Tuesday, September 21, 2010


"Why are the dark places holy?" Orual, Till We Have Faces; C.S. Lewis

"Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on His name. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment." Isaiah 50:10,11
"Then Solomon said, "The LORD has said that He would dwell in a dark cloud" 2 Chronicles 6:1
"The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was." Exodus 20:21
"Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." Psalm 139:12
Indeed, darkness and light are no different to God - the difference is ours to experience.
While it is true that "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all" I Jn. 5:1, God is in the darkness as we experience it in our lives. He is not ONLY in the light but He is also in the darkness; sometimes He calls us THERE and not into light - for a while. He IS our light in the darkness which, I think, is why we are warned not to light a fire or torch. Our own answers are not THE answer.
So if you are in the darkness now, if the path to follow is suddenly obscured from view for you or those you love, perhaps you are right where God wants you. At the very least, He is where you are. He meets you there. He sits with you there.
"Are you answered?" asked the gods of Orual. "Yes. You yourself are the answer." Orual discovered that the questions and the darkness melt away in the presence of God. She found Light when she finally admitted she could do nothing about the darkness of her soul.
God brings us to the light who is the Light of the world. God gives us Jesus in our darkness.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I re-read my post about being dust and remembered a family story that always makes us laugh.

At another church we used to attend, there was a dear elder who would occassionally lead in worship and prayers. He is expressive in his everyday and prayer language. One morning, he was waxing quite eloquently on the fact that "we are but dust" (Ps. 103:14)....but his emPHAsis was on the wrong word... and we heard....we are butt dust.
Not just once, but several times over the course of the next few months, he said the same thing!! He had obviously been meditating on our totally fallible and frail human nature. We, however, were tense with anticipation and (dare I say it....glee!!) as he mounted the pulpit.
Our final week there, I thanked him for his work on behalf of the church family and expressed my personal gratitude for the hours of study he put into his Sunday School lessons and meetings at church.... and I told him of our dilemma when he would pray! I left him laughing hysterically at himself, delighted and mortified at the same time that such a thing had happened!!
We all felt the same way!! Still do!!

to err is human; to forgive is... nearly impossible

I was reading another blog this morning. It was about how hard it is to apologize. So true. To admit I am wrong is against my human nature. I want to be right. I want others to know I am right!
Then I remembered a study done on forgiveness. I posted this in response to the other blog:
I think forgiving is much harder than apologizing. Forgiving is releasing the offender from the load they carry for the wrong done and taking it on myself. It is caring for the person who offended me. There is almost never a way to make the situation better once an offense has occurred. Only forgiveness does that. And the wounded one bears the load.

That is why the cross is so wonderful. I can't carry the load I just took PLUS the wound the offense gave me. I MUST take it to the cross where I am forced to remember that Jesus took ALL my sins/offenses and died for my freedom from judgment, guilt and shame.
Forgiveness is harder than an apology - but true forgiveness refreshes my perspective on who I am in Christ.
And so, an apology must be made with the awareness of what it is one is really asking the other person to do for you - take your offense for you.

my back is back

Sometimes living daily life is dangerous. Was it the vacuuming that did it? Was it reaching for that weed behind the flowers? Was it struggling with the flax leaf that wouldn't come loose?
What ever it was, a disk slipped and a nerve got pinched and I went down in pain.
We are fragile creatures, taken down by little things.
It is humbling to be human - both words finding their root in the Latin word for earth. And so I am reminded that I am dust - dust that is, nevertheless, headed for heaven. In this earthen vessel lives an eternal indestructable spirit!! Even this dust will be made new and everlasting.
Being down these last 5 days has given me plenty of time to reflect on the curious reality of holding eternity in a temporary,fragile, earthen vessel.