Not Looking for Wonderful

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I’m stirred up.

Maybe it’s the caffeine this morning.  Maybe it’s the extra summer-time that I have to ponder my navel.  Maybe it’s the move to a place where I see different pass by my front window at least hourly.  Maybe it’s a week at the beach with 37 people who share my DNA – that’ll create introspection, I tell you.

But maybe it’s the Holy Spirit.

My gospel prayer continues.  Lord, show me what is True.  Show me what is Kingdom-Real.  Who is this man Jesus, and what did He mean when He said, “Follow Me”?  What did He mean when He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”?  What did He mean when He said to duty-driven Martha in the face of her brother’s death, “I am the resurrection”?

Break my understanding of Your gospel – Your good news – wide open so that my American, 21st century, educated, sanitized, power-gridded, GPS self bows before what is True. Only.

Over and over He says, “Believe.”

Over and over I try to understand.

Looks like those things are different.  Understanding depends on me; belief bets the house on Him.

This morning as I stare out my kitchen window and appreciate quiet rain and the gift of two teenagers still asleep, I think about the revival-prayer I just read on Beth Moore’s blog, Rain Down Revival.  I think about how it reflects my heart’s prayer and about how I want it to be my for-the-world prayer.

Then I begin to feel self-important.  Sneakily.

Surely, even if I wait until the waters of revival are stirring, and even if I take time to get a sense of the rhythm of it before I dive in…surely He will not be able to do this without Me.  I’m a big deal, right? Surely He will hold my part on the stage until I get my costume arranged just right.  Surely my resume is key to His work. Surely He needs my “wonderful” for His work.  Sneaky self-importance.

I hear Him whisper as I wipe down the coffee pot.

Not wonderful. 

Surrender.”

Surrender is the place of Holy Spirit flourishing. Wonderful is a giant distraction.

God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.

When He and Martha talked, He knew her brother was lying in a sepulcher.  He altered that reality, yes. He brought Lazarus back.  But I wonder if He was also gently prying loose her self-important dependence on her resume of deeds?  I wonder if He was teaching her in a most spectacular and poignant way that resurrection follows death. Real life occurs when soul-surrender throws its full weight on the reality of the Holy Other rather than on the mirage of the personal wonderful.  I wonder if He was gently saying to her, too, “Not wonderful.  Surrender.”

Thy will be done.

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About Love the Stranger

Life takes strange turns. I think that's how God keeps us alert to Him. This blog is about the twists and turns that have taken us to the stranger, in particular. We're on a path to move to Clarkston, GA - a community heavily populated with refugees. We love them - these strangers - and know God loves them, too. We're excited. But, this blog is also about other strange things - like living a blended family life and being being a middle aged suburban mom. "You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt." Exodus 23:9 (NASB)

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