A Game of Wiffle Ball

wiffle ball

Recently I was at a professor’s house for an end-of-semester party.  The evening sun, although it was setting, cast a warm and perfect golden glow through the trees. The weather was perfect and his backyard was large and inviting for a game of wiffle ball with our professor’s 8- and 10-year-old sons.  Teams were divided and makeshift bases set up around the yard, but between the little ones hiding them from us gullible college students and the too-competitive players sliding into them, they never stayed where they were supposed to be.

After a couple of strikes, my friend Samantha hit the ball with as much enthusiasm as she could muster, and the ball sailed across the yard to the neighbor’s dog, who was chained to a tree and looking for some excitement in his life.  It was an epic home run before the outfielders could wrestle the ball from his happy, salivating mouth.

Once in a great while, I experience brief glimpses of eternity here on earth that I can only describe as eschatological moments. Kingdom moments.

This was one of them.

As I sat on the porch steps with one of my best friends, sharing reflections on the beauty of restored relationship and new creation and watching our classmates laugh and play and interact with the younger kids, I saw it as though a curtain had been pulled back to reveal a new, and fuller, dimension of life.  It was somehow sacred, this seemingly ordinary game of wiffle ball.  It was fun and innocence and life, and it felt vision-like as I saw it through the eyes of eternity.

Our professor’s youngest son shouted at my friend Lincoln, “I’m gonna kill you!,” and everyone laughed at his absurdity.

And then, too, we will laugh at the idea of death because it seems so far from the lush springtime grass and the laughter of innocent banter and play. We will laugh because death has been swallowed up by life. And wiffle ball.

The pure fullness of life is a foretaste of resurrection.

An Undivided Spirit

At times I feel like I am slipping away from myself, as if my own life is a fistful of sand. My thoughts race a hundred miles an hour. I feel pulled in so many different directions, spread so thin, and the world around me is spinning like a chaotic vortex. So many things clamor for my attention. Tests, papers, presentations, bills to be paid, grad school applications looming over my head, unread text messages demanding a response. What is most important? Where do I begin?

Centering prayer makes a fool of me, highlighting my inability to be calm. If the noise is loud, the silence is deafening. For four minutes I battle anxious thoughts on top of anxious thoughts. As soon as I think I am still, I realize that somewhere deep inside I am mentally chastising myself for my inability to be still. I never knew there could be so many layers of subconscious thought. How can I possibly invite Jesus into a spirit that is so divided?

The answer is both profoundly simple, and profoundly difficult.

I can’t.

I cannot invite Jesus into a divided spirit. There is no room for Him there.

Rather, I must enter His Spirit. I must stop what I am doing and find in myself a unified spirit to meet with Jesus. I must focus my will to be caught up in His purpose, and there find my own. And so I must reclaim the scattered pieces of my heart and bring them to Him to be made whole.

School, you have no hold on my heart. You must give it back.

Friends, I cannot love you well by giving you only a piece of my heart. I must have it whole.

Money, you are not worthy of my stress. I reclaim my heart from you.

“Come to me,” He invites. “Leave it behind. Being with Me is so much simpler.”

He smiles knowingly and takes my hand as He continues. “You see, the Kingdom isn’t about all these things. It’s physically impossible to pursue more than one thing. Your spirit is supposed to keep you grounded, but when your very core is being pulled apart…” He shakes His head. “No wonder you can’t breathe. You can’t be fully present if you’re focused on more than one Love. Come with Me, and you’ll find everything you’re looking for without searching.”

I grasp His hand a little tighter as we leave chaos and walk towards clarity. It’s time to leave the rest behind and seek first the Kingdom.

And if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of me attributing words to Jesus, don’t worry, it’s all found in Matthew 11:28-29 and 5:19-34.

At this point, I would strongly encourage you to STOP READING THIS POST, unless you have the time to work through the rest of it as a devotional, as it requires your spiritual participation. It will be meaningless if skimmed, so come back to it when you do have time.

So pause to read those Scriptures right now and underline the words or phrases that stand out to you. Read it again slowly, out loud, focusing on those underlined words. What is Jesus telling you? Pray through the text. Then continue to read below.

Soren Kierkegaard writes, “The person who wills one thing that is not the Good, he does not truly will one thing. It is a delusion, an illusion, a deception…A person who wills [a multitude of things] is not only double-minded but is at odds with himself….In truth to will one thing, then, can only mean to will the Good, because every other object is not a unity.”

And of loving others he writes, “The one who truly loves…does not use a part of his love, and then again another part. To change his love into small coins is not to use it rightly. No, he loves with all his love. It is away as a whole, and yet he keeps it intact as a whole, in his heart…. When the lover gives away his whole love, he keeps it entire — in the purity of the heart.”

Therefore, to give away our heart to any cause in any capacity, it must be whole within us. This is why we cannot invite Jesus into a divided spirit. We must come to Him, sick of our own internal division, wanting to be one within ourselves, and one with Him. And if we desire to be made whole, He must have everything we are. Seek Christ alone, and you will find simplicity.

On a retreat with my church’s college group this past weekend, our college minister led us through a guided meditation by Anthony DeMello, which I will share with you below. I encourage you to take the time to read it slowly, dwell on it, pray through it, savor the images it calls to mind, and examine your own emotional response to the exercise.

“God says, ‘Give me your heart.’

And then, in answer to my puzzlement, I hear Him say, ‘Your heart is where your treasure is.’

My treasures — here they are:

Persons. Places. Occupations. Things.

Experiences of the past.

The future’s hopes and dreams.

I pick each treasure up, say something to it, and place it in the presence of the Lord.

How shall I give these treasures to Him?

In the measure that my heart is in past treasures I am fossilized and dead, for life is only in the present.

So to each of these past treasures, those golden yesterdays, I say goodbye.

To each I speak, explaining that, grateful though I am that it came into my life, it must move out — or my heart will never learn to live in the present.

My heart is in the future too. Its anxious fears of what will be tomorrow leave little energy to fully live what is today. I list these fears and say to each, ‘Let the will of God be done,’ observing what effect this has on me, knowing in my heart that God can only will my good.

My heart is in my dreams, ideals, hopes, which make me live in future fiction. To each of these I say, ‘Let the will of God be done, let Him dispose of you as He sees fit.’

Having reclaimed the portion of my heart that was captured by the future and the past, I now survey my present treasures.

To each beloved person I say with tenderness, ‘You are so precious to me, but you are not my life. I have a life to live, a destiny to meet, that is separate from you.’

I say to places…things…I am attached to, ‘Precious you are, but you are not my life. My life and destiny are separate from you.’

I say this to the things that seem to constitute my very being:

My health, my ideologies, my good name, reputation, and I say it even to my life, which must succumb some day to death,

‘You are desirable and precious, but you are not my life. My life and my destiny are separate from you.’

And at last I stand alone before the Lord.

To Him I give my heart.

I say, ‘You, Lord, are my life. You are my destiny.'”

–Anthony DeMello, Wellsprings

Adventures and Goodbyes

I’m sitting here with a cup of hot tea, missing bonny Scotland.  This is not unusual.  Not a day has passed in the last two months that I haven’t thought fondly of Scotland and missed it.  Most of the time, it’s a conscious thought, like, “Oh, I miss Scotland.”  But at other times, it manifests itself in a very tangible, even physical way, in an odd sort of pressure on my heart and an ache deep in my stomach.  At times like this, it’s hard to think in words.  Instead, I catch fleeting glimpses of my own heartache and can only sigh as every part of me longs to be there.  In these moments, I am emotionally present there while physically present here, torn in two different directions 4000 miles apart.

I can almost feel the brisk and exhilarating chill of the snowy air, almost hear Bernard’s familiar greeting of, “Hello, love!”, almost feel Adam’s hug and see Amy’s smile light up her face, can almost hear that adorable accent calling, “Love yoooouuu!”

Scotland was a beautiful adventure, but with all adventures come goodbyes.  While you say goodbye, though, you never really leave.  The memories take root in your heart and last a lifetime.

Now I’m getting ready to embark on a different adventure for the summer as I head to Miami, Florida, to work with a youth group down there.  I’m crazy excited, but to begin this new adventure, I have to close another chapter and say some more goodbyes.

I’ve finished out my junior year of college, and with that came the necessary emptying of the dorm room which I called home for a year.  The pictures came down from the walls, the carpet was torn out, and every trace of its uniqueness was swept away to make it clean and cold and white once more.  I’ll never see that room again.  I hugged my sweet roommate Morgan goodbye for the summer and tried to hold back the tears — the first of many.

The next round of goodbyes was to my small group at Grace Chapel.  It’s been an incredible year, and it’s been such a blessing to be a part of these girls’ lives and watch them grow.  When one of them buried her head in my shoulder and cried, it nearly broke my heart.

The family goodbyes were even more difficult.  Last night my family met in Nashville to have a last dinner together before I leave, and I hugged my big sister goodbye knowing that by the time I come back, she’ll be gone.  There won’t be any more trips to the thrift store or random movie nights.  Everything is changing.  Adventures are beautiful…but also heartbreaking.

At the end of two months in Miami, I know it’ll be just as hard to come back as it was to leave.  I’ll spend every moment I’m there forming new relationships, knowing that I have to say goodbye at the end of the summer.  I’ve left my heart in pieces all over the globe, and I know more pieces of it will be scattered far and wide as I live and love and adventure into the unknown.  Yet somehow, I know it’s all worth it.

Adventures come with goodbyes, but they also come with new beginnings and new experiences and new relationships.  They come with laughter and hope and youthful idealism.  And often, they come with an entirely new perspective on life.

You see, there’s one last goodbye I’ll have to say before I begin a new adventure, for one never comes back from an adventure unchanged.  I’ll have to say goodbye to myself.  It always feels a bit odd, really, realizing that I won’t come back the same person I was when I left.  I never do.  But it’s all part of the adventure.

My heart is heavy tonight, but not in a weary or burdened sort of way.  It’s in a very full sort of way.  I’m full of memories from my previous adventures, and full of excitement for what is to come.  I’m full of love that I’ve poured out and received back tenfold.  And perhaps most of all, I’m simply full of life.

Published in: on May 29, 2013 at 1:37 am  Comments (4)  
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Forever Changed

I was sitting in a coffee shop in Nashville, hearing the pleasant chatter of others and the clink of dishes in the background, smelling the rich aroma of coffee and cookies.  The last 10 minutes of one-on-one conversation had given me a far deeper respect for the man across from me than I could have imagined, and as the clock ticked away the minutes, I felt a desperate need to gain as much wisdom from him as I could before our time ran out. I leaned forward with my elbows on the table, looking at him with tears starting to glisten in my eyes as I asked quietly, “What happens when things go back to normal?”

He smiled at me with the understanding of age and experience. “Things will never go back to normal,” he answered simply. “I’m changed because I’ve met you.  You’re changed because of what you experienced and the people you met in Scotland.  There’s a new normal that incorporates all of those experiences and how they’ve shaped the way you look at life.”

In that moment, he had perfectly put into words everything that had been tearing me apart over the past couple of weeks.  I hadn’t been able to put the puzzle pieces together into a new, reshaped version of myself because the trip was so short and my thoughts so scattered.  This wasn’t like camp, where I was there long enough to see myself change and track my progress through journaling.  Instead, all I’ve been able to do is cry and feel lost.  But suddenly I could breathe again, realizing that things don’t have to go back to normal.  They can’t go back to normal.  I couldn’t forget even if I wanted to, so I may as well accept the fact that I’m changed and embrace the new normal.  I won’t see these people again for a very long time, but I don’t have to let it hurt, because their footprints will always be on my heart.  They’ve changed me; and most importantly, God has changed me.

There’s a line from the Casting Crowns song The Well that I always return to after an experience like this: “Now that you’re full of love beyond measure, your joy’s gonna flow like a stream in the desert.  Soon all the world will see living water is found in Me, because you’ve come to the Well.”

Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence that this conversation took place at The Well.  And maybe…maybe there’s no such thing as “normal” after all.  Life isn’t static.  Life is a journey full of ups and downs and experiences that change the course of our lives.  Maybe we just have to let go of control and change with it, letting every moment define us in a unique way.

Scotland collage

Published in: on April 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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resurrection

Awake, Christian — see the light of coming dawn and rise up from death.

Christ didn’t leave His tomb for you to stay in yours; the stone has been rolled away and every chain is broken.

Jesus Christ has defeated death and sits in power at the right hand of God Almighty.

The same strength which raised Him to life is at work in you.

How can you rejoice on Easter morning if you haven’t been set free?

This is a truth that cannot be half-heartedly believed.  This is a truth that must be lived.

If it matters that Jesus didn’t stay dead, let it make a difference in you.

Rise up, Christian.

Resurrection is waiting.

Published in: on March 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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graphomen

Graphomen.  It’s a great little Greek word that looks like this: γραφωμεν.

Fun fact: If I ever got a tattoo, that’s what it would be, on my left wrist.  (I love the permanence of the concept, but I’m not so sure about the permanence of the ink.)

Why?  What does it mean?

γραφωμεν simply means, “We write.”

Who writes?  God does.  I do.  We both write, together.

I’ve always loved paper — the way it feels, the way it smells, the cleanness and smoothness of it.  I’ve always loved to write by hand; that’s how I process my thoughts.  Even my class notes bear witness to my love of pen and ink, with painstakingly bolded words, side comments carefully set off in little boxes, and headings bordered with flowers.  I’ve journaled since I was six years old.  But even then, I couldn’t stand to mess up a page.  If I made a mistake, I would tear out the page and rewrite everything just so I wouldn’t have a scribble marring the creamy perfection of my spotless page.  It’s taken me years to get over that OCD tendency.  In fact, I just succumbed to the temptation last week, rewriting two whole pages because I wrote something stupid.

My life has always been a whole lot like that, too.  I was always mortified by mistakes and wanted to rip out those pages, burn my bridges, and start over with a clean sheet of paper.  I always had a desperate desire to be in control.  Life doesn’t work that way, though.  I realized that the more I tried to take control, the messier my story got.

So last January, I surrendered the pen to the Author and asked Him to write my life story.  Since then, I’ve stood back and watched in awe as the rich ink filled the pages with beauty and purpose.  Instead of trying to write my own story and fix my own conflicts, I just got to read it, eagerly anticipating the turn of each new page.  It’s a mystery, it’s an adventure, it’s a comedy, it’s a romance.  It’s taken me places I didn’t expect.  But it’s one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever had the privilege to read.

And on my journey, I get to share bits and pieces of my story with you.  A long time ago, I felt like God was telling me that He had given me a gift for writing so I could use it for Him.  Thus, this blog was born.  It’s just the account of my journey.  What He writes in my story, what He writes on my heart, I write on my blog to show you what He can do through an ordinary person like me.

Please take a minute to watch this video, I promise it’s worth your time:

 

I took a break from blogging for about a month because it had become more about me than about Him.  I’m a little embarrassed to say that it had become a way for me to receive affirmation from the blogging world based on how many views it got.  I had turned my gift into an idol, and I really just needed to “clear the stage.”  But I’m back now; He’s busy writing, and He’s asking me to pick up my pen again to share what He’s doing.

γραφωμεν.  He writes.  I write.  We write…together.

And so the story continues….

Published in: on February 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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And the World Turned

Disclaimer: Listen to the song before you read the post, or you’ll be totally lost.

I love this song and its beautiful blend of simplicity and depth.  I love how it tells a story, how it relates the pain of loss, the struggle with self-worth, the difficulty of letting go, and the bittersweet closure that comes.  My favorite lyric is the simple line, “But instead she tossed the locket in the cool blue water.”  It’s the point in the song where everything turns around, where she makes the decision to let go of the past and pursue the future.

I was thinking about that line a few days ago, and I just now realized how beautifully applicable it is to the New Year.  What memories do we have hiding away in lockets because we can’t muster up the strength to get rid of them?  Instead of controlling our emotions, we let them control us.  We let them consume us.  We let them dictate our lives.

The girl was at a crossroads; her grief had consumed her to the point that she couldn’t continue to live this way.  So she had two choices: she could throw her life away, or she could throw away what was keeping her from living her life.  The water below was equally ready to take either.  At first, she considered falling to her death and taking the locket with her, letting that faded picture control her even to her grave.  “But instead…” She let the locket fall, saving what was of infinitely greater worth — the potential of the rest of her life.

And the world turned, and the world turned, and the world turned.

What’s in that dusty locket of yours?

It’s a new year, and the world is turning again.  You’ve got a choice to make.  Are you going to hold onto the past and let it keep you from better things?  Or are you going to drop the locket and start living the rest of your life?

Old Year, New Year

Much like culture assigns names to generations, at the end of each year I reflect back on what it has meant to me and attempt to categorize it.  2010 was the year of beginnings: my first real job, starting college, finding a new church.  2011 was the year of change: I dyed my hair, went on a crazy piercing spree, changed my major, and tried to figure out what life was all about.  And although there were plenty of both beginnings and changes in 2012, I would have to classify it as the year of growth, simply because I made the most of the changes and began to really understand who I am and where I fit into God’s story.

Being the introspective person that I am, for me the end of the year is a chance to look back and revisit the milestones that brought me to where I am, as I seek to better understand myself, why I think the way I do, and how I can continue to change in the course of another year.  So I’ll share some of those musings with you.

A year ago from right now, I had finally recovered from the crazy tailspin of an awful semester and was ready for 2012 to save me.  I predicted that 2012 would be a year of growth and the best year of my life yet.  I was right.

In January, I went to Passion youth conference in Atlanta.  I’ve kind of been a Christian my whole life.  When I was four, I could rattle off the books of the Old Testament better than an adult, and I was baptized when I was nine.  I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t want to love God, but there were definitely times when I doubted, when I compromised and followed my own plans, when I wasn’t close to Him at all.  But January of 2012 marks the turning point when I decided that nothing else mattered, and I wanted God’s adventure for my life no matter what that meant.  Perhaps, in a way, it was only then that I truly became a Christ-follower.  And since then, I haven’t even glanced back.IMG_0093

So I started back to school the next semester determined to seek God.  I read Radical.  I read Crazy Love.  I read Ephesians over and over and over again.  And as I plunged headfirst into a full load of English classes, I realized that I had to change my major; God was calling me to youth ministry.  After a serious inner struggle, I dropped one of my English classes, which brought me down to 15 hours.  And now I had even more free time to chase after God’s heart.  I went to church on Sundays, small group on Tuesdays, youth group on Wednesdays, and Sanctuary on Thursdays, holding onto all of it desperately and not wanting to lose the passion I had found.  In March I officially became a member of Grace Chapel and joined the choir.

Seemingly, God wasn’t content with my decision to change my major.  There was something else ridiculous that He was calling me to: Deer Run Christian Camp.  When my friend Caleb first suggested that I apply, I smiled and said I’d consider it while thinking to myself, “No way am I working at a summer camp, ever.”  I went to camp once, when I was in 3rd grade, and I hated it. They made me play sports and I sucked at it and everyone laughed at me.  Besides, I’m not an outdoorsy girl.  There was absolutely no reason why I should work at Deer Run — except that I knew I had to.061912jm_preteen2-163

I learned how to be outdoorsy.  I got used to not wearing makeup.  I got a Chaco tan.  I did the high ropes course and the leap of faith and trust falls and the climbing tower.  I played paintball and taught Bible lessons every day.  I got used to living with the bare minimum and getting creative when those few possessions were falling apart.  I learned to depend on God, moment by moment, in a way I’d never had to before: for physical strength, for energy, for wisdom, for patience, for the right words.  I told a kid about God for the first time.  I saw one of my girls baptized in the lake.  I laughed and cried and worshiped and lived with everything I had.

And then I started back to school in the fall with new eyes, new ears, and an insatiable eagerness for life, determined to be more intentional about relationships and less worried about grades.  I had six Bible classes, ranging from Educating Adolescents in the Church to New Testament Exegesis to church history and Greek, and it was glorious.  During the summer I had grown and been stretched physically, emotionally, and experientially; now it was time to stretch myself mentally as I dug into the academic side of theology.

Another incredible growth experience this fall was my decision to talk to a counselor at Lipscomb.  At first I was a little embarrassed to admit it, but to be honest, all of us have things we need to deal with and work through.  So I did a lot of that, learning things about myself, seeing areas where I could continue to grow, and learning to love myself.  And, following her example, I learned how to listen to other people better and how to ask the right questions to help them reach their own conclusions.

And then there were a bunch of little milestones this year as well: I got glasses which I usually only wear when they match my outfit, I turned 20, and I went to a Rascal Flatts concert, which I’ve wanted to do since I was 14.  I met some fantastic new people, including my beautiful and sweet roommate Morgan with whom I can share anything, and made some great new memories with the old friends.  So there’s not really a lot that was lacking in 2012, and there are no definitive New Year’s resolutions I can make for 2013 but merely to continue living in the present, seeking God in every aspect of my life and following His will even when it seems crazy, loving others and noticing everyone I come across, and living faithfully in the bigger story of which I am a part.

This time next year, I’m sure I’ll be sitting somewhere reflecting on the last 365 days; thinking about a job which I have not yet gotten, classes which I have not yet taken, people which I have not yet met.  The thought is exciting because, when everything falls into place around my relationship with God, it’s sure to be an adventure.  So here’s to 2013, where new lessons are waiting to be learned and new experiences are waiting to be had.  And here’s to you, God; next New Year’s Eve, may I be able to look back and say that I lived it for You.

A picture from Passion, which changed everything this year.

A picture from Passion, which changed everything this year.

Me with my brother and one of my best friends on their graduation day

Me with my brother and one of my best friends on their graduation day

The best group of co-workers a girl could ask for.

The best group of co-workers ever.

Badgers on my 20th birthday!

Badgers on my 20th birthday!

Church buddies at Grace Chapel

friends and fro yo

The Girl in the Mirror

26790_379253246924_2837817_nSometimes I look at the picture of this little girl and think about her future.  Don’t her eyes just melt your heart?  What wouldn’t you do for that little shy smile?  I watched her grow up, so I know her story.  She’s had a good life, and she’s done well for herself, but it hasn’t always been easy for her.  You know how it is:  She grows up and realizes the world isn’t quite what she thought it was.  And looking at her picture sometimes, I want to keep her in her safe little world of innocence, keep her from the pain of disillusionment.

Because I feel helpless knowing that she will one day feel the pain of a broken heart.  That she will make wrong choices that will lead down questionable paths and end in disappointment.  I cringe knowing that one day, like so many other girls, she will take a knife to that soft, perfect skin just to watch the blood trickle down.  Looking into those warm and trusting eyes, it tears me apart knowing that they will lose their sparkle one day — that they will have seen too much of the world to shine with naive expectation.

One day she will begin to question everything she ever believed in:  Santa Claus.  Prince Charming.  God.  Herself.

This little girl doesn’t know what it’s like to feel alone.  But one day, she will.  I look in her wide-eyed, innocent face and see her future, and I desperately want to shield her, to protect her, to tell her that there is an easier way.

But as I reach out my hand, I see that I am simply grasping at a mirror.  And as I look deeply into the eyes of the woman I have become, I see that there wasn’t a better way.  I took exactly the road I had to take to end up where I am, right now, standing here gazing at my reflection and looking back on the life I’ve lived.

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I had to make stupid choices to gain wisdom.  I had to be influenced and controlled before I could discover who I really was, and I had to hate myself before I knew what it meant to love myself.  I had to doubt before I could believe, I had to be broken so that I could be made whole, and I had to experience the imprisonment of shame before I could truly raise my hands to God in freedom and victory.  I had to live the life I’ve lived, every step of the way.  I always did what I felt I had to do to get by, so I really couldn’t have made any other choices.

And realizing this, I realize that, as much as I may want it to be, my job is not to keep other girls from the same struggles I went through.  I see the same look of excitement and wonder in their eyes, and I want to.  Oh God, I want to.

Others, I see the dullness and numbness beginning to replace the sparkle as they learn how broken the world really is and how ugly life can be, and I want to heal them.  Oh God, I want to.

But I can’t — it’s not my life to live.  And I’m learning that as desperately as I want to keep them from experiencing pain, I have to love them enough to let them figure it out on their own.

I know that some of them will starve themselves to find acceptance.  Some of them will cut themselves to feel again.   Some will compromise themselves for affirmation.  Some will experience loss and abandonment and depression.  And the thought of it breaks my heart.

But…

The best I can do is to equip them to live faithfully, to make the most of their lives, to find their own healing.  The best I can do is walk alongside them on their journey and share the little I know about life.  To let them make mistakes and to cry with them when they’re broken.  To pray them through as they sort out who they are and why they’re here.  To teach them enough of the Story so that they can faithfully improvise no matter what stage they’re on or what costume they’re wearing.  And to be a faithful audience to the story they write.

This is my ministry.

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The Value of Life

What determines the value of life?

Think carefully before you answer.

Can the value of life increase or decrease?

Is a life’s value determined by situation? By circumstance?

What is life, really? Life is everything we are. It makes us human. It is the core of our existence.

Can you say, “I’m worth more than you”? Maybe you’re a greater ‘benefit to society’ — but you’re no more  alive than they are, are you?

So to say anything but “no” — to judge the worth of another’s very being — would sound ridiculous. But what do your beliefs say? What does your ballot say?

Here’s another question: does every life have a purpose?

Would God really create something useless?

Consider carefully here. Because in taking a life for any reason, you are undermining the innate (for worth is innate, not situational) value of life AND denying them the opportunity to fulfill their purpose.

That’s some pretty serious stuff.

It’s easy to say, from a political standpoint, what would be “best” — for people, for society, for the country.

But when impersonal pen and paper determine what happens to living flesh and blood…I tremble. I can’t make that call.

Like most conservatives, I used to be against abortion but for capital punishment. Obviously there’s a difference between taking the life of an innocent unborn child, and taking the life of a hardened criminal. And from society’s standpoint, yes, there is. But from a truly pro-life standpoint, when you consider the innate value of life — if its worth is not determined by circumstance — is one so much better than the other?

The criminal had a chance, and the baby didn’t, you argue. That’s true.

But regardless of chances, there is still purpose, and you cut it short either way.

What about people like the BTK killer, you ask? They’re sick. They’re obviously insane. Granted.

But is their life any less valuable? God had a reason for giving them life; if He didn’t, they wouldn’t exist. But He purposefully, intentionally breathed into them the same value — the same gift — the same life — He breathed into you.

Demanding the right to take someone else’s life into our own hands, for any reason, is a dangerous thing.

A frightening thing.

Because if we give ourselves the “right”…

One day, when you’re too old to benefit society and the system is even more corrupt than it now is…

Who might give themselves the “right” to take your life?

Someone else will determine that your value has decreased. Someone else will decide that you have no purpose.

You won’t agree.

But you, who voted away countless lives, will be unable to vote for yourself.

Published in: on February 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm  Comments (3)  
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