Everything you read today about blogging, writing, creating, and marketing indicates the need to make it easier to read. You are supposed to make it easy to scroll your way through and get to 5 easy steps, 7 reasons why, or some other form of bulleted lists. My book, Beneath Broken Machines (hopefully releasing in Fall 2016) has no bullet points or lists, and here is why.
"Let me know that you hear me. Let me know your touch Let me know that you love me. Let that be enough."*
I listened to the song and prayed it sincerely almost 5 times on repeat from my home to the church. I sat in the parking lot, BEFORE church already preparing my heart in honesty with a basic cry, "God, please let me know that you hear me. I don't ask you to solve my problems, my anxieties or my fears. I merely pray that you let me know that you hear me."
There are times we thirst for and grow parch for lack of God's presence.
I remember worshiping and singing to a God I knew loved me, but whom I had needed to just BE with. I remember standing to worship again and choosing to only mouth the words and let them really speak and scream from my heart,
"You're all I want... You're all I need..."
* Let That Be Enough by Switchfoot
The Bible reveals to me that I must learn to love people. I am not always very good at loving others. God has loved me not at all because I am worthy of it or that I am lovable in any way, but because it is His very nature to love. How can I actually love in a way that is GOD's nature? To love someone as God has loved me!?
God will likely bring people purposely into my life who I do not like much. He will bring people who are not at all easy for me to love.
God: the great patronizer? No, it is His love. That is His kind of love, which I am called to.
My problem is I most often try to force it and make this kind of love happen. I do not think this kind of love is going to happen within me overnight, but I also do not think God is forcing me into it. Yes, he has called me to it. He has demanded it of me, but I do not think he expects it so promptly that he pushes me forcibly into it either.
In fact, 2 Peter 3:9 tells me that "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." I cannot overlook Jesus' ability to wait for me. I cannot forget that Jesus knows I am incapable of loving as He does, and yet he patiently waits as I learn.
But it is that patience which should compel and drive me to be better. It is that patience, which should drive me to love more. I have to go to the hard to love and not only love them more, but love them as Jesus has loved me, which as I have revealed, is PATIENTLY!! There will always be irritating people who are very difficult for me to love, but the call still remains. Love others as Jesus has loved me. Love with patience!
But it all must be nurtured. It is not an overnight change. I must learn to grow that kind of love within me. I have to learn that kind of love as I daily learn to accept that kind of love.
I had just lost my job, Tonya was in Zimbabwe, and a promised position was pulled from under me. So I left for a weekend to Bowman Lake up past the Yuba Gap. The only things I brought with me were a tent, a journal, a Bible, The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen, a bit of food, and a six pack of beer. I had no idea what was going on in my life. I found my last journal entry from that trip... Interesting how these things are perfect encouragement today as well.
June 6 (Sunset…THE LAST BIG ONE…WHEN GOD SPEAKS)
I climbed up on the rock face behind my site to watch the sunset over the lake. Well, actually, the sun sets behind the mountain in front of my site, but I can still experience the sunset if I don’t see the sunset. I climbed up on top of the rock face and looked out over the lake at the mountains that spring up on the other side. I watched as the shadow cast from the mountains in front crept up the mountains behind my site. I just sat and watched for a while. It kind of reminded me of a canary being put to sleep. It was as if God were putting the mountains to sleep for the night.
You look at these mountains and they even LOOK old and tough. They look like they have put in a long day’s work. All day long I have watched these mountains in amazement. To amaze a guy in the 21st + century is a pretty daunting task. We need to be entertained by bigger and better things, and for years to this day, mountains have been bigger and better. Even now they are bigger and better than most things. They have succeeded in amazing me all day long, and that is no easy task. So they deserve the sleep and rest. So God put the mountains to sleep like a little canary.
You see the blanket draped over the cage, but you know there’s a bird in there. This is why after the shadow covers the mountains entirely, the moon will come up and cast its special light upon them to make them silhouettes. They just look like big black masses beyond the deep blue space of water, but you know there are mountains over there. They’re just sleeping!
While God was putting the mountains to sleep, he spoke to my heart words I needed to hear. I just sat and listened for a while. He sounded a bit like a conversation a friend of mine had with Brennan Manning a few years ago over cigarettes and coffee at the Anderson, IN Waffle House. My friend and I (along with others) had been digesting Brennan’s words for a couple years at that point. My friend had established a comedy/drama team based heavily on the writing of Brennan Manning and the songs of his ‘soul mate’, Rich Mullins. My friend asked Brennan for any advice to offer a group of young guys who wanted to serve God and spread his love through comedy and drama.
God spoke a similar message into my heart tonight. A bit more tenderly, but the same idea! He said:
“I know you’re worried and you’re scared. I know you are questioning why you left a profession you love to follow a path that had not lead back to that profession. I know you are scared about what you are going to do, and that you feel like your passion has been removed. I know all of this, but I have a new and different plan for you. You are going to do bigger and better things for me, but you are not ready yet. You have some passions in your heart you have not paid attention to. You have passions you do not know about yet. I will show those to you when you are ready, but you are not ready right now. In the time being, while I am preparing you and raising you up, get a job. Get a job, pay your bills and support your family. This job does not need to be a career or even something you are passionate about; I am preparing you for that and remember you are not ready yet. You will find what that is in time, but go on looking hard after me. I have bigger and better things for you outside student life. You will reach more people for me. You will bring glory to me through new things in the future, but for now you need to work and support your family. You need to pay your bills and continue learning. Look further for those passions you have ignored and the ones I will reveal to you in time.
I love you PC!