One

I’m just one.

I find myself thinking that a lot lately because it is very true. I’m just one.

One voice.

One heart.

One body.

One writer.

I’m just one. And, the good news is that I am one of many! I don’t have to say it all. I don’t have to feel it all. I don’t have to do it all. I don’t have to write it all. I’m just one.

And that takes all the pressure off.

Really.

I’m fortunate to have a ministry that I love. I love all facets of this calling. I love the writing, the speaking, the sharing…I love it! It’s as if it was designed just for me, and it was! As a writer, the most important thing to me is that I get it right…not necessarily the grammar, or the descriptions, or the dialogue. It is important for me to relay the message.

As the hands of God, I simply type what He inspires. As the the voice of God, I simply speak what He says. As the heart of God, I simply feel as He desires. As the body of Christ, I simply do as I am directed.

I’m just one.

And, He is One.

The One and only.

He and I are One.

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I’m sorry, Francis…

I was talking to some young adults a while back, and they were discussing the holiness of God, His majesty, His power, His Supreme Authority. I was soaking it all in, seeing this realization of holiness and the awesomeness of Almighty God, when one of them said, “Francis Chan said: ‘Is this the God that you fall asleep talking to at night? You should be prostrate, in a position of total servitude as you call on the name of Almighty God!’”

Yes and no.

Let me explain. There is no doubt that we need to recognize the God with Whom we are conversing. We need to see Him as God, acknowledge Him as Creator, and come to Him humbly – understanding the Power that He possesses and the Greatness that He is.

He is greatness.

But, the beauty of this majestic, all-powerful, all-consuming, all-knowing God is that He is so kind and good and loving that He lets us come to Him, at the end of the day when our hearts are heavy and our words are gone and our strength is depleted, and requires nothing of us….but to be, and if we fall asleep, He tucks us in.

There are moments, when I am determined, when this passion rises up in me and I run to God, adamant and intentional, entering His throne room with vigor and energy, not to be disrespectful but so that He sees that I am DESPERATE to be heard. Does He shut the door, and bar the gates and tell me to go away until I “get my attitude in check, young lady!” Praise God, no! He opens wide His ears, gives me all His attention and in the process I learn yet again how Great He is and how small I am.

There are other moments when I humbly come before Father God and whisper off a list a mile long (including but not limited to every soul that crosses my path and asks for prayer) that I’ve neatly written on a million 3x5s, as I struggle through names and procedures and dates and circumstances. Boring? Yes. Is He bored? No. Because it’s long and tedious, does that make Him any less interested? No. In fact, it’s my heart that draws Him in…my heart wants to say it all just right (the perfectionist in me) because even though He knows the details, I want to know that every detail was spoken. Perhaps He laughs, but I know He listens.

Then there are other moments, when my child is sick and my heart is heavy and my prayer is covered in a kiss on her sweet head. God sees that kiss, and He interprets the kiss for what it is – a prayer of the heart for my sick child. I don’t have to say, “Lord, heal my baby!” He knows she is sick, He knows I long to see her well, and He hears the unspoken. Words are not needed, nor do I need to kneel beside her bed and lay prostrate before God begging Him to hear my cry…I have at times, and that’s okay…but I don’t HAVE TO.

Then, there are these moments, which are in abundance…where I am tired and weak. When my heart is encumbered and smothered by so many needs and so many people and so many hopes and so many dreams and so much hurt and so much desperation that I simply cling. This is the God that lets me. The same God that is all-powerful and all-mighty and all-knowing, is all-loving. This same God, Creator of the universe, is the same God that gives me the right to call Him, “DADDY”, and as such, He allows me to come to Him…as a child. And as I child, I pull up to His enormous side, hide my face in His arm, and simply moan, “Daddy.” And this same great big God, soaks in all my emotions, hears all the words that aren’t said and all the feelings that are tearing me apart, and He gives me breath. His breath fills my chest with hope and mercy and love and grace and comfort, and when I leave that place, I take His breath with me…to blow it on others…so that they might know how much He loves them.

So, I’m sorry, Francis… though He is worthy of so much more than a mumbled prayer at night…He accepts it, because that’s what Daddy’s do.

P.S. I hope this doesn’t change the whole me wanting a mansion next to yours thing? 😉

About cats and dogs

I had a friend that used to say, “I’m God’s cat.”  He would say it in an air of disappointment, in a voice of defeat, and he made it very clear what he meant.  “It’s like EVERY time I get something good …God waits until I’m practically holding it in my hands, assured that its mine and He snatches it back.”  I always got sad when I heard this.  God is not like that.

I have suffered disappointments and heartache in my life.  I have been disillusioned and deceived.  I have been hopeful only to face to a heart wrenching outcome.  But, I would never be so selfish as to say “I’m God’s cat.”  That’s a very self-seeking statement, because it indicates that you know best.

God is not a snatcher.  He doesn’t lure or entice.  He doesn’t invite us in so He can slam the door in our faces.  No, my brother, you’re not God’s cat…you’re the devil’s mouse.

I cannot remember a single moment in God’s Word where that character of God expresses itself.  I see a just God, a kind God, a patient God, a righteous God, a loving God, a forgiving God, a merciful God…not a mean God.  Ever.  Even when we are deserving of meanness and unforgiveness and wrath and anger and all those other things, He still meets us with grace.  He doesn’t dangle it in front of our faces until we leap, and then jerk it away…He continually offers it.  Scarred hands open, arms wide, yearning for us to accept.

No.  We are not God’s cats.

I prefer to say that I’m God’s dog.  It makes far more sense to me.

Four months ago we adopted the sweetest little puppy.  That’s a story in and of itself, but it took exactly one minute for us to fall in love with her.  She’s precious…and of course then she only weighed about two pounds, so she was fragile and tiny.  She was too little to do much else than eat and sleep, and pounce every so often at bugs so small we couldn’t see them.  Immediately she added light to a very dark time in our hearts.  We all did our part loving her and protecting her and caring for her needs, but when she was tired out or felt afraid or needed space…she came to me. I would scoop her up in my lap, nuzzle her little nose to my face, coo at her and talk to her, or pet her and let her rest on my chest to listen to the thumping of my heart, and she would be soothed.  As she grew her needs changed.  She was more independent, more feisty. Knowing I was standing beside her or behind her she would venture out on her own more, barking at neighbors she saw as threats, jumping higher, and becoming more brave and courageous with each passing day.  She’s growing still.

One day, as I was cooking she stood by the stove, watching me at work, smelling my creation, but she didn’t whine or beg she simply watched (and licked her chops from time to time!)  After the family ate, I reached down and handed her a meat laden pork chop bone.  If you can say that a dog is thrilled about something, this dog was thrilled!  She took that bone and carried it to her corner and gnawed it dry.  She knew that she had been given a real treat.  She was thankful for it.  Cherished it.  And even now, has it hidden in the house.

I think that’s more how we are with God and how God is with us.

He loves us and protects us and nurtures us and provides.  When we are weak, He is especially attentive, just waiting for the moment when we crumble and finally allow Him to lift us up.  When we are tired or afraid, we have only to look for Him and He is there, scooping us up and placing us on His chest so that we can hear the heartbeat of life as it beats in Him. He is our hiding place.  In that place, He comforts us and reassures us that we are His and that He has us safe.

As we grow stronger, He gives us that space, allowing us to explore our world, face our enemies, and find the courage to be brave.  All the while, He stands beside us.  We watch Him, as He is our Master.  And, as we watch, we understand that He is up to something good.  He sees our obedience and our hunger and so He lets us enjoy it, not faking us out with a pretend game of fetch.  He intentionally hands that gift over and watches us happily devour it, savoring each bite, until there is nothing left but the memory of it, and so we hide it away.  He loves that!

But here is the thing, we are adopted not as cats or dogs, but we are adopted CHILDREN of the living God.  Not abused or neglected children but nurtured and protected.  Unlike me, when His children get up at two in the morning calling Him, He doesn’t mumble and complain.  He leaps and runs to help us!  With Him there is no menial task, there is no passing glance, no dangling or snatching.  He loves us.  Those that run and jump in His almighty lap yapping and begging (like me) and those that have been hurt so many times, they’d rather disappear in the colors of His robe; Daddy loves us all.

Yes, it IS!

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  2 Corinthians 12: 8-9

I didn’t anticipate it, but it’s been one of those weeks.  One of those weeks where I let the devil get the better of me. Where I listen to those lies I’ve tried to shut out for so long…where I take on new lies that I know don’t belong.  Yeah, one of those.

I’ve been emotional, burdened, hurting, and duped.  I’ve felt every tear acutely, heard every word whispered, and watched with personal defeat every plan fall through.  It’s been a painful week.

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.  In fact, after I got the kids fed and off to school and my husband found himself in the shower, I quite literally crawled back into bed, pulled the covers over my head and began to pray.  I prayed for friends and loved ones, young girls that I know and love that are struggling and hurting, college kids who are swamped with school work, church needs, family needs, families that I don’t know but that I know are in pain, the lost, the found, and everyone in between…and then I dozed off.

I was content to let the day go by as I laid in my bed and pretended that I didn’t exist, or that the world didn’t exist, that there wasn’t tragedy all around me, and that I didn’t feel overwhelmed and afraid. And God let me, for two more hours.

I woke up with the feeling that I had to start the day.  I had to spend time with Jesus.  I had to get my thoughts in order so that I could be of some earthly good.  I had to get up and do what I’ve been called to do – be Jesus. (And let’s face it, Jesus with morning breath and bed head, isn’t necessarily the Jesus people need to meet!)

Intentionally putting my feet on the ground, I got out of bed.  I stumbled to the kitchen, poured myself a cup of ambition and tried to come alive…(not really, I just suddenly heard Dolly Parton in my head). But, I did go to the kitchen, my resting place at the counter, pulled my Bible and devotional over to me, and listened for a word from God.

That’s when the verse above, coated my overworked mind. His grace is sufficient.  “I know that,” I thought.  But then I heard a voice say, “It IS sufficient.”  Not it might be sufficient, or it could be sufficient, or it should be sufficient, but it IS sufficient.  Nothing changes that. I can tell myself all day that it isn’t, or it doesn’t feel like it is, or that I wish that it were, but God’s Word says that it is.  It IS.  My feelings, emotions, perceptions can’t change what IS.  God’s grace IS sufficient.

His grace overrides my fear, my anxiety, my heartache, my doubts, my pain, my sorrow.  His grace is my sufficiency.  Being a wordsmith I looked up the word:

SUFFICIENT : enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end.

I cannot explain the peace that washed over me when I saw that word, enough.  There is so much peace in that word.  That word satisfies and quenches.  It reminds me that there is nothing more to be gained from any other source or outlet; His grace IS enough.

Since I seemed to be on a word kick, and with each revelation I was absorbing more and more peace I tried again…the word that every Christian clings to – grace. And one definition spoke out to me:

GRACE: unmerited divine assistance

Isn’t that lovely?  Divine assistance. It isn’t natural assistance, or common assistance, but divine assistance.  It is the kind of assistance that I was craving, praying for, crying out for…and it was mine.  Divinely.

Then I pieced it all together and found the answer to what I need most in every concern I’ve voiced.

“God’s divine assistance will take care of every circumstance or situation.”

So, my formerly lazy self left all those fears and doubts and discouragements and needs on the counter.  I left them there on that counter that is stained with tears and imprinted with my scrawled prayers and the chair that is formed to meet me every morning, and I walked away, confident and enlightened.

And two hours later, when satan got in my head and tried to tear me down again through the careless words of others…I remembered and relied on that promise.  His divine assistance IS taking care of everything.  Whether I acknowledge it or not. Yes, it IS!

I Dare You to Move

On September 10, 2010 while everyone else in the country was preparing themselves for the anniversary of 9/11 and arguing whether or not a Muslim Quran should be burned, we woke to an eye opening tragedy. A young man at a local school committed suicide. The belief is that it was due to circumstances involving his pregnant girlfriend. Another young man, from the same school, killed his parents in cold blood and threatened his girlfriend with a text that she was next. After an hour or so of the school and students being in lockdown, the boy was arrested. The girlfriend was spared, school was let out and parents were called. As teen eyes blinked at the shining sky, they began to understand what had happened. The town was in a panic, the rumor mill churning, and lives were forever changed. This was written in response to the tragedy.

Our community has come face to face with the plight of this generation. After three people are dead and families are mourning and teachers are confused and youth leaders are embracing and reassuring and young girls are blaming themselves for what was not at all their fault, we can see for sure that satan is on the warpath for this generation. And for some, the spiritual battle began long before the news got out.

I know that God is with us. I have felt His love and His peace. There are people that know and understand and are impassioned to act out in defense of and in pursuit of this generation. The handwriting has been on the wall, there are signs all around us of a world of young people that are being targeted and greatly destroyed. It’s sad. There are those of us that are burdened for these kids that it takes our breath away. We are overwhelmed and tempted to be overcome but we stand up and we stand out and we beg for them to look our way because we have a message from God. We are trying to communicate the voice that we hear. We are trying to share with them just the tiniest fraction of His consuming love for them. But, we are small in number when you consider the affect that could be had.

WOE to you parents that have ignored your children for the pursuit of your pleasures.
WOE to you parents that have neglected your kids for your jobs and your schedules.
WOE to you parents that refuse to get involved and initiate conversation.
WOE to you parents that choose to blindly turn away from their problems and dismiss it as “hormones”.
WOE to you parents that would rather spend the weekends playing golf or sculpting your bodies instead of spending time with your kids.
WOE to you parents that put everyone else in your lives before your family.
WOE to you parents that think that if you don’t acknowledge it it doesn’t exist.
WOE to you parents that abuse your kids and make them feel worthless.
WOE to you parents that harm and hurt your kids to somehow make yourself look bigger and better and more powerful and strong.
WOE to you parents that wouldn’t think twice about selling your child’s body.
WOE to you parents that speak with such anger in your voices that they are scarred for life.
WOE to you parents who withhold love.
WOE to you parents that could care less.
WOE to you parents that put high expectations on your kids that they can never live up to.
WOE to you parents that are not taking your kids to church, not living like you go to church, not sharing the love of Christ, not protecting your kids.
WOE to you. WOE to me. WOE to us.

We are failing this generation. Collectively we take the blame.

Say what you will: “It’s video games”; “It’s movies”; “Its their peers”; “It’s the music”; “Its the environment.” YOU have the authority to promote, allow, or deny those things.

Satan is on the warpath. And we are the adults. I think some of us have forgotten that. We’re so busy amassing things that we aren’t treasuring our children. What’s wrong with us? We are more interested in what’s on Facebook than what is on our children’s minds. We are more interested in our kids being popular than protecting them from peer pressure. We are more interested in what’s in it for us, than what we are willing to sacrifice for them.

I say we because I too am guilty. But today, again, it became clear that this generation is in deep need of a love revolution.

Real LOVE. Pure LOVE. Christ’s LOVE.

He is the only answer for their longing hearts.

I have a gift. It’s a strange gift and it is a supernatural gift, but I asked for it and so God has given it.

I have the ability to feel what the Father feels…and what I feel, no matter what the situation is LOVE.

When the news of today hit me…His love knocked the wind out of me. He loves everyone of us so deeply. He showed me His heart, and I felt His desire, His passion, His need for us to see and to help minister to a broken and endangered generation.

This young man that killed his parents. God can use him. Has a plan for him. Longs to reach him. Yes, he did the unthinkable, but Father God loves him.

The young boy that killed himself. God loved him. His heart aches for what might have been. His heart is moved for a family that misses him and feels acutely the loss. He hurts for the parents that will bear the guilt no matter how often He tries to tell them it wasn’t their fault. He longs to make something beautiful out of tragedy that seems to have no purpose. He loves them.

The young girls that are even now blaming themselves, separately but the same, for something that they had no control over (despite the taunting of the enemy), who do not deserve this, who are not responsible, who must not believe that they are evil or guilty or unworthy or anything else the enemy haphazardly shoots to the heart. God longs to speak truth to them, His Truth, His Son. He longs to embrace them and tell them over and over they are precious to Him, they are special and they will survive. He loves them.

The educators and leaders that saw these kids, knew these kids, struggled with these kids. You did what you could. Feel no guilt, shame, blame for what has happened. You had no part in the work of satan. God needs you to keep doing what you are doing. One tragedy doesn’t mean a ministry that failed. Two tragedies does not require you to throw in the towel. He loves you and can use this to teach you that some, sadly, will not be reached. It was their choice, free will took its stand.

The students and friends that are left in shock over this. You are not alone. The fear that you feel surfacing, the tears that you cry, the confusion that you can’t shake, He sees, hears, and knows it all. He loves you so much and wants you to see that life is not guaranteed. Eternal life is, in Christ Jesus. His Son that He gave up for you because HE LOVES YOU SO!

Parents, yes, this generation is different. They have to be. It’s a rougher world they are living in. That rebellion that refuses to conform can be a good thing if shepherded. They are creative and inspirational and entertaining and charismatic. Their music is different. They like tattoos. They experiment with hair styles and funky clothes and they find our generations fads worthy of repeating! Let them be who they are, but instruct them in the ways of wisdom and self control. Wait. On second thought. Just lead them to the CROSS. Jesus can handle the rest. I’m pretty sure He likes them being different. It sets them apart, and isn’t that what He desires from all of us?

Community, we are all in a state of shock, I think…but now it is the time for Christ to take center stage. It is time for us to win back this generation for Him, with His power, in His strength, and overwhelmingly share His LOVE.

Youth… Stand up. Stand out. Be counted. Live. I dare you to forget this day ever happened and go about your daily lives as if we are not on the battle field. Your apathy or your defeat will affect more than you…it will fail the next generation that is desperate for help, hope, love and instruction. And that my friends, in the words of your uber cool and anointed generation, is what we would call an EPIC FAIL.

Matthew 19:14 (Amplified)
“But He said, Leave the children alone! Allow them to come to me, and do not forbid them or restrain or hinder them, for of such is the kingdom of heaven composed.”

Sweet Revenge

“Judge not, lest you be judged.”

This verse is taking residence with me today. Judgement. I guess most of the time when we see or hear that word, we picture God on His throne holding a list of wrongs in one hand and a lightning bolt in the other…just waiting. Isn’t that what we picture? But, lately I’m interpreting those verses a little differently. I’m seeing a little more of the “justice of God” and I’m understanding a little more how He works.

Recently, I was faced with an issue. A compromise. A sin. And, blindly or determinedly (I’m honestly not sure which, and yes, in this case it could have been purely either), I found myself head first in a mud puddle that I made. Mud puddle is too tame. An abyss. The craziness is it was a sin that I would never have seen myself committing, a sin that previously I had judged others for. Sad, but true. And there I was dealing with it, or trying to cope with it…managing it, mainly. I was trying to keep this sin, this tragic confusion from running out of control, and taking me and everyone else with it. Funny thing is…you can’t manage sin…ever.

In the midst of this depravity reckoning and wondering when and how and why and what, I ran across another in the same situation. Another person depressed at the outcome of a seemingly good situation, confronting the very issue that she had rose up in righteous indignation about with others. But, there she was…licking her wounds and begging for answers.

And another came along. A sin that had never seemed possible, a sin that had previously grossed him out and had angered him was holding onto him like a skirt clings to pantyhose. He was disappointed, heartbroken, devastated and discouraged. How could this happen to him? Who was to blame? “You are that man!” echoed in his ears and pierced his heart.

These were big issues,”big sins” so we like to call them. Huge interruptions to our religious understandings, and we were highly convicted. I think we could all say that we were feeling awfully condemned. Grace didn’t apply to the saved. We knew better, we talked better, we understood better. Mercy for those that spit in the face of their Saviour wasn’t expected or deserved. We battled those feelings, those thoughts, those lies for weeks, months, and some of us, years.

And then, we all heard the same word: LOVE.

We heard it and initially dismissed it. Not this. Not us. Not now. God is mad at us. He’s disappointed. We are evil.

Then, again that whisper: LOVE.

So we sought to understand, each in our own way, using our creative gifts, seeking our Creator to understand the impossible, the implausible, and the unbelievable. And, gratefully and gracefully, He met us. Each of us have our stories, our moments, our unbelievable miracles of faith, and they all led us to One. Christ.

It seems funny. We were all saved. We were all in some sort of ministry. We were all leading in some capacity. We knew well the name of Jesus. We were working for Him, serving Him, trying our best to be just like Him. Proving our righteousness by His blood.

And each of realized that all of us were wrong.

LOVE.

BLOOD.

RIGHTEOUSNESS.

In that order, occupied by one…Jesus the Christ. He alone can prove righteous…by His blood…poured out of His great, unfathomable love.

Suddenly verses that we had memorized and mumbled became new life. Verses that we had brushed under the rug labeled “For the poor sinners” held meaning to us. Verses that reiterated the reason for the sacrifice rang true and offered hope.

And just as suddenly those others that were despicable and filthy didn’t seem so anymore. We were just like them. They were just like us. There is none righteous. They aren’t flippant words spoken without thought or conviction. Those are words of meaning and sacrifice. None of us are good enough. There is no righteous act that makes one more deserving than the other. My sin was big, but I was tempted to compare and to point, when all the time, God was teaching me a very important lesson.

“Judge not, lest you be judged.”

Still smoking from the fire, I backed up a little and realized the collected good works that I thought would save me from sin, protect me from falling, were simply a hill of accolades trampled by the feet of my pride. They meant nothing. Filthy rags with no power to sustain or to save.

The only difference between me and those I previously judged, was that I now saw and understood that Christ was the answer, the righteousness, the hope that I was looking for. Suddenly our righteous indignation and disappoint in them had turned into love and grace and a desire to help them understand they were not alone, they were not condemned, and God’s grace was sufficient for their needs…just like our needs…just like your needs.

All three of us are different. We aren’t too far removed from our sin, and we each hope we never become. Our sin and our salvation has become our testimony. The stones that we threw are now markers in the garden of “Remember when..” and with the fertilizer of our past, God is making something beautiful and new.

“Judge not, lest you be judged.”

God doesn’t want us to judge one another out of hatred or disgust. God would have us meet those struggling with sin in love and hope, the sinner and the saved. There is none without the potential to sin, none. Our Father knows this very well. He doesn’t save us just for a glorious adventure in heaven, He saves us from ourselves, the sinner and the saint. He saves us from the lies of the enemy that wants to deprive us of grace and make us question His love. He saves us so that we might show others. He saves us because we CANNOT save ourselves. And, when we refuse to see the mess our righteousness makes or the stench our pride puts off, He will allow us to walk a mile in their shoes. And when we come through, understand, and reach out, it becomes the sweet aroma of Christ Who came to seek that which is lost. Judgement? Revenge? Covered with grace, and walked out in earnest, it can be our blessed assurance.

One more thing my friends and I now make it a point to do: Be transparent. If we pretend that we are perfect, holy, or indivisible, it only makes our fall that much more painful. Be honest. We are all slipping in some way or another…only some of us hold the Life-line, willing and ready to yank us all up.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4

Lapping it up

Silence.

It’s impossible.

In this day and age it is.

I sought silence. I pursued it thinking somewhere, somehow, it was possible. I went to the quietest place in my house. My bathtub. Seems crazy, doesn’t it? But I have real moments with God there. I was convinced that if I could find total silence, I would hear His voice louder than ever.

I sat there and waited. All around me was noise, my dogs jingling collar in the hall, the man next door mowing for the third time this week. The pool pump running. The air conditioner kicking on and off again. Clicks, and rings, and vibrations. Nothing that I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear God!

So I submerged myself. Head, body, feet, hands, ears completely submerged in water. Still no silence, and added to that was the rush of thoughts and feelings and disappointment that I was trying and still there was noise! I got upset, “All I wanna do is hear you God. All I want is complete silence so I can here your voice.”

Then I heard him…not in the silence, every sound shared a lesson, but in the stillness.

I stilled my emotions, my desperation and I listened. The sound that was almost overwhelming was that of water. It was as if God said, “Remember this? This is where we first met. You were a developing baby and mine were the hands that gently formed you. I love this sound…listen and remember.”

The next sound I heard was my heart beat. ”And that….that is my love for you. The life I have given you. I choose to give you life so that you might find me. That passion that you feel, that overwhelming love that knocks your breath away, all me.”

Next I heard the steady inhale and exhale, of each recently ragged breath. “I breathed life in you! That is my breath that fills your lungs! Air didn’t exist until I breathed it. With each pull and push of your lungs you must know that I am breath to you.”

I opened my eyes, thinking I might see Him sitting right there, smiling beside me, His presence was so strong. Instead the light, made me blink. “And those eyes. I had great delight forming their varying shades and ridges to make them unique to you.” Thinking about my eyes made me cry, but He even responded to those tears, “Remember two years ago…you begged me for tears to water your dry eyes? Remember when you were told that you might be going blind, remember when you strained to see even 3 inches in front of you?” I remembered. I remembered the fear and the desire the reservation and the submission…and the miracle. “You asked for your sight so that you might see what I see…those faces, those hearts, this generation, these women…this love…my eyes, in you.”

At that point, I slowly raised my hand out of the water, watching the drops fall and hit the side of the tub. I turned it over looking at each line and wrinkly pucker. “Those hands…those hands are my voice. Those hands share my message of love and hope and healing to those you will never meet. They are the tool that I have chosen in you. They are my gift to you.”

Feeling ashamed of my desperation and my discouragement, He addressed it. “No. You are wrong. The absence of sound is not where you will hear my voice. And the absence of my voice is not the absence of my presence. I will never leave you or forsake you…this is my promise! I am always with you…this is my oath! I love you…this is my delight, and that you love me enough to seek me, this is my joy.” His love washed over me like the water I had just left behind. I was moved beyond the moment and in my mind I pictured myself sitting in His lap. “This is where I hold you, love. Safely, in the shadow of my wings.” But He had more to say, “You love your children, don’t you? I know I do! And you are always there if they need you. Oh, but daughter, when they run to you, when they crawl in your lap, or sing you a song they made up, or hold your hand and trace your face…it’s overwhelming, isn’t it? So I feel right now with you.”

I have to admit that caused me to question whether I was truly listening to His voice, Father God was overwhelmed? By me? But He hushed me. And before I left that moment, that place. I heard Him say, “You long to do so much…my child, I will give you much to do. But now, be still. Rest. I require nothing of you.”

Silence.

Maybe it is possible.

I found remarkable silence in the lap of my Father.

And you’re next!