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Over the past several weeks I have fallen into a spiritual slumber.  Not intentionally, I did not get bored and tell myself I don’t care any more, I have cared the entire time.  However due to the fact that I have repeatedly received news that is hard to bear my soul it would seem has grown weak.  Weak to the point where when I tried to pray, I just dropped my head helplessly, only saying to God that I didn’t know where or how to begin anymore.  Weak to the point where I started to lose sight of the truly good hope in the world, because I was beginning to get an up close look at the darkness once again.  Anguish and anger,  these things have been at the edge of my heart, knocking and wanting to enter.

But these things are bad.  Right? According to anyone in normal day conversation, or even prayer groups to bring these things up would surely be met by a “Jesus says not to worry” or and apathetic “there’s nothing we can really do, but pray.”  Or in my case a shrug with a helpless “I don’t know.”

Friday as I sat in my car and learned of the shooting in Connecticut I shut the emotions out again.  So selfishly I shut them out.  I was so tired, I couldn’t take it any more.  I couldn’t take anymore dark news.  I couldn’t hear about things going wrong one more time.  Even in a severe case like this I thought of me and closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and turned the volume down.

“God… something. I need to say something.”

And I couldn’t.  I could not, or maybe I would not, at this point I’m not sure.

Monday I began reading the crucifixion story in Matthew, and again I shut emotions out.  I read it like they were simply empty words on a blank page.  The only passage that finally highlighted itself to my heart was one I had for so long hated.

 “And as they were eating, he said,“Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Matthew 26:21

A heavy cringe came over me.  Yuck, it sounded so bibely.  So typically “christian” I just couldn’t stand it.  “Truly I say to you…”

I couldn’t stop myself from thinking why? Why did Jesus who was supposed to be such a great speaker use the phrase so much, overuse this phrase so much.  Didn’t he know that I couldn’t take it seriously anymore? Could anyone? What did that even mean “Truly I say to you.”  I am a very blessed wretched woman that I have a God that is so good when I spit in his face within my heart.

Truly I say to you, I am being honest, I am bearing my soul to you, genuinely, honestly, I am holding nothing back when I say tonight, I will be betrayed, can you imagine how this must feel?

Oh.  Wow.  Can I imagine how this must feel? Can I imagine to be love with no bounds binding myself in skin to die a painful and humiliating death to save the very people who left me after I gave to them everything.  No.

My spiritual eyes flew open, and out of a dreary sleep I finally woke up.

Truly I say to you, you are not alone, this pain in the anger and anguish that you have been feeling, you are not alone, honestly, genuinely, truly I bear my soul to you and say that I have felt the same.  Do not hide from these emotions, embrace them, open your eyes and accept the world as it is, and what it will never be: your home.

Please, read what I say write closely.

We live in a broken world,  a fallen world, a world of sickness, of pain, of wretchedness, of greed, of murder, of darkness.

Please, read what I write hear closely:

We live in a world that is so dark, innocent children are shot to death.

Do not ignore this, do not hide from this, do not dilute this with cheap worldly things that rot and become waste.  Look this dark world straight to its core and recognize it for what it truly is: twisted, broken, lost, fallen.

If it was not clear to me before it is abundantly clear to me now, this world is full of evil, and a war of evil is being waged against the good, and the worst thing I could do is ignore this or distract myself as a coping mechanism.

Feel the anger, feel the anguish.  Fall to your knees in despair and cry out to me! Cry out to me like I cried out to my Father.  Let the pain of this world overwhelm you and cry out to me so that I may love through you into this dark world.  

This is a world at war. Though the war has been won the battles rage on, and one of the worst things I could do is ignore this (the second would be to obsess over it).

I feel it in my heart God calling me to put on my armor, to prepare for battle, and to fight.  Fight to bring love into this world in whichever way God grieves my heart towards, whether that be to kids through YoungLife, to people without clean water through Living Water, to the homeless by giving of the plenty I have, I need to let my heart be grieved the way my Father’s heart is grieved and let him love through my brokenness into this broken world.

I need to reject this world as my final home so that I may live contentedly as I wait in expectancy for my eternal home so that the darkness does not overwhelm me again, so that I may fight darkness tirelessly with the light given to me.

This is not an entry that is fun to read, and it is not an entry that has been fun to write, but I write it with passion and earnestness, because I feel that this is a truth that every follower of Christ should be embracing. God promised that the world would not get better, but that up until the end it would continue to get worse, but the same God promised that he would be with us always, to the very end of the age, and therefore, till the end of the age we will live out into this world, going where before we would not have gone, to the hungry, the rejected, the imprisoned, the sick, the orphaned, and wherever God may call your heart and my heart to go.

We serve a mighty God, so we should live into this world mightily, as warriors for the King.

I could continue writing forever and ever about the reasons I am ready to stand, but I need to stop myself.  I pray that God would give life to my words.

 

 

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