Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Desert Ravings

Then Jesus said to His disciples," If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?" Matthew 16:24-26

For the last several years, I have found somewhat of a theme for each year according to what God is doing in my heart. Now I know it doesn't sound pretty, but I think this is the year of death. A year of reckoning between what I know and what I really believe. I have come to a place of seeing my own depravity like never before. The last couple years have been a downhill slide for me and I find myself in mortal combat for my soul. I realize I cannot count on what I believed as a young child, when I received Christ as my Saviour. I responded to what I understood then with the faith of a child. But now I am confronted with the question of following Jesus: what does it really mean? What does it require of me? And do I actually want to follow Him? Have I counted the cost? Is it one I am willing to pay? I'm not sure I ever understood that growing up. So now I find myself caught between two masters, faced with a choice: will I live to save what I think is "the life" for me, or will I give up everything to follow Christ and love Him? In my mind I know there is no other option for me: I know the truth; I know what's going down and I can't turn from Christ, so I must follow Him. But as I see more clearly that Jesus meant everything He said and He made it clear that He wants all or nothing, I must honestly face myself and confess that I am bitterly fighting giving all. I want desperately to know His love so deeply that in response i would love Him enough to go all the way. I do not know what other course there is. If you have ever been in the desert of your soul, maybe you will understand this honest pouring out of my heart before God. These are the kind of feelings we want to hide; we try so hard to convince ourselves and everyone else that we're okay. Well I'm tired of pretending. Not that I have a great following here, but sometimes it feels better just to make yourself vulnerable to someone. I wrote this a few weeks ago, in church, actually. Obviously I had too much weighing on my heart to pay attention. :)


Desire is a deeper pit
than any man can know
Life grasped becomes life lost
Paradise allures
lingering ever out of reach
No darkness is so thick
as a soul torn assunder
Ravaged by its own lust
Truth always beckoning
but rebel pride fears death
Running, hiding, eyes closed
until the image fades
And hope sinks again
into oblivion
A soul in fear, lost its way
Sick stench of self
repulses, yet drives it on
What holy fire can purge it all away?
What stronger lure constrain
that soul to stay?
Does faith still live to claim
That He is deeper still?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gardener's Nightmare

Upon waking this morning, I peered out my window into the pouring rain, searching for a glimpse of the trap placed at the edge of the yard, by the garden. Did I catch another varmint last night? My first night of groundhog trapping was a success, but perhaps the victim's brother is smarter. In vain I attempted to make out my object. I wonder if he's in there? I wonder how he's doing in this deluge, unable to take cover? I am known to take fits of anger over my poor violated "babies" in the garden, but I also have a soft spot for living creatures. I was happy to try a more humane method of extermination before begging a shotgun. My garden terrorists this year are young ones, and really kind of cute close up. So in the goodness of my heart I wonder if I should go out in the storm and carry the cage to a drier place. Ahhh, no. My bed wins out. Back to the pillow goes my head, snuggle in, listen to the rain lash the house....I'm back at the window. The rain has subsided. There is the trap, and he is in there! But what on earth? Who is this hulking creature on the other side of the prison wall? Oh no, its.... Mama Groundhog! Unbelievable... have you ever seen a bear-sized groundhog? Well, let me tell you, I have. And it's slightly intimidating! What should I do now? Her baby's in my trap and Mama's mad! She's looking for a way to spring the captive...I'd better get out there and... what? Okay, think about getting out of bed. I can do this. It feels like I'm fighting through thick mist, but I'm getting out of bed. I'm thinking about how I should dress; it's a wet mess out there. Take another peek out the window... there are two of them! Dad showed up, bigger than life! I'm starting to wonder if my mission is such a good idea. I need a plan. What if bear-size means bear-ferocious too? I've dealt with bears before, oh yes. In fact I was chased by one just the other night and successfully fended him off with not much more than my bare hands! But I need to find a baseball bat...or something. No harm in being prepared for resistance. These guys do have some pretty serious claws. Daddyhog is running around in the yard and I will likely have to meet him on my way out. So I slog through the mush of my brain and rummage around in the garage for the bat. What else can I arm myself with? I've seen battle scenes in movies where the hero fights with a sword in each hand...not a bad idea. I'm envisioning scenes of glory in my head right now. What about one of those wood stakes. Yeah, just let me think. Keep looking. Now I'm back at the window. I've got to hurry; time's wasting. What now? This looks like Revenge of the Garden Stalkers. They're stomping around in my garden, they're tearing it up with their claws... they're destroying it! I have to stop them, now! I can't seem to put feet to my thoughts. Rummage around some more, check out the crime scene again. But alas.... no signs of life in my backyard. Only a ripped trap, some other torn junk, and a desecrated garden. They're gone? All this work to psych myself up for attack and they're gone? Just like that? They've left me with nothing but destruction and I can't even get revenge? This is horrible! This is the worst thing that could ever happen to a gardener. Okay, somebody get me a gun....I'm still lying in bed. What is my problem? Oh, what tragedy! I should have gone out in the storm and brought the stupid thing back to the house before the Avengers showed up! Why didn't I listen to my instincts? Okay girl, come in to reality. Are you conscious yet? Wait a second...maybe it was all a dream? Long sigh....letting out all the tension...can you feel my extreme relief? Can you guess what's been on my mind lately?!!! By the way, groundhog number 1's brother.... he's smarter.