, and the pride of life. And when you want victory bad enough, ask Him for it. Ask Him to guide you back home. And because He is faithful to His promises- because He loves you- He will do it. Lay it at His feet. Leave it at His throne. And then Wait. For. It. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’!!

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” I John 2:15-17

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4: 8

Summer Solstice – Wayne Kirkpatrick

It must have been the summer solstice
When I first gave my heart to You
The first day of a brand new season
In a fevered passion for Your simple truth
It was the longest I’d ever felt for anything
And it gave my soul a song to sing.

It must have been my adolescence
That pulled me from my childlike faith
But what I thought to be maturity
Was just neglect that I tried to vindicate
And I went drifting on the wind like the autumn leaves
But when I fell I landed on my knees.

So can You throw Your arms around me and walk me home
I’ve wandered off way too far for way too long
And standing broken in this wilderness of shame
I have found my only strength is in your name
Oh, Father please can You undo what I’ve done
And get me back to square one.

I never saw that blizzard coming
Just woke up and ice was on the ground
And there were times this beating heart of pride
Was so stubborn it refused to make a sound
But now I’m feeling so out of my element
Frozen in the winter of my discontent.

So can You throw Your arms around me and walk me home
I’ve wandered off way too far for way too long
And standing broken in this wilderness of shame
I have found my only strength is in your name
Oh, Father please can You undo what I’ve done
And get me back to square one.

And with the spring comes the thaw
Melting my heart reviving all
It comes full circle and then
It’s summer solstice again.

So can You throw Your arms around me and walk me home
I’ve wandered off way too far for way too long
And standing broken in this wilderness of shame
I have found my only strength is in your name
Oh, Father please can You undo what I’ve done
And get me back to square one.



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