Walking Away

KUshadingeyes2

photo courtesy of Justice For All

Sometimes when I’m surrounded by hundreds of college students at a JFA outreach, it’s too easy to abandon a conversation in search of a “better” one. Take my conversation with Charlie for example. As Charlie walked by the poll table, I invited him to consider our question…

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Once upon a time the hero was you

Am I the only one who saw myself in every protagonist?
Who wondered how I could feel such solidarity with a fictional character?
She might be a princess, an orphan, or a little girl on the prairie.
What does an average 20th-century girl have in common with these?
Plenty.
And in coming to know them I came to know myself.

When was the last time you read a story
and let yourself be in that story?

Why not allow yourself to be the hero
of a story again?

Maybe in experiencing another story
you’ll come to better understand your own.

love’s casket

love?
I shuddered when he said the word
I used to know love
back when I knew pain

I tried love then
and love served me well
for a time
until I let love carry me away

then love
right when I felt highest
let me fall
and I broke

love stayed with me
claiming to nurse my wounds
rubbing on ointments
that felt like salt

I pushed love away
and without my feeding love
or encouraging love
love died

I laid love to rest
buried love
in a casket
under the ground

“so you see”
I told him
“I no longer know love
love is dead to me”

dead to you is different from simply dead
he said
“perhaps love is only waiting
to be awakened”

could it be
that love had been buried alive
and that it might
still live?

I was afraid
who wants to dig up a casket
in hopes of finding a living soul
only to discover a corpse?

he left me alone
he couldn’t dig it up for me
this was my task
my choice

I sat at the graveside
as I watched the sun set
and before leaving
peeled back some of the turf near the headstone

the next morning I returned
with a shovel
and began to dig
trying not to wonder what I would uncover

as the sun rose
my sweat and tears
turned me into a muddy mess
I stopped digging at noon

my shovel scraped wood
and my whole being throbbed
I could not go on
so I sat and stared at love’s casket

until it began to rain
and the water from above
rinsed me clean
of all the grime of the work

I watched it pool on the exposed wood
mesmerized by the concentric ripples
running into each other
and off the edge

the water finished the job
I had begun
and love’s casket
lay fully exposed

I took it up
still afraid to open it alone
and took it to him
a gift

a sad gift
perhaps nothing
but a moldy box
full of rotted memories

I couldn’t watch
as he pried open the lid
but as it gave way
I couldn’t take my eyes off him

and when his love met mine
my love began to revive
like mouth to mouth CPR
simultaneously intimate and dangerous

it hurt
but after knowing
the paralysis of self-protection
I found that the pain of living is unparalleled

is God good?

photo credit: Moriah

Do you believe that God is good?

Do you really believe that God is really good?

Do you live like you believe that God is good?

 

What does it mean that God is good?

Does it mean that all that He allows is good?
Or only what He gives directly?
And how does a mere mortal distinguish between the two?

Does it mean that His children will never know sorrow or suffering?
Or that they will only know sorrow and suffering if they need it as punishment?

No?
Then what?

If God is good…then what is good?
Is not God?

Perhaps in order to know good, one must know God.

God is not found by looking at His world.
But once He is found He is clearly seen in His world.
Even then, one must be careful to always return to the Source.
All good – every good and perfect gift – comes from above.
From God Himself.

So then, what does it mean to live like you believe that God is good?

It means searching to find Him everywhere.
The incessant hunger to know Him.
The constant running after Him.
And then, to allow the finding and knowing and loving to flow out.

One who has been justified by faith
and made righteous through the one man, Messiah Yeshua,
walks and lives in righteousness.
And God does not withhold one good thing from those who walk righteously.

Can you truly believe, then, that God will not keep any good thing from you?

And if God is good, then He will not hide Himself from you?

Can a Crowd Have a Conversation?

photo courtesy of Justice For All

Navigating a one-on-one conversation about a controversial subject can be difficult. Now add nine more people with varying opinions. Is it possible for the conversation to remain productive, or at least civil? At our University of Arizona outreach in February 2015, I watched a one-on-one conversation transform into a conversation with a crowd that lasted three hours….

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