Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Not to Us


I may have brewed my coffee a tad too strong this morning, but it’s nothing another lump and a splash of cream can’t fix. And after last night, I hold this cup close, grateful for this liquid grace that warms my hands and really my heart.



Today is a school day, but I am getting good at gauging their hearts, their minds, and their spirits, and a morning of cuddles, cartoons, and sleeping in should help return their smiles and a little bit of sanity to us all. Sometimes it’s good to step back and breathe deep.

Last night I took a step back and breathed deep too. It’s not my story to tell, and it’s not my fight, but I saw two people who I respect a great deal get misinterpreted for sharing their journey. Two sides of one coin, perhaps, and there were people on both sides who ended up, form my vantage point, a poor, poor reflection of God’s glory.

One person got huge amounts of vitriol and I found myself absolutely shaking that people were so full of hate. She wrote a book that let my weary and shifting soul let out an exhale. I am grateful for her and for her ministry. And to see CHRISTIANS being so ugly and hateful probably shouldn't have shocked me – but it did.

Another I've never met, yet I feel as if she is a dear friend. I imagine us sitting on a porch together with her boys and my girls playing in the sunshine. My heart cracked throughout the evening as some comments and reactions just felt too strong. Too personal. Too much.

Friends, it’s okay to discuss. It’s oh so good to discuss. That's how we all learn and grow. And when God has put on your heart to fight for something, you do. But fight for IT, not against someone else.

It’s okay to disagree. It’s good to disagree. But do it when you have all the information. And don’t make assumptions about someone’s character.

Frank Viola shared on his blog:

Civil disagreement and even debate, when done in the spirit of Christ, are healthy and helpful.
But when disagreements descend into second-guessing motives, distortions of one another’s words, mischaracterizations of one another’s views, and personal attacks, then we've moved into the flesh.
The net is that the name of Jesus gets tarnished in no small way. (Emphasis mine)


It’s so easy to spend so much time and energy defending Jesus that we forget to follow Him.


******

Yesterday was spent trying to let go.

I was able to spend ten minutes in my prayer room, aka the steam room at the gym, and I sat there, hands open, palms facing up, and as I breathed out I whispered, “Christ have mercy,” as I tried let go of all my stress, my worries, and my plans. But I couldn't quite put my finger on specifics to let go of – I was still holding tight.



And last night, my little one, who doesn't feel quite as little any more, had a rough one. For ninety long minutes she cried. We changed diapers. We offered bottles. We rocked. We medicated. We rubbed chests. We rubbed backs. We bounced.  We swayed. My arms and back ached by the end.

I whispered into her ears over and over, “I’m here with you. I’m not leaving you. Let me know what’s wrong so I can make it better.”

We did all that we know how to do, and yet her wails continued until her body slumped in exhaustion and she finally fell asleep. I felt the Lord whisper to me, “This is you. I’m here with you. I’m not leaving you. Let me know what’s wrong and I’ll make it better.”

******

Maybe my years are starting to show, but I’m realizing not every battle is mine to fight, very few are it feels. And we need to give people space to share their truth and explore without jumping all over them. I have so much to learn. And I think I have some to share.

In yesterday’s passage in my Book of Common Prayer, the thought of the day was,

Not to us, not to us: but to your name give glory.

Yes, yesterday was rough.

So this morning, with the sun shining and an unseasonable warm breeze blowing, I repeat yesterday’s prayer:

In the light of the morning, Lord, we glorify your name. May the mystery of your incarnation shine through the complexities of this day so that in all we do, your name might be praised. Amen.

******

Linking up with the ever lovey Emily at her place today.

14 comments:

  1. I had one of those crying child days yesterday as well. Great post, thank you for it!

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    1. You are welcome!

      And those crying days? Yikes! All I can do is try to learn from them and hope God is up to something!

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  2. I agree and have a pretty good idea of who you are talking about. It's good to talk and have our opinions, but do it with respect and grace. We don't fight against each other but spirits and principalities that are at war. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. We can disagree and still be examples of what Christian love should be.

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  3. Brenna...wow...our hearts were of one mind...maybe ...just maybe it is a piece of God’s heart...love how you shared here...blessings and as we go...my Grace abound more and more~

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    1. Thank you, and I enjoyed your piece as well!

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  4. I believe God wants us to worship him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and so pursuing truth matters. Yet, we see through a mirror dimly on this side of eternity. Sometimes I wonder if God doesn't give us different glimpses or truth, different angles, so we can work on loving one another through our disagreements. I can't prove that from scripture, but I do suspect that when I get to heaven I will find out there were a number of things I got wrong.

    And I guess we shouldn't be surprised when believers treat one another badly. We are all works in process. The truly surprising thing is when grace shines through. So thankful for those glimpses in yesterday's conversation.

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    1. You're right, we shouldn't be surprised when we treat each other badly. I, like you, just want grace to shine through. And yes, there were so many glimpses of that. It definitely wasn't all bad! :)

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  5. my heart aches for souls handled loosely, as if we had the right to hold them in our hands, to treat as we wish. and i have had many nights like that with my daughter, specifically at two and three, and those are some of the most desperate love filled nights where i was broken but pulled to her that any i've known. enjoy an extra cup today, and let that heart heal a bit.

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    1. Tara, so grateful you took the time to stop by. And yes, I enjoyed that extra cup!

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  6. love your tender heart. mothering so often reveals the things of God, doesn't it?

    our gym has a steam room i've been in exactly once, but you make me want to go meditate. glory.

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    1. You MUST use the steam room, Suzannah. I make a point of trying to go twice a week :)

      And thank you for your passion and grace. You are a great example to us all!

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  7. Gorgeous....love your Jesus heart of compassion...

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