Friday, July 12, 2013

The Door

Imagine you stand before a door, a door that you very deeply yearn  to see beyond, a door that you sense holds behind it an entire world of opportunities, of freedom, of refreshment, of life itself.  But you’re not sure.  The sense is there, but certainty is not.  Do you knock? Or do you linger, hoping for courage, or perhaps for assurance; but then, you know assurance for your hesitation will lead only to a new caution, a new thought that holds you back.  Yet still you linger, and your longing gnaws at you silently, but your ifs, buts, maybes and anxieties clamour in your head, and the silent gnawing seems to fade to a dull ache.

Breathe a moment.  Consider where you stand.  Feel your heart beat in your chest.  Listen to the flow of your breath. Be still.

Look again, as you stand before the door.  And see the tiny seed of courage, of hope, of faith in your heart. It is tiny, but it is enough.  You reach forward to knock, still tentative, but you reach forward, anticipating that after you knock you will hear the sound of muted footsteps as the occupant approaches to open the door.  But, there is no nervous waiting, no time for anxiety as your mind roars “run away, it was a mistake, there’ll be no welcome for me”.  No. As your tightly clenched fist falls upon the surface before you, it lands, not to make a hollow doleful tone, but rather on warmth, on a yielding, welcoming chest, and you feel the love in the heart beneath your fingers, as your hand is covered by that of the one who welcomes you. You are greeted, before you’ve even completed the act of knocking, by the warm, gentle, welcoming and loving embrace of the Father.  

From the tiniest grain of faith, as you reach to knock, in that instant He is there. In that instant you stand in His embrace. Cherished, beloved, safe.

Little did you realise, as you approached to knock, that He stands waiting, knocking on the door of your heart, anticipating your faith, and longing for you to know the unconditional love he has always had for you, and always will.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Not Made for Here

I’m not convinced I’m made for this place.  It hurts.  When I live as I believe I am best to live, it really  hurts. I think I scare people.  I think my friends find me hard work and far too intense. Yes, I am intense.  But no longer will I think of myself as being too intense. I am as intense as I am. Yes, I insist on living incredibly authentically, with belligerent commitment to integrity, honesty and loving & connecting deeply.  This is not normal. Or at least, it is not usual.  And it’s lonely.  I asked a trusted confidante the other day if this was an unhealthy way to think. She reminded me of the bell curve.  I’m still normal, but it seems I sit at a tail on many things, and thus, yes, it is lonely.  That’s not an arrogant statement, not in the slightest, I say it with the greatest humility and a deep desire to understand why I find this place so hard, why I seem to face much opposition to simply being me.  Perhaps opposition is too active a word.  Me being me can tend to make people uncomfortable.  However, how else do we explore new possibilities unless we are challenged, unless we move out of our comfort zones? Me causing discomfort is not something I want to shy away from.  It’s not something I actively seek to do – my desire is not to hurt or cause pain, but I do like to challenge and provoke and open windows to new thoughts and possibilities and new ways of thinking and seeing.  And let’s face it, new things, whilst exciting, still involve change, and change is rarely comfortable.

I love too deeply for most people’s comfort; I do things to try and help people discover they are as wonderful as I see them to be, and I do it relentlessly.  Because being told “I love you” in an instant of time does not sustain you.  Love is an ongoing action.  We all need to hear and feel and receive active love. Not occasionally, but consistently. So yes, I’ll send encouraging, loving texts daily, yes, I’ll remind you that are you splendid and wonderful with great frequency, yes, i will hold on even when I am hurting and bleeding inside, because I know most of you don’t know how wonderful you are.  Not that I necessarily know that about myself, but I know it a lot better now than I used to. Today I know my God gazes on me with the deepest and most intense love.  My intensity is but a whisper compared to the way He loves me, and you.  My desired depth of connection is but an arcing circuit compared to how deeply He longs to be connected to me, and you. This at least I know.  Human love I find a little more fleeting, a little more difficult to trust and hold on to, but trust I do, though it pains me. Yes, I panic too.  Yes, sometimes the waves seem too big and I lose sight of my God and I cry out in desperation to be saved.  Thankfully, He is unflinchingly faithful and always ready to reach out His hand when I falter.  For my friends, for those I love, my stumblings are harder to understand, harder to weather.  I trust my God has them too.  I trust that somehow He will sustain their love for me through my intensity and my clinging and my soft, sensitive and often bloody heart wounds. 

I’m not sure I’m made for this place.  But I am grateful for those who walk by my side, near and far. Those who love me through my stumbling, through my elations, through my laughter and through my tears.  Those for whom I cry anguished tears and pray desperate prayers as I long for you to know how wonderfully splendid you are, that you might be free to love, to live abundantly, joyfully and playfully.  Thank you for loving me and holding on even when I’m hard to be with, even when I’m messy and panicking and uncomfortable for you to be with.  You keep me anchored. Thank God for you.