Today’s Reading: Exodus 38:21-40:38
Thank You for the opened eyes through fear. For understanding that no matter what Satan does to harm, no matter what we foolishly do, we are playing directly into Your Almighty hands. LORD, I thank You for Your plans, that they are not plans for harm and that Your ways, Your methods of achieving Your Almighty plans simply are not our simple ways. Papa, Your perfect love is what casts out fear, so will You please shine Your love on this tortured world so filled with fear? Oh Lord, we need You down here! We need open eyes to Your grace and closed eyes to this fear-filled place.
How long Lord? How long has it been since I’ve written directly to You? I’m sorry it’s been so long – I’m sure You’ve missed me. And I apologize that it took terror in the night to achieve a letter like this.
And Oh the terror, the demonic sounding dog roaming the deserted streets in late night air and filling it with its tortured snarls and indiscernible barks. To a sleepless mother with heightened senses something within her shakes, something breaks. Tortured souls surround us all – yet we remain unbroken, unshaken, eyes closed. Always closed. Closed eyes, closed ears, closed minds, closed hearts, closed fists, wide open mouths. Who is wrong, pointing fingers – pain. Everywhere pain.
Lord, for months now I’ve prayed this Morning Prayer You gave me to pray, every morning. I’ve lived with myself laid wide open and bare for all to see, for You to fill. And You HAVE! Oh how You have opened my eyes to see Your marvelous light, Your abundant life through that lighted tunnel, and I took that tunnel, I dug that tunnel, scratched my way bit by bit to the surface from underground darkness. I was on that mountaintop with You, above the clouds of light, above the fear of night, above the darkness and death and all the closed. Lord, I wanted to build a shelter there to dwell there with You in Your glory-filled light, why can’t we live on the mountain top Papa? Why can’t we stay there basked in Your transfiguration? Why do we have to come back down into the closed, into the death into the torture? If you led me to scratch my way to this mountaintop surface can’t You lead them out on their own too? I left a bread crumb trail of how I got here, can’t they just follow that? Why do I have to go back? I don’t want to go back…
I know, I know that I sound like a persistent child asking why? But isn’t that what I am? Your child. And I know that they say real faith doesn’t ask why it simply trusts, or at least that’s what I’ve heard. But isn’t it possible to trust AND still ask why? Inquisitive minds want to know. Why Lord?
Why does someone always have to be right? Superior to others, pushing them down in the process of proving their right-ness… their good-ness and the other person’s evil-ness, their sin. Why do we all seem to be on a constant sin hunt rather than a goodness hunt? We have our eyes wide open to sin but shut tight to Grace, to Love, to Light, to Goodness. We relish in focusing on the one negative and lose sight of all the positives.
Why do I bemoan the sleepless night when I could rejoice in the golden opportunity of sweet solitude of uninterrupted conversation with You? Why do I fear the terror of the valley of darkness when I should be fearing no evil? Yet how can I not be afraid with ears now wide open? Ears that have heard and know her shepherd’s voice, they can discern… they weep.
Lord, living wide open hurts. To see You is glorious – don’t get me wrong – but to know You, and Your true light has placed into stark contrast the darkness of the false light I once lived in. The room I made my home and called the house of light was never the light I thought it was. It was the pit, it was captivity, and it was sin. That place I have tunneled from, it was all I knew it was all I had; my eyes were closed to the stone coldness of my heart in my sin -hunt to prove my own right-ness, my own righteousness. I was hell-bent on being right and never being proven, or even thought to be wrong. Yet the harder I tried to be right, to think right, to live right and do right the more I was doing wrong.
Lord, that’s the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil isn’t it; right-ness and wrong-ness and constantly feeling like we have to prove ourselves. Prove ourselves right or prove ourselves wrong and come hell or high water we will do it too! We will go to any lengths in order to prove that we are good and others are evil. But we are ALL made in Your good image aren’t we? Don’t we all have Your sweet breath filling our lungs, Your able hands knitting us together in our mother’s wombs? Yet all we seek to find in one another is the darkness. What about the goodness?
Lord, I am that tortured soul wandering through the town crying out in the darkness! Papa my soul cries out “Why can’t we all just be nice? My soul pleads “Lord why?!?! Why darkness? Why pain? Why death? Why? Why? Why?” And the only answer I get is simply “Because.” Like a Father tired of listening to complaints all day, “Because I said so.”
Lord, I will take the good with the evil. I will take the pleasure with the pain. I will take the sweet with the bitter and I will say “Thank You” for it all. I don’t have to understand it all, other than to understand that I can’t understand it at all. But I will choose to trust in You, I will trust in Your grand scheme of things and I will roll with these punches, I will feed on them and allow them to strengthen me. I will trust that they are not harming me but rather helping me. That they are not hindering me but propelling me to the necessary place I need to be.
Lord, I choose to rejoice in this pit of darkness where I dwell once again. Not because it is dark, but because You are my light; because although I may sit in darkness the LORD will be my Light. Lord, I will choose the goodness hunt; I will hunt and collect Your moments of grace. All of them. Not just the pleasant ones, but the bitter ones as well. I will count the scars with the blessings and I will choose to remember Your deliverance. Just like the Israelites experienced the first of the plagues before You delivered them from their plague of slavery I will rejoice in Your deliverance during the plagues. Lord, I will rejoice in a home-sick heart that longs to be in its heavenly home because I know that the homesickness will make the homecoming just that much sweeter. Papa, I miss You. Like a camper who wants to come home saying send food, send money, I miss You.
(There, now perhaps my tortured soul can rest!)