Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's Everywhere: Love

Love. It's all around me. People are talking about it, falling into it, stepping on it, and talking about it like it's the latest phenomenon since... Twitter.

Before you think that I am some sort of bitter, cynical, recently burned young professional who graduated without an engagement ring (an uncommon occurrence at my Alma Mater), I'm not. I'm just saying it seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life right now. And I'm OK with that.

I love "love" actually. I'm a HUGE fan. I'm fairly confident that if you met me in person and we could sit down and catch up over a cup of coffee, you would come to the conclusion that I was the biggest, sappiest most hopeless romantic you had ever met. And I would take it as a compliment.

So the fact that the subject of love has been somewhat saturating and all encompassing doesn't bother me in the slightest. It actually inspires all sorts of new thoughts, ideas, dreams, and truths that bring an extraordinary amount of joy and freedom.

Here's an example: I saw a romantic comedy this evening and, for all intents and purposes, it was the same as every other romantic comedy. I think most men would agree with me when I say that they are all the same: predictable, really cheesy, and completely unrealistic.

Whatever. I still like them.

In this particular movie, the main characters were in no way, shape, or form attracted to one another in the beginning. They loathed each other as a matter of fact. Long story short, the more time they spent together and began to see the root of why personality quirks and character flaws were what they were, an intense understanding, empathy and bonding formed. And of course, they fell in love and when unavoidable circumstances took the girl away from they guy, he did everything to find her, declare his love and sweep her off her feet.

Same song, second verse.

For whatever reason though, I discovered something new about myself that I was surprised by. I think that, in the middle of watching this ridiculous film, I came up with something I want to be able to say about/to the man that I marry... someday.

"I would rather be driven crazy because of you then be sane without you."

Ok, now for a bigger revelation that I feel like the Lord opened the eyes of my heart to see recently.

I'm willing to bet the most famous love story would be that of Romeo and Juliet. Written and rewritten countless times and in countless variations throughout generations. It is the one story that seems to be the foundation for most movie and novel plots if you really think about it. If ever there are two characters in love, there always seems to be an outside force trying to keep them apart.

Give it up to William Shakespear for leaving his mark on world literature. Romeo and Juliet is unparalleled. Love has never been made to feel more real or more jaded. What woman, or person for that matter, can read it and not be able to identify with a character? Who has never been at odds with their family? Who has never yearned and longed for such an unbridled, pure and passionate love? Call me crazy, but is there not something in every heart, every soul, that knows that there is a love, a relationship, and a communion with another soul that they were meant to partake in? Is there not something about the selfless and reckless abandon to love someone more than yourself that is so innately intoxicating it can not be stifled, despite our efforts?

I dare say there is.

In a moment of daydreaming, it dawned on me: I'm Juliet.

And my Romeo is God Himself.

From a different family; another world that collided with mine when he abdicated His throne for me. Ignoring the questions and silencing the lies, he has pursued me. He has sought me out among the scoffers, the pious religious elect, and those who's bloodlines would be far more worthy and right for such a calling; for such a union.

He saw me and loved me in that moment; at first sight. His untamed love and fervent pursuit of me has filled in me something I did not know was empty, thus creating a longing and desire only for that which He offers. Nothing else is needed nor is anything else desired. What He has freely and graciously showed me and bestowed upon me is unlike anything I have seen, felt, heard, or experienced in my years here; in a broken and despairing world where love has no standard of measure. It is simply an accessory.

But where there is such romance, there is war. War for my time, attention, affection, and life. The Enemy is at odds against me. He is jealous over me not because he loves me, but because he hates Romeo. And what Romeo seeks to save, the Enemy would seek to destroy.

I am unable to save myself. I am not strong enough or equipped to fend off the onslaught of lies that would tell me all the reasons that Romeo and I can not be. I have a hard time believing it myself some days. So the constant reminders of my downfalls, shortcomings, and lack of breeding takes it toll and I grow tired of trying to fight back.

It's really not even my battle.

But Romeo: the embodiment of strength, truth, love, and salvation, layed down his life in order to ransom mine. What I could not do, He did... for love. For a burning love of me.

And where the story would end in our realm, continues in His. Defeating death, conquering the grave, and overcoming those things that would keep me from him, I have now run away with him.

I escaped the lies; I was rescued from death. I was delivered from a loveless life.

I was saved.

And now, that love which first so captivated me and drew me in has flooded me completely and is teaching me, allowing me, to love the same way; to be fully alive. I never knew I wasn't living, I didn't know I had not experienced love and life until Him. Until Romeo redeemed me from the dark.

What your professors will never tell you is that Shakespear was the first to plagiarize.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This is an incredible fist hand account of the life that poverty dictates.
Read it.
Help us stop it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Writer's Block

I've had "writer's block" lately. Well obviously; I haven't written anything in a month. It seems to come in waves. I have a month of seeming intense inspiration and realization and then a month (or more) of what would seem to be no thought at all.

Ok, slight exageration.

I have thoughts. A lot actually. Lately, they just seem short and obscure, or sometimes so simple that to admit that I have only now just come to understand them would be embarrassing. And yet, not getting them "out"or processing them outside of my own head drives me crazy. So instead of writing, I have been talking to almost anyone who will listen to everything that I am thinking about. And I am exhausted.

And this week I realized why.

For starters, the most obvious reason for my exhaustion and resulting "writer's block" is that I have simply over-talked, over-thought, and over-analyzed every situation, circumstance, conversation, glance, and all other forms of verbal or physical communication. And I'm really good at it. I can break down just about anything. I disect nearly everything, trying to find the root, the purpose, the metaphor, the allusion, the meaning, the spiritual context of any encounter with a friend or a stragner, a thought that popped up out of nowhere, or emotional reaction that is uncharacteristic.

To be in a constant state of analysis and observation, from the inside out is neither productive, beneficial, or I dare say healthy. I don't think I am a mental case, though some may argue, but I do think that I need to learn to let go, relax, and just "roll with it." Why that is so against my natural state is beyond me because my parents and my brother are all this way. They are all strangers to worry, stress, or over exageration of thought, so it seems not to be genetic... it's just me. Thus, I am often a source of comic relief to them. We all have our roles I guess.

This week brought some much needed enlightenment though. During my quiet time one morning, I read out of Streams in the Desert, a personal favorite.

I implore you not to give into despair. I tis a dangerous temptation,
because our Advesary has refined it to the point that it is quite subtle.
Hopelessness constricts and withers the heart, rendering it unable to sense
God's blessings and grace. It also causes you to exagerate the adversitites of
life and make your burdens seem to heavy for you to bear.
Yet God's plans for
you, and His ways of bringing about His plans, are infinitely

The italized part is what hit home for me. The more I talked about life in general, everydays happenings, questions, etc. the bigger they became, the more insurmountable they appeared to be, and the more out of control my life felt. And, to a certain degree, I did begin to despair. Because in my mind I felt like a failure. I couldn't answer every question. I expecially could not answer every question with a really deep and spiritually proufound Christian answer. I simply shrugged my shoulders. Then, suprisingly, my despair turned into a desperation for direction, truth, and wisdom that would pull me out of this apparent slump, this foreign land of "Uhh, I don't know."

"When will I have it all figured out? How much longer until I know everything so that I won't have to worry about not knowing anyting?"

To be desperate for the Lord is good, yes. But my desperation wasn't one of healthy hunger. It was a desperate plea for salvation and deliverance from what I have now discovered is simply the faith journey. And what I couldn't see then was and is the beauty of the mystery of a really really big God. The instrinsic and almost romantic way that the Lord keeps things hidden, covered, and tanalizing so that we continue after Him, yearn for Him, and wait on Him to do what He does best: be God. Be sovereign, be perfect, and most importantly be endlessly overflowing with grace and patience.

I called my dad in the midst of my inner turmoil. To know my dad is to know more about the Lord; to hear wisdom and to see sanctification. I always call him on matters of the spirit. His response didn't take effect until a few days later when I sat still long enough to ponder it as opposed to continuing the spiritual running/striving that had been wearing me out. He, in a simple yet eloquent way, reminded me that God is infinitely patient and infinitely merciful. There is nothing that we can do to earn His love or be granted His forgiveness. It just is. It is lavished upon us and to not accept it ( the way I discovered I wasn't) opens wide the door for the enemy and his firey arrows. To essentially say "Hey God, thanks for the offer, but it's just too easy, I'm gonna go ahead and decline and then try to make up for it on my own," is well... real stupid.

Needless to say, I am paying more attention to resting; sitting still and letting Him do what He wants. Because here's the thing: He only wants what is best for us and what is best for us is what will bring glory and honor to Him. It is all about Him, always. What we do, who we are, where we go is always and only about and for the praise and worship of Christ. That is what is best for us because it is for that very thing for which we were created.

What I am finding is it will be a natural outflow of myself, my mind, my spirit, my thoughts, my desires, and my heart if I will simply stop trying to make it happen. In my attempt to produce in my own strenght, I actually negate it. Ooops.

So hands off, Mere. The course has already been set. Open wide your eyes, let go of the reigns and enjoy the ride.