Friday, September 23, 2011

Worship: A Reflection

"The beauty of the King, clothed in majesty." -How Great is Our God

Have you ever experienced a worship time that was so beautiful it made you cry?

At the end, you felt undone by the Holy Spirit. And you were ready to go out and serve.

It wasn't because of a formula or a ritual. It was because of what God did, in and through His people when they were together.

We came (ran?) back week after week to get another glimpse of the beauty in the brokenness. His beauty. Our brokenness. Given to Him.

Through the Word. The prayers. The Table. The Peace. The sending.

We were changed.

"I had glimpsed Jesus and there really was no going back." - Kristin Ritzau, A Beautiful Mess

(posting taken from my art journal, 9/11/11)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Too Loud to Listen

Last week I pitched a fit at God. A temper tantrum so loud, it would put my young daughters to shame.

It wasn’t pretty.

If I’m really being honest, the fit started the day before we moved from my beloved homestate of Colorado to a new dwelling place in Kansas. It wasn’t over the move per se. More like certain details related to it. Namely, the empty home sitting back on Quiet Circle.

Given that God worked out so many other aspects of our move, I figured this one would be taken care of no problem. We were anxious about leaving the house behind and all the many things that could go wrong with it. Because I was so sure we’d have a renter lined up, the day before the move came, and I was frantically calling someone to come mow and water for us the following week.

To make matters worse, the cleaning company we hired missed a bunch of places in our home, didn’t actually clean the carpets, and then broke some things too. They refuse to give us a penny in refunds so now we are footing the bill to pay for a second carpet clean. I should say an actual carpet clean. Lousy, lying crooks.

Do I sound whiny? Now you know how the fit started.

So, the house is empty still. And I’m exhausted. I’m tired of being on the phone. I’m tired of getting my hopes up when we have a showing. Why isn’t He doing anything to fix it?

I don’t know.

I don’t know why He allowed our cleaners to take us to the cleaners. I don’t know why I lost two babies last year. I don’t know why He does what He does or why He doesn’t prevent what I want Him to.

I told a couple of friends last week that God and I weren’t on speaking terms right now. I was screaming for answers. He wasn’t giving me any.

As with any good temper tantrum, one must calm down eventually. (Yelling, kicking, and pounding your fists day after day is exhausting after all.) And so I did. At church on Sunday. From music to prayers to Eucharist, God took me on a journey that reminded me of His peace.

It is peace in the midst of trouble. (Didn’t He say there would be some of that as a follower?) Peace that is mine because He’s got a view beyond what I can fathom. It is rest in His grace and His plan. It is surrender.

Surrender hurts. Surrender means giving up control. It means trusting in something I can’t see. This is kindergarten stuff, guys. Actually, I remember teaching that concept to a group of 3-5 year olds one summer. But I forget when it comes to big things like leaving a home behind. I never had to do this kind of thing before.

In the midst of surrender, guess what happened. God and I are speaking again. It’s probably because I stopped screaming long enough to hear His voice again. It is strong but gentle. Loving when I am nothing but loud.