This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Dischord. Distress. Distraught.

I should stay off of the Internet.

Much of what I read causes my stomach to turn and on more times than not, just the headlines are enough.

I feel like crying today.  Weeping, really.

If what is happening in the world isn't quite enough, reading all of the crap floating around the world wide web of Christendom isn't any help. 

It's funny, I can read about things that occur outside of the context of being "Christian" and though I might find it sickening or heartbreaking or unfathomable, I understand that mankind is capable of depravity and remind myself "But for the Grace of God go I."

As much as that is bothersome to me, I know that there still remains hope in every situation that lacks Jesus.  Jesus is that hope.  As proved time and again, with Christ there is hope for forgiveness, transformation, grace, peace, wholeness, love... 


"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other."

That is where I am paralyzed with fear.  In the community that should be so full of love and compassion and grace for one another, we are ravenous.  We are piranhas.

We travel in packs and feed in frenzies.

We feed on the brokenhearted.  We feed on the famous.  We feed on the lost.  We feed on the confused.  We feed on the gentle.  We feed on anyone who we perceive as different.  We feed on anyone who we perceive as "wrong".

In that frenzy, it seems, we gain momentum as others join our ranks.  Our hearts pump with life giving blood, all the more fervently, as we drain the life out of others.  Our skin tingles as our teeth sink deeper and deeper, tearing away at each other. 

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

There are traumatic events in our lives that can be repaired on this earth and made whole in eternity.  Events that we elevate as being eternal, which are not. 

Likewise, there are choices we make that have eternal consequences, which we demean as not carrying much weight, outbursts that we justify by being "right", stripes we place on Jesus' back in our righteousness.  Choices we determine that are necessary, in our pride.

"By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]." 

I am grieved. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Glory of Making Mistakes

I make lots of mistakes on a regular basis.  It does not feel glorious.

I do not enjoy making mistakes, in fact, I tend toward nurturing my mistakes into little pets that I let out whenever I want to feel bad about myself. 

I'm not sure why I like to remind myself that:

I'm a bad Wife
I'm a bad Mom
I'm a bad Friend
I'm a bad Daughter
I'm a bad Employee
I'm a bad Human Being

But I do.  Even in moments where I imagine I'm not mucking things up too badly, I rain on my own parade.  I mean, who throws themselves parades anyway.  Am I right?

I know, I know.  There is no humility in this type of thought process and it also undermines God's purpose in my life.  Hey, if the only victory I achieve is found in self-defeat, I'll take what I can get.  (That was a joke, sort of.)

This mindset goes against the "You are good enough.  You are smart enough and dogonnit, people like you." mentality of this world.  But have you noticed that they stop giving out participation awards in grade school? 

So here I am, surrounded by decades of mistakes staring at me with their puppy-dog eyes, begging to be let out of their cages.  They just want to play a quick game of Walking Dead.  It'll be fun.

It can feel like I'm being mauled if I stay there too long.

Then there's God. 

He never undercuts the mistakes, He never pats me on the head and says they didn't matter or that they were fine.  He uses them to create something new.  He is both Creator and Redeemer, after all.

If.  I.  Let.  Him.

He can use those same mistakes and create something beautiful. 

Something that inspires others to share their mistakes and find freedom. 





If. I. Let. Him.

He will take my mistakes and paint a picture of His Love.  A Love that can spread like wildfire to everyone around me.  And that, is the glory of making mistakes.  Or rather, the glory that can come from making mistakes.  If.  I.  Let.  Him.

I suppose therein lies the rub... I can't keep my mistakes AND let Him make something more of them.   

This post is part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival hosted at Peter Pollock’s blog. The word is "Mistakes".  Check out other posts and/or link your own.