OK- here we go-.... inspired by Eugene Peterson
Look at me- you laugh and I laugh. But it is too convoluted to sort out.
So I realize now that the way God cares is so alien.... it is his strange ministers that make up His HOLINESS. He does seem intolerable careless about my scars and crosses- but He should be. Things I tremble at, He just shakes His head. Do I really know of loneliness and pain? 'Come on' He says, "Give me a break. Your powder puff- magic dragon God of expediency does not exist".
"But I get so tired of constantly defending You against the cynics and criers- especially those who walk around so disappointed in You. Some are sure You are not there- and they are mad at You for that."
"Well I'm tired of you thinking you have to defend me- that's the job of the stars and moon- and they do just fine- Thank-you."
I sit down in the sandstorm and feel the sting- the sandpaper grinds my flesh- a little layer at a time.
As I sit there, the greatest dragon I have ever encountered opens wide. His breath is nasty hot and his fangs are poised to strike.
At that point... I become the most surprised man on the planet.. I look with a steeliness and an anger and a vigor that I never felt before and I strike that dragon with a sword that had been hidden inside me- sharp and deadly.
I stand back up and the sand does not sting anymore. I finally get a little hint- faith is not the good life- it is the God-life.
The skeptics sneer at me still- 'false front' they say.
But my faith is on the line- and my love is on display. "No No" I say "Look at my gospel. It is not pretty and nice... it is authentic and true.- it is scratched, dented, beat up, and worn...but it sure looks good on me and feels so much like home....
Because my lot is really easy and the burden is light..Faith means I have no knowledge of the next minute- there may be death/pain/loss/rejection/sickness/tragedy- but I persevere in the firm confidence that God's love NEVER leaves me.
I prayed about my cold heart- and God breaks it. He binds it back up- but it never stops leaking after that- and that leakage is streams of mercy.
So I laugh at my silly pity party- God smiles.
I look at my girls and thank Him- and discover that is the foundation of worship.
And then I see how good we are- what strong shape we are in- and find the greatest truth of all. It was NOTHING in me- it was ALL IN HIM.
And I laugh so hard I cry.
Bring on Christmas!