Friday, September 2, 2011

Twitter Grace

Have you become so use to certain words that they have lost their meaning?  I have noticed that I have a real aversion to using some decidedly churchy type words simply because they just don’t seem to carry any weight anymore.  I have become so desensitized to words like salvation, saved, born again, grace, Christians, sin, moral, and many others.  These poor words get thrown around left and right to the point where it gets hard to remember to take them seriously.  I can see why translations like The Message have found a niche in modern times as we struggle to reconnect with ideas that have become lost in a sea of misuse or over-use.  Christians can certainly talk the talk without walking the walk.

How do your daughters define these words?  How do we help them connect to the ideas that these important words represent?

Could you text salvation?
“God luvs u.  OMG[oodness] sinned again.  BTW He paid price 4 u 2 b rite w/Him.”

How do you twitter grace?
“So didn’t deserve it, but Big Guy came through 4 me again.Can’t believe He doesn’t hold it over my head when I sin big.So grateful 4 His luv.”

I am all for reaching out to our daughters in a language they can readily access and understand, but I hope we are still getting the message across.  I had an interesting battle of words with one of my girls yesterday.  I said she was worth the time and effort on my part to get things right; I won more of our “fights” because I worked hard to do right by her.  What she heard was me saying how great I was…hmm, nope, not what I meant.  So I asked her to look at it another way.  She is a treasure of gold to me and I don’t want to tarnish her or bend her into a shape that is not what God intended to be best for her.  She is worth so much that she deserves the best I have to offer.  I had to break her out of her pattern of thinking in order for her to hear what I truly said.

Sometimes I spell out a simple word and think that it couldn’t possibly be correct, but it is (usually).  It is the everyday stuff that we really should know and see that can become blurry and out of focus without us even realizing it.  It pays off big to check in with our daughters on what they understand about all the church-speak that gets thrown around in Sunday school or during the sermon.  Do they really get it?  I’ll be asking my kids this weekend what they think some of these words mean.  I would love to hear what faith-based words you think have lost their meanings.  Do your daughters have the same understanding of these words that you do?  Let me know in the comments section!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Risking the Impossible

I love readingOne Thousand Gifts just to get a taste of the voice and tone that Ann uses.  Here is my own take on themes found in her writing.

            What do I risk?  What do I lay out, palms open and stretched forward?  Risk means love and that I care about the consequences of loss, hurt, and pain.  Risking means giving it up and being vulnerable.  Open and undefended.
            I risk very little.  I tuck a hope in my deepest pocket.  I stash a yearning in the farthest recesses of dusty closet corners.  I hold tight, arms crossed and bound around what I love.  It’s mine.  So I hoard it, never allowing anyone else to touch it.  I’m a petulant child who won’t share her toys. 
            God calls me to give.  He wants me palms out and up, arms thrown wide, face up lit.  He wants joy in my grateful smile of vulnerability.  He wants wild abandoned trust like a child from me.  I only tentatively allow Him a glimpse into my cupped hands before snapping them closed tight to my chest.
            I risk little.  I’ll do it.  “What do I do, Lord?  What do you want me to do, God?”  His simple answer, “Let it go.  Risk losing,” is ignored while I continue to plea for something I can do to make it better.  Make it all go away.
            I refuse the cool evening breeze for fear of mosquitoes buzzing and feeding.  Though his blood was shed for me.
            I look away from young sweet faces framed after my own and focus instead on a lifeless world of intangible.  Yet he gave up being God to become on of these for me.
            What do I risk compared to God?

            Release.  Let it go.  Surrender it.  Risk it all.  He can handle the responsibility so much better than I can.  Perhaps, like Satan I am jealous of God’s ability to do all things perfectly.  Well, perfectly for Him.   But I want it to revolve around me.  Perfect becomes relative, fluid, and flowing.  I know what’s best for me.  I know my own mind, don’t I?
            But I only know the present.  The past becomes cloudy and the future is a thick fog.  I only know my place, right here where I am standing with my hand on my hips and my hips cocked to one side.  I only see what’s in front of me, through my glass frames in the spectrum of visible light.  And it goes on. My hearing, touch, smell: all of it fragmented and weak in comparison.
            My idea of best is easy and sunny and warm and joyful, and, and.  My idea of best is limited.  I am confined by “possible.”  Limited by human fault and discord.  If only I could remember that I risk so much more by holding on to my life.  Who am I and what am I capable of that I would risk not giving it all to Him who loves me more than I love myself?
            Why do I drown out His loving offers with a steady, “mine, mine, mine”?  I can claim my fragile human faults or I can embrace them.  One makes excuses then keeps on doing what I was doing before.  The other, embracing…oh, that means dropping everything I have clung to and harbored.  I have to let it all fall in order to open my arms wide and instead hold tightly to my Savior.