in which i discover the dirty definition of ministry

I was so excited about today that I kept waking up, afraid I would miss my alarm. I get to be with horses on a ranch with cool people & cowboys and barns! And then we arrived at a perfect slum of a farm with broken down buildings, shaggy horses with their bones sticking out, and wet dogs everywhere. There was red mud all over and no cool people in sight… no picturesque barns, no sprawling ranch house. Just mud and animals. I stood in my expensive sneakers and clean jeans, wanting to prove myself – and I did, being the farm girl that I am. I carried hay and stacked wood with the best of them, and was not afraid of the dogs or the beetles or the ants; all the while thinking that I had expected to be ministered to, really, with a picnic lunch maybe, and pretty barns and groomed horses. Instead I find a place that really needs me and what I have to give. I find that ministry is all about giving, as Christ gave, coming down to do the dirty work that no one else wanted to do. Even though I keep telling myself I’m crazy, I will go back to the sweat and the dirt… if only because they won’t ask for my help, but they really need it. here, I can serve as He served.

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soulmate: a heart won

when I have found him whom my heart loves,

he will first love me with his eyes, deeply

and tenderly finding my soul hidden there.

and when my eyes answer to his and his to mine,

then coming to me, my beloved, coming at last to me

will be the haven to my storm, the candle to my flame

and the love to my longing. my beloved, my own.

 

love & the Great Commission… vs. me

Yesterday God gave me one of those revealing, uncomfortable experiences of showing me who I really am. He sent it by my accountability partner: “How do you think God wants you to fulfill your part of the Great Commission?” I wasn’t sure exactly, but knew I hadn’t been doing it.

And in the tossing that followed in my bunk in the dorm, God showed me that my entire life had been a quest for solitude and entertainment. Selfishness vs. love… comfort vs. the Great Commission … and always I end up on the wrong side. Is this how I give service to my Master? I have been trampling underfoot one of His two great commandments.

Where do I go from here? I know that I can’t wait until I magically start loving people. This love is not an emotion, but a choice to love as God loved when He let His hands and feet be driven through with spikes. It’s radical and sacrificial and comes from a heart fully surrendered to God… dear God, only You can do this in me.

“untouchable” – a poem

every day they spit at me, a sinner and a whore

they hold their robes aside and shrink from me,

the untouchable, with unspoken curses and disgust

yet, I know their whitewashed secrets, and I laugh

to see their haughty shame, avoiding my calls

pretending with urgency that they are clean.

today  I met a man who met my eyes clearly

no haunted lust, just purest knowing of me

and I, the untouchable,  met  true love.

news in town said He was with those  rabbis

the ones that hate women such as me.

never have I entered there, for I am untouchable

but I took my only wealth and poured it on Him

He, the first worthy man in my lonely life

I sobbed as He gazed, loving my untouchable touch

wisdom from Hosea

“Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.  Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

-Hosea 6:1-3

to be a mother…

Here I have been sitting, wondering how to do this project describing my plans for a future career & how I will achieve it. If I write about my career as a professional illustrator, I would have to say that I want to work for a publisher and churn out pictures 24/7- say that I would be happy with a salary of no less than $40,000 a year, and I can envision myself as some such-and-such in the world of artists and illustrators. And in the truth of this moment, this one thing becomes clear. This career assignment would be easy if I were writing about what I really want to be… a mother.

Here I am training in a prestigious art program, spending my days with all that concerns art. Telling my teachers that I want to be an illustrator – waiting for praise from them like a dog for a bone, and trying to hide the burden building on my heart of not wanting this,  knowing it will be expensive and it will take so many years, and so much effort. And all I want to be is a mother. To have my own home and make my own bread and paint the walls and love my kids… to know that after work, my man would come in the door and I would have the honor of serving him & loving him as long as we both live.

Until the man walks into my life, I will be an artist. I will hide my true calling and masquerade behind my brushes & canvas. And when he comes, my life will begin.

for when my conviction gets shaky

Sometimes when I feel myself slipping back to the place of heaviness, of obligation and of earth, I need to go somewhere quiet and remember. I need to remember that I am not held by anyone else’s preferences, expectations, or convictions; I find my code of living in God’s Word alone. And also, I am not a permanent resident of earth… God and I have big plans for real life, after I die. I can live free and in the overwhelming love of God. I will not be held back by things that I can feel, taste, and touch! I need to find the truth again that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.