a key of tears

You have taken account of my wanderings
Put my tears in Your bottle
Are they not in Your book?

~ Psalm 56:8

An emotional day following an emotional day. Eyes filled to the brim with tears of longing and loneliness. Cries caught in the throat as mourning is bitten back.

She misses home.

She misses her friends, her mother, her old job (believe it or not), her old haunts. She misses them all. The sunshine, the laughter, the ocean breeze, the smell of the sand and the waves, the coldness of the rink. She longs to be near them.

Conversations are beautiful. Catching up with old friends, a gift. Keys to the door she locked tightly shut when she left. As the door flings open wide, emotions flood her senses and overwhelm her thoughts. How has she stayed up here so long without breaking down? Now that she has broken, what will happen?

How long has it been since she’s felt? How long has it been since she closed off her heart? How long will it take to swing the door wide open again?

Heart overflowing with emotions. It tells her it’s alive. It tells her she’s alive. It cries out in joy that it is heard, that it is no longer neglected.

Heart of flesh. This is what she wants. This is what He wants for her. Her heart of unforgiving stone broken to reveal a heart of tender flesh. A heart that is whole. A heart that can love from even its most battered depths.

Oh, God, a heart of flesh is so vulnerable.

But it feels.

And it’s alive.

The tears shed today will be collected in His bottle, recorded in His book. They mark the day a heart hardened by defense was broken with love.

It’s a new day.

Father’s Day Thoughts

The build-up of Father’s Day from all around her. The hype of June 20th coming and now going. The number of cards purchased in the last few hours. All this reminds her that she cannot join in the festivities.

All around her, others talk about trivial requests from their fathers for this day. They talk of ways their fathers have loved them, and the ways they wished their fathers would have loved them. That he obviously didn’t read the Five Love Languages (=P).

How much would I give to be in those shoes? The shoes that belong to the fathered. The shoes that belong to those who can say their father loves them.

How much would she give?

To be able to picture as a little girl a knight in shining armor with the face of her daddy coming to save her from distress. To be able to ride on her dad’s shoulders as they walked around Disneyland together. To be encouraged every time she fell down from learning to ride her bike as a kid. To have little disagreements about the boys she likes and watch as he scares the pants off whoever comes to the door to take her to In-N-Out and a movie.

But these things she can never have. In the years under her belt, the one gift she wishes for from him is that he wouldn’t have given up. He wouldn’t have left. 

But he did. 

He left. And he never looked back.

Still.

Though she may not be able to express love to a father she barely knew, she can be thankful for the physical life he’s given her that, in truth, came from the creativity of a Father who would never leave her heart lonely.

“When ‘important’ individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go, so that only one thing is left for us to do – to look into the face of God for ourselves.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

In the end, it is for His glory. He calls her His. In every sense of the word. She belongs to Him. She is His daughter, His princess. He gives her the love she’s always wanted from a father and gives it freely and abundantly everyday.

Yet she doesn’t know how to receive it.

Love from a father. What is it like? How does one go about receiving it? How does one go about giving back?

Just when she thought she had her journey figured out. He’s full of surprises. 

She has not been willing to let Him love her as wholly His. Loving in friendship, she understands. Loving as her Father, she has yet to fully grasp. Loving in marriage… that’s a whole new issue.

There is so much to learn about her Papa. And if she doesn’t give her whole heart into seeking Him, she will not receive anything from it. Her whole broken and dusty heart that only wishes to never stray but always does. Her whole broken and battered heart that has difficulty finding solace in His love. Her whole broken and selfish heart who keeps searching elsewhere for everything He’s already offered her.

Father’s Day 2010. I commit to learning about God as Father. My Father. There’s two more hours left. Plenty of time to start the journey.

It is not a fatherless Father’s Day. There will never be a fatherless Father’s Day so long as she remains in Him.

The Butterfly Circus

The Butterfly Circus – HD from The Butterfly Circus on Vimeo.

I was re-watching this short the other day, and it always tends to make me cry.

“A perversion of nature. A man, if you could even call him that, whom God himself has turned His back upon.”

He hears this over and over everyday. Constantly. And then braces himself for the laughing, the shock, the pity, and all the difficulties that come with people. When this is the only truth you’ve ever known, it’s easy to believe it.

The names the world has given us, the names that we have given ourselves, the names that the enemy has used in his lies… why do we believe them? Why do we give them control over our lives? When we allow the world to name us, we take all of the world’s junk and rub it all over ourselves to the point where we are nothing more than dirty, smelly, putrid things. Our identity is lost, and we ourselves cannot find it.

But God has a name for us.

Child.

He calls us His child. His son. His daughter. This is our identity.

Somehow, it is easier to believe the lies, no matter how horrendous they are, than it is to believe the truth even though it is so extraordinary. Maybe because it is so extraordinary.

We hear it all. Over and over. Everyday. The world calls us useless and broken. God calls us His.

Which one will we believe?

see, believe, obey

Story #1

A flood was threatening the lives of a city. Everyone began evacuating before the flood was to hit completely. A man sat at his house and thought, “God will save me from this flood.” A car drove by and had an extra seat. “Do you want to get in?” those riding in it asked. “No, it’s fine, God will save me.” So the car drove off. A few hours later, the flood was really settling in, and the man felt a little nervous but reassured himself that if he kept praying, God will save him. A man came by on a rowboat and called to him. “Do you want to get on?” he asked. “No, it’s fine. God will save me,” answered the man. So the boat rowed off and left the man on his roof. A while later, the flood had overtaken most of the town. A helicopter flew toward the man’s house. “Do you want to get in?” the pilot asked. “No, it’s fine. God will save me,” the man answered. So the helicopter flew off to find others who were trapped in the flood.

A few hours after that, the man drowned in the flood.

When he met God face-to-face, he asked, “why didn’t You save me from the flood?”

God answered, “I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter, but you refused all three.”

Story #2

A man was mountain climbing when a severe snow storm hit. He hung to his rope and tried to shimmy down, but in complete darkness and against the biting cold, he soon lost his confidence and strength to continue onward.

Not knowing what else to do, he began to pray to God and voiced his fear and asked for help.

“Let go,” he heard.

He continued to hold on because of his fear. It was the middle of the night in a bad storm, and he could not see farther than a foot in front of him.

“Let go,” he heard again.

He tried to muster his strength but could not, and instead continued to hang mercilessly on his tether.

In the morning, a rescue crew found him dead and still hanging onto his rope. He was two feet from the ground.

~*~*~*~*~*~

what do you gather from them?

food for thought.