Monday, January 23, 2012

The Local Church

The hungry orphans from the local community.

The chicken feed.

The chicken coop.

The baby chicks.

The teenage chicks.

The chickens to sell and to lay eggs.

The money.

The crops.

The food.

The fed orphans.

The local church.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  James 1:27

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Said You Would Be There

The problem was that I wasn’t quite ready to let go of that.  All else, yes.  I had already realized that I lacked control over those other things, so they were easier (not easy, but easier) to let go of.  This was the last thing it seemed.  I knew I was on the verge of turning it over.  You felt so close.  And I could foresee the day when I would relent, and release it to you.  I wasn’t sure how it would happen though.  My grip was so tight and there were so many unanswered questions that I needed answered before I was willing to even consider loosening my hold.

Then things began to look a little less like I thought they would.  From the outside, the expected and the real did not match and the more I walked, the less lined-up it all seemed to be.  Where I was headed, was where I was sure you wanted me, but not where I had come to understand someone like me should go.  So, deciding which path to take, felt, not paralyzing exactly, but hard.  Almost impossible, actually.  The one way, the status quo, was defensible, perfectly acceptable.  I could continue marching with some slight modifications.  People would say: “You did the best you could.”  I would say, “I was smart, cautious, rational.”  The other way, the way to which you were calling, seemed at first like giving up, or heading the wrong way, backwards even, risky.  

But you said you would be there.  You said we would not be separated.  You said that if I trusted you with all my heart, you would direct my path.  As I took the first tentative step forward on the road to which you pointed, a dam inside my soul broke open and I saw that this was the only way worth going, and I realized I knew this all along.  Anxiety and fear and anger and sadness rushed out, and joy, peace, goodness, and grace fell lightly like snow, covering every inch of the newly opened space.  I don’t know where this road leads.  I don’t see the next step ahead.  And there are all these questions, mostly from without, about where I’m going and what the future looks like.  Yet, I don’t need the answers like I did before to keep walking.  In fact, I haven’t heard even a single answer to the questions I had been asking, or the ones that pop up unexpectedly in the day, but everything I see has your touch and it is impossible to ignore.  The eyes of my heart have been enlightened.  Within, there is stillness, and time has expanded.