Stilled by Silence

Silence
Lights the fuse of smoldering, quiet fear.
In chaos lay dormant all my fears.
Of nothing to say, no value to add,
No wisdom to offer.
Beneath layers of chatter and sketches,
Of Bible study books and tattered journals,
Lay a heart so searching,
Now papered with proof of fearful efforts.
But one fell-silent swoop
One hour of hands tied, lips sealed, eyes wide
And I am stripped of pretense.
And I am afraid.
But I am listening.

Broken, The Healer and Me

She had a hole in her heart and an ugly gash on her leg. I watched her writhe in pain for a few minutes, too stunned by what she had done to herself to respond. But she laughed, at least she tried to. I was revolted. It was her own fault she was in this mess. If she’d only followed the rules, she wouldn’t have gotten hurt.

Broken’s maniacal humor came out in coughing gasps, she was nearing death.

“I’m fine!” She screamed at me. “I’m fine, I’m happy and I don’t need you to tell me what’s wrong with me.”

But then her heart whimpered, barely discernible above the boisterous, the callous facade.

“I’m Broken,” Heart sobbed. “So broken and tired and I’m dying here. Can’t you see? Do something, please.”

I did see. Crusty blood had formed around the wound in chest. It was bleeding less than her leg, less obvious as she glared at me. But that leg. It was disgusting. I could barely lift my eyes to see it. Her thigh festered and oozed, flies were attracted. It made me sick.

“Please, please help me. I’m dying,” Heart continued to plead, her voice weakening with every effort. “Can you take me to the Healer?”

“I can’t focus to help you with that ugly leg wound in the way,” I replied. “You’ll have to fix that first, then perhaps I can carry you to the Healer. You know, if you’d just followed the rules you wouldn’t be here.” I tore a page from my manual of rules. “Let me help you cover that first, clean you up a bit, then perhaps the Healer will see you. As it is, you’ll make Him sick.”

Broken screamed again, “I don’t want your rules!”

“But they’re good for you,” I tried to argue. “Besides, this way you’ll be presentable to the Healer.”

“Step back.” A voice so calm, so forceful, so real, it shook the ground. Light blazed around us, so tangible that the manual in my hands began to smolder.

“Your rules will do no good here. Broken will die while you fuss over a bleeding peripheral wound. Why have you not brought her to me by now?”

“But Healer, Lord,” I tried to explain. “I was going to bring her! I just wanted to help her clean up a bit first.”

“Child,” the Healer spoke to me though His back was turned as He knelt over Broken. “If I am sufficient to heal her heart, save her life, don’t you think I can handle her leg as well?”

 

Recently, the issues of morality and Biblical standards were brought to the forefront in my tiny little picture frame of the world. I believe that I have a Biblical worldview, and I stand firmly behind the inherency of the Word of God. That said, this short parable was my own wondering in prayer and listening to God about when and how to use my worldview and Godly principles to introduce people to the Savior.
Perhaps there are bigger, more deadly wounds that only Jesus can heal. And I can rest assured, that when He has healed their heart, He will heal all the rest of them as well.

A Pathetic Witness

I’ve had a lot of thoughts today about mentors and mentoring. None of them collections; they are scattered and hardly worth relaying. But perhaps they will stimulate your mind and prompt you to fill the comments with more meaty material than my post! (:

This morning I was journaling my disappointment with myself. The Bible commands Christians to always be ready to give a defense for the hope that it is  in us. I am confident that I have grown exponentially in my faith over the last 17 years and especially in the last 4-5 years. However, the courage and comprehensive thoughts that are required to present a persuasive “case for Christ” evade me. How is it that I can KNOW with all surety that Jesus is my life, that Jesus is the only reason that I am alive today, that Jesus is my hope and uncanny Joy, that Jesus is the solitary solution for every pain and question, and that everyone who does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is headed to hell – how can I know this – and still stutter when given the opportunity to share my faith?

A friend from work joined me at church a couple weeks ago. She loves the Lord, but is admittedly young in her faith. Two days later we were both approached at work by another friend and the conversation led this friend saying, “Oh, I never read the Bible. I think it is just too far-fetched, a story. I raised my children to be religious. I believe that god is in each of us and we need to aspire to be good.”

I love this friend. We’ve had such fun together at work, laughing and goofing off. Now, she asked me a few questions and as I told her who Jesus was and why the Bible is trustworthy – it sounded sci-fi, out there and little crazy even to me. I found  myself saying, “It’s hard to explain.” I can scarcely believe I’m admitting this. I write this blog as devotional, with a heart to serve Jesus with my talents and make Him winsome to others. And here I am telling you that I’m pathetic at sharing the gospel.

Journaling leads me down rabbit trails sometimes, but then often drops me back off where I started by the end of my ramblings. That happened today. I drew the connection between mentoring relationships and Jesus with His disciples. They chose to follow Him. They sought His advice and learned from his teachings both in word and in action. He poured His life into them. I am a disciple of Jesus, so I asked His advice.

“Jesus, Rabbi. Why can I not explain the intense value, perfection and necessity of believing in you? What if Peter had been asked why he was following you?”

“Abby,” Jesus answered me, as a faithful mentor always does. “My disciples were asked why they believed in me. I even asked them myself.

‘Who do people say that I am?’ I followed that question with, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ And Peter answered with words that the Father gave him, ‘ You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.'” (Matt 16)

Suddenly, I saw a difference in Peter’s response and my own. Peter did not respond, “This is what I personally think…” He responded with undiluted certainty, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

When the final critical question is asked, a confident answer is required. Especially in financially troubling times, days of earthquakes, extreme weather, drunken fathers, abused children, AIDS epidemics and ravaging cancer – people do not care what I think. I cannot impart the truth with a timid suggestion of a possible truth.

So declaratively, without apology: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It is more than my belief. It simply, HE SIMPLY IS.