My mind goes wild, and my heart beats wild too. My heart cries out silently to the Christians all around. And I wish that it weren't silent. If only it were like the shot heard around the world...
Listen to me cry out, hear my words. We are falling apart. We are being deceived. We are an immobilized people. We sit in our beautiful church buildings and we smile and sing and listen and make commitments to change. And there we sit, doing nothing. We go home, back to our jobs, our lives, our homes. We go back with a focus to change ourselves.
I see it in the mirror, this need to change self. To gain more control of desires, to learn to be better. This self discipline, it wears on me. I throw it out the window, refuse to look in the mirror. I sit and block it out. And I am dead in spirit and alive in body. And why would I want this and how do I get the strength to change?
I run through the gospels, my mind brushing fingers across memory. I want to feel it, to see it. And in my mind's eye, I do. I see Christ and I see service. I see dirt and filthy sandals and hands washing away grime. I see wet hair with dirt and leaves and accepting eyes. I see hands letting go of stones and words being written in sand. I see fishing nets and knives cutting away and cleaning. I see arms around children, and food in hand with grins across faces.
I see service.
What I see is a Christ who came to live. Came to live among us, and isn't his name Emmanuel? And wasn't that one of the first names we knew him by? God with us. God living among us. Not sitting teaching for hours, not home working on self discipline. No, this man, this Christ, this holy one sent to save us - he came to go and serve.
And I see it clear. All this sitting around, this trying to find the strength to change. And is this really what Christ modeled for us or is this what we've imagined for ourselves? And am I afraid to dig my hands into dirt, and lift the battered off the ground, and wrap my arms around the filthy and unclean. And am I really afraid to live Christ. Because what was it? What was this living that he did other than a drink offering? And am I really ready to be pored out? To be emptied of myself and filled with God? And his sacrifice was so great, can I also sacrifice like that?
I am afraid. I am afraid of what He will ask, and will I be strong enough? I am broken and battered and dirty and unclean; and how do I lift others up when I can not even rise to my own feet. I try and I fail and I am a mess. And I see the faces of family around me, and I can not help them. So we all stay on the ground beaten and bruised and together we moan. And I just sit there.
What is it about this giving away that so scares me? I am comfortable. Comfortable in this discomfort. And I refuse to really see it because I hide in this crazy life. And like a blanket covers my face and I am blind, I allow this comfort to cover this broken heart and the light doesn't touch it. And if this light, this truth, if it does not touch it, my eyes will remain comfortable. The burning light, how do I allow the pain of opening my eyes, and is it really worth it?
I nod yes slow. I look into the eyes of true comfort. I look into Christ's love eyes. And I slowly begin to release my hold on this comfort blanket. And he takes my hands slow, holds my heart and I try to keep breathing. I feel vulnerable, and it will not end with this uncovering. But I was never meant to live comfortable and safe, I was meant to live surrendered and free and vulnerable.
I struggle, and try to grab the blanket again, and he coaxes me quietly. I know that voice, and I trust. And I know that this releasing will only happen one little step at a time. But I am afraid and unafraid at the same time. I know my Jesus, I know that he is my comfort. I feel his love rain down. I want this surrender, and I want this living free. Free to live as Christ, to serve.
And I open my heart to the fear, because a fearful vulnerable heart that is unafraid and protected because of Christ....That is a heart that is ready to live life surrendered.